How to Throw an Oktoberfest Party at Home - Rachael Ray Every Day

How to Throw an Oktoberfest Party at Home

Salty soft pretzels, sizzling sausages, ice-cold brews -- get hungry for Oktoberfest! Though the official two-week festival in Munich, Germany wraps up by early October, it's a beer stein clink heard all month long, all around the world.
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Make Your Backyard a Beer Garden!

Sure, you can celebrate at a proper biergarten (dozens of cool new ones have been opening across the U.S. in recent years) but it's way more fun to host an Oktoberfest bash of your own. So put on your dirndl and raise a glass with our guide to the food, drink and decorations that'll make your guests say Oompah!

Make Your Backyard a Beer Garden!

Check Mate

Dress up your buffet in Bavarian blue and white with this plastic beer-proof Oktoberfest Table Cover

Check Mate

$7.50, partycity.com

Meat & Greet!

Set out a spread fit for a Kaiser with a slew of sausages, condiments and rolls, preferably of the pretzel variety! There's a world of wursts out there; cook up any of these classics and let guests pile on toppings as they please.

Meat & Greet!

Nurnberger Rostbratwurst

These thin, marjoram-spiced pork sausages are the ideal cocktail frank. Bet you can't eat just one!

Nurnberger Rostbratwurst

Knackwurst

There's beef and pork in these finely ground sausages, named for their snappy casings ("knack" means "crack" in German).

Knackwurst

Bratwurst

There are many varieties in Germany, but here in the States, they're plump pork links -- a Midwestern specialty.

Bratwurst

Frankfurter

The prototype for the American hot dog, this slender, traditionally all-pork wiener is usually seasoned with garlic and spices.

Frankfurter

Kielbasa

Grill these smoked, oversize Polish pork sausages and serve them in bite-size pieces.

Kielbasa

Buy 'Em

Supermarkets carry some German sausages, but there's great variety online. Try schallerweber.com or oscarsadksmokehouse.com (Rach's fave!).

Buy 'Em

Cook 'Em

Poach sausages in beer, white wine or apple cider with bay leaves and onions to make them extra tasty. Grill them for just a few minutes before serving to crisp up their skins.

Cook 'Em

Beer Cheese!

You read right! This spiked cheddar spread was made for slathering on sausages and pretzels. In a food processor, combine 2 cups grated sharp cheddar, 1/2 cup flat, room-temperature beer, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 2 tsp. hot sauce and 1 chopped garlic clove. Process until smooth, season, cover and chill. Makes 1 cup.

Beer Cheese!

Eat with Your Eyes!

The only thing better than cool decorations are ones you can eat! Make a pretzel garland (thread twine through the top loops or use an upholstery needle) and hang it. Tell guests to tear them off if they're hungry!

Eat with Your Eyes!

Soft Pretzels

Because everything's better on a pretzel roll! This recipe was adapted from Pretzel Making at Home (Chronicle Books, 2013) by Andrea Slonecker.

Soft Pretzels

Soft Pretzels

Do the twist!

Form the dough into a U shape with the tips pointing up.

Do the twist!

Step 2

Take the left tip and press it to the right side at 4 o'clock.

Step 2

Step 3

Take the right tip and press it to the left side at 8 o'clock.

Step 3

Roll with It!

Shape the dough into 8-inch buns, plump in the center and tapered at the ends.

Roll with It!

Glass Act

Your backyard brewfest calls for shatterproof Go Anywhere Beer Glasses, reusable cups that look like the real thing.

Glass Act

$15 for four, govino.com

Cheap Trick

You finished with that? Use empty beer bottles as vases for wheat straws or flowers.

Cheap Trick

Beer Swap!

Ask everyone to bring a different six-pack to the party so you can taste them all!

Beer Swap!

Brew Ha Ha!

Oktoberfest lagers, also called marzen because they're brewed in spring (Marz = March) and consumed through fall, are a medium-bodied, malty seasonal treat that you can get right now.

Pictured: Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen (Berlin)

Brew Ha Ha!

Samuel Adams Octoberfest

The ruby-hued crowd-pleaser tastes of caramel and light, herbal hops.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest

Left Hand Brewing Oktoberfest Marzen Lager

The Colorado brewery's medium-bodied lager has a spicy, dry finish.

Left Hand Brewing Oktoberfest Marzen Lager

Widmer Brothers Brewing Okto Festival Ale

This amber ale tastes fruity and floral.

Widmer Brothers Brewing Okto Festival Ale

Shiner Oktoberfest

Texas's finest malty marzen is a bracing palate refresher.

Shiner Oktoberfest

Full Sail Brewing LTD Oktoberfest

Smooth and nutty, this award-winning Oregon lager goes down easy.

Full Sail Brewing LTD Oktoberfest

Six-Pack Snacks

Why dirty more dishes? Use six-pack holders for serving party snacks! Remove the bottle dividers, load the cartons with your favorite bites -- then toss them out when you're done.

Six-Pack Snacks