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Obatzda – an Oktoberfest Favorite!

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

My husband and I recently traveled to the Bavarian region of Germany. Obatzda was on the menu of nearly every biergarten and restaurant we visited. We absolutely fell in love with this delicious cheese spread. It’s time for Oktoberfest—the perfect time to make Obatzda.

The Germans make Obatzda with soft cheeses like Camembert or Brie, butter, and Frischkäse, the German version of cream cheese. They add ground caraway seeds, paprika, and a splash or two of German beer. It is served with pretzels or rye bread and garnished with chopped chives, sliced onions, or radishes.

We spent our first night in Germany in a quaint little town called Tegernsee, where we had our first taste of Obatzda. A local man who spoke English directed us to a restaurant called Bräeuftüberl Tavern, claiming it was the best restaurant in town. The Bräeuftüberl’s menu touted their cheese spread as award-winning and called it “Bräubazi, formerly known as Obatzda.”

Award-Winning Bräubazi at Bräeuftüberl Tavern

German legend has it that Obatzda was created in the 1920s by Katharina Eisenreich, the owner of the world’s oldest brewery, Weihenstephan Bräustüberl, in the small Bavarian town of Freising. Her patrons loved this cheese spread so much that it has become a biergarten staple; and it is so popular in Germany that Viktualienmarkt, a huge outdoor market in Munich, stocks over a dozen flavors. And, of course, we found it on the menu of the infamous Hofbrahaus!

Deli Case at Viktualienmarkt

If you are celebrating Oktoberfest or having friends over to watch football, Obatzda is addictive. Your guests will love it!

Obatzda Makes about 3 cups

Cosco sells frozen pretzels made by Eastern Standard Provisions Company® that are simple to make and quite tasty. Just heat and eat! 8 ounces Camembert 8 ounces cream cheese ¼ cup butter 8 ounces Kraft® Old English Spread 1 teaspoon caraway seeds 1 ½ teaspoons paprika ⅛ teaspoon salt Large grind black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons German beer (Dunkel, Weissbier, Schwarzbier) ⅓ cup red onion, minced 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped Remove rind from Camembert. Using a sharp knife, cut Camembert, cream cheese, and butter into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Spoon tablespoons of Old English Spread into the same bowl. Let set at room temperature for about 1 hour. In a food processor, coffee grinder, or using a mortar and pestle, grind caraway seeds. Add ground caraway seeds, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mash the mixture with a fork until slightly chunky but mostly smooth. Add beer, red onion, and chives and mix to combine. (You can add 1 or 2 tablespoons more of beer if needed to reach desired consistency.) Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. For best flavor, make this a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.

Tips on selecting soft cheese: If you are purchasing soft cheese that your supermarket has cut, check the label. It will often indicate both the date and time the cheese was cut and wrapped.

If you are purchasing prepackaged cheese, avoid any packages where the cheese is over-ripe or moldy, except for some blue cheese or expensive Brie that ripen with harmless molds. Softer cheeses should be soft and moist but should not have cracks or be brown in color.

Tips on storing soft and fresh cheeses: Soft cheeses, like Brie and mozzarella, have the shortest life span of all the cheeses. To extend the life of soft cheeses, wrap them with parchment or wax paper and then a layer of aluminum foil or place them in a jar or Tupperware container. When handled in this manner and placed in the cheese drawer of your refrigerator, soft cheese can last for up to 10 days. Soft cheeses with any sign of mold should be thrown out.

Carol Ann

Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates

Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at and explore her website,

Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates

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