Monthly Archives: October 2012

Pour the Core Cider Festival: Tasting the tart, the sweet and the unusual


The scene at Pour the Core Festival at Peconic Bay Winery

Pour the Core, the cider fest at Peconic Bay Winery, couldn’t have been better. The sky was blue, the temperatures comfortable and the ciders plentiful.

Some 700 people attended this first-ever cider festival on the Long Island’s North Fork on Oct. 20 and some 26 producers poured almost 50 different ciders. Also, there were wines from the festival’s host and beers from five brewers, food from Riverhead’s Maple Tree BBQ and well as t-shirt purveyors and, gasp, a cigar seller (those fumes overwhelmed the delicate apple scents of ciders being poured too near).

Pouring True Believer Cider at Pour the Core.

For me, this event was about cider. Many producers offered fruit and spice flavored cider variations, but purist that I am, I shunned most them.

The choices included a dozen from New York, others from New Hampshire, Vermont, California and Oregon, a handful from England and one from Spain. Alas, none of the wonderful farmhouse ciders of Normandy, France, were to be found.

Still, there were many wonderful ciders to taste. Ciders made from eating apples, ciders from cider-specifc apples (such as crab apples), single varietal ciders and blends. There were ciders almost as full bodied as some beers and, regrettably, some that were little more than flavored water. There were ciders fermented with cider yeast, Champagne yeast, and even ciders produced using Irish Stout and Belgian Trappist ale yeasts. There were apple ciders, pear ciders (called perry in England), ciders made from concentrated apple juice with added water, and some with added malic acid and sugar and other sweeteners. Lord knows why. And, yes, a hopped cider.

Festival participants appeared to like McKenzie’s Seasonal Reserve

My tasting notes (ciders listed alphabetically):

Anthem Hopped Cider.  From Wandering Aengus Ciderworks in Oregon. Honey Crisp, Gala, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious apples form the base. It’s dry hopped with Cascades. Apple cider meets Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Weird.

Angry Orchard Traditional Dry, Boston Beer Co.’s entry, is golden with intense, complex apple flavors.

Aspall Dry Draft Suffolk Cyder. From England, this off-dry, balanced cider offers up baked apple flavors.

Bellwether Liberty Spy, from the Finger Lakes. A hearty semi-dry cider made from Liberty and Spy apples. Comes off more dry than sweet.

Blackthorn, an English cider. Tastes like a bad chemistry experiment. Why is this a worldwide top seller?

Cliffton Dry Premium Cider. Paler than pale, a Finger Lakes cider with 14 apple varieties, added sugar and malic acid.  Light, easy drinking, like Corona beer, but where’s the apple flavor?

Castañón Natural Cider, an extremely dry, tart Spanish offering with notes of funk. Think Cantillon lambic beer.

Crispin Landsdowne. From MillerCoors. Made with molasses, organic honey and Irish Stout yeast, this cloudy cider is for gingersnap fans.

Doc’s Hard Apple Cider, from the Warwick Valley Winery in the Hudson Valley.  Sweet without being cloying with just a touch of acidity.

Farnhum Hill Door Yard No.1212, from New Hampshire’s Poverty Hill Orchards in, this kegged cider was still, extremely dry, earthy with a zingy citrus-like finish.

Harvest Moon Rippleton Original. From Cazenovia, NY, this is light-bodied, but deeply flavored, bubbly, extra dry cider made with champagne yeast and a touch of maple syrup for bottle conditioning.

Magner’s Original Irish Cider: Red tinged, bubbly, sweet apple water.

McKenzie’s Original Hard Cider, from the Buffalo area, is flavorful, medium-bodied, crisp dry cider.

McKenzie’s Seasonal Reserve Hard Cider. Not  my cup of cider, but extremely popular among festival attendees for its apple-pie-in-a-glass character derived from added nutmeg and cinnamon.

Michelle Ultra Light Cider, pale in color and tasting like water kissed by apples. Why bother?

Naked Flock Hard Cider Original, from the Applewood Winery in Warwick, NY, Made with Champagne yeast and local organic honey. The honey is quite evident.

Naked Flock Hard Cider Draft, fermented with Belgian Trappist ale yeast with a hint of organic maple syrup, this cider has a complex flavor profile without the tang you’d sometimes get from the maple.

Peconic Bay Winery True Believer:  Bubbly, honeyish. Tart and sweet baked apples with cinnamon. Finishes dry.

Peconic Bay Winery True Companion. Molasses and orange peel added. A deep golden cider, drier that True Believer and with more depth of flavor and balance.

JK Scrumpy’s Farmhouse, from Michigan. Deep, sweet baked-apple flavor.

Steampunk Cider from the Leonard Oakes Estate in the Niagara Region, a blend of 13 apples, including traditional bitter-sweet apples and the more familiar Fuji and Braeburn. Sweetish, but has nice crisp, tart apple notes and a dry finish.

Strongbow: A UK import that’s crisp, bit tinny in the finish. Made from concentrate with sugar, water.

Wandering Aengus Ciderworks 2009 Wickson: Single variety crab apple cider from Salem, Ore. Dry as brut Champagne with Riesling-wine like flavors.

Wandering Aengus Ciderworks Wanderlust: Dry with bold apple flavors. Defintely a favorite.

Wandering Aengus Ciderworks Bloom. Crisp, juicy, semi-sweet apple, tropical fruit character with Chardonnay like finish. Another winner.

Woodchuck Amber, from Vermont. Apple soda with a moderately long finish. Carmel color added.

Woodchuck Dark. Crisp apple notes.  Some tartness and dryness. Added flavor, caramel color.

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Buffalo Trace tasting offers an education and 6 satisfying bourbons

I’m the first to admit that I don’t know a heck of a lot about bourbon, so when a nearby wine and spirits merchant announced an in-store seminar on this all-American whiskey, I was there. And happy I went.

The seminar at Post Wines in Syosset proved to be both an educational and delicious experience. In realty it was a guided stand-up tasting led by David Harper, euphemistically called a brand ambassador for Sazerac, the New Orleans-based distiller,

Born of a cocktail in the 1800’s the Sazerac Co. today is an independent, American family owned distilling company that owns such venerable brands as Buffalo Trace Distillery, A. Smith Bowman, Glenmore Distillery, Barton, Fleischmann, Medley and Mr. Boston.

So what is bourbon? It’s a distilled spirit whose grain recipe must include at least 51 percent corn and it may distilled at no higher than 160 proof (80 percent alcohol by volume). Moreover, it may not contain artificial additives; flavorings or caramel color and it must be made in the United States (though some might think, erroneously, only in Kentucky).

This tasting featured six bourbons from the 200-year-old Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, Ky.

Buffalo Trace

Eagle Rare

Harper started his “students” with Buffalo Trace ($26.99 for 750 ml. – prices shown are those at Post), which he described as an easy drinking, everyday spirit, good for making Manhattan cocktails.  I started my evaluation using a method taught to me by a Scotch whisky maven, putting a dab of each on my wrist as you might a sample of perfume, let it dry and then sniff.  Then I nosed the bourbon – with a splash of water – in an old fashioned glass and then sipped, judiciously, because there’s no spitting out in a whiskey tasting. At 90 proof, the amber-hued Buffalo Trace was a smooth sipper with aromas of citrus and vanilla and sweet and spice notes on the palate.

Up next was Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 years old ($29.99), also an amber-colored whiskey at 90 proof. But this whiskey’s grain mix called for more rye and as a result, it seemed fuller in body with a fruity, peppery nose and on the palate sweet, hot, spicy notes.

Our third sample was Blanton’s Single Barrel ($45.99), with a nose that exuded vanilla. It was intensely flavored with notes of caramel and spice and at 125 proof it’s definitely hotter on the palate. It finishes quite dry.

Rock Hill Farms


We’re then on to Rock Hill Farms ($47.99), also a single-barrel bourbon, this time 100 proof. There’s no age statement. Deep copper in color with a chary/tarry nose, this spirit shares a rye-heavy mash recipe with Blanton’s. I don’t detect as much spicy character, but I taste candied fruits, chocolate and sweet oak and more heat. My lips feel the same zing that they might after eating a dish loaded with spicy Szechuan peppers. Definitely a winner!

Our fifth pour was Elmer T. Lee ($31.99), which is labeled a sour mash, meaning an older fermenting grain mixture was added to start the fermentation. The grain recipe is the same as for Blanton’s and Rock Hill Farms. The nose screams English Leather aftershave lotion, but it also has notes of sweet vanilla and pepper.  Medium-gold in color, there’s a gentle spiciness and honey notes on the palate and a long finish. Also a big winner on my scorecard.

