Octoberfest is made with American malts along with additions of Saaz and Hallertauer hops from Europe, and takes about six weeks to brew.
The 175th celebration of Oktoberfest in Munich is well under way. The annual 16-day event opened this year on September 20 and runs through October 5, this being the traditional closing date of the first Sunday of October. The festival began as a wedding party for Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen on October 17, 1810. Today, it just might be the world's most renowned beer festival -- particularly when one considers the brew made for the occasion has emerged into a distinctive and industry-accepted style.
Aside from the excitement of travel or being able to claim you hoisted a beer in Munich, there is no shortage of great Oktoberfest beers here in Wisconsin to celebrate. The from Central Waters Brewing Company.
Style: This is a traditional Oktoberfestbier, or Märzen style of lager. Historically, this lager was brewed in the spring (often March) and stored over summer to be served come autumn. The more traditional Märzen/Oktoberfestbiers are medium-bodied and range in color from golden to copper. A malty sweetness dominates with a hoppiness that is low yet evident. The Oktoberfest beers made famous by contemporary festivals in Munich and around Germany are very similar yet tend to be more golden in color, with cleaner flavors and more balance between the malt and hops.
Background: This is the only lager brewed by Central Waters. "We occasionally get a little bored brewing Mud Puppy Porter (one of Central Water's most popular beers) everyday and this beer reflects our love of a good seasonal beer," says brewery co-owner Paul Graham. Its Octoberfest is made with American malts along with additions of Saaz and Hallertauer hops from Europe, and takes about six weeks to brew. The first cases arrived in Madison about a week ago and the beer should be available through October.
Fans of Central Waters Brewing know the brewery moved from Junction City and opened its protection facilities in Amherst in 2007. Recently construction began on an additional 5,000 square feet of space to make room for a major expansion in the brewhaus and improvements in the bottling and packaging. That expansion will double the size of the Central Water Brewery in Amherst when it's completed in early 2009.
- Aroma: Malty.
- Appearance: A deep copper to bronze color with a thick, soft tan head.
- Texture: Medium bodied and bubbly.
- Taste: Robust caramel maltiness.
- Finish/Aftertaste: Malty with a light, yet firm, hoppiness.
Glassware: A glass stein will show off this beer's brilliant bronze color and big thick soft tan head.
Pairs well with: The Märzen will stand up nicely with a grilled steak or burgers. Its sweetness also makes for a great pairing with lamb and venison. For vegetarians try grilled veggies or a baked potato with all the toppings.
Rating: Three Bottle Openers (out of four).
The Consensus: B+ (very good) from Beer Advocate and a 53 from