Firestone Oaktoberfest

Image courtesy of August Kastendiek.

Image courtesy of August Kastendiek.

Yes, I said OAKtoberfest.  Firestone Oaktoberfest is not oak barrel aged, but named after Robles, as in Paso Robles, “pass of the oaks”, where the beer was made by Firestone Walker.  This beer pours a lot less orange than you’d expect, being more of a deep gold.  Head retention is good, lacing is good, carbonation is good.  It smells clean, with a little citrus and a little floral hops.  Oaktoberfest tastes good too, being really malty and grainy with more floral hops on the back end and some dryness in the finish.  It’s really not a bad beer, but I was a bit surprised and a bit disappointed because this is really more of a German-style marzen beer, and I kind of like the more complex American version.  In fact, Oaktoberfest tastes very much like Firestone Walker’s Pivo Hoppy Pils, and I don’t think I can tell the difference between them, but I am just relying on memory.  Still, I do tend to remember important things, like Jim Morrison’s birthday, my first license plate, the words to Paul Revere’s Ride and what beers taste like.

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Oktoberfest Lager

Image courtesy of Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Image courtesy of Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

It’s that time of year again:  There’s a crispness in the air and it’s reflected in the seasonal beer.  Oktoberfest Lager from Lakefront Brewery, Inc., Milwaukee, WI, is one of those crisp fall beers, and it’s well worth seeking this one out.  Oktoberfest Lager pours deep orange with a lively, bubbly head and bountiful carbonation.  Not much lacing and below-average head retention are not a concern when you taste this excellent beer.  The malty, roasted caramel bouquet has a slightly floral sweetness and a touch of rust on the back end.  Lots of grain on the tongue, moderately sweet and a tad tart and tangy in the finish.  Oktoberfest Lager is delicious.  It’s full-flavored without being heavy-bodied, and an overall well-balanced and well-crafted beer, and at 5.8% ABV, an excellent Oktoberfest beer that may having you want a second!

92/100 Oktoberfest/Marzen Beer

Okto Festival Ale

Image courtesy of Widmer Brothers Brewing

I sometimes think Widmer Brothers Brewing (Portland, OR) products are overlooked here in the Midwest.  Well, they should not be you Midwesterners, shame on you!  I have just been enjoying a 6-pack of their Okto Festival Ale (ale, not lager) and I’m glad of it.  Deep honey-colored with a whispy, loose-bead head, this lightly carbonated brew is an easy drinker.  With nice roasted caramel notes, a sweet bouquet and a mild hop presence, Okto Festival Ale is a good companion to traditional German cuisine, not overpowering, but instead complimenting the food flavors.  At 5.3% ABV (less than authentic German Oktoberfest beers) you could have a few of these with no problem, and then contemplate having a couple more.  I think Ty Wagner (pronounced VOG-ner this month), the King of the Wisconsin Oktoberfest, would enjoy this stuff.

75/100 Marzen/Oktoberfest

Image courtesy of Foxnews.com