Over the years, we’ve tried hard to replicate the world-famous Oktoberfest of Germany. The beer festival originated in Munich, but is now held in various German cities, and also around the world.
India’s beer drinking population isn’t to be left behind, and every pub worth its salt has been hosting its own version of Oktoberfest. Most often, all you get is a bunch of German beers you wouldn’t see on regular menus, through the end of September and the beginning of October. But this year, we’ve found some great, authentic food to go with the brews.
Check out our list of the must-try beers, and the dishes we checked out, so we can recommend them to you:
At Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt, head to The Bar, where they’ve recreated the setting of communal tables, bright banners and tapestry, and wait staff in German costumes. The food menu is limited, but it serves its purpose. Our picks are the Roasted Bratwurst with mashed potatoes, and a Pork Schnitzel that comes with brilliant potato salad. Vegetarians, get the Gruyere-laced spaetzly pasta. Leaving without dessert would be a sin. What made our night was a big hunk of Chef Hermann’s Black Forest cake that overshadowed the Apple Strudel.
Our beer picks: Shepher Neame & Co. Double Stout, Amigos, Paulaner Munchner Hell
At The White Owl – Brewery & Bistro, a new brew called Munich Lager has just been added to the craft beer menu for what they’ve aptly christened the Owltoberfest. We tried and loved the Chicken Schnitzel Sliders with red cabbage, tons of emmental cheese and some delicious mustard aioli. Also impressive are the House Currywurst in curried tomato sauce, sitting atop a generous serving of garlic mash, and Pork Corn Dogs that come with an impressively made house mustard. The festival special dessert is a Black Forest Sundae with hunks of two ice creams – Belgian chocolate and vanilla bean – cherry and Oreo cookies.
Ourbeer picks: Munich Lager, Ace (dry apple cider), Diablo (Irish red ale)
Another Oktoberfest outing that promises not to disappoint is being hosted by blueFROG. The menu here is extensive, but not confusing. One look, and we knew exactly what we wanted. Start with the quirkily titled Hoppel Poppel, which is essentially a light bar snack with sausages, bread and salad tossed together. Those with bigger appetites would do well to pick the Frankfurter Wurstchen (pork or chicken franks served with hot dog buns, mustard, horseradish, potatoes and salad) or the more flavourful Currywurst (pork bratwurst topped with a finger-licking good curry and paprika sauce).
Those that go to blueFROG to eat (there really should be more of them) can’t go wrong with the piece de resistance – Schweinbraten. The spectacularly plated portion of beer roasted pork ribs, croquettes, veggies and sauerkraut is a main dish that you’re bound to polish off. But don’t forget to leave some room for dessert, for their Beer Sorbet is the stuff dreams are made of. Even non-beer drinkers swear by this practically perfect end to a meal. A more filling option is the Kaiserschmarren – sweet pancakes, rum-soaked raisins, orange apricot compote, berry, maple and almonds, served with apple sauce, poached spiced plum and vanilla ice cream.
Our beer picks: Magners Irish Cider, Erdinger, Schneider Weisse
More options in Mumbai:
Pune-based microbrewery TJ’s BrewWorks are serving some exclusive brews at Wink, Vivanta by Taj President in Mumbai. At Rs 300 per pint, the craft beer menu will feature The Zen Weiss, The Devil’s Dark Brew and TJ’s Special.
Mumbai’s Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel has a special menu with Pretzels, German sausages, Schnitzel, Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut, Rotkohl/Blaukraut (red cabbage) and more on offer at their Sunday brunch buffet at Fratelli Fresh. All this, along with unlimited beer, of course, at Rs 2,750 plus taxes per head.
Check out an extensive buffet of Bavarian delicacies and beer at the JW Café, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. Dishes include Chicken Frikadellen, Pork Goulash, Pork Krakauer Sausage and Pork Currywurst Sausage to name a few. Vegetarians can try Pilze in Sahnesosse, Marinierte Tomaten and Kartoffelpfannkuchen. Also indulge your sweet tooth with desserts like Baumkuchen, Rehrucken, Bienenstich, Berry Streusel, Gugelhupf and Black Forest Cake. The buffet – 7 pm onwards – is priced at Rs 1,888 plus taxes, and an additional Rs 1,000 plus taxes for the beer package.