It’s early for some of you to start celebrating the 2016 Oktoberfest season, but like it or not, we’re diving in. For the sake of all our sanity, I’ll refrain from starting to write about the pumpkin beers quite yet, but I wanted to give you guys a rundown of what Oktoberfest beers we know we’re going to be seeing this year, as well as some of the beers that I expect we’re going to see.
What this means is that I’m making an assumption on a few of these, based on what was released last year. I could be wrong, and if I am I’ll run back here and erase all traces of my mistakes, so you’ve been fairly warned.
Let’s go alphabetical with these…that way nobody gets their feelings hurt.
- Turn For The Wurst – The style of “Sausage Spiced Oktoberfest” might not seem like something that you’d seek out, but this has quickly become a must have for me every year. The spices don’t make your beer taste like sausage neccisarily, they just give it that spiced kick that screams of fall weather. If you’ve yet to give this one a try, there is no better time than this fall. It’s only available on draft, so you’ll have to hunt it down around town, or belly up the the bar in the Blank Slate taproom.
- Oktober Fuel – this was a massive hit last year, and sold out as quickly as it could be tapped around town. This year, after a few exhausting brew days they have made more of it, and are sending it out their doors in the first canning of their seasonal line. So…if you’re looking for a dead on style example of an Oktoberfest Lager, you can pick up a six pack of this beauty and rest easy. This should be available in stores already, and available on draft by the end of August. (Read My Tasting Notes)
- Fifth And Vine – Moerlein has been putting this one out for a while in bottles, and it’s been a great go-to for the fall season in my house for just as long. It shouldn’t be hard to find around town in both the bottles and on draft. (Read My Tasting Notes)
- Das Uber Lager – They’re calling this beer a wiesn-lager, which I can’t say I’ve tried before. A golden lager with a nice dose of wheat to build what should be a solid backbone for easy drinking in both the heat of the day, and on the cool evenings that are quickly approaching us. This one will see cans this year, for maximum portability. (Read My Tasting Notes)
- Hosen – This one might upset some of the purists out there, after all… Oktoberfest beers are usually made as lagers, and this one is an ale. However, if that sort of thing upsets you, it’s best you turn back now, because we aren’t done with beers like that – not to mention.. this is freaking delicious. As for Hosen, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled, the way things work at DogBerry, if they tap something, you never really know how long you’re going to see it last, and you’re not ever really sure when/if you’ll see it again. So follow them on social media and keep an eye on those tap listings!
- Blaketoberfest – Malt forward, using 100% German ingredients, this one is a purist’s delight. Lot’s of sweet, nutty flavors with a slight spice from the hops – this one is pretty much a “must drink” for me every year since I first tried it. Again, you’ve got to keep your eye on social media, this one doesn’t get to see any packaging, so you’ll have to catch it on draft around town – though it’s a little easier to find that some of the smaller breweries might be.
- Oktoberfest – This seasonal is one of the classics here in Cincinnati… keeping local revelers happy since well before the craft beer boom made it easy to find a locally produced Oktoberfest. The advantage of this, is that you can visit the Hofbrauhaus and get the Oktoberfest feeling every weekend, with celebration being what makes this place tick. The bad side? This beer is only on tap for the month of September.
- Newport “Festbier” Marzen – It’s ok though… the brewpub keeps us Oktoberfest fans happy with their October seasonal too! It’s similar to the Oktoberfest, but a little lighter and easier drinking (though still full flavored).
- Oktoberfest – If I can only recommend one thing about this beer it isn’t that you should drink it – it’s when and where you need to get a big mug of it – The Listermann Oktoberfest celebration. If you haven’t been to a Listermann festival yet, it’s as good of an excuse as any, a massive tent full of every local brewery possible, pouring a bigger selection of Cincinnati beer than you’ll find anywhere else! And Listermann’s Oktoberfest? Malty, Sweet, dead on to what you want to be drinking in October!
- Marzens Attack! – Though they don’t package this one, you can find it around town on tap throughout the season. Order yourself up a pizza from Catch A Fire Pizza, and a few glasses of Marzen’s Attack, and you’ll possibly discover the secret to Oktoberfest Joy.
Taft’s Ale House
- MassKrug – I only had the chance to try a little sample of this last season, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some this year. Break out the liederhosen, this is another dead on example of what a German Oktoberfest should be (if you’re a stickler for those types of things).
- Franz – Much like DogBerry’s version of Oktoberfest, this one gets some people all upset. Me? I like the take on Oktoberfest that doesn’t always have to follow the “rules”. This is an ale that pulls in some traditional German ingredients like Vienna and Munich Malts, as well as some great noble hops. It’s currently available all around town in canned format, so get out there and get you some! (Read my tasting notes)
- Oktoberfest – This one is another more traditional take on the German Oktoberfests that this city loves so very much. Although Wiedemann doesn’t have a brewery operating locally quite yet, they are contract brewing some of their beers here in town. As for their Oktoberfest… Until I see it on shelves this year I can’t say for sure where it’s going to be brewed. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a fair shake – sometimes it’s ok to drink “non-locally”-ish. Even better, though is that we might finally get to see a Wiedemann Taproom by the time this rolls out next year! (Read My Tasting Notes)
Did I miss anything? I’m pretty awesome, but I’m not perfect. Sometimes I miss stuff – so if there is a local Oktoberfest beer that isn’t included here – Let me know!