Oktoberfest - Aviation American Gin

Aviation Gin Blog


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Oktoberfest has a long and storied history in Germany. It originated in 1810 as a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munchen, Germany were invited to attend festivities on a great field named after the Princess, Theresienwiese. Often the people of Munich refer to Oktoberfest as “Wiesn”. (Wiesn sounds a lot like the German word for wheat (weizen) if you ask me.) The festivities often showcased the agricultural prowess of German farmers, and included horse races. Many would say the correlation of German farm-culture and brewing is at the heart of this wonderful celebration.  In the last 100 years the festival has become notorious for the special brews made for the day. In fact, there are strict regulations regarding what types of beers can be served, and how, over the 16 day festival.
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I hail from a rich German and Scandinavian background, and my father certainly celebrated his German heritage in our household. I spent many nights playing in the basement of our family home ogling the extensive Beer Stein collection he had gathered during his travels in Germany. Beautiful ceramic and glass mugs to be kept full and keep the delicious brews cold. My father instilled in me a true understanding of  how any culture’s brews and distillates spoke to their development, agrarian past, and their traditions.
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America today is rife with wonderful craft breweries and distilleries. In my lexicon, Schell’s Brewing Company in New Ulm, Minnesota stands out. August Schell ran a tight brew house (since 1860), and was able to keep his brewery alive through The Dakota Wars, thanks to a friendship nurtured between his wife, Theresa, and the Dakota Indians. After August’s death his son Otto and wife Theresa kept the brewery flourishing for a short time.
After the deaths of Otto and Theresa, George Marti, husband to Otto’s sister Emma, was able to keep the brewery open through 13 years of Prohibition in the US. This was a special feat considering the brewery sat separated by only a few counties from the country home of the infamous Andrew Volstead, father of Prohibition. In fact, Schell’s Brewing Company celebrates New Beers Day annually, as they were the first of a handful of breweries readied for production immediately after the repeal. Schell’s remains a family operation to this day, and frequently brings home medals from tasting competitions.
So, what better to pair with this award-winning brew than Aviation American Gin, the highest rated gin in the world? Below is a recipe for a beer cocktail combining my nostalgic sentiment for my father’s Oktoberfest parties, my love for my home state of Minnesota, and my adoration of Aviation American Gin. Oktoberfest runs September 20 to Sunday, October 5, 2014. Go on and gather your friends, sound a bell to ring in the festivities, and enjoy this Oktoberfest cocktail whilst dancing around in your dirndls and lederhosen. And, as the Dutch (inventors of gin) and Germans would both toast: PROST!

Oktoberfest Beer Cocktail

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  1. Combine Aviation American Gin, vermouth, 3 heavy dashes bitters, and simple syrup in a shaker or mixing glass full of ice
  2. Stir for 30 seconds and strain into a tall glass
  3. Top with beer
  4. Enjoy this flavorful Autumn cocktail
– Rena Hartman, Manager & Sales Lead

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