Here in these final quiet days, before the Great American Beer Festival comes to dominate all beer-related news and conversation, the Crew is left to contemplate many things. First among them, once again, is how the heck did I drop the ball and not have a story for back-to-back days? The answer is, once again, I have no idea, it just happened.
So, after spending the better part of Monday afternoon avoiding most of social media (you know why) and attempting to find a beer-related story, I was still left stuck without any ideas. Needing inspiration, I went to the fridge, grabbed a Santa Fe Oktoberfest and … voila! Over the last few weeks I have been trying to drink at least one of every local brewery’s Oktoberfest beer. I still have not succeeded; at this point, Rio Bravo, Flix Brewhouse, and possibly others I don’t even know about are still missing from my Untappd check-ins.
Still, I feel like I have sampled enough of them to almost-kinda-sorta pick my favorite(s). It feels as though breweries took two tactics this year. The majority tried to take the most popular mass-produced marzen, namely Samuel Adams, and improve upon that light (in mouthfeel) but sweet version. A few other breweries went with more of a chewier, less sweet version, more in the actual tradition of the original Bavarian breweries.
My favorite of the latter was La Cumbre’s offering, which is still on tap and available in four-pack cans. Honorable mention goes to Bow & Arrow’s Wolf Eyes and The 377’s Oktoberfest. If you want something a little more bready, any of these will do.
If your preference is more on the sweeter side, things frankly ended up a toss-up for me between the offerings at Canteen, Quarter Celtic, and Bosque. I am not the viking poet that Franz Solo is, so I will spare you any attempts to break down the beers flavor by flavor, difference by difference.
Mainly, I am just happy that (almost) every brewery has produced an Oktoberfest for this year. Just a few autumns back, everyone was too busy with pumpkin beers to even bother with a marzen. A hearty prost to all the brewers this time around!
Of course, my opinion is just that, mine. Everyone’s palates are different, so which of the Oktoberfests is your favorite for 2017? Pick one below, then leave a comment, should you so desire, as to why it’s your pick.
Let’s have some fun with this one. Make sure to get out there and try all of these (not on the same day) before they’re gone!
Cheers, er, Prost!