Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oktoberfest Beer Dinner at the Albany Pump Station

Last night I made a quick trip over to Germany!  Okay, not really. But by the food I was eating I sure as heck could have been in another country!  The boyfriend and I attended the Albany Pump Station's first annual Oktoberfest Beer Dinner, where we ate ourselves into a German food coma. The entire meal was $50 per person and included tax & gratuity  (a very good price for the amount of food and experience you were getting).  
Upon arriving, guests were asked to head upstairs and enjoy the Welcoming Reception.  At this point, everyone was mingling a bit before sitting down and devouring their four course meal. 

This is where some of the beer magic happens!



The Welcoming Reception started you off with the Pump Station's Quackenbush Blonde; a Kolsch style lager. It was paired with an assortment of liverwurst and pates (including a wild boar pate) that you smeared generous amounts of on crackers and bread.  
We were invited to sit at the head table with the owner of Pump Station (Neil), the brew master (Ryan), and one of the head bartenders (Tim).  
All four courses were served family style where you  shared large plates of food with the people around you. 
Before enjoying each course, the brew master took some time to give an explanation of each beer being served.
The first course was paired with the Pump Station's Oktoberfest and offered an assortment of German sausages, including:

Munich Grill served over smoked ham hocks, apples, and braised cabbage
Weisswurst and potato pancakes
Bauernwurst (my favorite)
And this is only the FIRST course . . . mmmm

 In-between each course there was a much needed break that allowed guests some, what I like to call it, move-around-and-let-me-make-more-room-time. We decided to take some pictures instead. 

Matt and I taking silly pictures during the break
I was already full by this point and didn't know how I was going to make it through the rest of the dinner! But of course, I made it! 
Next up, wild boar wiener schnitzel with buttered noodles and sour cream and mushroom espagnole. 


I wont lie, I was a little hesitant about eating wild boar, but I ended up loving this dish.  The boar was delicious; it was tender and moist and had great flavor; and the sauce was absolutely phenomenal! They decided to pair this course with the Hellesbock (great choice).  
Okay, break time again. And time for some more goofy pictures!



If your tummy hasn't made any grumbling noises yet, then there is something seriously wrong with you! The third course started with a Hefeweizen and was then accompanied by some Bavarian style sauerbraten, spaetezel, and sweet and sour red cabbage.

Mmm Mmm . . . good!

Break time!

Ryan the brew master (left) and Matt (right)
Last up, we had the Dopplebock paired with a delicious raisin and walnut stuffed apple baked in puff pastry and topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate, and caramel.


Unfortunately, I only had enough room left in my stomach for a few bites of this dessert.  But it was simply divine and the absolute perfect ending to this exquisite dinner.
Upon departure, many guests  praised the owner for the authenticity of the meal, as they have had personal experiences with German food in the past. 

This was certainly a meal to remember and I cannot wait for the Pump Station's next one!
Way to go Chef Gerry!
If you'd like to know more about the Albany Pump Station, visit them on Facebook!

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