I started reading beer blogs as a way to pick up suggestions of tasty new beers to try. When I decided to write this blog I hoped it would be a great way to get more recommendations, and my readers have complied! I love it when I get a tweet, comment or facebook message either endorsing a beer or asking if I’ve tried a new release and hoping for my thoughts. This fall I asked my readers for help identifying some good malty lagers, and I got some impassioned responses. One was from Deadspin beer writer Will Gordon, who heaped praise on Firestone Walker’s fall seasonal, Oaktoberfest. Will later called this the best beer of fall, his full review can be found HERE. Deadspin now has a regular feature called Drunkspin with beer/booze reviews, it is definitely worth following. Oaktoberfest is Firestone Walker’s take on the German marzen style. Despite the name the beer isn’t aged with oak, instead it is a tribute to the brewery’s hometown of Paso Robles, Spanish for “Pass of the Oaks”. Oaktoberfest is available in the fall on draft and in 12 oz. bottles.
Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest pours a clear copper with a mild white head. The scent is a mixture of earthy hops and some semi-sweet malt. I was surprised by the flavor of the first sip, I expected the full bodied malt flavor typical to the marzen style and instead got a solid kick of hops. For an American craft beer drinker with an IPA-every-day palate this isn’t a hoppy beer, but you get some solid notes of grass, pine and lemon. The malts are also present, crackers, grain and a little toffee, but subdued for the style. The beer is crisp and drinkable at 5.0% ABV, followed by a clean finish . Overall I enjoyed Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest, although it was very different from what I expected from a traditional marzen. When I drink a beer in the Octoberfest style I am usually looking for a drinkable malt-forward lager. That being said, this is a good beer for hop heads looking to start to branch out from IPAs. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Firestone Walker Reviews: