This past Sunday, I walked into Publix on a mission for tortilla chips to go with a quick guacamole that I whipped up while Nicole was brewing her batch of stout she’s going to bring to the Charlotte Octoberfest.
I nearly leapt for joy when, to my surprise, I saw a huge stack of Samuel Adams Octoberfest cases at the front of the beer isle. Sam Adams was the first Octoberfest I ever had, and it will always have a special place in my heart.
The release of Sam Adams Octoberfest is one of my favorite occasions of the year. It’s a sign that the brutal South Carolina summer is nearly over and that my favorite season, fall, is just around the corner. That means football, brats, leaves changing color, running during daylight hours, jeans, soups and lots of dark beer.
An Octoberfest, also known as a Marzen, is a style that was traditionally brewed in Germany in March (which is “Märzen” in German) and lagered in caves over the summer, then served at the beginning of fall.
The style is typically full-bodied, rich, malty, and toasty. It’s not usually hoppy or bitter and really highlights the malt character of the beer. It exudes flavor, yet has a moderate alcohol content, around 5-6%, so it can be consumed as a session beer. (i.e. in gigantic quantities at Octoberfest celebrations…)
I feel that the Octoberfest is Sam Adams’ best beer, even topping the ubiquitous Boston Lager. It is so incredibly smooth and creamy, with a rich bready toasty malt backbone. It also has a crisp hop finish and subtle hop aroma, which makes it more American than the traditional German varieties, and I feel this adds a perfect balance to the beer.
What can I say? I’m an American.