Locallectual Newsletter: An October Brew Ha Ha (October 17, 2010)
As if North Americans needed an excuse to enjoy a frothy cold one, October is the month-long celebration commemorating our German heritage (and their beer) known as Oktoberfest. Many craft brewers across the US and Canada use this celebration as a reason to brew seasonal ales that are odes to their German cousin called Märzen. These beers are full-bodied, rich and toasty in flavor, darker in color and with a medium to high alcohol content. Needless to say, these beers bring the party. Celebrate North American craft brewers with these finest of lagers.
Some of our picks from across the continent:
Pete's Brewing Co. of San Antonio, TX: Pete is known for his "Wicked" ales, but his Oktoberfest beer is a great lighter alternative to the heavier brews of the month. It's a smooth, malty-tasting beer that brings a bit of the flavor of Oktoberfest to everyday drinking.
Starr Hill Brewing Co. of Crozet, VA: "The Festie" is the heady company's fall-only tribute to great German lagers. Rich and malty, the name invokes Oktoberfest, while also paying homage to the end of the summer music festival season.
Surly Brewing Co. of Brooklyn Center, MN: The people of this northern state know a good, hearty beer, but this brewer decided to throw the rules of Oktoberfest ales to the wind with their Surlyfest brew. Their Fest-inspired beer is brewed with a German lager yeast strain, but is then hopped with a single variety, then dry hopped - not so traditionally German. A break from tradition but delicious and hearty, nonetheless.
Grand Teton Brewing Co. of Victor, ID: Although it may not be hard to believe, Oktoberfest beers go amazingly well with pizza and pastas, which aren't exactly German. Grand Teton's Fest BierMärzen Lager is no exception. The reddish Vienna malts in this brew provide a spicy sweetness and some caramel notes that perfectly complement carb heavy dishes - whether of the pasta variety or the pretzel kind.
These are just a taste of the numerous Oktoberfest-inspired beers from craft brewers. As the weather turns cooler, fill your belly with a hearty brew. Celebrate your local craft brewer and their crafts and buy local beer!