Wednesday, October 21, 2009

113. Stegmaier Oktoberfest

“It has all the downsides of an Oktoberfest, with none of the upsides.”

Stegmaier Oktoberfest is brewed by Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Stegmaier was “aquired” by Lion Brewing in 1974. I put the scare quotes around aquire.

Stegmaier Oktoberfest has a bready malty sweet nose with some faint lager aromas; the dark amber color is covered by a light ivory head that partially laces the glass. Opening rather sweet with some off tastes in the middle (mostly DMS) that muddle the malt flavor, Stegmaier Oktoberfest ends a bit cloying with the sweetness. While there is also some crispness, it is not enough to balance out the thick sweetness or to give it the crisp ending required in a good Oktoberfest. Also, there is no hop bitterness discernable in the end; the closure is more sweet than dry. The mouthfeel is soft with a medium body and mild carbonation, although a bit sticky across the board. Overall, this would be a nice beer at a baseball game when I didn’t expect any better, but not so much as an Oktoberfest. While the balance of an Oktoberfest tends toward sweet, the balance on this beer doesn’t work—the sweetness carries across the palate without enough complexity or malt interest, leaving it a bit too syrupy. This one is a Top 10 Worst candidate.

From the Lion website: “Stegmaier Oktoberfest, a classic Oktoberfest/ Marzen beer, has an initial malty sweetness with a dry finish. It is a smooth clean malty beer with a complex, distinctive malt character. We use the finest two-row, Munich and Vienna malts and a touch of Noble hops to balance the sweetness.”

ABV: 5.7%


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