Tuesday, October 21, 2008


img_2914The last time I “oompah pah”-ed was in my middle school production of Oliver! I was awkward, prepubescent, decked out in a grey, eighteenth-century, itchy costume, and enthusiastically drinking air out of a fake mug. Ah, my days on the stage…

Recently, I was invited to an “adult” Oktoberfest (one of my favorite seasonal celebrations!) and I didn’t hesitant to RSVP. Even though the image of grown men in lederhosen is frightening, the prospect of pumpkin-flavored ale will get me out every time.

As a lady about town, I enjoy my fair share of “sipping” cocktails, but as a Buffalonian, I can throw back a bottled brew with the best of ‘em. For some of my girlfriends however, beer is always a no-no. There’s the looming fear of beer-bloat destroying a great outfit, memories of sloppy frat boys destroying a great date, or even a terrifying Oliver! costume to suggest avoidance of ales and lagers altogether. But I for one fully ENJOY a good beer, and even a drunken bratwurst-munching (minds out of the gutter please) now and again. After all, underground breweries are all the rage – beer’s the new “local” alcohol! Eat local, drink local – I’m all for it! In fact, beer may be the new wine. Taps for artisanal beers are popping up in bars all over the city and there are the places like 124 Old Rabbit Club, which are almost entirely devoted to the stuff– I mean we’re no Germany, but we can try. At least for a faux-toberfest.

On Saturday, I wore some fall-appropriate tweed (I don’t do the “modern Euro” look; I prefer classic fall wear), and set out with a hungry, er…rather, a THIRSTY group of guy friends. None in lederhosen…thank God.

I’d read this month’s Times article about the best beers for Oktoberfest, and was well prepared for a tasting tour. Luckily, I didn’t have to go far. At the real Oktoberfest only local beers are served, so I decided to live Germanly, looking for local beers in my hood with not only “drinkability, but poundability.” I started off with a huge mug of Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Marzen. I followed that with a half dozen other great choices at The Blind Tiger and Lederhosen, before ending up at The Pig. It’s hard to remember the specifics, but I know I had a good time!

I don’t know how much Teutonic culture I absorbed on my Oktoberventure, but I’m glad I didn’t waste money on the plane ticket to Germany, since the result of the evening was the same in Manhattan as it would have been on the other side of the Atlantic—drunk is drunk on any continent. That’s right. Although I’m not typically a sloppy person, I’ll admit this was a bit of a sloppy event. October is for celebrating and dressing up (though not as a barmaid in Oliver!); I got a pretty good start on the first part with my beer tour.

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