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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tuesday Tasting: Roll Out the Barrels of Oktoberfest Beer

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we sample some of the Oktoberfest beers currently on the market.

Oktoberfest or Marzen-style is closely related to the Vienna lager style. These brews have plenty of flavor and match well with the foods of Central Europe. If you enjoy malty beers or just need a break from the hop monsters that many brewers now produce, Oktoberfest beers come at just the right time of year.

While you can get a number of German classics at most good beer stores, I have increasingly found that domestic craft brewers are doing a superior job with the Marzen style. Here are six beers that I recently tasted and found to be quite pleasing.

Saranac Octoberfest Lager: Firm head with a slightly cloudy amber color. The brewer uses two row and Crystal malt, along with Saaz and Tettang hops. This has a nice round flavor, with a hint of roasted sweet malt in the finish.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest: Light amber color and a small, but constant head of foam. The brew features five types of malt, which are balanced by a good amount of hops. Smooth and drinkable.

Brooklyn Oktoberfest: Thick, rocky head. Dark amber color. Malty notes at the start, roasty touches and a nice hop note in the finish. A very well built beer and a classic example of the best of this style.

Mash House Restaurant & Brewery Oktoberfest: This North Carolina beer is a hazy orange color with clear malty notes and a hint of roasted grain.

New South Oktoberfest: A reddish brown lager with mellow flavor notes. Good malt and hop balance.

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest: Nice mahogany color with a malty nose. The beer is made with 100 percent imported German hops and malt. Nicely balanced, with a good solid malt base.

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