Oktober FuelLast fall, when Braxton Brewing Company released their seasonal Oktoberfest, called Oktober Fuel, I mentioned to you guys how much I loved Oktoberfest season.  I also mentioned how excited I get to see these beers popping up on tap lines across our fine city.

Do you know what makes me even more excited than seeing them flowing from local taps, though?  Seeing a stocked Oktoberfest beer fridge makes me giggle like an idiot.

I think you know where I’m going with this, right?  Oktober Fuel… in cans.  My god, this is the stuff that when I hear about it I get so freaking excited to share it with people.  It also means a new step for Braxton. This is the first time we’ve seen them put one of their seasonals into packaging. Could this be a move that is a hint at what’s to come from them in the future?

This is a beer designed for celebrations, more specifically for celebrating Cincinnati-Style.  Let’s take a look at what the brewery says about it:

“Fall means football, tailgating, festivals, crisp air, and cool evenings. It also means good beer. Germany’s Oktoberfest begins in September and ends in early October. The tradition of gathering with friends, family, and your community over a stein of traditional German beer dates back centuries. More recently, you could find us gathering with those people in our garage over a homebrew, watching a game, or tailgating. Now, we’re excited to continue this tradition with our new Braxton community. We’ve brewed Oktober Fuel — a traditional Oktoberfest Lager — for you, our community. It’s fuel for fall.”

Oktober Fuel LabelI think it’s easy to understand what Oktoberfest beers mean for drinkers in Cincinnati and beyond.  They immediately remind me of the coming fall.  They spark the excitement of a fast approaching football season, of those warm days and cool nights sitting around a backyard campfire.  Laughing with friends and family while drinking beer that is both an homage to traditional German roots in a city and to the growing and evolving craft beer scene.

But getting it in cans takes it to another level.  It makes it easier to take tailgating at those football games, more portable for the nights around a campfire.  It brings the tradition of a well crafted, complex lager into the modern world of craft beer.

Oktober FuelAbout Oktober Fuel

Braxton’s Oktoberfest is solid example of what this style can actually be.  It clocks in at a hearty and respectable 5.8% ABV, that while being easy drinking, still packs a bit of a backbone.  The alcohol balances out the sweet malty body that is loaded with breads, biscuity and toasty flavors.  The taste finishes off with a really great mild spicy hop character that leaves you thirsty for another sip.

It uses decoction mashing, and an extended lagering phase in it’s life that makes this harder to brew. This beer takes a bit longer than some of the styles that have become more popular in today’s craft beer marketplace.  It deserves our respect.  It deserves some of our appreciation!

Oktober Fuel was also (to me… mind you, this isn’t scientific) that point that people knew what Braxton was all about. They don’t always have to jump on the bandwagon and brew whatever style is trending, or been deemed “The Next IPA” or what have you.  Braxton knows the beers that build a foundation to a solid portfolio, and Oktober Fuel really started getting people to talk about what that portfolio could mean for lagers in Cincinnati.  If you’ve got the talent in your brewhouse that you can find down there in Covington, why not make something as unique as this beer?  You almost have a duty to beer drinkers to do it.


Before I even tell you that you’re going to start seeing these cans on shelves in early August (The 2nd), I’m going to start preparing for all the groans.  Fall beers come early.  We deal with this every single year, and eventually you’re just going to have to get used to it.  That being said- Oktoberfest beers specifically, are one of the few seasonal beers that I don’t mind seeing early.  I can drink a cold Oktoberfest beer in 90 degree summer sun just as easy as I can on a chilly fall evening.

So deal with it.

All that put aside, though… you aren’t going to find this on tap until late August where they’ll be throwing a full fledged Oktober Fuel tapping party in their garage taproom.  Go ahead and mark your calendar for that event, now.  They’ll have a German band, stein hoisting competition, traditional German food from Wunderbar – and of course Oktober Fuel all night long!  So, though you’ll be able to find this beauty early if you want it (I do, I do!) It’s going to be a slow roll out.  It’s hard to tow that line with a season like the fall… but they seem to have a good idea how.

As for me… There will certainly be a couple rows dedicated to the style very soon…

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