And now for something completely different – an American made Oktoberfest!
Name: Octoberfest (I see we’ve adopted the Sam Adams spelling here.)
Origin: Free State Brewery, Lawrence, KS
Style: Oktoberfest / Märzen
ABV: not given
I drank this: on tap at the Flying Saucer, Kansas City, MO
Like the Sam Adams Octoberfest, which shares the same frustratingly Anglicized spelling, this is another one of those Octoberfests which really hallmarks certain flavor profiles of its brewery. When I had the Sam Adams Octoberfest, I knew right away that it was a Sam Adams beer because something in the malt/hop profile reminded me strongly of the Boston Lager. With Free State’s version, there’s something here that reminds me strongly of the Ad Astra.
This isn’t to say that I think the Octoberfest is an Ad Astra in disguise, because it definitely isn’t. But there’s a certain malt profile and a certain sharpness to the hops that makes me think “ah – Free State.” Not my favoritest of favorite beer flavors ever, but it tastes like home.
The Free State Octoberfest is a malty, reddish-hued beer with a sharp hop bite and that Free State flavor. It has a malty, slightly root beer-ish nose. Compared to the Ad Astra, it’s almost as malty and a hair or two higher on the sharpness scale. If we go by IBUs, the Octoberfest is actually slightly less hoppy than the Ad Astra – a 20 to the Ad Astra’s 24 – but the lighter malts on the Octoberfest let the sharpness of the hops shine through more clearly. The Octoberfest tastes like the hoppier beer to me. That said, this isn’t at all a hoppy beer. It’s an Octoberfest – the focus is on the amber-colored German malts.
This is a good seasonal beer to get, especially if you’re out at the brewery. If you are, have it with some artichoke dip. Free State makes the best artichoke dip I’ve ever had. NOM.