October 30, 2014 by kylelecl
No I’m not doing a Halloween themed pumpkin ale review, because pumpkin ale is too sweet and 9 times out of 10 it tastes like liquid candy not beer, deal with it… I’ve been on a German beer binge lately, so I decided to put together a list for the end of this October of my favorite Oktoberfests of the season. These beers are really an example of what beer is all about, each one has unique qualities, however they all share a malty smoothness that is hard to beat when the temperature begins to plummet.
1. Hofbrau Oktoberfest
First off is possibly the most consumed Oktoberfest in the world, from Hofbrau brewery in Munich Germany, there is a reason they serve this at Oktoberfest every year under those Bavarian tents. I had this beer at a local German biergaten in Brooklyn, in a giant glass mug right off the tap. It looked similar to this,
Yeah I know it looks amazing. Anyways, the first sip was sweet and super tasty, a blend of German malts up front, it’s easy to distinguish between the lighter and darker malts, which makes for a nice mix. There is a bit of hop bitterness but not much, which helps to balance the sweetness of the malts, however when you order this beer expect to taste a sweet and really flavorful beer. The body is surprisingly light, which at 6.3% alcohol helps to mask not only the alcohol but also the heavy malt profile. All in all this is a great Oktoberfest, and one I highly recommend to anyone who has never sampled the style.
I give Hofbrau Oktoberfest 4 beer tents out of 5
2. Goose Island Oktoberfest
This beer is perhaps my absolute favorite of the style, from Goose Island in Chicago, the flavor profile, even from the bottle is so complex that it creates a new and fresher rendition of the old world Oktoberfest style. Tasting out of the bottle and then in a glass, I got a beautiful mix of malt flavors up front, however the sweetness that is present in many other Oktoberfest is not quite as powerful, allowing you to really enjoy the toasty qualities of the malts. The hops addition allow for the bitterness to take the edge of the malt backbone slightly, but again it’s not overdone as to create a Oktoberfest IPA, as some other breweries have done *cough* Peak Organic *cough* this season. The body is medium, with slight carbonation, which creates a nice light mouth feel to help wash down the 6.4% alcohol beverage nicely.
Overall this beer is just plain great,
I give Goose Island Oktoberfest 4.1 Goosetoberfests out of 5
3. Great Lakes Oktoberfest
Finally, we have a truly awesome beer. This beer is not only a great rendition of the German Marzen style, it’s just a great beer period. From Great Lakes brewery in Ohio, this Oktoberfest is everything a great fall beer should be and more.
Sampled out of the bottle and in a glass, the flavors are a bit darker than any Oktoberfest I’ve tried, even with a slight nutty taste in the mix that I loved. A variety of malts are used, however you still get the Munich malt backbone as any beer of the style should have, as well as some nice hop notes to round out the flavor profile. The mouth feel is very nice, with a medium body and carbonation, not to mention the aromas of this beer, which match the flavors well. Tasting this beer really gives you that warming sensation that the heavier beers of fall and winter should, if you happen to pick up this beer make sure you sit by the fire-place or at the very least put a pair of wool socks on to accompany your tasting. For a beer that weighs in at 6.5 percent alcohol, the earthiness of the hops and sweetness of the malt blend mask the dryness very well, so be careful not to put this beer back like a natty ice at a frat house. Overall, although I do love the Goose Island Oktoberfest the best, this quality of this beer is a cut above the rest, for an American rendition of a Bavarian style beer, it truly deserves all the hype.
I give the Great Lakes Oktoberfest 4.5 wool socks out of 5
Thanks for reading guys, be sure to check out these breweries websites,
and enjoy the rest of your Oktoberfest while it lasts.