Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair, a 16-day festival held in Munich, Germany since 1810. More than 6 million people attend the annual celebration to drink 7 million liters of beer and eat traditional German foods.


Bratwurst and sausage are Bavarian traditions, and Americans continue to rely on the “brat,” as a classic for tailgate and backyard get togethers.

Oktoberfest ended on October 7 in Munich, but with fall’s cooler temperatures, perfect for outdoor get togethers, why not host your own mini-Oktoberfest with grilled brats and beer?

Grilling guru Stephen Raichlan has good advice for grilling brats, cautioning that “a burnt brat is an unfortunate sign of impatience.”

The key to grilling a highly flammable food like sausage is to use moderate heat and grill slowly…

To achieve expert brat status I recommend a “low and slow” approach. That means grilling brats on a moderate flame until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees, about 25 minutes, or the time it takes to relax with a cold beer.

Sounds like a good time to use the “indirect grilling” or “two zone” method, with one side of the grill on high or medium heat and the bratwurst and sausage other side of the grill on a low heat setting.

Close the grill cover as needed, but watch the outside of the skin and remember that burnt or split skins is to be avoided.

As for beer pairings, pick up any one of the great seasonal Oktoberfest beers you see in stores, including fine ones by Paulaner, New Belgium, Leinenkugels, Samuel Adams, and Shiner.

Octoberfest Beers

Happy grilling and prost!