Oktoberfest, the latest from Milwaukee’s Sprecher Brewery, pours with a dark brown to mahogany coloration. The beer has a small amount of off-white to tan head that is fairly persistent. Oktoberfest’s nose yields hints of sugar and toffee while the first sip of the beer has good amounts of grain and malt present themselves to imbibers. Dark fruits (figs, prunes) are prevalent while the toasted character of the beer provides a good amount of warmth. There is a small amount of bitterness that is great in refreshing one’s palette and allowing the beer showcase greater depth.
As the Oktoberfest begins to approach room temperature, the malt and molasses notes come into focus. These subtle nuances ensure that one can come back to additional servings of this Oktoberfest; Sprecher has avoided the tendency of the marzen / Oktoberfest style to rut itself with the same array of tastes from beginning to end. I personally appreciated the retreating of the sharper malt and bitter sides from the later pulls from the beer, as it allowed for some of the lighter elements to be highlighted. Bits of spice, raisin, and cherries should be enough to allow one to finish their glass with as much desire as they began it.
Sprecher’s Oktoberfest would be paired well with barbecue, pork, duck, or European cuisine (let us not forget the Bacchanalian revelry of the holiday). The beer is a seasonal offering from the brewery and should be available through autumn and through to the end of the year. The Sprecher website is a great source of information about brewery tours, year-round and seasonal offerings, and the brewery’s non-alcoholic efforts.