Saturday, August 17, 2013
Leiderhosen In The Sand
When you think of Oktoberfest, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Well, beer of course. But then, you also know it's about October, Germany, beer halls the size of airplane hangars, giant pretzels, giant liter steins, giant busty girls in dirndls, drinking songs, enormous pork shanks and all that malty, malty beer. Prosit!
The other day I got an e-mail invitation from Philly's most famous tavern, McGillin's Olde Ale House, the 153 year old establishment (2nd oldest in the country!) that has become a reliable destination for very good beer and food and an atmosphere like no other place I know. The invitation was titled "Oktoberfest Starts on August 26". You read that correctly. "Oktoberfest Starts on August 26".
Now, just to be clear, I have the ultimate respect for McGillin's and the Mullins family, who have taken the legacy of the McGillin clan and burnished it brightly while keeping the historic landmark tavern as one of the best in Philly, and for that matter, the country.
So when I wrote back to McGillin's asking why their Oktoberfest was starting so early (it runs through October 6, by the way), their response was: "When the Oktoberfest beer comes in, McGillin’s serves it. There’s no holding back – when WE get it/You get it!"
And therein lies the problem, I think. Beer companies are rushing both Oktoberfest beers and pumpkin beers to market WAY too early. The shelves of my local beer stores are already packed with dozens of craft brew Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers and it's still AUGUST. Someone needs to talk to these guys and beg them to hold off just a little longer. Let us have our summer. Oktoberfest beers and hot humid weather, sand in our toes and the sounds of summer just don't work. Think about it. It's like decorating department stores for Christmas in October. Yeah, I know, it's already happened.
The summer sun is far from fading, temperatures are still in the 80s and high 70s, mosquitos (at least here in the Garden State) are as abundant as ever, and backyard grills are still in full seasonal operation.
It's not time for beers best suited for the Fall.
McGillin's also sent me their lineup for Oktoberfest and it is damn impressive:
Flying Fish's Octoberfish,
Sly Fox's Oktoberfest Lager,
as well as international Oktoberfest beers.
My mouth waters at the thought of all those great beers, the jovial, old-school atmosphere, and a plate of sausages from the very very underrated kitchen at McGillin's.
But can we just wait until maybe mid-September?