Sorry if this seems rushed, but I’m trying to do this from my cell.
Oktoberfests from Germany have been getting lighter in color, body, and flavor over the last few years, and this one looks to be no exception. Slightly muddy straw yellow body with a thin white head.
Smells sweet, grassy, very low-hopped. Almost a little adjuncty. Taste is much cleaner, though, dry with a nice grainy quality. Body is smooth and clean. I want a bit more spicy hop in my pale lagers, but this might do in a pinch.
For an Oktoberfest, though, I’d take Great Lakes or Left Hand in a heartbeat. Or Hacker-Pschorr, although given the direction of German Oktoberfest lately that might not be the best choice down the line.
Time for another episode! I’m always excited on New Podcast Day. Ryan is back, so we’re back to our usual crew this time.
0:00 to 18:00 What We’ve Been Drinking. Ryan’s drinking a session IPA (around 5.2%) and just got back from Germany, so he’s had tons of hefeweizen, schwartzbier, and a bit of Berliner Weisse. Lots of Weihenstephaner. I’m drinking a Bell’s Two Hearted, which is a major shock to those who know me. I’ve been trying to drink beers that are not among my favorites lately, but in this episode I’m back to those favorites in a big way, as later I open up a Short’s Huma-Lupa-Licious. I mention that I would have Samuel Adams Tasman Red posted by the time this podcast went up, but I had issues with the video files and will have to re-shoot in order to upload it.
18:00 to 29:45 In our very first episode we talked about Sierra Nevada adding a second facility in Asheville, NC, and now New Belgium has picked Asheville as their location for a new facility. Since Lagunitas announced that they’re putting in a facility in Chicago, this seems to be a very real trend among the mid-sized and large-scale microbrewery market. Will the larger breweries “drown out” their smaller, more local competitors? Will there be ingredient shortages in things like malt and hops? I also mention the Beersmith Podcast 32, where Brad Smith talks about developing hop varieties.
29:45 to 33:30 We took a little break, and when we come back Ryan is cracking his last bottle of Three Floyds’ Zombie Dust. Ryan also teases us because he’s going to the Cask Ale Festival in San Diego where he’ll get to have Zombie Dust on cask. Bastard.
33:30 to 45:30 Session Beer Day! Lew Bryson founded it, and noted beer internet curmudgeonDing has some issues with it. Namely, that session beer can never be more than 4.0% ABV, despite the general American standard of 4.0%. Is a half a percent really worth this much argument? Ryan has a proposal for those Englishpersons who attack those of us who refer to beers above 4.0% as “session,” by saying that he’d like to take the term “IPA” from the Brits — if you’re not making a six or seven percent beer with huge hops, you’re not making an IPA.
45:30 to 60:01 Beer Regionality. Where you’re consuming the beer you’re consuming matters, at least in terms of what your palate is used to and what you’re most likely to enjoy. German beers, English beers, Czech beers, and various regions of the US are mentioned. Also, a shout-out to the guys at Craft Beer Radio. I think that’s three different podcasts I name-checked in this one episode; do I win a prize?
Pours clear, slightly brown-orange, with a thick white creamy head that dissipates about halfway pretty quickly but leaves amazing lacing. Aroma is sweet, with a grainy kind of quality. Not in that cheap macro sense, but like a really nice multi-grain bread. The term “liquid bread” was invented for these kinds of beers.
Flavor is much the same, very grainy and bready with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Goes down smooth and very easily. The sweetness is balanced nicely by the roasty bitterness on the back of the tongue. This is one of those Oktoberfests that I tried for the first time three or four years ago and didn’t really care for, but every year I appreciate it more.
Beyond the Pour grade: A
By the way, I know I’ve been using these text reviews for a lot of Oktoberfests, but I really don’t want to bother shooting videos of beers that are really very similar, but I still want to do some kind of review process for these. Once this season is done I’ll be varying my text reviews here a lot more.