Summer beers then an autumn beer? I know I’m all over the place with reviews. I figured that since I was so late on their Summer Ale I should get a jump start on the fall seasonal. Sam Adams Octoberfest just happens to be that first fall beer review. Let’s start with a quick history lesson of where Oktoberfest (I decided the style should be spelled in German since it is although the Sam Adams version is officially Octoberfest) comes from. Oktoberfest beers are originally from Germany. Oktoberfest beers are actually Märzen style ales. Märzen is German for March. So basically Oktoberfest beers are March ales. Weird? Not really. Before there was refrigeration beers couldn’t be brewed during the summer because it was to hot for fermentation and bacterial infections would ruin beers. So Germans would brew a lot of beer in late spring and store it until late September when they would celebrate the great harvest and the coming of being able to brew again (late September is the true time for celebrating Oktoberfest).
The aroma has a sweet caramely nuttiness (sweet dark nutty). The color of the head is a light tan with the body a dark coppery amber. You can tell by looking at it that it’s sweet. It looks syrupy and thick in the glass (probably due to the 5 malts). The taste is lightly hopped, malty with a hint of nuts. I thought it might be hazelnut-y at first, but after checking with the hazelnut syrup I put in my coffee I was way off. Maybe pecan or walnut? It reminds me a little of a chocolateless turtle candy so I could be right. This to me makes it clean and easy to drink. I found it to be a little warming (almost like sitting near a fire on a cool night). The mouthfeel is a light creamy feel (there is some carbonation but it’s mostly smooth).
Since they’re German, they naturally go well with German food. The sweetness complements the sour of kraut and the… mustardiness? of mustard. Have one with a big salted pretzel and mustard, or a brat, or if you’re really adventurous Sauerbraten. Mmmm.
Some other Oktoberfest beers available are:
Bob’s ’47 – Boulevard Brewing Co.
Dogtoberfest Marzen – Flying Dog Brewery
Oktoberfest – Little Apple Brewing Co.
Hoss – Great Divide Brewing Co. (this is a rye marzen)
These are just a few as when fall rolls around breweries usually make one of two types of fall ales, Pumpkin ale or Octoberfest. These are seasonal ales (I think Hoss can be found all year though) so you might check your local brewpub before randomly showing up.