OktoberfestNovember 1, 2010 San Diego, CA
Karl Strauss Brewing Co.
San Diego, CA
What started as a community celebration of a royal Bavarian wedding in 1810, 200 years ago, has turned into a beer tradition like no other, drawing some six million people to Munich every fall. Karl Strauss brews this beer true to the traditional style.
Original gravity: 1052
Without getting into the whole “golden fest/amber fest” foofaraw, let’s concede that in American craft circles—and German-American drinking circles— ‘Oktoberfest’ loosely means ‘full-bodied amber lager.’ Karl Strauss delivers in spades; they’ve been upping their game. From the malty nose through the soft toasty malt body to a finish that comes very close to that elusive malt dryness that Munich brewers have made a signature, this is a solid fest. Only flaws: a bit on the fizzy side, and a slight ash note. Pour another, and somebody get me a tuba!
- Lew Bryson
The deep golden color and floral, caramelly nose of this beer suggest lots of malty goodness to come, and the body thankfully delivers. A pleasant caramel, chestnut sweetness leads to a drier but firmly malty, biscuity flavor with toasted malt and lightly tannic hops, all culminating in a mildly bitter and just off-dry finish. The body could be a bit bigger, but at least the 5 percent alcohol content keeps this quite sessionable. Bring on the bratwurst!
- Stephen Beaumont
Lew Bryson writes about beer and whiskey from his home in southeast Pennsylvania. He has a family and two dogs. That's all you need to know.
Once described as “beerdom's Brillat-Savarin,” Stephen Beaumont is the author of five books and countless articles on beer, spirits, food, travel, and how it all goes together.
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