Make us your home page
Instagram

Things to drink at Oktoberfest that are not beer

International Bitterness Units. Dry hopping. Fermentable sugars.

Beer, once the pale, watery symbol of casual consumption, has become bigger than itself. Everyone is an expert. The craft beer craze has Taylor from accounting explaining her home brew project on the elevator. Taylor's beer tastes like socks.

Breweries continue to pop up on every corner of Tampa Bay, and, well, the world. (I recently tried some local brews in Greece.) It's easy to become persona non grata in your social circle if you don't imbibe. It's also true that beers have gotten way more delicious and dynamic. Between sours and hefes and stouts, it's possible for a non-beer drinker to find something that suits.

But that's not what we're going to do today. If you're not really into something, the last thing you want is someone telling you over and over why you should be (see: Game of Thrones).

First off, it's Oktoberfest time in Tampa Bay, and we have a list of sudsy parties this weekend and beyond. Plus, our beer expert Justin Grant explains what makes an Oktoberfest beer a staple for autumn and points you to some notable local varieties.

But let's talk options. If you just cannot be convinced to drink beer, the way you cannot be convinced Michael Scott from The Office is a likable character, here are some alternatives. They will help you stay in the German spirit when you run into your dental hygienist, Craig, on his second literstein.

Wines

German wines sometimes have a reputation for being sweet, though winemakers have started veering dry as tastes evolve. Germany is widely known for whites, primarily rieslings, but check out the floral and fruity Muller-Thurgau, or pinot gris and pinot blanc. If you want a sweet, cheap option — let's be honest, sometimes you do — dare to drink the much maligned Liebfraumilch.

Schnapps

Ah, college. The German word "schnapps" means any kind of alcoholic drink that you slam. We're most familiar with the heavily flavored American variety, the peach, the peppermint, the DeKuyper label haunting us. In Europe, they're often distilled from actual fruit juices for a different experience.

Ciders

Apfelwein, or apple wine, is a tasty cider that may even fool Frank from the car line at school into thinking you're sipping a brewski. It's also delicious heated up in the winter (ha, ha, what is winter?).

Non-alcoholic

There's no law that says you have to get blotto at Oktoberfest. For those who prefer to abstain, or the designated drivers, Germans drink a variety of beverages including coffee, tea and Schorle, a fruit drink mixed with sparkling mineral water. Prost, any old way you like.

Things to drink at Oktoberfest that are not beer 10/11/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 11:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. A scene from "Epiphany."
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 22

    Events

    Clearwater Jazz Holiday: The Avett Brothers: The Avett Brothers, with their blend of folk, bluegrass and rock, lead the lineup. 1:30 p.m., Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $16 per day, $45 reserved, $170 VIP. (727) 461-5200.

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15:  (L-R)  Joe Kwon, Bob Crawford, Seth Avett, and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers pose for a portrait at the "May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers" Premiere - 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 21

    Events

    Conor Oberst: The Bright Eyes mastermind will be joined by opener, the Felice Brothers. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30.50-$36. (727) 791-7400.

    Handout photo of Conor Oberst, performing Oct. 21 at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Credit: Grandstand Media
  4. McDonald's soft serve in Florida is made with handshakes and happy cows

    Consumer

    Floridians licked nine million McDonald's vanilla cones last year.

    Calves play with a rubber toy at the Milking R Dairy in Okeechobee, FL. Owners Sutton Rucks, Jr., and his wife Kris Rucks sell their milk to SouthEast Dairies cooperative, Edward Coryn of Dairy Mix in St. Petersburg buys it, transforms it into soft-serve ice cream base, and sells it to all the McDonald's. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 20

    Events

    Tim McGraw and Faith Hill: It's been 20 years since the country music star couple started touring together, first on McGraw's solo tours and then on their record-breaking Soul2Soul tours. Now, ten years after the last Soul2Soul tour they're back on the road with opener, LoCash. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 …

    Handout photo of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill performing in New Orleans on their 2017 Soul2Soul World Tour. Credit: Becky Fluke