With each new season comes a new brew to celebrate, and around this time of year, beer lovers tend to shift their focus away from the light, crisp summer lagers to the darker, heavier ales of winter. Somewhere right in the middle of the spectrum (in taste, color and seasonality) are the Oktoberfest-style beers. These brews are typically sweet and malty, with a barely-detectable balanced hop flavor, and golden to amber in color.
For craft brewers, fall can be a really fun time as they try their hands at re-creating throwbacks to traditional Oktoberfest-style beers, or creating their own new styles of fall seasonals. Two of my new (and more traditional) favorites are Backstreet Brewery’s Märzen, and Karl Strauss’ Oktoberfest. Again, these are both seasonal, with Strauss’ only available for the months of September and October, and Backstreet’s only offered until the current batch is depleted.
Both brews are dark golden copper/amber in color, and true to the nature of Germany’s Oktoberfest beers, they are heavy on the caramel malt flavor, with a slight hop finish to balance out the sweetness. They are both deliciously drinkable, and pair well with spicy foods or, of course, German sausages, that complement their nutty flavor. Needless to say, both are great beers to celebrate the fall season with, and as fall wraps up, I look forward to next year’s Oktoberfest-style craft brew creations.