Monday, September 3, 2012

530. Lakefront Oktoberfest

It is that time of year again—you know, when it is acceptable to publicly listen to polka and wear lederhosen in a non-ironic manner. And while I find both of those things psychically scarring, the reciprocal beer options connected to the same time of year make that trauma a little less painful to bear. Just ask my brother, Jason, who lives in Leavenworth, WA, a so-called Bavarian theme-town that makes its living off of marketing a faux-German identity. The town’s mascot is Woody Goomsba, and he has his own YouTube videos. I shit you not. Look it up—after all, that’s what the internet is for, isn’t it? Well, that and squirrels on water-skis or keyboard playing cats. Play ’em off, Keyboard Cat! Which brings me back to the beer, specifically Lakefront Brewery’s Oktoberfest. We’ve seem Lakefront before with their IPA, and they didn’t disappoint. Speaking of awkward, I feel compelled to make some sort of Laverne & Shirley reference, but I can’t think of a suitable transition, so I’ll just move on to the beer.

Lakefront Oktoberfest pours a slightly hazy copper infused with a fair amount of orange. Or, in other words, it’s Oktoberfest in my glass! The head is creamy eggshell; it hangs out a bit, but slowly dissipates to a ring with some skiff islands. In the nose, the beer features biscuit malt with toast and bread crust; there is also a slight hint of fruit/grape hiding in the back, but it fits well with the other aromas—I think it derives from the Vienna malt, but I’m not certain. It is, however, malty goodness in a glass. Flavors open with a combination of bread dough and biscuit malt, before giving way to the slight tang of hop bitterness in the middle that cuts through the malt and cleans the palate. There is a slight fruitiness in the first part as well, but less distinct in taste than it was in the nose; it could also be a combination of nutty and melanoidin or from the Vienna malt—I can’t quite pin it down. It finishes dry and clean, with the slight soapy hop finish I like in a lager, plus a touch of biscuit and nutty malt sneaking through to round the beer as a whole. Carbonation is medium, and picks up bite over the profile of the beer—the malt holds it in check in the front, but it comes through in the finish. This is a well made and enjoyable beer; it is one of the better American Oktoberfests I’ve had—for example, I like it better than Great Lakes Oktoberfest. More importantly, it is actually a lager, unlike some of the other beers passing themselves off as Oktoberfests out there. Nice work on this one, Lakefront.

From the Lakefront website: “This traditional lager is brewed with generous amounts of Munich malt, giving it a wonderful orange hue with a rocky, off-white head. Light hop aromas balance out a slightly floral nose from the German lager yeast. Balanced hop bitterness offsets the substantial malt body, while the lager yeast adds a subtlety of flavor that makes this a great rendition of a German classic. Prost!”

ABV: 5.7%

P.S. Get your Goomsba up. Seriously. If I had any German American heritage, it would be rolling over in it’s grave right now. Oh wait, I do. And it is.

P.S.S. I still hate Bud Selig.


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