Oktoberfest Celebration Lager

Photo by Fabiano da Silva

Photo by Fabiano da Silva

Ooh, I can smell the sweetness from two feet away as I open this can of Oktoberfest Celebration Lager from Rochester Mills Beer Company, Auburn Hills, MI.  Generous carbonation keeps the 1/8 head afloat for a good long time and sticky lace foreshadows malty loveliness.  The bouquet is sweet with a touch of rust and some alcohol sharpness, and at 6.2% ABV it does what I want it to do.  Malty, caramel, medium-bodied and saliva thickening, Oktoberfest Celebration Lager is good stuff, and one of the perks of the season.

85/100 Oktoberfest

Upland Oktoberfest

I hate typing sometimes.

I hate typing sometimes.

Great River Oktoberfest Beer

Image courtesy of beerbliographer.

Image courtesy of beerbliographer.

Oktober is almost over, but the supply of Oktoberfest beer remains good here at beerbliographer central.  Great River Brewery, Davenport, IA is one of the beers that fills out my stockpile.  It pours deep honey-colored with a slight haze.  It’s a little light on the head, but heavy on the malty bouquet!  It’s smells downright sticky.  There is a touch of rustiness in the nose, and if you are drinking it outside this time of year in the great midwest, be prepared to fight off the yellowjackets.  Great River Oktoberfest is sweet tasting with a touch of spicy black pepper way at the back.  Plenty of caramel too, and an alcoholic tang stings the sinuses a bit.  Or maybe I just inhaled a yellowjacket.  There’s a goodly amount of carbonation here, giving a lively appearance but not really contributing to the fleeting head.  A 16oz. can at 5.9% ABV and 25 IBUs is just about perfect for me.  Sweet, malty and sticky, Great River Oktoberfest is worth a try!

80/100 oktoberfest

Drink local, f*ck AB-Inbev

Baderbrau Oktoberfest

Image courtesy of Baderbräu Brewing Company.

Image courtesy of Baderbräu Brewing Company.

I remember Baderbrau from the 90s.  Czech-style pilsner brewed right here, over by there, in Elmhurst, IL, by Pavichevich Brewing Company.  Ken Pavichevich was a hero to those of us who longed for decent domestic (even better, local) beer.  Now the revitalized Baderbräu Brewing Company, Chicago IL, under the leadership of Rob Sama, is opening a tap room and brewery in the south loop.  Great news indeed!  Their Oktoberfest beer is contract brewed in Stevens Point, WI currently, and is a nice seasonal brew.  It pours medium copper with a fine-bead head and noticeable carbonation.  There’s a fair amount of sweetness and rust and just a bit of alcohol in the bouquet, which is interesting as Oktoberfest is only 5.1% ABV.  I’m fine with that, but I do have an issue with a wet wool earthiness that finishes the bouquet.  It definitely doesn’t taste like wet sheep thankfully.  Sweet with good notes of roasted grain and a tart overtone, Baderbrau Oktoberfest is intriguing.  As the beer warms, it mellows and the earthiness abates.  There’s a little burn in the finish, way at the back of the throat, a good reminder of a nice local beer.  Makes me want to try the rest of Baderbräu Brewing Company’s offerings.  

I believe I will!

Also, check out the inspiring video on their website.  I’m on board!  Now, if someone would just bring back Legacy Lager…

Atom Smasher

Image courtesy of Two Brothers Brewing Company

Image courtesy of Two Brothers Brewing Company

An Oktoberfest-style lager aged in French oak foudres?  Yes please!  Atom Smasher, from Two Brothers Brewing Company in Warrenville, IL fits that description.  Atom Smasher is medium gold-orange in color, considerably carbonated, floats a minimal head yet produces decent lacing.  At 7.7% ABV Atom Smasher is a touch stronger than a lot of Oktobfest beers, but I’m OK with that.  The malty bouquet almost has a cooling effect on the nose, perhaps from the alcohol content.  The smooth, full body is sweet up front and bitter on the back end.  Atom Smasher is substantial and nutty, woody notes make it a fairly complete beer, however, it is not overly complex.  The light bitterness in the finish lasts just long enough to notice it.  Atom Smasher is good stuff, and it’s back on shelves now, so get it while you can.

Oktoberfest (Capital Brewery)

Image courtesy of beerpulse.com

Image courtesy of beerpulse.com

Oktoberfest Marzen Style Lager, from Capital Brewery, Middleton, WI, is orange-gold and its fleeting head fades into a splotchy single layer of various sized bubbles that leave little lacing as the glass is drained. The malty bouquet is light on hops and there is some alcohol on the back end. It’s smooth textured and some cereal grain shows up in the taste profile, with a good caramel malt backbone. This is a very drinkable beer. You’ll want two. Capital has produced a nice, serviceable marzen beer for you to enjoy, so get some before it’s gone, because it will be gone soon.

90/100 Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest (Great Lakes Brewing Co.)

okto great-lakes-octoberfestAlright, let’s wrap up another Oktober with another Oktoberfest beer review. Oktoberfest, from Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland, OH, pours medium gold with light carbonation and a fluffy head that quickly folds down into a single layer that leaves a respectable amount of lace. The bouquet is great, with mild caramel malt, mild hops and a noticeable alcohol tang if you take a big enough whiff. At 6.5% ABV it’s not overpoweringly strong, but you will take notice for sure. The texture is smooth and rich and the flavor is sweet and a touch tangy, finishing dry and bitter. The peppery hop notes linger, and do so in a big way. Too big for me. All in all not a bad beer, but I like my Oktoberfest beers more German and less American.

74/100 Oktoberfest