Being the first weekend in October, I realized that once again I had missed the world’s most jubilant festival-Oktoberfest. But October is just STARTING- how could I have missed it? Well, it’s because “Oktoberfest” actually starts in mid- September and ENDS the first weekend in October! Go figure?! Truth be told, I didn’t have a few extra weeks to spend in Munich anyway so luckily, Washington’s own “faux” Bavaria-Leavenworth, has its own version of Oktoberfest. Another bit of luck is that Leavenworth’s version of Oktoberfest is celebrated in October! (Do the fake Germans know something that that the real Germans don’t?)
Seeing that Oktoberfest is officially ending (or starting), I think that it would be completely appropriate to present my first “Pizza and Beer Pairing” of the season. The pizza that I have chosen for this pairing is The Sicilian, from Garlic Jim’s Famous Gourmet Pizza (of course). This pizza is one of my favorite fall pizzas for a variety of reasons: The Sicilian is topped with salami, pepperoni and spicy Italian sausage, which together produce perfect three meat harmony on this delectable pizza. Those three zesty meats are accompanied with fresh basil, roasted garlic and red onions; six ingredients that really seemed destined to coexist together. The finishing touch to this pizza is the Italian seasoning, which I suppose the name “Sicilian” comes from. Now, I’m not sure what fall is like in Sicily, but this pizza really tastes good to me on a cool crisp day when the leaves are blowing around and what is left on the trees seems like a million shades of orange. Something about the fresh basil reminds me of the earth and the roasted garlic of a warm fire. Gourmet all the way!
The beer that I am pairing with the Garlic Jim’s Sicilian this week is from my local brewery here in the Pacific Northwest, Scuttlebutt Brewery. I have chosen Scuttlebutt’s Amber Ale with its deep bronze color that has fall written all over it. This beer is medium bodied and has a spicy aroma that, when raising a glass to your lips evokes thoughts of perhaps a walk through a pumpkin patch where the hint of spiced cider is wafting around from somewhere. The caramel flavor of this beer is a really good match with the roasted garlic and red onions on the Sicilian. I think that what really pairs these two gourmet products together so nicely is the herbal undertones that the Amber Ale emits. OK…basically in non-snobby/foodie talk, they are a spicy/herby/earthy/roasty and refreshing combination of beer and pizza heaven.
So, if you didn’t make it to Munich this year for fun filled days of giant crowds splashing beer on you while dining on a questionable sausage looking item swimming in sauerkraut, you will probably be just fine. You can still get yourself over to Leavenworth and have probably just as much fun for a fraction of the cost. Or better yet, pick yourself up a six-pack of Amber Ale and order up a Garlic Jim’s Sicilian. Kick back and wait for one of Garlic Jim’s ever-so-polite delivery drivers to arrive at your door with a box of fall festivity topped with cheese.
Ciao for now!