Ah, it’s that time of the year. The leaves will be changing and the temperatures dropping. Along with that comes the Marzen season. Or as they call it here, Oktoberfest beer season. A time to life that sweet marzenbier to your lips and take a big drink.
The Oktoberfest style seems to have gained in popularity over the last couple of years as more craft brewers get in the game. That benefits us, the beer drinker. But be careful with what you drink. Just because it is a marzen, doesn’t mean it is that good.
For example, the first Oktoberfest I had this year was from Leinenkugel’s. Yeah, they are the little brother of Miller but they do make some good beers once in a while. Sadly, this year’s Oktberfest wasn’t one of them. Last year it was pretty good. This year, it fell flat. It lacked body. It lacked flavor. It just lacked anything.
I had that one a couple weeks back. It just about put me off of wanting any Oktoberfest beers this year. That would be tough because I like my marzenbier. Hell, I like saying marzenbier. Thus it wouldn’t take long before I’d get back on the horse and sample another.
A week and a half later I was driving out to camping and stopped in at Tyranena to partake in their Oktoberfest, Gemutlichkeit. Damn that was good. But I already talked about that excusion here.
That happened when I came across a list from my Twitter feed. I clicked on through and saw a list of 9 great Oktoberfest beers. The one that jumped out at me was the New Glarus Staghorn. I had some last year and didn’t recall how it was. So after spending a half day working in a warehouse as a volunteer, I decided that I deserved a reward and stopped into Bert’s to see if I could grab a six pack of the Staghorn there. Sweet baby Jebus they had one left!
I could help but notice they had some others I wanted. Breckenridge’s Autumn Ale, Hinterland Oktoberfest, and Summit’s version as well. Sadly, they didn’t have Lakefront, the other I had been looking for.
When I got home and popped the cap off the Staghorn bottle, I was feeling a bit giddy. It poured a nice copper color, with a sweet malty aroma. Mmmmm. Better yet, it tasted even better. I would drink 5 of those last night. Each one tasted better than the previous. This is a definite winner.
But as I drank them down, I thought of the other beers on the list. Yes, that list I did not link because I couldn’t find it again. But I can tell you that the brewers above were on it. As well as Bells and Great Lakes. After a little searching, I see some bars by me have these beers available.
My mission for the next couple of weeks is to focus on drinking Oktoberfest beers until they are gone. I want to drink as many different ones as I can. I won’t turn my back on other beers during this mission, but will grab a marzen if it is one I haven’t had yet, or one that was really good.
I’ll try to keep them updated as I go. I suggest you do the same. All I know is that the New Glarus Staghorn has set the bar pretty high. It will be tough for any to beat it. Even some of the authentic German brewers like Hacker Pschorr and Hofbrau.