Seductively smooth, this medium-bodied amber beauty is akin to the great Oktoberfest beers of Munich. All German malts and whole flower European hops make this lager true to style.
Hops: German Whole Flower
Malts: 2 Row German Pilsner, Munich, & Vienna
Availability: 12oz/6pks. Draft. Seasonal – Septemeber – November
Photo Credit: @Munkeyspasm
The newest Terrapin seasonal has arrived! Pumpkinfest debuted last year as a part of Terrapin’s Side Project bomber series. In it’s sophomore release — this pumpkin beer gets promoted to seasonal.
If you don’t know Terrapin’s head brewer Spike Buckowski, Spike favors German brewing styles and ingredients. In the recent collaboration “Monstre Rouge” brewed with Belgian brewery De Proef you’ll find extra rye malt. Rye malt is a favored ingredient in German style Roggenbier. Pumpkinfest is a hybrid brew of a German oktoberfest style lager, and pumpkin ale.
Brewed with a mix of Vienna and Munich malts, and Vanguard and Hallertau hops. Spike Buckhowski (Head Brewer/ Co-founder) chose these particular hops, because they have a more bitter character and less aroma. In addition to these malts/hops, Spike whipped up a whirlpool of spices, including ginger, allspice, and ground clove. (Starting to sound like pumpkin pie?) The spices are heated, but not boiled. Boiling the spices raises the potential for unwanted flavors to enter into the brew. The coup de grace of this fest ale is the 1 lb of pumpkin used per barrel.
Food Pairings: Jerk Chicken & Sweet potato fries. Thanksgiving dinner, aged gouda & jalapeno jack cheeses.
Availability: 12oz/6pks, Draft. Seasonal, following Sunray each year.
So many hit at once, I thought I would just combine them into a post. Fall seasonals are hitting the stores almost daily. Over the past week a some of the more well known Oktoberfests have arrived. Oktoberfest is also known as Marzen. Beer and refrigeration actually have an intimate history. Brewing of beer, and preserving of beer has greatly improved since refrigeration. Prior to the ability to refrigerate, brewing had to be suspended during the warmer months, because the beer would spoil in the heat. ( Cold inhibits bacterial growth.) More often than not, March was the last feasible month to brew (Marzen=March.) They were stored underground or in some form of cold storage until fall — Sept/October. Also, these versions had a higher alcohol content to keep over time. Fest beers are typically darker, malty, not as hoppy as IPA’s and some pales.
Here’s a rundown of the new releases:
|Red Brick – Octbeerfest. 5.7% ABV. 2010 marks first bottling run of this beer. Here’s my writeup on it. –> Red Brick Octobeerfest|
|Weihenstephaner – Festbier. 5.8% ABV, Bready, and sweet. Malty and light bodied. Very drinkable. Freising, Germany|
|Shiner – Oktoberfest. 2nd time this has been released by Spoetzl Brewing. First time under the label Shiner Oktoberfest. Here’s my earlier article on this beer. Shiner – Octoberfest|
|Ayinger – October Fest-Marzen. 5.8% ABV. Bready, malty German lager. Aying, Germany|
|Brooklyn – Octoberfest. 5.5% ABV. Slightly hoppy, slightly fruit. Coppery and malty. Brooklyn, NY|
|Bell’s Octoberfest – 5.5% ABV. Very clean, and light bodied. Caramel and light malts. Slightly sweet. Kalamazoo, MI|
|Left Hand – Oktoberfest. 6% ABV. Toffee, sweet malt. Hints of coffee and roasted malt. Longmont, CO|
|Leinenkugel’s – Oktoberfest. 5.1% ABV. Caramel & toffee. Hint of lemony hops. Chippewa Falls, WI|
|Sam Adams – Octoberfest. 5.4% ABV. Sweet and malty. Hint of caramel. Tastes like a maltier version of their lager. Boston, MA|
Red Brick has been a little silent in the Atlanta market these days. Without sugar coating it, they have been going through some changes. First, they have been kicking butt in South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. Secondly there have been some internal changes. Their name “Atlanta Brewing Company” is no more. They are solely known as Red Brick. They have also changed all their bottle artwork. This is just the beginning of new things in store for this Atlanta based brewer.
