Friday, September 16, 2011

Beer of the Week (Vol. CXV)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the festive folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you roll out the barrel of fun with the perfect wine, whiskey, or beer for any occasion.

While it still technically may have a few days of life left, it’s become quite apparent that summer is now officially dead. At least in these parts. Its last gasp was likely on Monday when temperatures approached ninety degrees and air conditioners were humming. By Wednesday, the situation had changed enough to necessitate that furnaces be fired up for the first time in months. Yes, it’s clear that the fall season is now upon us.

And with the change in weather comes a change in the seasonal beers. The predominate beers of fall are varieties of Oktoberfest offerings. While I don’t mind quaffing an Oktoberfest or two on occasion (and wearing lederhosen and making plans to conquer the world), it’s not one of my favorite beer styles. So when fall rolls around I’m more inclined to go with beers such as Sierra Nevada’s Tumbler Brown Ale (tastes like fall) or Surly’s Fest (despite the name it’s definitely not your father’s Oktoberfest beer) or any Alt that I can get my grubby paws on.

However, I would be remiss to not acknowledge the importance that Oktoberfest has on the fall beer scene. And so this week’s beer will be a nod to all those Oktoberfest fans out there. Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Company is another well-regarded craft brewer whose offerings have recently become available at Glen Lake Wine and Spirits. Their Oktoberfest is our featured beer.

12oz brown bottle. Simple label design with black and white background that features a traditional Oktoberfest scene.

STYLE: Oktoberfest

Alcohol by Volume: 6.5%

COLOR (0-2): Light brown and mostly clear. 2

AROMA (0-2): Sweet malt. 2

HEAD (0-2): Off-white color, decent volume, laces the glass well. 2

TASTE (0-5): Again mostly sweet malt caramel flavors with some bread, a little spice and just a touch of bitter hops. Good carbonation. Smooth and slightly creamy mouthfeel, medium-bodied. Very drinkable and the heat is almost invisible. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Clean and crisp finish. 1

OVERALL (0-6): While I’m not a huge of Oktoberfest beers in general, I can understand their appeal and can appreciate when they’re brewed right. And Great Lakes Oktoberfest most definitely is. This is a well-put together beer that features clean flavors and good balance. Despite having a pretty decent ABV, it’s quite drinkable and refreshing. If all Oktoberfest bees tasted like this I might have to reconsider my interest in the style. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14