Beer 366/365 – Surly Surlyfest Lager

Surly Surlyfest Lager

Style: Oktoberfest

ABV: 6.0%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade

What makes this beer different: The fest Oktoberfest beer I have EVER tried.

Will I be drinking this again: Will be trading for some of this next year.

Grade: A

11/24/2010: My first beer back! I actually drank this a while back, but took a mini vacation from updating. I have about 6-7 beers to update, just need to get around to editing the pictures and getting everything up on the site. About the beer; this is classified as a Rye Beer on BA, but I am convinced that has to be a mistake. It HAS to be an Oktoberfest just check out the design on the can.

The nose is Pale malt dominant with some noble hop action. The flavor is just amazing as far as an Oktoberfest goes; some caramel, nuts, noble hops, and even a bit of citrus. The rye is there but I would not call this a rye beer. Interesting combo of flavors, but they work amazingly well. Mouthfeel is super creamy for a lager, medium body and super drinkable. I really wish Surly would distribute to PA. Maybe someday!

Picture of the day: A Genie does not let you wish for more wishes …butttttt.

Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 341/365 – Short’s Noble Chaos

Shorts Noble Chaos

Style: Oktoberfest

ABV: 5.5%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade

What makes this beer different: A bit bready/grainy for an oktoberfest

Will I be drinking this again: Would love to butttt as with all short’s brew I would have to trade for it.

Grade: B+

10/15/2010: Isn’t it kind of funny how Oktoberfest starts in September? Kind of drives me nuts too that most of the fall seasonal beers are sold out before fall really even rolls around. For instance tonight I am heading up to vintage estate and would love to stop up on more Oktoberfest/Pumpkin beer, but I’m sure all that’s left are the sub-par brews. Annoying.

The nose is bready, grainy, and toasty. The flavor is much of the same, a lot of toasted grain/doughy notes, a nice kick of spice and hops also. A lot of flavor going on for how light bodied this is. Carbonation is good as well. Overall one of the better Oktoberfest’s I have had lately!

Picture of the day: Do you live in a droid, iphone, or blackberry state?

Published in: on October 15, 2010 at 9:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 327/365 – Ayinger Oktobfer Fest-Marzen

Ayinger Oktobfer Fest Marzen

Style: Oktoberfest

ABV: 5.8%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman, OH

What makes this beer different: One of the most flavorful Oktoberfests I have had yet.

Will I be drinking this again: Next fall I plan on it!

Grade: A-

10/1/2010: Ayinger is one of the better known breweries from Germany. Their staple beer is Celebrator Dopplebock, which I just realized I have no yet reviewed. Gotta go into the cellar as grab one for the fridge!

Ayinger Oktoberfest just smells fresh, not sure how else to put it. Grainy, and a little bit of spice. The flavor is real nice, bready, some fruit (almost like apple?), and a little bit of spice. All the flavors are very pronounced but play very well with each other. Lots of flavor for how light the body is. Very crisp finish. This falls in my top 10% of Oktoberfest beers. If you get this near you, give it a shot.

Picture of the day: This girl is a devout catholic.

Published in: on October 1, 2010 at 9:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 322/365 – Great Divide Hoss

Great Divide Hoss

Style: Marzen

ABV: 6.2%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman, OH

What makes this beer different: A bit of earthy/pepper thing going on for the style.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes next fall I will pick up a 6 pack I’m sure.

Grade: A-

9/26/2010: I really don’t think that Great Divide makes a beer that I do not like, well not that I have tried thus far. I plan on breaking open their Barrel Aged Yeti very soon. I will probably dig into the cellar to try and knock off a bunch of top 100 beers from BeerAdvocate. Oh and sorry for the Steeler’s glass but I did drink this on a Sunday :).

The nose of Hoss is a bit hoppier than your typical Marzen/Oktoberfest. The flavor is an awesome three-way balance between sweet bready malt, earthy/pepper type kick (from the rye), and noble hops. Each sip seems to rotate between the three. The mouthfeel and carbonation are right in the middle, and it finishes on the dry end of the scale. Lots of flavor in this beer.

Picture of the day: If you do this in an email, I hate you.

Published in: on September 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 320/365 – Stegmaier Oktoberfest

Stegmaier Oktoberfest

Style: Oktoberfest

ABV: 5.70%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman, OH

What makes this beer different: A bit nuttier than your average okto-fest.

Will I be drinking this again: Probably! Better than I expectec

Grade: B

9/24/2010: Stegmaier brews out of the Lion Brewery in Wilkes Barre, PA. I have yet to try a full 12oz of their beer, but samples a good bit of them at The Big Tap In a few months back. From what I remember their stuff was okay, but nothing outstanding. At this point I’m grabbing everything and anything Oktoberfest/Pumpkin Ale so lets see what happens.

The nose has a lot of caramel, and even a bit of nuttiness. The flavor is caramel, bready, some light nut (pecan?), and even some kind of fruit that I can’t put my finger on. It almost tastes peachy to me. Mouthfeel a bit light, but it works here. Pretty unique for a style that is usually on the conservative end of the scale. Not bad!

Picture of the day: Tetris was one of my favorite games.

