This past weekend I hit the Ohio Craft Brew Fest hosted at the North Market. Much like last year, the vendors were pouring heavy enough that I wasn’t able to finish all of my tickets in one evening. It makes for a natural break in posts. More of the vendors were from in town this year but there were still plenty of new beers for me to try. Considering it’s the time of the year for Oktoberfest, it was a key player on my Friday evening visit.
Weasel Boy Brewing Co. – Das Frettchen Oktoberfest – Since Weasel Boy is out of Zanesville, I wanted to try more of their offerings since they don’t have too many taps in town. As already noted, I went seasonal right off the bat. It helps that Oktoberfest beers have a tendency to be heavy on malt. This one was no exception but they do use some hops in it to not make this beer all sweetness. At IBU 17, the hops do just that. They don’t list the ABV so I can’t supply that information. Most Oktoberfest beers aren’t over the top though. If you want to follow them on Twitter, they’re at @WezlBoyBrewing.
Mount Carmel Brewing Co. – Harvest Ale – Next up to bat was a brewery in Cincinnati which has been common in my reviews. They didn’t go straight Oktoberfest which is an interesting move. It’s an Extra Special Bitter (ESB) which is normally an English variety of beer. Considering the German mad Cincy area, it’s surprising to go to this style. This beer is more bitter than normal at 55.6. Normal is around 40. They have a decent amount of malt in there like a traditional Oktoberfest beer so it doesn’t come across overly bitter. It has an ABV of 5.8%. Not too high, definitely not sessionable though. This was a good beer that is in season, which normally doesn’t happen on these review. If you want to follow them on Twitter, they’re at @MtCarmelBrewing.
Lager Heads Brewing Co. – Oktoberfest – This company is out of Medina OH so I continued to make my way around the state without hitting Columbus. I may have been skipping around for breweries but I wasn’t for beer. This one was Oktoberfest #2 for the night. I liked it a bit more than Weasel Boy as it was slightly less bitter while still maintaining a good maltiness that didn’t get too sweet. They don’t have any numbers on their site so I can’t compare them to what my taste buds thought. For those in northern Ohio, feel free to snag some wings and grab a six pack when you go to their Smokehouse.
Homestead Beer Co. – Octoberfest – I finally hit a brewer that I deem Columbus even though they are out of nearby Heath OH. They cold condition the beer for 6 weeks similar to a traditional lagering process. They go malt heavy just like I enjoy and put in just enough hops at 28 IBU to cut back on the sweetness while not making the hops too noticeable. At 5.2% ABV, this one is certainly a sessionable beer and this guy isn’t going to argue. Prost!
Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. – Zeppelin – I was surprised that Moerlein didn’t have an Oktoberfest beer since they are the kings of Cincy craft breweries. Everything else they had on tap, I had tried previously so I decided to give Zeppelin a whirl. It is a German style pale ale which makes it different from most. They went all German with Noble hops and Pilsner & Muncih malts. They dry hop so that you can smell the hops more. Moerlein nails the IBU at 40 which is perfect for a pale ale. This tasty beverage comes in at 5.0% so it is sessionable too. It was my favorite of the night.
Rhinegeist Brewery – Franz Oktoberfest – Rhinegeist has made a few appearances on the site. They were the third Cincy brewery and fourth Oktoberfest beer to get hit on the evening. I may have been Oktoberfested out at this point or their Oktoberfest beer just isn’t that good. I felt like it was too hoppy. The malt component was definitely there but the hops came in during the after taste so you forget about it as you’re drinking. They don’t have an IBU so I’ve got nothing to back up my taste buds. I do know that it clocks in at 5.2% ABV. They did win the contest for best looking poster of the night.