Friday, September 24, 2010

Beer of the Week (Vol. LXXI)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the willkommen volk at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits vho have vays of helping you enjoy the best of vhiskey, vine, and beer. Today Germany, tomorrow the world!

Because I was otherwise disposed last week, I was unable to complete my appointed rounds and so there was no Beer of the Week. To make up for this inexcusable interruption of service, this week we will feature two beers.

Oktoberfest 2010 officially kicked off last Saturday with the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer in Munich. This year will be special as it is the 200th anniversary of the world famous festival :

The original "Oktoberfest" occurred in Munich, on October 12, 1810. For the public commemoration of their marriage that took place five days before, Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (namesake of the Theresienwiese festival grounds) organized a great horse race. The event was so successful that it was decided to renew it in 1811.

There are six Bavarian breweries which provide the fuel for the Oktoberfest fires:

- Augustiner

- Paulaner

- Spaten-Franziskaner

- Löwenbräu

- Hacker-Pschorr

- Hofbräu

Two of these Munich breweries and their Oktoberfest offerings are the beers of the week.

We begin with Spaten Brewery's Oktoberfest.

Green bottle. Label has darker blue border framing lighter blue background and features Oktoberfest horses and wagon full of beer and the distinctive Spaten logo.

Beer Style: Oktoberfest Marzen

Alcohol by Volume: 5.9%

COLOR (0-2): Clear and copper brown. 2

AROMA (0-2): Mostly malty with a touch of hops. 2

HEAD (0-2): Off-white color with good lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Caramel malt flavors with some spicy hops. Not as malty sweet as other Oktoberfests there are aspects of the taste that remind me of Beck's. Light-bodied and very drinkable. 2

AFTERTASTE (0-2): The follow through has a metallic quality. 1

OVERALL (0-6): An easy beer to drink, but a tough one to get much flavor out of. Pretty underwhelming for an Oktoberfest compared to other similar offerings that are available. The aftertaste isn't strong, but the metallic taste is slightly off-putting. Given the choice between this and other Oktoberfest options, the choice is clear. 2

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 11

We continue with Paulaner's offering.

Brown bottle. Tan label with Paulaner logo and depiction of legions of strong Wiesn waitresses marching abreast carrying huge tankards of beer.

Beer Style: Oktoberfest Marzen

Alcohol by Volume: 5.8%

COLOR (0-2): Clear and brown. 2

AROMA (0-2): Bready and malty. 1

HEAD (0-2): Off-white, good volume and decent lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Mostly caramel malt flavor with a small dose of floral hops. Not overly sweet and nicely rounded. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish. Light-to-medium bodied and drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): The more subtle maltiness lingers nicely. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Lives up to its reputation as one of the standard bearers of the Oktoberfest style. It won't knock your lederhosen off, but it's a great choice for a crisp fall day in Munich or in Minneapolis. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14

If you can't make it to Munich this year, but still need your Oktoberfest fix you should consider hitting St. Therese's Oktoberfest! this Saturday from 3pm-11pm in Deephaven, Minnesota. The scale will be much smaller of course, but there will still be plenty of food, beer, and music (polka and Boogie Wonderland). The owner/operator of Glen Lake Wine and Spirits and his lovely frau will be working the beer tent for a while and then working over the dance floor the rest of the night. Stop by and say hi.