This is the last Oktoberfest I’m reviewing for 2010. This time I really mean it. Really.
Origin: St. Louis Brewery/Schlafly Beer Room
I drank this: on tap at Old Chicago, Olathe, KS
(Just because I saw this and thought it was interesting: the Schlafly website says this beer only has 125 calories. I mention this to point out that many beers aren’t as highly caloric as Lite Beer World would want you to think. If it’s calorie count alone keeping you drinking yellow fizzy stuff, it’s time to switch to real beer. To be calorie-conscious while drinking good beer, I think the ticket is to stick to lower ABVs.)
I really had meant it when I said I was done with Oktoberfests, but then Old Chicago put Schlafly’s version on tap. I’m still warm and happy in the glow of the utter success that is the Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, so I decided to go ahead and try the Oktoberfest as well. And it’s really good, even given how sick I am of this style. At this rate, Schlafly is going to become one of my favorite breweries, up there with Stone, Founders, Bells and North Coast.
So. The Schlafly Oktoberfest. It smells like beer, like all Oktoberfests seem to, so there’s no surprise there. It reminds me quite a bit of their Pale Ale (the only non-Oktoberfest that I think I’ve labeled as “smells like beer”), but the Oktoberfest has a slightly brighter hop profile than the Pale Ale. Again, it’s an Oktoberfest,* so the slightly hoppier scent does not translate into a hoppy beer flavor. This beer has a nice orange/amber color, the faintest rim of white head on the edge of the glass, and is slightly cloudy (I think – it was served *really* cold and the glass was pretty fogged).
It has a really sharp hop bite in front, followed by a nice medium biscuit-y malty flavor with overtones of multigrain bread (really, multigrain as opposed to whole wheat or Wonder Bread or anything else). The aftertaste is wheat bread (rather than multigrain) with a hint of something slightly buttery. The aftertaste is part of what makes this a winner for me: nothing sour, nothing bitter, nothing unpleasant. Just lightly buttered wheat bread. The beer itself is lightly carbonated. The combination makes this a really drinkable beer.
All in all, very good. I’d rank this up there with the Boulevard Bob’s 47 in the American-brewed Oktoberfest beer category.
And now I mean it: I really am done with Oktoberfests for 2010. Unless someone can get me a Coney Island Freaktoberfest – It’d totally review one of those.
*The grammar editor on wordpress thinks that the proper article for Oktoberfest should be “a” rather than “an,” and it green underlines it every time I write “an Oktoberfest” instead of “a Oktoberfest.” I don’t care if they’re right and I’m wrong – I think “a Oktoberfest” sounds incredibly stilted. Being my own editor, I’m sticking with my version.