One of the first heralds of fall seems to be the arrival of Octoberfest seasonal beers! These lagers tend to have lots of warm malt flavors to help us transition into cooler weather and shorter days. This one from Great Lakes Brewing Company appeared in our local store just last week.
Beer Details: Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Available August through October. $7.99 for six 12-ounce bottles, 6.5% alcohol by volume.
Appearance: Copper-red color with a thin, lingering head. Light carbonation.
Aroma: Butterscotch and honey-floral
Taste: This Oktoberfest is sweet and malty, with a toasted caramel flavor to give it some depth. The hops are very subtle - we got the barest taste of them on the finish. Like the good lager it is, we thought this beer was very clean and smooth. The flavor didn't linger very long on the tongue, but left our palate feeling refreshed.
All in all, we thought this was a good, very drinkable beer. It's not as forward or bold as other Octoberfests we've had, but it's a safe bet if you're looking for a beer to take to a late-summer cook out or just to relax after work.
Food Pairings: We think this beer is actually best with food. On its own, the caramel maltiness tends to build up and start feeling sticky in the mouth. Food helps to balance this sweetness. This beer can definitely handle being paired with hearty foods, so try it with braised meat dishes, thick fall soups, and rich pastas.
Have you tried this beer yet? What do you think?
Related: How Cold Should Beer Be Served?
(Image: Emma Christensen)