oktoberfest

This past month I finally figured it out. I found my bar. I found Brewer’s Republic. A lot goes in to finding one’s preferred drinking locale and for me, Brewer’s Republic has it all. Just across the street from City Rock, I can actually convince my climbing partner to buy me a beer. They have a chill, laid-back atmosphere so I don’t feel like I have to be hammered to enjoy myself. Lastly, they have over 20 microbrews on tap, and the bar tenders love to give samples.

Right now, Brewer’s Republic has six different Oktoberfest beers on tap, so it was really easy to choose what style I wanted to profile. Oktoberfest is the world’s largest festival and is held every year in Munich, Germany.

The only real specifications for an Oktoberfest beer are that it is over six percent ABV, that it upholds the Reinheitsgebot “Beer Purity Law,” and that it is brewed within the Munich city limits. However, when most people think of an Oktoberfest beer, they think of a märzen. A märzen is a lager that is traditionally brewed in March, hence the name. The style can vary from light to dark and is often malty and toasted in flavor.

The first beer I tried, being a lover of all things imperial, was the Boulder Beer Dragonhösen Imperial Oktoberfest. This beer is amazing! It pours very dark with a small brown head and an aroma of dark malts and lighter German hops.

The taste is complex and difficult to describe. The main flavor is sweet and toasty; however, there are definite hop notes throughout with undertones of nuts and a slight alcoholic aftertaste. Though this beer is the least true to style of all the beers I tried, it is delicious and I highly recommend it. Also, the nine percent ABV will make sure you get your money’s worth.

Next on the chopping block is the Oktoberfest Märzen Lager from Left Hand Brewing. This beer pours dark amber with a slight white head. It has a nutty malt and fruity aroma that begs you to have a sip. The primary taste is biscuit-y with a dry malt flavor. There is some bitterness and a strong bit of spice. The beer finishes with a nice hop bitterness and the lingering dry ‘maltiness’. Left Hand makes an Oktoberfest that is relatively true to style, yet spicy and interesting. Be warned: This beer is delicious and very easy to drink.

Lastly, I tried Firestone Walker’s Oktoberfest. This beer pours a pale orange with a short off-white head. The nose is not very strong, but has hints of caramel and fruit. The taste is lighter and less malty than the other two beers. There is more carbonation and some stronger hop notes. The flavor remains consistent throughout the taste and finishes with just a hint of spice. While this beer is very easy to drink and stays the most true to the style, it is my least favorite. There isn’t quite enough going on for me, and the flavor is just too light. I love it when American breweries do interesting things with traditional styles. Firestone, however, has gone with replication rather than innovation.

Well that is all, folks. Enjoy your local bars, happy drinking, und viel glück.

Hanson Smith

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