Remember when German beers were all the rage here? Happened in the early ‘80s when we were getting over our love of Canadians (Moosehead, Molson, etc.) that was based on “Just something other than Bud.”

All of a sudden, St. Pauli Girl and Beck’s stood out as something different, yet their bigger role was to motion us toward even better beers such as those made by Warsteiner, Paulaner and Ayinger. (I used to think I was so cool drinking Warsteiner out of those gold rimmed pilsner glasses at the bar at Sixth Avenue. Wish I still had those glasses.) Of course, those only marked the beginning of newly opened palates that would seek so much more from the future birth of our own craft brew scene that still was several years away.
If you want to relive a little of that past and see how some of those beers work with food, then head to Varanese Restaurant (2106 Frankfort Ave.) next Thursday, Oct. 24, for a special Oktoberfest Beer Dinner.
The night begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7.
The featured guest speaker is Louisville’s only Certified Cicerone Jason Schuster, a great guy and a real beer enthusiast who never tires of questions. Just ask him. He’ll indulge you with good answers.
Oh, and there is this really good four-course German themed dinner done by chef John Varanese, which will be paired with several legendary German beers.
The cost is $49 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (502) 899-9904 or emailing
The evening’s menu:

  • Reception: Warsteiner Pilsner
  • First course: Paulaner Hefeweizen paired with German potato salad topped with soft poached egg and molasses candied pork belly lardons served over grilled frisée
  • Second course: Warsteiner Oktoberfest paired with beer-braised bratwurst filled with pork, venison and blueberries with brown butter spätzle, red cabbage sauerkraut and a mustard demi-glace
  • Third course: Warsteiner Dunkel paired with wiener schnitzel served with potato and chive pancake finished with a coffee-infused pan sauce garnished with peppered micro greens
  • Fourth course: Paulaner Salvator Double Bock paired with dark fruit strudel with pretzel ice cream and fresh berry compote