It's a given, beer is the most popular Oktoberfest item. It's a hands down home run slam dunk for beer lovers. So, what comes after beer when it one starts listing favorite things about an Oktoberfest celebration? Sure, you can list funny hats and German drinking songs being sung by people who don't speak German.
Ally and I have been hanging out with a close group of friends for years at the Oktoberfest held in Helen, Georgia over the years and I've worn my fair share of goofy drinking hats. See picture - I'm with my wife Ally and Yes, that's a chicken holding mugs of beer that I'm waering on my head. Please note that Ally went traditional classic.
There is another item that makes it very close to the top of the list when it comes to listing Oktoberfest Favorites. - The Bratwurst!
- The American Version
The American version of a bratwurst is a far cry from what many people in Germany would consider a bratwurst. To a good old southern boy the term Brawt brings to mind a huge sausage like hot dog grilled to perfection, lathered in beer, sauces on occasion and topped with a variety of grilled onions, sliced peppers and more. In fact, the brawt can be topped with whatever else they can add in order to make their tailgate version different from a buddies tailgate.You can bet a cold beverage will be nearby.
I've seen the faces of guys wearing various hats and shirt bearing their favorite SEC football teams as they are handed a plate with their brawt at any number of venues in Helen, Georgia during the small cities Oktoberfest celebration. They are holding a plate with a bratwurst but this "traditional" version is often missing the golden grilled color they are used to and the grilled onions and peppers are replaced with kraut and rec cabbage with a side of steaming hot potato salad. Both are good, but one is out of the tailgaters comfort zone.
- The Brawt Swings Both Ways!
There is a flip side. I've seen the faces of people that have moved to Chattanooga from Germany as they are handed a tailgate version of a bratwurst. They have the exact same expression on their faces as the SEC football fans when first laying eyes on a food that's so familiar yet now completely different. The universal word "damn" comes into play. As in, "Damn, what's this?"
Don't get upset all of you tailgate chefs out there. Many people from other countries also think this when first encountering many favorite tailgate dishes as well as some festival foods. Can you imaging traveling across the globe and being handed a deep fried Oreo or Twinkies in the mountains of North Georgia. How about a slider, cheeseburger with an egg, ribs served like a sandwich with the bones still in place, gator on a stick or hush puppies made with Pabst Blue Ribbon and jalapeno peppers.
I guess the lesson learned is that brawts can be consumed a variety of ways and I've yet to find a bad one. Thankfully, the end result is that a brawt is eventually eaten. And, as in the tailgating version, a cold beverage will be consumed as well.
Enjoy your Oktoberfest celebrations, and enjoy a few brawts, sausages or dogs on the grill. Here's a video version to look over.
Easy Grilled Brawts
- A few cans of beer
- 10 - 12 bratwursts
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper sliced
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
Get your grill ready and a foil pan filled with beer, onions, peppers, and spices. Give the brawts a few minutes on the grill, place them in the beer mix, return to the grill for a few minutes, return to the beer, then return to the grill one last time just before serving.
Serve up on buns with kraut and the beer veggies topped with a tany mustard!