With the onslaught of the American style IPA, which used as it’s base, the English creation originally designed to withstand the rigors of a long ocean shipment by using extensive amount of hops. But now in the USA, American IPA uses much higher amounts of hops, kicked up to notches unknown, as Emeril Lagasse might say. I have completely lost my appreciation for that kind of approach. So much so, that even annual favorites such as Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, I will not purchase this year. Partly because I was recently given a can of Lord Hobo’s Galaxy IPA, and after sampling that, I seriously question whether I will ever drink IPA again.
So it is really no surprise that my taste for marzen and associated Fest lagers, now begins at the beginning of August, and extends all the way to November. Of Oktoberfest beers brewed in Ohio, Great Lakes Oktoberfest is a personal favorite. One of the stronger versions (6.5%) it has a malty depth combined with a delicious balance of hop support.
West Sixth Brewing of Lexington, Kentucky produces a straight forward Fest bier with their Dankechain Oktoberfest, where Hallertauer hops and Munich and Caramel malts keep this focused on a very tasty malt presentation.
Braxton Brewing of Covington, Kentucky makes what is known as Oktober Fuel, which is a fine example of adhering to traditional methods, producing a (6%) malt showcase that is substantial and very very good.
Leinenkugel’s 150th Anniversary Lager: After seeking to try this beer for quite some time, I finally obtained 3 bottles in the Leinenkugel Explorer 12 Pack. Strange it seems that the Miller owned Leinenkugel brewery does not share my enthusiasm for this collaborative effort with the Hofbrau Munich. Perhaps the younger generation does not fully appreciate the historical significance of this very tasty Fest bier, where German malts are combined with American hops, making this an outstanding, memorable, 2017 creation.
Brewed in Cincinnati, Ohio, Samuel Adams Octoberfest remains the classic it has always been. The slightly sweet doughy balance, I return to annually. Please do not let the market snark fool you. This is a great beer.
Rhinegeist Franz is a very pleasant edition to the festivities. My only complaint is: Why do,t they put these cans in a 12 pack?
Marzen, your grain is tasty.
The Beer Doctor