Col. EH Taylor

Elmer T. Lee

To finish us up, literally, not figuratively, Harper poured samples of the recently released Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. ($64.99). Named for one of the founding fathers of the bourbon industry, this 100 proof, single-barrel whiskey comes from 93 barrels aged exclusively in the top two levels of the distillery’s Warehouse C, which was built in 1881 and which survived a 2006 tornado.  The most delicately flavored of the evening’s samples, this whiskey showed light, smoky and dried figs aromas. Candy sweetness, fruit and spice could be found on the palate. Relative to the other whiskeys, it finished short.

Now that I’ve sailed through previously unchartered waters, I’m ready to continue my bourbon education with much enthusiasm. Are you a fancier of bourbon?

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McCall Wines: Refined pinots, merlots in a rustic North Fork setting

McCall’s vineyard on the south side of Main Road, Cutchogue. (Photo by Shelley Wax)

There’s a simple, peaceful rusticity at McCall Wines in Cutchogue on Long Island’s North Fork.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, the gentle whirring of a wind turbine was the only sound to be heard as Russ McCall stood over a stone barbecue pit grilling burgers for those who’ve come out to help him pick merlot grapes. The ground chuck burgers – sold raw in McCall’s tasting room at $7 each – are made from the organic grass-fed Charolais cattle that he raises on his 108-acre farm, called the Corchaug Estate. (He sells most of his beef, butchered in Jamaica, Queens, to the North Fork Table & Inn.)

Inside McCall’s tasting room, a former potato barn and stable.

Russ McCall flips burgers outside his tasting room (Photo by Shelley Wax)

No tour busses crowd the parking area, which is entered through a dirt drive, and there’s no rush of tourists fighting for space at the tasting bar, housed in an old potato barn that once was used as a horse stable. This is the North Fork at its rural best. It’s a delightful tasting room experience, the kind I‘m sure McCall had his mind set up given his belief that wineries shouldn’t be bars or restaurants.

Sad to say, I’d never before stopped at McCall since it opened in June 2010. I’m glad that I did so recently.

Rural simplicity aside, the wines poured for visitors – and, of course, for sale, are refined, French inspired sipping pleasures.

For $16 you can get pours of four of McCall’s reds: two pinot noirs, a merlot and a merlot-based Bordeaux-style blend. There’s also a pinot noir-based rose and a sauvignon blanc to sample. Alas, I did not.

McCall, who formerly owned a wine distributorship in Atlanta, has been growing pinot noir and merlot grapes in Cutchogue in 1996, when veteran viticulturist Steve Mudd lent a hand. McCall put his name on a bottle for the first time with the 2007 vintage.

At the southern end of McCall’s 108-acre farm, he’s planted 11 acres of pinot – four French clones brought in from Oregon’s Willamette Valley.  Pinot noir, a difficult grape to grow anywhere, has had only modest success on the East End.  Among Long Island producers making pinot noir are Castello di Borghese, Duckwalk Vineyards, Jamesport Vineyards and Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards (whose 2009 was named best at the 2012 New York Wine and Food Classic). Anthony Nappa Wines produces Anomoly, a pinot noir rose with grapes from the North Fork and the Finger Lakes.

McCall’s wine line up. (Photo by Shelley Wax)

Picnicking in the vineyard at McCall. (Photo by Shelley Wax)

Inside the tasting room l I started off with the silky 2010 Pinot Noir ($30), which exuded cherry and berry notes. Who knew pinot noir this good could be made on Long Island? But then I tasted the richly perfumed, dark-hued 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir ($60), McCall’s first bottled vintage. It’s an elegant wine with incredibly soft tannins and notes of berries and bramble and hints of earth and oak.

Bob Cabral, winemaker at California’s well-known pinot noir producer Williams Selyem, made both McCall pinot noirs at the Millbrook Winery in the Hudson Valley.  John and Kathe Dyson own both Millbrook and Williams Selyem.

McCall’s merlot grapes are planted on the northern 10 acres of his  farm and are vinified at the nearby Premium Wine Group by French-born and trained Gilles Martin, who’s been making wine on Long Island since 1996 and who also is the winemaker for Sparkling Pointe, Sherwood House Vineyards and Bouké. Martin will be pouring McCall’s wines in New York City on  Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. as part of a Merliance tasting at Artisanal, the cheese bistro.

