Oktoberfest Past and Present

01st October 2012

Beer. Bavarian culture. Tradition. Harvest. Märzen Bier. From a celebration in a field to a beer worth celebrating.

Greetings on this first day of October! And a lovely fall day it is in Milwaukee.

For the past month many Oktoberfest celebrations have taken place around the world, most notably in Munich and Milwaukee. Fun is had by all who often drink copious amounts of seasonal Oktoberfest beer, listen to Bavarian music, dance, eat soft pretzels, regard fraus and frauleins in dirndls, and herrs in leiderhozen. Sprecher makes a traditional Oktoberfest beer, a Märzen style, which is a perennial award winner both in competitions (GABF, LA International, U.S. Open) and among craft beer lovers. More about that later, but first a bit about the history of the Oktoberfest celebration (courtesy of Wikipedia):

Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12,1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. The fields were named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s meadow”) in honor of the Crown Princess, and have kept that name ever since, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n”.

The festival was eventually prolonged and moved ahead to September to allow for better weather conditions. Today, the last day of the festival is the first Sunday in October.

But what about the beer?

According to Wikipedia: Märzen has its origins in Bavaria, probably before the 16th century. A Bavarian brewing ordinance decreed in 1539 that beer may be brewed only between 29 September and 23 April. The original Märzen was described as “dark brown, full-bodied”. The beer was often kept in the cellar until late in the summer, and remaining bottles were served at Oktoberfest. In order to last so long, either the original gravity and alcohol were increased or the hopping was strengthened.

Michael Jackson writes: From “March” in German. Originally a beer brewed in March and laid down in caves before the summer weather rendered brewing impossible. Stocks would be drawn upon during the summer, and finally exhausted in October. In Germany, this tradition has come to be associated with one specific style. Marzenbier has a malty aroma, and is a medium-strong version (classically, more than 5.5 percent alcohol by volume) of the amber-red Vienna style. It is seasonal to the Oktoberfest, where it is offered as a traditional speciality alongside paler beers of a similar strength.

Fast forward to the present time. Now that you’ve got the history, there’s a good reason to raise a pint or few of Sprecher Oktoberfest during this fall season. The Weekly Pint says:

Steins of the Times
Deliciously spicy Oktoberfest beers have arrived.

oktoberfestbeerFall equates with better beer drinking. We love the simple pleasures of all those good Oktoberfest parties, which, starting this week, take over every German-style beer bar in America (and some entire towns, like Leavenworth, WA). The true, traditional beer to order is Märzen (say “mayer-tsen“), a medium-bodied, coppery-red lager marked by a smooth malt character and the spicy kick of noble hops. It’s an under-appreciated style—for some reason, it’s scarcely served at the big traditional Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, which runs from 9/22 to 10/7 this year—and has a sociable ABV (alcohol by volume) of just five to seven percent, making it the perfect match for bratwurst, if not an impromptu chicken dance or two as the oom-pah band rocks it that much harder.

Got lederhosen? Maybe not. But you can get the right beer. Here, two of our favorite Oktoberfest brews to pick up from your local beer shop this season. After all, as Ahnold once helpfully reminded the world: “Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer.”

Central/East
Sprecher Oktoberfest; 5.75%abv
From one of our perennial favorite breweries available throughout the central and Eastern U.S. states comes this sturdy offering, aged a full six weeks before release. Aromatic and a touch nutty, with a pleasant caramel-y note, it’s got a bready, malty backbone and the marked spiciness of Hallertau and Mt. Hood hops.

Come to Sprecher Brewery, tour and enjoy the Oktoberfest.  Pick some up in our Gift Shop. Get a growler full (either stainless or glass growler). Try some at your favorite venue. You’ll be saying Prost! (and perhaps GO Pack!) in no time. Sprecher Oktoberfest is available throughout the Midwest. If you can’t find it, let us know.

 

Open wide and say yum! One of our facebook friends posted that he was about to make his favorite birthday cake, Sprecher Black Bavarian Dark Chocolate Cake, using a recipe created by his wife. We hope you’ll try it and let us know what you think.

Happy Birthday and thank you Eric Friedrich for sharing this recipe; thank you Dahlia Fredrich for creating this yumderful cake and icing.

SPRECHER BLACK BAVARIAN DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE

 Ingredients:

2 CUPS SUGAR

1 3/4 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR

3/4 CUP HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK COCOA

1 1/2 TSP BAKING POWDER

1 1/2 TSP BAKING SODA

1 TSP SALT

2 EGGS

1 CUP WHOLE MILK

1/2 CUP VEGETABLE OIL

2 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT

1 CUP SPRECHER BLACK BAVARIAN BEER

 Cooking Instructions:

1. HEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES. GREASE/ FLOUR 13X9 INCH PAN.

2. STIR TOGETHER THE SUGAR, FLOUR, COCOA, BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA AND SALT

    IN MIXING BOWL.  ADD EGGS, MILK, OIL, AND VANILLA.  BEAT ON MEDIUM SPEED 2 MINUTES.

    TAKE ONE CUP OF BLACK BAVARIAN BEER AND BOIL IN SMALL POT.  STIR INTO CAKE MIX.

    POUR BATTER INTO PAN.

3. BAKE 35-40 MINUTES

4. AFTER CAKE HAS COOLED, BRUSH 1/4 CUP OF BLACK BAVARIAN BEER ON TOP OF CAKE

 

 SPRECHER BLACK BAVARIAN DARK CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Ingredients

 1 CUP SOLID WHITE VEGETABLE SHORTENING

1 TSP VANILLA

1/2 CUP BLACK BAVARIAN BEER

16 OZ. CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR (4-5 CUPS)

1 TBSP WILTON MERINGUE POWDER

PINCH OF SALT

3/4 CUP HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK COCOA

Instructions:

 1. CREAM SHORTENING, FLAVOR AND BEER.

2. ADD DRY INGREDIENTS AND MIX ON MEDIUM SPEED UNTIL ALL INGREDIENTS HAVE BEEN

    THOROUGHLY MIXED TOGETHER.  BLEND AN ADDITIONAL MINUTE OR SO UNTIL CREAMY

 

 

 

Not only will it be HOT, it’s also going to be MUGGY round here. Chill out for awhile at Sprecher Landing (near SpinCity). You’ll find 11 Sprecher beers on tap and in bottles; Best of the Fair “Frozen Treat” Sprecher Beer Lollipops, Sprecher gourmet soda sorbet, Root Beer on tap, beer pretzels on a stick, root beer cookies on a stick, and live music.

Stop by Root Beer Everything (near Apollo’s) on your way to the Central Mall.

It’s Discover Wisconsin’s Day on the Central Mall and we’re hosting these events –

  • Hot stuff! Grilling with Beer grill-off (noon-3pm). Cheer on the 8 superlative grillmeisters working their magic with beef and beer.
  • At 4pm: Brat Eating Contest. Love brats? Can’t get enough? Head to the Central Mall to participate in some serious eating. Last year’s champ downed 17.
  • Cool Stuff! At 5pm: Sprecher Root Beer Float eating contest. Must be 16 or younger. Watch as youngsters do their best to down a Sprecher Root Beer Float faster than the competition.

See you at the Fair!

 

Hoppy Day!

30th July 2012

Dark and Hoppy

Ohhh, hoppiness! International IPA Day is this Thursday, August 2nd, and we’re partying at Sprecher.  So, what’s in it for you? A FREE 22oz bottle of Black IPA if you purchase something at our Gift Shop and you’re of legal drinking age.

Both Thursday and Friday, get $2 off growlers of Black IPA, IPA2 and Ryediculous.  Live large and cheers the moment!

 

It’s been a marathon but we’re ready for the 2012 Wisconsin State Fair.  Here’s an idea of Sprecher-related events at Sprecher Landing (near SpinCity), Root Beer Everywhere (near Apollo’s) and elsewhere.

Friday, August 3:  Join us at the Central Mall for our 4th Grilling with Beer Contest. Cheer on your favorite grillmeister as they vie for fame and prizes noon-3pm. Then stay tuned for something you might want enter: the Brat eating contest. And afterwards: the Root Beer Float drinking contest (ages 16 and under).

Starting Thursday, August 2nd at Sprecher Landing (near  SpinCity) you’ll find 11 award-winning Sprecher Beers (on tap and in bottles); draft root beer; Sprecher beer pretzels on a stick, Special Amber sorbet, 3 Sprecher beer sorbet lollipops (on a stick, of course); root beer cookies on a stick and more, including FREE live entertainment and appearances by the Milwaukee Wave.  Here’s the schedule:

*BAND SCHEDULE (at Sprecher Landing):

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012:
Ethan Keller – 2pm-5pm
Lounge Lizards – 6:30pm-10:30pm
Friday, August 3rd, 2012:
Serious Jones – 10:30am-2:30pm
David Hall – 3pm-6pm
Lounge Lizards – 7:30pm-11:30pm
Saturday, August 4th, 2012:
Serious Jones – 9:30am-12:30pm
Lounge Lizards – 1:30pm-5:30pm
Boomer Nation – 7:30pm-11:30pm
Sunday, August 5th, 2012:
Serious Jones – 9:30am-12:30pm
David Hall – 1:30pm-4:30pm
Boomer Nation – 6:30pm-10:30pm
Monday, August 6th, 2012:
Ethan Keller – 2pm-5pm
Lounge Lizards – 6:30pm-10:30pm
Tuesday, August 7th, 2012:
David Hall – 2pm-5pm
Lounge Lizards – 6:30pm-10:30pm
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012:
David Hall – 1:30pm-4:30pm
The Thieves – 6:30pm-10:30pm
Thursday, August 9th, 2012:
Lounge Lizards – 12:30pm-4:30pm
Boomer Nation – 6:30pm-10:30pm
Friday, August 10th, 2012:
Lounge Lizards – 2pm-6pm
Robert Allen Jr. Band – 7:30pm-11:30pm Saturday, August 11th, 2012:
Serious Jones – 9:30am-12:00pm
Sunspot – 2pm-6pm
Lounge Lizards – 7:30pm-11:30pm
Sunday, August 12th, 2012:
David Hall – 1pm-4pm
Robert Allen Jr. Band – 5:30pm-9:30pm

*MILWAUKEE WAVE APPEARANCES (at the Sprecher Landing) Saturday, August 4th, 2012 – 1pm-3pm Sunday

Sunday, August 5th, 2012 – 1pm-3pm

Saturday, August 11th, 2012 – 1pm-3pm

Sunday, August 12th, 2012 – 1pm-3pm

And if you’re a Sprecher Root Beer fan, you’ll love the Root Beer Everything stand (near Apollo’s).  You’ll find regular and lo-cal Sprecher Root Beer on draft (Sprecher is the official draft Root Beer of bthe State Fair, btw), Root Beer Cookies on a stick, Sprecher gourmet soda sorbet, Root Beer popcorn, Root Beer topping, Root Beer mustard, straws, t-shirts, little Rootys.  Speaking of Rooty, the Sprecher mascot, if you’d like to meet him in person here are the times he’ll be at the Root Beer Everything stand:

*ROOTY APPEARANCES(at Root Beer Everything):

Saturday, August 4th – 11am-3pm

Saturday, August 11th – 11am-3pm

Surprise appearances throughout the 11am-3pm time period.

Stop by Root Beer Everything. Chill at Sprecher Landing. Enjoy your time at the Fair with Milwaukee’s original microbrewery.

 

Still thinking about what to get your mother for Mother’s Day? Looking for that present the whole family can enjoy? Take a tip from the ladies of the Pink Boots Society — an organization of women who earn income from beer, whether it is brewing, advertising, owning a brewery or writing about beer — and BMOFAB, Bring Mom Out For A Beer.  It’s not a secret anymore: many women really like craft beer.  All across the nation breweries and pubs across will offer special menus, tours and discounted merchandise this Mother’s Day. BMOFAB is gaining in popularity largely due to craft breweries and the fact that beer has flavors, flavors that both men and women enjoy.

If you happen to be in or near Milwaukee this Sunday,  Sprecher Brewery is a great choice because we offer gourmet soda for kids and non-drinkers and moms tour FREE.  Bring the family before or after brunch, kick back with mom and enjoy a diverse array of award-winning beers and gourmet sodas brewed on-site.  Tours are offered hourly, noon – 4pm. Reservations are strongly suggested. Make yours by calling 414.964.2739. Price: $5 adults (except moms and US military personnel with ID); $4 Seniors (62+); $3 minors.

Make your BMOFAB experience extra special and enjoy a Premium Reserve tour and tasting featuring 10 select Sprecher beers paired with 10 Wisconsin artisanal cheeses. Price: $15 per person. Time 2:30pm. Reservations required.  Call 414.964.2739 to make yours.

Looking for nearby brunch suggestions? Try the Anchorage Restaurant at 4700 North Port Washington Road or one of the many great restaurants in Bayshore Town Center.

Cheers to Moms!

Greetings Craft Beer Lovers!

Next week is officially American Craft Beer Week all across the country and we’ll hope you’ll join in the celebration at Sprecher. 

 

v     Stop in and Sign the Declaration of Beer Independence


v     Tours every day (except Tuesday) – Call 414.964.2739 to reserve your spot

  • o       M, W, Th – 3 and 4pm. (Monday is free; Wednesday free tour with foursquare check-in)
  • o       Fri – 2 and 3pm
  • o       Sat – Hourly, Noon – 5pm. Premium Reserve tours 12:30, 2:30, 4:30pm
  • o       Sun – Hourly, Noon – 3pm. Premium Reserve tour 2:30pm.

 v     Free gifts

 v     Daily Beer Specials

 v     Wednesday evening, May 16th: Rare Sprecher Beer and Wisconsin Artisanal Cheese Pairing with Sprecher President Jeff Hamilton

  • o       6:30 – 8:30pm
  • o       15 beers paired with 15 cheeses
  • o       $25 per person, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Wisconsin Brewers Guild
  • o       Reservations required. Call 414.964.2739 to make yours.
  • o       See attached flyer for details

 v     Thursday evening, May 17th: Sprecher Hooligan Release Party!

  • o       7–10pm
  • o       Beer and food samples
  • o       1st tasting of Sprecher’s new spring release: Hooligan Whole Cone Hop Ale
  • o       Car show put on by the George Washington Stein Club
  • o       Hors d’oeuvres courtesy of the Astor Hotel
  • o       8pm brewery tour
  • o       $5 per person includes tour, 4 eight ounce beer samples and car show
  • o       Cash bar
  • o       Raffles

 For more information, check our website www.sprecherbrewery.com, visit us on facebook and twitter (@sprecherbrewery)

 Cheers to Craft Beer! Wisconsin Brewers Do It Best!

 

foursquare Contest

07th May 2012

Want to go to the 2012 Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival June 16 but don’t have tickets? Sprecher will help you out. Become the Mayor of Sprecher on fourquare this week and you’ll win a pair of tickets to Wisconsin’s best beer and food festival. Contest runs Sunday 5/20 thru Saturday 5/26 at 6pm.  Winner will be announced via facebook and twitter Sunday morning. Note: Must be 21 to enter.  Sprecher employees and their families are not eligible.  Past winners are not eligible.  I.e., Week 1 winner: BigCat. BigCat is no longer eligible to win this contest.

Growlers are Greener

21st April 2012

Earth Day is tomorrow.  Got any special plans? For the past several years Sprecher has been actively making its brewing and plant operations more energy efficient, and we’ve substantially reduced the amount of packaging materials used as well as become more recycle conscious.  This weekend we’re offering $1 every growler purchased at the brewery in honor of Earth Day. For those who don’t know, a growler holds 64 ounces–the same amount of beer or soda in a Sprecher 4-pack. The difference? Not only fresh beer from the tap, but a lot less glass: one bottle compared to four, no paper products. And growlers are reusable. Wash them at home, bring them in for a refill. If you have a growler or need purchase one, stop in and get it filled. Save green — cash and our resources.

While you’re enjoying your fresh beer or soda, look around you and take a few moments to focus on the wonderful planet on which we live. Bird calls, rivers, grass, rain, sand, trees, oxygen…BTW: April’s Lyrid meteor shower tonight/tomorrow morning. Best view: look into a dark sky (no city lights), facing east.  Best viewing time: late night to early morning. You should be able to see 10-20 meteors per hour.  Cheers to that!

We agree with Matt Simpson aka The Beer Sommelier, who in 2008 wrote “think global, Drink local” about the value of buying local beers and organic ones as well: http://www.thebeerexpert.com/beer_sommelier_works.shtml.  Props to his prescience. Three years later he’s now joined by a chorus of locavors — people, especially foodies — who advocate buying locally produced goods, produce, etc., when possible. As Simpson points out, buying locally helps the local economy.  Local First Milwaukee — formerly Our Milwaukee (est. 2006) — has done the math: For every $1 you spend at a locally owned business, more than 68¢, versus 43¢ spent at a national chain, remains in Milwaukee.  Sprecher has been an active member of Local First Milwaukee almost since its inception.

And there’s something to be said for fresh ingredients. This year Sprecher made its first brew using hops grown in central Wisconsin, Fresh Hop Amber.  Fresh hops have a short life. After picking they were driven to the the brewery and immediately put to use. Even though the alpha acids on these beers were low, over time their flavor profile evolved giving the beer a crisp and distinctive taste.  The distinction came from the Wisconsin terroir, a geo-specific term originally used to describe the unique qualities soil and environment lend to grapes.  Because Wisconsin’s terroir differs from California’s, for example, the flavor of our hops do too.  We look forward to incorporating fresh Wisconsin hops into more beer styles in 2012.

Another point Simpson brings up: beer at its freshist is beer at its bestist, and it’s easier to get fresh beer directly from the source or at a nearby store, bar or restaurant. This is one reason people love growlers–beer straight from the tap–which we offer at Sprecher.  Like locally sourced ingredients, freshly tapped beer saves on the carbon footprint because it requires less transportation and, in the case of growlers, less packaging. One growler holds 64oz of fresh beer, the same as 4 pint bottles.  Growlers do not have a long shelf life. Once opened they should be consumed in a day, two max.

Local breweries appreciate your support. We at Sprecher certainly do. We’ve worked hard to become an integral member of our community.  Every year Sprecher gives back to the community with product and cash donations for myriad causes ranging from school fundraisers to non-profit health organizations to our armed forces. And we toast each and every customer who has helped make us successful. Thank you, and Happy New Year! Drink great beer whenever you have the chance. If that beer happens to be local, two cheers. If that beer happens to be Sprecher, three cheers!

 

 

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