Published in: on September 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 318/365 – Sprecher Oktoberfest

Sprecher Oktoberfest

Style: Oktoberfest

ABV: 5.75%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Very well balanced and creamy.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, next fall I will pick up some more.

Grade: A-

9/22/2010: I just recently tried my first Sprecher beer via a recommendation from a reader, and I am really glad I did. Sprecher Black Bavarian might be my favorite schwarzbier to date, so I figured why not give one of their other beers a try as well? I also picked up their Russian Imperial Stout for the cellar.

The nose again, is very typical for an oktoberfest. I’m not sure if I just don’t have the best smelling power out there, but all these oktoberfest’s smell so similar to me. The flavor is extremely well balanced between sweet malt, and what seems to be noble hoppiness. The mouthfeel is very creamy for the style, a bit thicker than average. This was without question in the top 5 oktoberfest beers I have tried. I will be drinking this again next fall.

Picture of the day: Anyone else see it?

Published in: on September 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 317/365 – Sam Adams Octoberfest

Sam Adams Octoberfest

Style: Oktoberfest

ABV: 5.3%

Purchased at: On Tap@Cioppino – Pittsburgh, PA

What makes this beer different: My first ever octoberfest beer long ago, so I think my objectivity will be weak on this one.

Will I be drinking this again: Every fall!

Grade: B+

9/21/2010: Sam Adam’s Octoberfest was my first ever beer for this style. It may have actually been my first Sam Adams also. Had this on tap at my good friend Ray’s restaurant. The restaurant is across from an apartment complex where a lot of Pittsburgh athletes live. Well turns out Mike Comrie just so happened to be walking by with his wife Hilary Duff while I was drinking my Sam Adams. I usually don’t get that start-struck but I gotta say she was probably the most famous person I have ever seen in real life. Onto the beer…

The nose is pretty typical for an octo-fest, caramel and toasted malt dominant. The flavors also have the typical caramel/toast malt characteristics, but there are some floral hops there as well. I don’t really to know how to explain it but I feel like every Sam Adam’s beer has this clean/crisp type thing going on in all their beers. The flavors never seem to be too intrusive, but still strong enough to make it a tasty beer. Mouthfeel is medium body, and it goes down quite smooth.

Picture of the day: Probably not safe for work. Very akward facebook post.

Published in: on September 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 313/365 – Brooklyn Oktoberfest

Brooklyn Oktoberfest

Style: Oktoberfest

ABV: 5.5%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: On the sweeter end of the Oktoberfest scale, which is okay by me.

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe! It was pretty solid.

Grade: B+

9/17/2010: I was lucky enough to attend a beer dinner a few months back that as hosted by Garrett Oliver (brewmaster of Brooklyn). Extremely charismatic guy, and very approachable after the dinner. I had him sign my copy of The Brewmasters Table, which he obviously is the author of. Ever since this night Brooklyn found a customer for life as a result of the dinner. I love when business owners/heads are approachable and don’t act as it they are on another level.

Now that I am about a half dozen beers deep into the Oktoberfest style, I am starting to realize there are really not many nuances to the style… Its pretty straight forward. The nose is mostly toasted malt, and some earthy hops. Not very strong in the smell department though. The flavor is nice toasted, caramel malts, and a little bit of earthy hops. Again this is more on the sweet end which right up my alley. Mouthfeel is average as well as the carbonation. Not much sets this apart, but it is a solid easy drinker.

Picture of the day: Dear Yellow Pages… Stop wasting stuff.

Published in: on September 17, 2010 at 9:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 311/365 – Spaten Oktoberfest

Spaten Oktoberfest

Style: Oktoberfest / Marzen

ABV: 5.9%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Severely under-malted

Will I be drinking this again: No I will avoid this one.

Grade: C+

9/15/2010: Spaten is the brewery that I had my first German beer’s from, okay not FROM the brewery but you know what I mean. They make one of my favorite Hefe’s off all time; Franziskaner. They also make Optimator which is a really good dopplebock. I know nothing about the quality of their Oktoberfest but here goes!

The nose isn’t very powerful, a little bit of grain and almost musty to a point. The flavor does not really fit the style; slightly grainy, floral hops, almost pilsnerish in a way. Overall the flavor is just bland as can be. Mouthfeel is like, carbonation is okay. Spaten claims that they created the Oktoberfest style, and if thats the case its a bit of a shame because this beer was completely underwhelming.

Picture of the day: Anyone need a cocktail waitress?

Published in: on September 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 310/365 – Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Marzen

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Marzen

Style: Marzen / Oktoberfest

ABV: 5.3%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Not much, its just pretty average.

Will I be drinking this again: Probably not.

Grade: B

9/14/2010: Before doing my 365 I never trid any flying dog beer, but now that I have had a few I would probably have to put them in my top 10 favorite. Raging Bitch and Gonzo Imperial Porter are two of my favorite beers in their respective styles. I also love their artwork on their labels. So why not give Dogtoberfest a shot even though I know nothing about the beer.

The nose is grainy, and quite earthy. The flavor isn’t intrusive, but there just isn’t enough of it. Toasted malt, grainy, and a little hint of spice? Maybe from the hops? Hard to tell. Mouthfeel is actually very good, smooth and semi-full with nice carbonation. Not bad, but needs more flavor.

Picture of the day: Now excepting studants.

Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 8:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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