The very likeable 2008 Merlot ($18) is ruby red, medium-bodied with berries on the nose followed by plums and oak dust on the palate. But the intense 2007 Ben’s Blend outshines the merlot. Named for McCall’s late vineyard manager Ben Sisson (who died three years ago at 49), it’s a wine from a beautiful vintage. Predominantly merlot, its assemblage includes petit verdot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc.  The tannins are gentle and notes of smoke, cherry, plum and berries are evident. It’s a fine quaff now, but it should also age nicely.

The McCall Wines tasting room, 22600 Main Road (Route 25), Cutchogue, (631) 734-5764, is open from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, until late November. If you’re heading out to the North Fork it’s a must stop.

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Funkwerks, Troegs, Pabst top breweries at Great American Beer Festival


Top honors at this year’s Great American Beer Festival went to Funkwerks, Troegs Brewing Co. and Pabst Brewing Co., each of which medaled in multiple categories.

Meanwhile, brewpubs receiving top honors were Devils Backbone Brewing Co., Church Brew Works and Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co.

The winners were announced at the festival in Denver on Oct. 13.

The awards, among the most coveted in the brewing industry, have been compared to winning the Super Bowl or in the Olympics and winning a medal often translates into higher sales for the winners.

The GABF awards are judged by industry professionals from around the world ho work together in small groups and, without knowing the brand name, taste beers in each specified style category. Five different three-hour judging sessions take place over three days during the festival. Judges are assigned beers to evaluate in their specific area of expertise and never judge their own product or any product in which they have a concern.

The judges’ ultimately aim to identify three beers that best represent each GABF-defined beer-style category. These beers receive gold, silver or bronze medals that are recognized around the world as symbols of brewing excellence

A pdf listing the 254 winners can be found at the web site of the Brewers Association, which puts on the GABF.

The Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year award went respectively to Devils Backbone Brewing Co., of Roseland, Va. and its brewery team. It was a gold medal winner in the German-Style Sour Ale category with its Berliner Metro Weiss. Devils Backbone won silver in the American-Style Dark Lager category with its Old Virginia Dark and silver in the Baltic-Style Porter category for its Danzig .The pub also took a bronze medal in the Irish-Style Dry Stout Category for its Ramsey’s Draft Stout and bronze in the foreign stout category with its Ramsey’s Export Stout.

Meanwhile, Church Brew Works of Pittsburgh, Pa, was honored as Large Brewpub and head brewer, Steve Sloan, was honored as Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year. Church also won its first gold medal since 2005, this time in the old ale/strong ale category with its Henry’s Hootch. It also won silver for its Pius Monk Dunkel in the European-Style Dunkel category and a bronze for its Pipe Organ Pale Ale in the international pale ale category. Its Celestial Gold won a bronze medal in the Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest category.

Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co, Madison, Wis., was singled out as Brewpub Group and head brewer Rob LoBreglio as brewpub group brewer of the year.  Its Uber Bock was a gold medal winner in the German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock category.

Funkworks, a three-year-old brewery in Fort Collins, Colo., was named small brewery of the year. Its brewing team received honors as the best brewer at a small brewery. It also won gold for its Deceit beer in the in Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale category and its Saison won gold in the French- and Belgian-Style Saison category.

The Mid-Size Brewing Company award and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year honor went to Troegs Brewing Co. of Hershey, Pa. and brewer John Trogner. Troeg’s Dreamweaver, won gold in the south German style hefeweizen category and its Hopback Amber Ale was a gold medalist in the Hopback Amber Ale category.

Pabst Brewing, once synonymous with  Milwaukee and now headquartered in Los Angles and which has no breweries, was named large brewing company of the year. Honors also went to head brewer Gregory Deuhs. It’s best known for its Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, which won gold in the American Light/Premium Lager category. Pabst also took silver in the American-Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager category with its Old Style. Pabst contract brews 30 brands, from defunct companies, at MillerCoors plants. Besides PBR, its brands include G. Heileman, Lone Star, Pearl, Piels, National, Olympia, Primo, Rainier, Schaefer, Schlitz and Stroh’s.  “Ironic that the winner of the “Large Brewery Company (of the year) award doesn’t have a brewery,” Tweeted Greg Koch, owner of Stone Brewing.

