Posts Tagged oktoberfest
A little late, but no less sincere. Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock (7.9% abv): This beer poured hazy amber with thin, fizzy head. It had a slightly malty and fruity aroma. The taste was mild and slightly sweet. It came with a malty sweetness at first, moving on to some caramelly fruitiness into the middle. Light body and light carbonation lead to a finish that was mostly malty and caremelly sweet. I’m not usually a fan of sweet beers, but this is a great example of a Doppelbock.
We were lucky enough to have people in Ohio saving beers for us since October that are not available where we live. Even luckier for us, Great Lakes Oktoberfest (6.5% abv) was set aside awaiting our arrival. This beauty poured a golden orange color, w/ thin white head. Sour and malty aromas came off of it, with a little sugary sweetness. The taste was rich and smooth. It had lots of roasty malts up front. There was some vegetal bitterness next, with a little spice note. Light-medium body and light-medium carbonation, it finished malty and bitter. Overall, it was a perfect example of a märzen style beer.
Oktoberfest may have officially ended October 4, but the folks at new start-up brewery Helix Brewing Co. in the eastern part of San Diego sure know how to keep the party going. I missed most of the festivities they held earlier, like a traditional stein-holding competition, but staff and guests alike were all still in a festive mood. There were Bavarian flag pennants hanging from the ceiling and wall outside, bartenders in Lederhosen and official Hofbrauhaus steins on the bar inside.
Entering through the patio, the outside gave me the impression of walking into a warehouse or fish cannery. A corrugated metal roof and support beams wrapped in rope greeted me on my way in the door. There was a tree in a planter right in the middle of the patio, with party lights strung throughout that alleviated this somewhat. Inside, there was brick to the left and unfinished wood to the right on the walls. A concrete bar sat in front of the brewing area to the right with four small tasting tables in front of that. A large TV and chalkboard also hung on one wall.
With no Oktoberfest beers on tap (??), I opted for the Red ‘N’ Actvie Hoppy Red Ale (5.2%). This beer poured bright amber, with thin white head that dissipated quickly. It smelled somewhat malty, with far less hoppiness than the name of the beer implied and a slightly fruity aroma. The taste, however, was hoppy up front. This continued into the middle, where some maltiness worked its way through. Medium-bodied with light carbonation, the maltiness continued to a finish that saw the hoppiness return. Unfortunately, there was no real dynamic flavor profile to this one. I wish I could have had an Oktoberfest…
Oktoberfest is upon us! This celebration of beer and everything Bavarian is yet one more excuse to partake in that most magical of malted beverages. Originally, the event had more serious purpose, but today we can enjoy it in a way that allows for the beer to flow without all of those formal overtones.
I decided to stop by KnB once again, this time trying a Hanger 24 Oktoberfest (5.8%). It poured amber in color with medium-sized bubbles and sudsy white head. Malty and harvesty (yeah, I said it) aromas were about all that characterized the smell. The taste was mild and smooth. Some sweetness from the malts came through and a little bitterness toward the middle. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated, it finished with strong malty flavor and some of the same bitterness. Even though Oktoberfest beers aren’t known for being dynamic, the lack of distinction in this one was only mildly satisfying.
A little late to the party, after I promised a series celebrating Oktoberfest, I give you one from a great local brewery, Rough Draft. They are starting to send their bottles and kegs out more, so if you see it, pick some up and support the locals! I always do, though I got Rough Draft Oktoberfest Lager direct from the brewery because it’s always better from the source.
This one poured a clean medium brown, with light carbonation and foamy head that stuck around a pleasing amount of time. It did not smell like much; very mild and slightly bready was about all I could smell. The first thing I tasted was a lot of bitterness up front, then that faded to a mildness that was almost no taste at all. There was a slight pick up of malty notes toward the end, but that was about it. There really was no finish to speak of.
I would give this beer:
In my continuing celebration of fall, I came across one from one of my favorite breweries. Coronado’s Punk’in Drublic Imperial Pumpkin Ale is just an ok example of this paragon of the fall season. I have had a number of regular pumpkin ales, but never the “imperial” kind. Turns out, this makes little difference to the actual taste, at least in this case.
Punk’in Drublic pours a pleasing dark red color with large bubbles in the carbonation and the quickly dissolving head that is characteristic of this kind of beer. The first thing I smelled was a sweetness. “Uh oh,” I thought. “This is the standard pumpkin pie ale I always seem to find, instead of one that actually tastes like pumpkin.” Luckily, I was wrong on that, though it did not necessarily make it a better beer.
It didn’t taste as sweet as the smell indicated it might be. It was very mild, with some bitterness up front. Then a little malty sweetness came through, moving back to the bitterness lasting through the finish. That was about it for the experience of this beer.
My personal celebration of Oktoberfest 2014 continues, this time with a beauty from Ballast Point.
Dead Ringer is their Oktoberfest offering (duh) and it’s a good one. It poured a dark red-brown, which surprised me a bit, as I usually think of these beers as a bit lighter. It had light fizzy head that dissipated quickly. It smelled very caramelly, with a light fruity sweetness and a little spicy undertone. I don’t mean that it smelled spicy, as if it were made with chili peppers, but more in the way a cider might be described as “spiced.”
The taste was heavy on the caramel up front and mild, with lots of malty flavor that didn’t overpower the other tastes that followed. The carbonation was enough to break that up a bit, even though the maltiness came back right after the tingle of the bubbles left my tongue. Then came the spice notes with a nice fizzy finish in the back of my throat.
I enjoyed this beer, as it was a great example of the many different takes on a beer style I thought I knew so well. While I expected the maltiness, the light-to-medium sweetness and carbonation were a bit of a surprise, but did not take away from the experience of this beer.
Overall, I would rate this beer:
Happy Oktoberfest! For those that don’t know, the title means Oktoberfest has “arrived”! For beer lovers, this is a wonderful time of year, during which our passion for this magical brew is celebrated in Munich, Germany and around the world. It runs for 16 joyous days, starting in the last couple of weeks of September through the fist weekend in October. It has been held every year since 1810 and I, for one, will happily support this tradition.
I started this year with a visit to my favorite local eatery/drinkery KnB. They were having a tapping party for Firestone’s 2014 release of Oaktoberfest. This is from one of my favorite breweries from which to have beers, as well as to visit. Oaktoberfest is from the Bavarian Märzenbier style, which typically has lower hop character and is higher in malty sweetness. This one certainly fit the bill. As you can see, it poured a rich, somewhat hazy golden color, with light carbonation and medium white head that really stuck to the glass– always a good sign for me.
The aromas were a little fruity, with some woodiness and prominent malt sweetness. The taste was right in line with the smell, with fruitiness right up front, and light, despite the maltiness that followed. Then it faded to a mild woody taste with a nice effervescence and a touch of sourness on the finish that really made this a refreshing experience.
I must say, I have had relatively little experience with the Märzen style, outside of the one that comes in the 18-pack of Gordon Biersch I used to pick up from Costco. While this was not a bad way to experience a new kind of beer, having Oaktoberfest strait from a keg is definitely a better way to go.
I also have to give props to the Firestone rep we met at KnB, Larry, who hooked us (and everyone at the event that night) up with some free merchandise.
Overall, I would rate this beer: