Fall 2011 Beer Tasting

Speaking of beer tastings, I had a Fall Beer Tasting before my Oktoberfest Celebration to sample beers for possible inclusion on the Oktoberfest beer menu. I found these Fall seasonals at Total Wine and More in McLean, Virginia, where I love to build my own six-packs. There are so many different brewers and craft beers on the market now that it is impossible to sample by the six-pack. So I like going to Total Wine and trying new beers by the bottle. If I like it enough, I’ll be back for a six-pack.

Rich and Beth joined me for this beer tasting. We sampled:

  1. Samuel Adams Octoberfest, a classic Fall seasonal (Boston, Massachusetts, 5.3%)
  2. Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Märzen, an enjoyable Festbier – drink locally! (Frederick, Maryland, 5.8%)
  3. Magic Hat Hex Ourtoberfest, a drinkable German Ale (Burlington, Vermont, 5.4%)
  4. Schlafly Oktoberfest, a very strong interpretation of the style (St. Louis, Missouri, 5.5%)
  5. Victory Festbier, “this medium-bodied amber beauty is akin to the great Oktoberfest beers of Munich” (Downington, Pennsylvania, 5.6%)
  6. Goose Island Harvest Ale, “brewed in honor of the Harvest season, this copper colored ESB is made with Cascade hops and the richest Midwestern malts” (Chicago, Illinois, 5.7%)
  7. Southern Tier Harvest Ale, a hoppy Harvest Ale for an experience that will make you wish it were fall year ‘round” (Lakewood, New York, 6.7%) *
  8. Breckenridge Autumn Ale, this Fall seasonal “combines the malty goodness of a German lager with the clean crispness of an American ale” (Denver, Colorado, 6.7%)
  9. Victory Moonglow Weizenbock, this one is destined to be Fall tradition. An apt description: “this dark amber wheat beer features fruity and spicy aromas galore” (Downington, Pennsylvania, 8.7%) *
  10. Flying Dog Secret Stash Harvest Ale, “a celebration of Maryland’s agricultural roots, each year’s batch will be a little different…this year, we’re using fresh Cascade and Chinook hops balanced with soft red wheat, sweet corn, potatoes, and honey” (Frederick, Maryland, 5.5%)
  11. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, my favorite Pumpkin Ale is a full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar (Milton, Delaware, 7.0%)
  12. Starr Hill Boxcar Pumpkin Porter, “a traditional English-style Brown Porter with pumpkin added to the mash” (Charlottesville, Virginia, 5.2%)

While brewers continue to offer your classic Fall seasonal, the Märzen, many brewers are pushing the Fall style with  awesome fresh takes on Oktoberfest beer.

* Two of these beers were selected for the Oktoberfest Celebration beer menu: Southern Tier Harvest Ale and Victory Moonglow Weizenbock.

I was in Total Wine in late October looking for more Fall brew and I saw several Winter brews for sale. If you’re like me and enjoy Fall brew through Thanksgiving, you better go out and stock up today! After all, what’s Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Ale?!

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