Only one metro New York area brewer medaled at the fest. Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. of Elmsford, won a gold in the American Style Sour Ale category with its Barrel Select. It took silver in the Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale category with its, FO/BB and a bronze in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer with its Golden Delicious.




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Hard cider: Mott’s it’s not and it’s hot

Hard cider is hot!

It doesn’t matter where you look, there’s a heck of lot of action taking place in the cider business. In fact, cider may be experiencing its biggest popularity since America’s earliest days.

We’re not talking about that murky brown stuff sold in gallon jugs in the supermarket dairy case.  No, our subject is fermented apple juice, which was the drink of the wealthy 18th Century English and which was consumed daily in early America until German lager beers displaced them.

Typically cider has about 5-6 percent alcohol by volume, a level between that of beer and wine and is offered sweet, dry, still or sparkling. Some resemble wine coolers, sweet and fizzy.  But there also are oak-aged expressions, single-apple versions and complex blends.  Hard cider can be bone-dry, like the rustic English beverage called scrumpy, or it can sweet, depending on the apples used and if any sugar or acid has been added.  Most English and European ciders use specially grown fruits, which offer high acidity and tannins that the eating apples generally used by American cider makers.

One thing is certain are the astronomical growth figures in this beverage category Cider sales last year rocketed 50 percent, according to SymphonyIRI Group, the Chicago market research firm. Another researcher, Impact Databank, puts the annual growth figure at 23 percent.

It doesn’t make a difference which number you use. Cider is attracting attention from producers big and small.

Boston Beer Co., the makers of Samuel Adams beers, has rolled out its Angry Orchard label nationwide (it previously marketed cider under the Hard Core brand) and brewing giant Anheuser-Busch released its first American cider—the low-calorie Michelob Ultra Light Cider. MillerCoors, meanwhile, bought the Crispin cider business and operates it as part of its Tenth and Black craft beer business. Crispin is growing by 300 percent monthly, according to a report by Shanken News Daily. The producer recommends imbibers pour its wares over ice.

Vermont Hard Cider, producer of the Woodchuck ciders is experiencing 30 percent-plus growth, according to Shanken, and is building a new facility. It’s also the U.S. marketer of Strongbow, a cider brand owned by Heineken, the big Dutch brewer.

Also, Late last year, C&C Group, the Irish-Anglo company that owns Magner’s Irish Cider, added Hornsby’s to its portfolio (the brand formerly was owned by E&J  Gallo.

On the artisan side, there’s Greg Hall, who sold his Goose Island Brewing Co. in Chicago to A-B and who now is making cider under the Virtue Cider label. Meanwhile, Peconic Bay Winery on Long Island’s North Fork launched twos cider, True Believer and True Companion, using apples grown on the East End.

In the New York area, alcoholic beverage promoters have taken notice.

Jimmy Carbone, of Jimmy’s 43 in the East Village and Beer Sessions Radio, has launched Cider Week in New York which kicks off on Oct. 13 with a tasting event in Williamsburg that features a selection of more than 20 ciders (including Virtue, Farnum Hill, and France’s Domaine Dupont), 20 craft brews (including Barrier Brewing of Oceanside, Rockaway Brewing, New Jersey’s Carton Brewing, and Vermont’s Shed Brewery), 10 artisanal spirits, as well as charcuterie and cheese. Two general session and two guided tasting sessions are planned for the event at 110 Kent Avenue at N. 8th Street, Williamsburg).  Tickets are $50, though there is a $40 discount option currently available through Google offers. Steve Wood, owner of New Hampshire’s Farnham Hill Ciders and Virtue’s Hall, will conduct seminars. Jimmy’s also is having a cider-paired South Indian harvest dinner on Oct. 15. Tickets for the dinner, $44 per person, are available online.

Just the other day, Long Islanders for Fermentation Enjoyment, a beer enthusiast group that I’m involved in, tasted a selection of ciders at its monthly gathering at the Black Forest Brewhaus in Farmingdale.  Many in the line up were simple, alcoholic apple juices, fruity alternatives for those who don’t drink beer. Still, the Angry Orchard cider was a favorite and a number of participants also enjoyed a maple-flavored variation from Harvest Moon Cidery Critz Farms in Westchester., as well as a sour-cherry apple cider from Crispin.

