By Amy Rea
oktoberfest Wander Minnesota: Oktoberfest

(credit: Amy Rea)

Fall is arriving with great speed—like the photo above, you can see green leaves in some places, with others already blazing yellow and red. And if it’s fall, it must be time for Oktoberfest at the Black Forest Inn. The folks at the Black Forest have come up with a week’s worth of events and a special menu—a menu that includes 6 kinds of Oktoberfest beers.

oktoberfest 1 Wander Minnesota: Oktoberfest

(credit: Amy Rea)

How can you celebrate Oktoberfest at the Black Forest? Well, if you head over there tonight, it’s Vier Factor Night—all kinds of sausages and condiments, a brat bar, and quite possibly some spontaneous tuba playing. Oct. 2 is Kino Abend Night, or movie (silent) night. Oct. 3 is Wagner night, complete with a glass shattering contest. Oct. 4 is Reunification Day, and 20% of the proceeds will go to the German Immersion Preschool at the Germanic-American Institute in St. Paul. Oct. 5 is Berliner Night, Oct. 6 is Freudian Slip Night, and the final night, Oct. 7, is Drain the Keg Night, during which the price of kegged beer will start dropping every hour from 2 p.m. on.

oktoberfest menu Wander Minnesota: Oktoberfest

(credit: Amy Rea)

Of course there’s food (and how can you not love the menu cover, which is the design by the winner of the Oktoberfest 2012 menu cover contest, 10-year-old Sophie?). Besides the regular menu of German specialties, the Black Forest has a special Oktoberfest foods, including Hample Pie:

oktoberfest 2 Wander Minnesota: Oktoberfest

(credit: Amy Rea)

Although served all day, this could easily be a breakfast entrée: an apple pie with ham and cheese, served with a tangy red cabbage slaw. Delicious, no matter what time of day you order it.

oktoberfest 3 Wander Minnesota: Oktoberfest

(credit: Amy Rea)

Weisswurst, a traditional German sausage following the recipe created by the Black Forest’s founder, Erich Christ.

oktoberfest 4 Wander Minnesota: Oktoberfest

(credit: Amy Rea)

Meatball skewers, with savory meatballs and the ever-popular ham and sauerkraut balls.

oktoberfest 5 Wander Minnesota: Oktoberfest

(credit: Amy Rea)

If you just want to try some Oktoberfest ales with friends, order the Big Pretzel—truly, it’s as big as your head, and would make a fine happy hour accompaniment.

Owner Erica Christ says that the menu is designed to be “food that’s easy to hold while drinking a beer.” Sounds perfect for Oktoberfest. Time to celebrate your German heritage—and if you don’t have any, it’s OK. You can fake it this week.

My thanks to the Black Forest Inn for inviting me to sample the Oktoberfest goodies!

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Tuesday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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