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Monday, September 22, 2014

Revolution Brewing's Oktoberfest 2014

  • Style: Marzen (lager)
  • ABV: 5.7%
  • Ease to locate: Fall seasonal.  Grab it while you can.  I can also guarantee that it won't be readily on the shelves come the middle of October.  And, no, you can't shop in my beer fridge (although, money does talk.  Call me.)
  • Color: Copper amber with golden highlights.  Very clear
  • Head: 1 finder of just off white foam that falls immediately.  Little lacing, but it did depend on the glassware.
  • Aroma: Slight nose consisting of toast, caramel malts and slight herbal note mixed with a faint floral hop character
  • Mouthfeel: Moderate body almost on the brink of creaminess that is consistent with a lager.
  • Finish: Medium with an enjoyable after taste of bitter floral hops.  Dry and crisp
  • Food friendly: Yes.  Very easy to drink it with the traditional Oktoberfest offerings such as doughy pretzels or roasted sausages.  Personally, I think it'd be wonderful with a simple bowl of freshly steamed clams or mussels. 

Apple user link:Not the Ron Swanson I wanted to play, but apparently that video is private so here's a different one instead. Stupid YouTube

                                                                                                                 
I originally had a video clip of Ron Swanson wanting to sleep in a barrel room.  It was funny.  It was true.  Apparently, it was also under some sort of privacy setting that I discovered after posting this.  Why someone would take the time to put a Parks & Rec clip on YouTube then make it private is a bit odd, but here's a replacement clip.  Enjoy. 
I'm not a lager person by any stretch of the imagination.  Yes, I'll drink the occasionally pint of Metropolitan  Krankshaft.  And if I'm sampling a flight from a new brewery while traveling, I might add a pour of their brewhouse lager into the lineup to shake things up.  But on an average week night, you will most likely never see me reach for a lager from my beer fridge.  Unless, of course, the week night falls between September 1st and Thanksgiving Day.  For it's during this point on the calendar that, I and other similarly minded beer drinkers, like to call Oktoberfest season.  And what a lovely time of year it is.  There's something about the combination of a typical Oktoberfest's flavor profile, the toasted grains tempered by lightly sweetened notes and the dry crispness of a well bodied beer that just makes me think of the things I love about Autumn.  Crisp, cool evenings that smell of fireplaces and drying leaves.  Football games, high school, college or pro, it doesn't matter as long as you play with clear minds, full hearts,  you really can't lose.  Oh, what a wonderful time of the year it is.
  
I originally wrote about Revolution Brewery's Oktoberfest in 2013 (click on the link here if you want to see a comparison) But just as I decided to earlier this summer with New Glarus' Berliner Weiss Thumbprint series, I felt like returning to such a solid yearly offering from a well established brewery to see how the beer as progressed (if it has.  Spoiler.  It's still good.  )  My 2014 Oktoberfest poured a very Autumn looking coppery amber color with light ivory foam.  I've had plenty of pours of this beer before taking pictures for this piece and will undoubtedly continue to have many after (at least until my stash runs out.  And then I will cry.) Most of my pours resulted in the same one finger's worth of light ivory foam that almost immediately fell to a thin surface covering.  Now, what was different was the presence of lacing.  When drinking from a goblet or snifter, there was almost absolutely no lacing to be seen at all.  I know, sad panda. I got over it.  However, when imbibed from a pint glass, I noticed a speckling of lace clumps clinging to the sides of the pint before quickly sliding down to the surface of the lager.  I think that I will be drinking all my Oktoberfests from a pint glass from now on (Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.)   The nose was light but distinct.  I could detect notes of toasted grains and crisp cracker mixed with the sweetness of caramel.   A herbal quality tempered the sweetness nicely and lead right into the end note of mild floral hops.  The taste was similar to the aroma.  Toasty cereal grains, a dry quality from crackers and the caramel note brought out with a hint of vanilla.  The herbal hop character and the faint floral presence on the back tempered the maltier aspect of this lager, which might be why I enjoy Marzens.   The mouthfeel was that of a typical lager.  Medium body with a slight creaminess to gently coat the tongue.  Ending the finish with the floral note also helped to dry the beer nicely, making it very easy drinking.




Lagers in general, but especially Marzens, are great food beers.  The medium, lightly creamy body and toasty yet caramely taste compliment a great variety of dishes, especially those containing meat.   Serve Revolution's 2014 Oktoberfest with a platter of traditional plate of Schnitzel (which can also be made with chicken instead of veal) and a side of German Potato Salad .  The malty sweetness will balance out the astringent vinegar of the warm salad's dressing.  Of course, no one says that you have to go all lederhosen on the world just because you're drinking a German beer.   Mussels Steamed With Beer is the perfect light Autumn evening meal.  The real beauty of this, however, is the convenience of popping one can open to cook your dinner with and one can to drink while you slave away.  I'm just kidding, the mussel recipe is probably one of the easiest seafood dishes that I've ever made.  But, you should probably play it safe and have two cans ready for the drinking part of the equation (plus, you'll need a third for the actual meal.  You know, you'd better just grab that sixer to play it safe.  You can thank me later.)  Now, some of you may wonder why my video this week featured everyone's favorite anti government resident of Pawnee, Indiana.  All I can say is take a good look at the Revolutionary Oktoberfest's graphic.  And then fry up all the bacon and eggs.  Yes, all the bacon and eggs.