How to Make Your Oktoberfest Uber-Green
Prost! For centuries, Oktoberfest has brought together youthful vigor with old-world tradition in a swirl of polka, clinking steins, and voices belting out songs from the hinterland. But do you know if the beer you're drinking and brats you're munching were made in an environmentally responsible way? Here are our recommendations for Oktoberfest fare that keep traditions up and emissions down.
Wunderbar Beers Marzen — brewed in March and fermented in the summer — is the bier of choice for Oktoberfest, and many micro-breweries across the nation are not only catching on with traditional Bavarian lager recipes, but are also implementing innovative and sustainable methods to brewing their beer. Micro- yet big-name brewers that use clean energy to make seasonal beer include New Belgium Brewing Co., Alaskan Ale, Fish Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada, Bell's Beer and Balast Point. For more of a demonstration on how earth-minded beer is made, check out the video below:
The Bests of the Wursts Aside from brews, bratwursts are sure to be on the menu at every beer hall. If you're looking for healthy and humane alternatives to bratwursts, check out Whole Foods' selection of veggie bratwursts and tofurky keilbasas. Or check out this recipe for tips on making your own, homemade vegan brats (the key ingredient for ultimate authentic taste: fennel seed).
Or, if you prefer a little something that sticks to your ribs, go for humanely raised, vegetarian-fed pork or chicken sausages from certified humane meat companies like Blue Goose Pure Foods, Murray's Chicken, Country Smokehouse, Pederson's Natural Farms, and others.
Scott Donahue is an editorial intern at Sierra. He was a freshman in Mr. Hancock's English class when he first read Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. Now, he's currently working on a graduate thesis composed of travel essays. Topics include substitute teaching kindergartners in Nepal, drinking rice beer with a Tibetan porter, and running a marathon from Everest Base Camp.