Since we’re finally out of October, it’s time to review the Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers. I feel like I had more than Oktoberfest beers but this is the entire list. Mind you, I have plenty of beers drank on my Instagram (@difrango11) but these four are the only ones that are on my list. I’m bummed that I didn’t snag more pumpkin beers because I do love pumpkin.
Gordon Biersch – Festbier – Because my lady & I have half season tickets to the Columbus Bluejackets, we go out to eat before most games because the beer and food inside are expensive and terrible. For the season opener, we decided to stop in at Gordon Biersch to satisfy our thirst and hunger. I take advantage of their seasonal beers when I go there and this visit was no different. I had their Festbier which is lighter than your normal Marzen beer associated with Oktoberfest. It is malty like those beers but doesn’t have the red hue. There is just enough hops in it to make it have a little bitterness. They only serve it from August to October so you can’t get it now. I feel like I recommend a lot of beers but this one was just okay. I say go with the real traditional Oktoberfest when you hit Gordon Biersch and grab a Marzen, which they have on tap year round.
Great Lakes Brewing Company – Nosferatu – This beer certainly has the best name of the lot. It also has a different flavor profile than most beers around this time of the year. It is an Imperial Red Ale so it keeps the red hue that most Marzen beers have but it has much more hops in it than those same beers. The hops aren’t as potent as that in an IPA but it’s still there. This beer is easier to find than the other ones since Great Lakes is getting to be a medium sized brewery so take a peek here and find out if it’s in your area.
I had an interesting conversation this past week with Geoff Towne, the brew master Zauber Brewing here in Columbus, who worked for Great Lakes. While trying about their Portergeist, we were talked about how porters and stouts aren’t as popular as most other types of beer. I would have gotten a growler of Portergeist but it was for a Halloween party that my lady and I threw so I shied away from it. He told me that his favorite beer of theirs was the Edmund Fitzgerald which is a porter. I mentioned that my favorite beer was Eliot Ness, which has won 9 Gold Medals at the World Beer Championships, and his response was that he felt it was too malty for a Vienna style beer. Towne also told me that he had to do so much tasting, that he was tired of drinking them.
Christian Moerlein – Fifth & Vine Oktoberfest – I learned of this company when I went to Bockfest back in March, which is when they start lagering the Marzen or Oktoberfest beers. Though they are based in Cincinnati, they have just started to distribute their beers here in Columbus. When I saw this at my favorite store, I had to give it a try. It was worth the purchase. It has a nice coppery tone which is perfect for this style of beer. This beer also had a solid malt taste to it with just enough sweetness at the end of your sip. When this time rolls around next year, keep your eyes peeled for it.
Weyerbacher – Imperial Pumpkin Ale – This beer won a Bronze Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the “Field Beer” category. I can certainly understand why it won. It is heavy on the common spices that come along with pumpkin, namely cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves. The pumpkin flavor comes through even with the spicing. Considering it’s the only pumpkin beer I had this year, it was a wise choice especially since it’s an 8.0% beer. This beer from Easton, PA made it from the east side of the neighboring state so you may be able to find it in your neck of the woods. Unfortunately they don’t provide a distribution map but the good news is that it is distributed through the end of November so go out and look for this one.
Time to gear up for the Christmas beer season. Remember to enjoy your #SippyTimeBeer responsibly. – Kevin