Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oktoberfest Menu at Grizzly Peak

Technically "Oktoberfest" really happens in September, but this isn't Munich and who's really keeping track anyway?

I've already put together a guide to Oktoberfest parties and brews, but there is one brewery in particular that is going the extra Meile (that's "mile" auf Deutsch) with their Oktoberfest-ivities.

Grizzly Peak Brewing Company in Ann Arbor (A2 if you're hip) is currently offering a Deutschland-centric menu along with their seasonal brews. Enjoy Bavarian Pork Chops with fingerling potatoes and a mustard glaze, Beer-Braised Bratwurst with herb spaetzel and pan-fried cabbage, Pretzel-Crusted Salmon with horseradish potatoes and wilted spinach, or Chicken Schnitzel with horseradish potatoes, pan-fried cabbage, and raisin sauce.

I was over there a couple of weeks ago and sampled the Beer-Braised Bratwurst. I'll be honest with you--German cuisine is not one of my favorites. Maybe it was the mounds of stinking sauerkraut I would watch family members shovel into their mouths as a child (oh, that smell) or the "German" potato salad made with mustard and vinegar that my parents finally stopped trying to force me to eat when they learned I really would just opt to go hungry, but when someone says "German food" to me my stomach always turns just a little.

And so it is that I say with the utmost sincerity that the bratwurst at Grizzly Peak is actually rather good. The brats were juicy and flavorful and the pan-fried cabbage was actually quite delicious, with only a hint of the vinegar-like quality of sauerkraut and a palatable companion to the brats.

So, maybe my perception of German food was all wrong. My family isn't exactly known for being great cooks (this is why I merely eat), and surely German folks eat something other than sauerkraut, yes? Grizzly Peak, you've converted me. Next time I see bratwurst at a barbecue maybe I won't make a wretching sound (provided there is no sauerkraut nearby).

Grizzly Peak will be offering this limited-time Oktoberfest menu now through October 22, along with their seasonal brews including the classic Oktoberfest Lager, the Rotweizen (a red wheat ale made with Hefe yeast so it has some of the banana and clove tones common to a Hefeweizen), the Schwartzweizen (a black wheat ale also made with Hefe yeast but with notes of chocolate and toasted malts), and their Bear Bones Brown Porter. Their regular menu also includes a wide selection of pub favorites and hearty soups, salads, and entrees made from scratch daily. Try the Cheddar & Ale Soup--because you really just can't go wrong with putting beer and cheese together in a bowl.