You don’t have to be German to love Oktoberfest. It’s everyone’s yearly excuse to pour a stein of beer, don a pair of lederhosen (optional), and clank glasses cheering “Prost!”
While the world’s largest beer festival is happening in Munich through October 3rd, it’s easy to get into the Oktoberfest spirit right at home with beer and Wisconsin cheese pairings. With four of Germany’s favorite beers and four of Wisconsin’s best cheeses—what’s not to love? Serve a flight of these pairings for an Oktoberfest-themed happy hour or relaxed weekend dinner party with friends.
Start things off light with pilsner and Wisconsin muenster cheese. This golden-hued beer is one of Germany’s most popular, and a perfectly laid-back match for muenster. With its signature orange rind, Wisconsin muenster has a mellow, savory flavor that complements the sweet, earthy aroma of pilsner.
Next up, lager and Wisconsin alpine-style cheese. Lager is one beer everyone can agree on. It’s golden yellow with a crisp, slightly malty flavor that makes it an easy companion to a variety of Wisconsin cheeses. One of our favorite pairings is alpine-style cheese. Its nutty, robust flavor and firm texture kicks up the taste of lager for a smooth finish.
If you’re into wheat beer, then hefeweizen and Wisconsin Baby Swiss is your combination. Made from both wheat and barley, a good German hefeweizen looks cloudy but tastes crisp and refreshing. Wisconsin Baby Swiss cheese is an excellent match. It’s soft, silky texture cuts through the hefeweizen and imparts a mild, creamy flavor.
Venturing to the darker side, pair a stein of bock with Wisconsin aged gouda. Bocks were originally brewed by German monks and are known for their strong, robust flavor and dark color. Their deep caramel flavor complements the intense caramel sweetness of aged gouda cheese, and makes for a bold happy hour pairing or pre-dinner snack.
No Oktoberfest celebration is complete without German-inspired fare for feasting. If you’re looking for festive, fall-like recipes, here are a few of our favorites: