Continuing last year’s tradition, Vancouverites once again celebrated Oktoberfest at Harvest Haus, under the big tent at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. This year, they extended the event to run over two weekends. Mr. and I went to the Friday seating on the second weekend, checking out the German-style food, beer, live music and entertainers.
Clearly craft beer has become increasingly popular here in Vancouver, so has food and beer pairing. Given Germany is known for its beer, its dishes must be great for beer pairing. We’ve put some food dishes to the test with Samuel Adams, a US craft brewery that I have been spotting at many local food events, supporting and promoting the idea of food and beer pairing.
At Harvest Haus, Samuel Adams was serving two brews: Boston Lager, its flagship beer, and OctoberFest, its seasonal beer that emulates the traditional Oktoberfestbier. On its own, the Boston Lager has an amber-ish hue, light and quite easy drinking. It’s a good entry-level craft beer for most, and the taste and mouthfeel is quite suitable for drinking all year long. On the other hand, OctoberFest is similar to brown ale, slightly heavier with more prominent hoppy note, and it’s a good transition beer into the fall season (before we start getting into stout and imperial ale and alike).
We had our eyes on the Bratwurst from Oyama and Pork Hock (Schweinshaxn) from Yummy Foodies.
We had a theory: the OctoberFest would be the more appropriate beer to pair with the meaty dishes. And the verdict?
We were surprised. While it’s meaty, the Bratwurst turned out to be lighter in flavour that we had expected. The acidity in the sauerkraut helped cut through the richness so in the end, the refreshing Boston Lager came out on top.
How about the Schweinshaxn? The smooth caramel note in OctoberFest was enhanced through the rich, fatty pork hock, but the beer was still too hoppy for the dish. Mr. and I both preferred the Boston Lager with the pork hock; we were pleasantly surprised by the versatility in the Boston Lager!
I couldn’t resist but also got ourselves a Pretzel. This salty goodness turned out to pair quite well with the OctoberFest, almost making it a salted caramel experience. It would be even better if the pretzel was served warm!
With the full bellies, we continued on with the festivities. The light rain drizzle outside certainly didn’t dampen the party under the tent. With a stein in hand, everyone was having a great time. The entertainers were funny and engaging, the live band and its German rendition of some popular tunes drew out the crowd onto the dance floor. They also tapped a keg of beer to kick off the evening — I mean, really, who could say no to free beer?!
Two years in a row we got to party at the Harvest Haus. What a great way to send off the summer season and say hello to pumpkins and turkey and darker beer and, well, more rain 😛
Want another look inside Harvest Haus and all our eating & drinking? Check out my album on Flickr.
This is sponsored content. However, the views and opinions expressed in this post are purely my own.