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Oktoberfest Taste Test | With the Bavarian beer stewards at Tizleys Europub

Tizley
Tizley's Europub co-owner Rob Defillipo pours the last of the rauchbier.
— image credit: Bill Mickelson/What's Up

With 17 taps and a bottle store downtstairs, Tizley’s Europub has upwards of 300 local, regional and international beers available for the connoisseur — including an impressive German rack.

And inline with his occupational duty, Tizleys co-owner Rob Defilippo has tried nearly all of them. But somewhat surprisingly, he isn’t huge on Oktoberfest.

“It’s almost the same as every day for me,” he laughed. “Only I’m not big on oompa bands.”

While he’s long wanted to travel to the illustrious festivals in Fremont or Leavenworth, or even better, to Munich, he said he always seems to have to work that weekend.

So this year, as Tizleys readies for its own ‘Hoptoberfest’ later this month and downtown Poulsbo’s Harvest Fair — for which they’re sponsoring an Oktoberfest beer garden — I suggested to Defilippo that we really bring Oktoberfest to him, by virtue of a true German-style taste-testing.

And, of course, he agreed.

We set the date for a Monday night — one where he wouldn’t be on the clock — and sat down to a small array of German beers while Monday Night Football played in the background and out came the German, and the Octoberfest, in Defillipo.

Earlier that day, he said, a German guy had happened upon Tizleys by chance.

“He came in, and he said to me, ‘looks good,’ ” Defilippo recalled in a surprisingly good German accent for the Italian. “ ‘This looks like good place, good German pub.’ ”

The conversation only lasted until the visitor figured out that he wasn’t German, Defilippo said, but that impression is a testament to Tizley’s Euro-authenticity.

And so are the beers.

After heading to the tap for a few recently added regionally-brewed Oktoberfest beers — one from Baron, a South Park Seattle brewery, another from Alpine, near Leavenworth — Defilippo reached into the cooler and pulled out three import bottles.

The names are fun to say, and even more fun to hear coming from Defillipo: Konig Ludwig Weissbier. Franziskaner Dunkelweiss. Aecht Schlinkerla Rauchbier.

“‘Rauchbier,’” he said in his rich faux German accent. “That means roasted beer... The first drink, before your taste buds get used to it, it’s almost like licking a hibachi. It’s all barbecue... And it is delicious.”

But first we try the regionals, along with a German Kostritzer Oktoberfest which Tizleys also recently got in on tap. The three taste similar, though the import seemed a bit lighter than the others.

We move on to the Konig Ludwig, named for the founding family of the traditional Munich Oktoberfest.

“You can learn a lot from reading the labels on beer bottles,” Defilippo says, reporting from the Ludwig bottle that the Bavarian royal family had the sole rights to brewing hefewiezen throughout Bavaria for 200 years.

“That’s where I learn most of my foreign language,” Defilippo adds. “Aside from Frank Zappa.”

We move through a near perfect Franziskaner and before we get to the smoked wonder, which by this point everyone is talking about, Defilippo suggests we cleanse the palatte with a nice light Warsteiner pilsner.

And then — the rauchbier.

Tastes a little like bacon, or a barbecue-flavored throat lasenge, one Tizleys employee interjects. But, living up to the hype, it was delicious and exuded Oktoberfest.

TIZLEY'S 'HOPTOBERFEST' will feature a different regional brewery everyday of the week, starting Oct. 19 at it's Front Street location in downtown Poulsbo. Info: www.tizleys.com or call (360) 394-0080.

A BOUNTY OF HARVEST FAIRS

While there aren't a great deal of Oktoberfest celebrations about Kitsap, a bevy of Harvest Fairs are slated to celebrate fall's.

The Kitsap Community Food Coop, a burgeoning group hoping to establish a full-service locally-stocked grocery store will be hosting its second annual fall fair at an idyllic farm in Southworth, South Kitsap, located at 4154 Rodstol Lane.

There will be pony rides, live animals, live music in the apple orchard, along with an on-site pumpkin patch, a cider press, vendors selling local crafts and more from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 3.

For more info, go to www.kitsapfoodcoop.org.

And in North Kitsap, The Poulsbo Harvest Fair will also feature an old fashioned apple press, pumpkin carving, a pet parade and a home brewer’s exhibit along with root beer garden and an Oktoberfest beer garden, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 10 throughout downtown Poulsbo.

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