Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oktoberfest Beer Pairings With Wicker Park's The Boundary

We were recently invited to The Boundary in Wicker Park to check out their Oktoberfest-themed food and beer specials. Available at Bottleneck Management restaurants* September 20th – October 5th, the recipes and curation are a creative collaboration between the Executive Management team and skilled chefs. ​

"The process around seasonal development is a fun one," says ​Beverage Director and VP of Operations Ken Henricks​."Not only do we have great beer being made here in Chicago, but we also get the best of both coasts. This offers the marketplace an incredible volume of 'unique to market' and 'seasonal' selections from breweries across the country."

With Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers being hugely popular Henricks and team
"take advantage of the traditional seasonal model to pair food items that go well with the flavor profiles of the beers." Once menus are developed the front of house staff works with servers weekly on beer style and food pairing education.

We were excited to take part and make recommendations. For each of the seasonal food dishes we chose a beer pairing from their extensive list of offerings that we felt complimented the flavors of each dish.

Apple Onion Potato Pancakes: 
Fuji apple and Vidalia onions, cinnamon spiced crème fraiche.
paired with
Anderson Valley Fall Hornin' Pumpkin Ale:  
English-style ale, malt and spice aroma. This beer finishes dry with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg throughout. Balances well with the sweetness of the potato pancakes.
Beer Mustard Braised Bratwurst: 
Housemade bratwurst, caramelized onions, house-made sauerkraut, 
Dusseldorf mustard, warm German potato salad, brioche bun.
paired with
Erdinger Oktoberfest Weissbier:
A traditional German wheat beer, slightly hazy with notes of citrus fruit, bananas, clove, grainy malt, toasted bread. This beer finishes malty, and slightly sweet, which works well with richer foods like meat, potatoes and kraut.
Pork Schnitzel Sandwich: 
Breaded pork loin, housemade sauerkraut, Dusseldorf mustard, bib lettuce, beefsteak tomato, olive oil parsley fries, Pumpernickel pretzel kaiser roll.
 paired with
Crispin Original Hard Cider: 
 Apples are a natural compliment to anything pork-related. For a beer alternative we chose this crisp, hard apple cider. It is smooth and light with champagne-like carbonation and a moderately sweet finish. No spice characteristics, just apples, apples, apples.

alternate pairing
Great Lakes Oktoberfest: 
A deliciously malty, amber-colored beer with notes of caramel, toffee, toasted bread, biscuit. This beer has little to no hop bitterness, with complex malt characteristics making it a very strong American-style Oktoberfest offering. 

Photos courtesy of www.bottleneckmgmt.com

* Bottleneck locations featuring the Oktoberfest food specials (beer availability varies per location) are The Boundary, Sweetwater Tavern & Grille, Howells & Hood, Old Town Pour House, South Branch Tavern & Grille, The Crown at Tribune Tower. For more information visit Bottleneck Management.

Food and beer provided courtesy of Wagstaff Worldwide. Pairing recommendations and opinions are our own.