Meanwhile, out on Long Island’s North Fork, Peconic Bay Winery has joined forces with Starfish Junction Productions, the promoter of various beer events, to put on Pour The Core:  A Hard Cider Festival on Oct. 20, from 12:30-5 p.m. at the Cutchogue winery. More than 30 domestic and international ciders are to be offered. And there will be there seminars on cider-based cocktails, home cider making and cooking with cider. Tickets have sold out, however.

If things go as planned, I’ll be at the Peconic Bay fest and then post some tasting notes.

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Teutonic beer and sausage on the menu at Prost Grill & Garten in Garden City

24 taps at Prost, half of them German

Jim McCartney acquired his love of beer as a teenager drinking along the waterfront in Breezy Point, Queens. His interest in German food was cultivated by the meals he shared with his dad, a banker, at the German restaurants of Glendale.

Now, McCartney, a former Brooklyn assistant district attorney and Manhattan Catholic high school theology teacher, is embarking on a third career that combines his two early loves. He’s become a restaurateur and bar owner with a long-time friend Bill Daly, with the recently opened Prost Grill & Garten in Garden City, Long Island.

Modeled on a modern Berlin-style bistro and inspired by a Wurstküche, an exotic sausage bar in downtown Los Angeles, Prost offers 24 beers on tap, half of them German, and a menu filled with sausages and more.

Opened since August in a Franklin Avenue storefront next to the LIRR tracks that once housed a dry cleaning shop, Prost brings something different to a main street where the nearest beer destination is the Belgian-flavored Waterzooi.

Daly and McCartney, who had the idea of creating a bar and grill, last year flew out to Los Angeles to check out Wurstküche. “We loved it,” said McCartney. For more ideas, they flew to Munich and Berlin, where they discovered the “modern clean look” of bistros there. They incorporate some of those elements into the design of Prost, though it’s unlikely bar tops and tables in Germany were not made from the reclaimed wood of three bowling alleys as they are at Prost.

Prost owner Jim McCartney

McCartney said he went the German route, because he felt the community needed something different. “There’s nothing like this here except Plattdeutsche Park,” he said referring the sprawling, venerable Franklin Square bastion of Teutonic cuisine.

Prost’s draft beer list, not surprisingly is strong with German beers, including Franziskaner, Radeberger, Spaten, Hofbräuhaus, Warsteiner, Weihenstephaner, Tucher and Gaffel Kolsch on draft; as well the local Barrier Brewing kolsch and rauch beer. But three’s also Brooklyn IPA and Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and Sam Adams Boston Lager, to name a few. Bud and Coors drinkers will find their brews served in bottles.

“We’re constantly exploring diffident beers to be on tap,” McCartney said, noting his surprise that brews from Germany have been out selling the American craft beers on tap. His top sellers, so far, he says, are Hofbräu, Spaten Oktoberfest, Gaffel Kolsch and Weihenstefaner. Glassware, too, matches the brands, for the most part.

The menu, devised by McCartney and Daly with chef Thomas Rockensies, a Culinary Institute of Americagraduate who is McCartney’s cousin by marriage, leans heavily, of course, on sausage offerings. These include traditional German (includes bockwurst, bratwurst and knockwurst), Italian sweet and hot, Moroccan lamb merguez, a variety of chicken sausages, and a variety of exotic meat sausages including venison, alligator and buffalo. There’s even a soy-based vegetarian offering. Toppings include sautéed onions, mushrooms, sauerkraut, onions and peppers, cheese sauce, chili, jalapeno or red cabbage. There’s also a Bavarian pretzel the size of a dinner plate and an Alsatian flame cake, burgersand a handful of German entrees, not to mention Buffalo chicken wings. Sauerbraten is a weekend special.

Grilled bockwurst with onion topping, fries and Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest at Prost

Sausages, which start at $7, are served on a baker’s roll with a choice of two toppings.  A large side of very good fries with dipping sauce adds $5 to your tab. Half-liters of brew start at $7. Full liters are available, too.

Prost Grill & Garten, 652 Franklin Ave., Garden City; 516-427-5215, is open from noon to midnight Monday through Wednesday, and Thursday through Saturday from noon to 1 a.m.

All that’s missing, thankfully, is an oompah band for that we’ll bend an elbow and toast “prost!”

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