How To: Octoberfest-Inspired Appetizer & Beer Pairing

While reading, listen to German Motor Car by Margot & the Nuclear So & So's.

I love a good pairing.

Wine and cheese.
Books and tea.
Apples and peanut butter.
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.
Ross and Rachel.

It's delightful to discover that some things are better together, than apart.

Enter: pretzels, dipping sauce & beer.

Technically, this isn't a pair, it's a trio - but stick with me. Alongside the sweet Autumn treats we all love (i.e. pumpkin pie, apple cider, apple crumble, etc.), the pretzel-dip-beer trio is a wonderful savory contender for any Autumn evening! Just in time for Octoberfest (Octoberfest is the world's largest beer festival and traveling fair held annually in Munich, Germany), my family and I decided to make an appetizer version of the classic. We began with baking easy-to-make mini pretzels, then we crafted together three unique dipping sauces, and finished with choosing three delicious beer pairings!

Anytime spent with family is a great time, but it is especially grand when we find ourselves in the kitchen. My dad is an incredible chef and my mom is an expert baker - so we were sure to have a successful night! In terms of professional pretzel rolling skills? Funny enough, Reed had us all beat! The process was great, but nothing can compete with tasting the finished product!

The pretzels were chewy, and delicious! We could not get enough of my dad's homemade dips, and the beers were a perfect match! 

Scroll down to see photos from our Octoberfest-inspired evening and to find the dip recipes!

For the pretzels, we did not go completely homemade, which may relieve you or disappoint you. Either way, I will tell you that these pretzels are easy to make and delicious! All you have to do is purchase Fleischmann's Simply Homemade Pretzel Mix (we bought ours at Safeway), and follow the instructions! One tip - you may want to add a little more water to the recipe before you begin rolling them out. While your mini pretzels are baking, get started on your dips. For our dips, we did not follow specific recipes, and we made them based on how many people would be eating them. If you only want to make one dip, or you are serving more people, change the measurements as you see fit! These are general guidelines to help you along the way. We're taste as we go kinda people. 

1. Homemade Beer Cheese (served 4)
Ingredients: 1/4 diced red onion, 1/2 diced green jalapeño, 1 tbs. butter for pan, 1 tsp. minced garlic, 1/2 Samuel Adams Boston Lager, 1/4 cup of half and half, 1 tbs. of flour, 1/2 of 4 oz. bag of shredded cheddar cheese mix., and salt & pepper to taste.
Instructions: Add butter to pan on medium heat, and add garlic, onion, and pepper until softened. Add flour and beer to create a roux. Once you can no longer smell the beer, add cream and cheese. Stir until hot and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

2. Marinara Sauce (served 4)
Ingredients: 1/2 cup of favorite marina sauce, 1 tbs. of olive oil, 1 tsp. of minced garlic, 1/8 cup of marsala wine, dash of oregano, and salt & pepper to taste.
Instructions: Add olive oil and minced garlic to saucepan over medium heat. Add sauce and marsala wine and stir until hot. Add sprinkle of oregano and salt & pepper to taste. Serve warm.

3. Honey Mustard Dip (served 4)
Ingredients: 1 tbs. of mayonnaise, 1 tbs. of honey dijon mustard, 1 tbs. of lemon juice, and 1 tbs. of honey. 
Instructions: Mix all ingredients together! Serve cold.  

The Samuel Adams Fall Variety we chose can be found at your local grocery store. My favorite was the Bonfire Blonde!

A huge thank you to my parents and Reed for making this Autumnal night a hit! You're all my favorite. 

Let me know if you do your own at-home Octoberfest, and feel free to share in the comments what recipes you'd like me to make! 

Disclaimer: Do not try this recipe if you are under the US permitted drinking age of 21 years old. This post is not sponsored in any way. 

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