For the first time in bottle, and very appropriate for the coming season is Red Brick’s “OctoBeerFest.” It is of course, an Oktoberfest/Marzen style beer. Commerical description:
“True Oktoberfest style characterized by a medium body and medium to light color. Sweet maltiness is mild using a little caramel malt which equalizes the clean mild hop. Nice larger style front end with a clean, no bitterness finish, with lots of body in the middle to make your mouth happy. Our Oktobeerfest is brewed using a true German bock yeast.”
Availability: 12 oz bottles/ Draft. Just tapped this weekend at Atlanta area Taco Macs
“Over the years, the traditional Oktoberfest style from the major Munich breweries has lost a lot of character and has turned into almost a ‘Helles’ style. Maierfest is dark gold in color with a solid off-white foam stand. It has a rich German malt aroma and a very distinct and complex maltness. The finish is dry.”
Hops – Oregon Perle
Malts – Durst Pilsner, Durst Munich and Weyermann Acidulated
Yeast – Oktoberfest 2633
Rogue’s Tasting Notes: Maierfest is dark gold in color with a solid off-white foam stand. It has a rich German malt aroma and a very distinct and complex maltness with a dry finish.
Food Pairings: Poultry, Seafood
Availability: 22oz Bombers. Draft. Fall Seasonal release
It’s that time of year for fall lagers to start heading our way. Pumpkin beers are shipping ,and now marzens. The first of a few of these fall styles returns for a second visit from Heavy Seas and that’s “Prosit!”
Prosit! is an imperial version of an oktoberfest lager style brew. It’s a member of Heavy Sea’s “Mutiny Fleet”, the small batch bomber series released throughout the year. Heavy Seas describes –
“Malt focused, made with five types of grain including Vienna and Munich malts — plus a secret extra malt that we use only in our Prosit! Consider this bomber to be the burly big brother to our Clipper City MarzHon, a three year in a row winner at the Great American Beer Festival. We’ve balanced the sweetness of the malt with three kinds of hops making this one of the boldest marzen style lagers you’ll ever try. 5 Kinds of Malt, 3 Kinds of Hops, estimated ABV 9% estimated IBU 25”
Malty indeed. This beer really gets you in a fall mood. If I only had lederhosen.
Taste Expectations: This is a malt forward for sure. Caramel, toffee with a some roast and bread malts. Maintains a lager body and mouthfeel so it’s not too heavy. Expect bolder lager beer if you haven’t strayed far from the macro lager path.
Availability: 22oz Bombers. Draft. 2nd Edition, early fall seasonal. Small batch, limited release.
Heavy Seas Beer out of Baltimore, Maryland was recently having an identity crisis. Essentially, Heavy Seas was carrying two brands – Clipper City, and Heavy Seas. Not to be confusing – they were both the same brewery, just different lines. The Heavy Seas line has been carried in Atlanta for a while, but the Clipper City beers didn’t make the trip. Actually, Clipper City beers didn’t make it far out of Maryland at all. I got to talk briefly about this dilemma with Founder/General Partner Hugh Sisson on a recent trip south. The Clipper City brand is popular, especially in it’s hometown of Baltimore. So is Heavy Seas. Solution? Move Clipper City beers over to the Heavy Seas side.
The rebranding is complete, and the first Clipper City turned Heavy Seas beer has arrived in town. Once known as MarzHon, you’ll get to know it as Marzen. MarzHon was a play on words as a local joke to the people of Baltimore. (Everyone is “Hon”.) Marzen arrives in Atlanta well decorated. It just won it’s 4 medal in 4 years at the Great American Beer Fest. That’s fairly unheard of. This beer is an easy drinking, nearly sessionable (under 5%, this is 5.2 – close enough) malty marzen, with notes of caramel, toasted malts, and bread.
Hops – Strisselspalt, Columbus (Bittering)
Malts – Pale Malt, Vienna Light, Crystal, Munich
Availability – Year round, 6 pks. Draft Offerings.
Special thanks to Kelly at Heavy Seas. Also Steve, brewer & Cask genius behind the awesome casks that hit the Atlanta scene. He is responsible for the tasty goodness, and I’m looking forward to more…