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Food and Leisure

At home or at Solaire Oktoberfest will be lit

THE BACONMAN COMETH - Sharwin Tee - The Philippine Star
At home or at Solaire Oktoberfest will be lit
Solaire's Oktoberfest event features unlimited German beer.

Growing up, I always thought that Oktoberfest was a Filipino invention. I mean, the word “October” was spelled with a “k,” there were signs everywhere during September and October and there was a lot of beer. It was only when I was a teenager, probably learning about European history, when I discovered that Oktoberfest was of German origin. I would probably feel pretty stupid about all this, except that when I attended the preview of the Oktoberfest celebrations hosted by the German Club and Solaire Resort, they explained that it truly was tailor-made for Filipinos. After all, it was, essentially, “a fiesta with lots of beer.”

Celebrate at Solaire

For a truly authentic experience, attending the upcoming Oktoberfest celebrations at the Solaire Tent is a great idea. I got to experience a media preview of what it will be like, and I have to say, it was truly a lot of fun. It was a festive experience, with communal tables, music, games and, of course, all the German beer we could handle. I love the beer they served because it was ice cold, light and pretty refreshing, making it not only perfect for the Philippine weather, but also light enough for you to enjoy several (giant) mugs throughout the night. Then there was the food. This event will not be stingy with its beer accompaniments. Start with several appetizers, including the ubiquitous potato salad, bright and zesty with vinegar and mustard, and a platter of cold cuts and cheese. My favorites, though, are an impressive bread basket that included my favorite pretzel breads, and a Munich salad of lyoner and vegetables, a wonderful surprise for sure. The appetizer spread, in all honesty, would be more than enough for the event, but Solaire is not skimping. Among the main courses will be a Bavarian meat platter with all the goodies — from pork knuckles, to schnitzel and meat loaf, plus a brigade of sausages, both poached and grilled. My favorite, though, is the Spaetzle: extruded pasta nuggets tossed in a flavorful cream sauce. There are desserts for those with a sweet tooth, too. The classic strudel, shredded pancakes and what they call a “Beer Mug” (apricot jelly with yoghurt foam) are all there to satisfy any sweet cravings. Personally, I thought the desserts themselves really go well with the beer. Absolutely stuffed, since I tried each and every dish plus a giant mug of beer, I was informed that both the beer and the food are bottomless, and I just needed to inform my servers if I wanted more. Now, that is a reason to celebrate.

Oktoberfest isn't complete without a plate of pork knuckles, ham, schnitzel and meat loaf.

Celebrate at home

If dining out is currently not an option, it is still not a good enough excuse not to celebrate Oktoberfest because it’s just so easy to create your own celebration at home. All you need is a supply of the good stuff — and I just happen to know where to get them.

Nothing can ruin a celebration faster than a less-than-impressive line of beers, so make sure to get some great ones. I try not to drink as much these days, but when I do, I turn to my friends at Mitchell’s Backyard Brewery. These craft beer brewers have continued to up their game steadily ever since they entered the market, winning several awards internationally. Their current new brew is called Lost City of Gold — a pale ale that I think would be perfect to enjoy on a breezy October night in the Philippines with its hints of pineapple and mango. As with all their brews, this one is perfectly brewed and goes down easy. Personally, I also like their American Sunrise pale ale and the Honey Wheat ale. They deliver, too. Just find and message them on their IG account @mitchellsbackyardbrewery to order and you can also join their beer club.

On the food side, meanwhile, it’s key to get great sausages and not just the run-of-the-mill ones at the grocery store. One World Butchers fills that need in an instant. Chef Miguel Gianan has been making sausages for years and his hard work shows in the sausages he creates, from the classics to the artisanal. One World Butchers offers the classic Oktoberfest pack, which, chef Miguel reminds me, should have “two large, two small, and a thin one.” The classic pack has Bockwurst, Bratwurst, Vienna Sausage and Nuremburgers. He’s also created an Oktoberfest pack with chicken sausages replacing the Nuremburgers. Each of their sausages are made fresh and smoked in-house with premium quality meat. If going classic is not your style, they also have a great selection of interesting new sausages like the Smokey Hawaiian which would go great with the Lost City of Gold pale ale I just mentioned, and the Green Mexican. I wouldn’t mind getting the Cilantro Jalapeno Cheddar sausage, too! The best thing about visiting them, though, is you can get tips on how to prepare your sausage, or you can have them grill it there before taking them home. You can visit them at Kalayaan Ave cor. Matilde in Makati or on IG @oneworldbutchers for orders.

Mitchell's Backyard Brewery's craft beers are always on point, including their latest brew, Lost City of Gold.

The Best Fest

Whether Oktoberfest is Filipino or German doesn’t really matter, does it? It doesn’t matter if your Oktoberfest is at Solaire, where a giant feast of food and fun awaits you or if it’s at home where your own stash of craft beer and artisanal sausages awaits you and your grill. As long as there’s lots of beer and lots of food, with the people you love surrounding you, this fest is the best kind.

* * *

The German Club Manila holds the 82nd Oktoberfest at Solaire! on Oct. 14 and 15 at The Tent Solaire Resort and Casino.

For information, call 8888-8888 or visit www.solaireresort.com/oktoberfest

Sharwin Tee’s new book, The Gospel of Food, is now available in National Book Stores nationwide plus Amazon, Shopee and Lazada. Follow Sharwin’s food adventures on Instagram @chefsharwin and for questions, reactions, recipe and column suggestions, you can contact him on www.sharwintee.com.

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