BLOWING ROCK BREWING CO – OKTOBERFEST LAGER

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Brewery: Blowing Rock Brewing Co.

Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen

ABV: 5.5 %

Score: 4 out of 5

Much like the big box retailers, the beer industry has caught on that they must release their seasonal beers at least 2 seasons before the actual season for that beer. Pumpkin / Fall / Oktoberfest beers have been 0n the shelves since late July around here (Thank you Boston Beer Co. for that one). As a personal rule, I always forego the seasonals until I am actually in that season. This isn’t the first fall beer I’ve had this year, but it will be the first I review.

Märzen, much like a Kölsch, is a style that has been easily bastardized by our American punk rock approach to brewing beer.  Not to say that this approach is always a bad thing. As a matter of fact, I believe that, just like we did with punk rock, we took brewing and we did it faster, louder, and with more love, baby! (check your obscure punk references for that one) But, sometimes you just want a good ol’ fashioned Oktoberfestbier. Blowing Rock’s offering is fairly true to the Munchen style, which is always welcomed in my book.

This beer pours a gorgeous auburn color with a heavy, off-white head that sticks around for quite a while. I had to use two cans to fill my massive isar mug, which led to the nearly 3 fingers of head to pour over. For some odd reason, the overflow made me feel like I was in Munich, surrounded by big-bosom blonde girls with pigtails named Helga and Hortense.

When I first take a sniff from such a traditional beer, I always brace for the worse. Thankfully, Blowing Rock’s aroma was of toasted malt, caramel and slightly yeasty. I followed this with a sigh of relief knowing that if the beer tasted half as good as its light, clean smell, we’d be good.

Thankfully, the best part was yet to come. My tongue was greeted with sweet, toasted malt and caramel. This was followed by the delicate stinging sensation of spices on the sides of my tongue. Carbonation was low to medium with a medium to full body which lingered on my palate for quite a while after finished every sip. As a nice added bonus, this beer finishes semi-dry, yet creamy and crisp. A hint of grassy hops wraps this baby up in a very well-balanced package.

I’ve never been blown away by Blowing Rock’s beers, but I’ve never had a bad beer by them either. This Oktoberfest has just raised the bar for them, as I find it very delicious, light, drinkable and steeped in tradition. So, as they say when you don’t speak Deutsche but still wanna sound like you know what you’re talking about; Prosit!

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