Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Microbrew Review of Lancaster Brewing Company's Oktoberfest

At the bottle shop tonight, I found a new microbrew I'd not been privvy to trying out before. As with any new microbrew or craft beer I find, I can't resist at least trying it out, no matter what the style. This new find is Oktoberfest from Lancaster Brewing Company a Lancaster, Pennsylvania craft beer brewery. I'm on a mission this fall to find the very best Oktoberfest beers and am reviewing as many as I can find accordingly.

The label was a little bit cartoonish, a drawing of a festive looking German man two-fisting it with both hands full of frothing mugs of brew at an Oktoberfest event I would have to guess. Fortunately, beer can't be judged by bottle and label design alone. Let's get to the beer itself.

I poured this one into a 10 ounce unchilled beer mug. Nothing fancy here. Color of the beer was mainly copper with a few tinges of rusty red. Carbonation very fine and very limited in the glass leading to an almost non-existent film of froth lazily grazing the surface.

Nose is malt and not much else. Smell is faint at best. I'm just not feeling it with this beer so far. Might as well take a sip then, shouldn't we?

Taste of this craft beer is mild and light on the malt taste. A bit a tempered hops in the far distant background but it almost seems unintentional. It's there but it's not doing anything for this beer. It's not bitter with malty backbone, nor is it sweet with a hop balance. Seems a little strange and off the mark for me. As the beer warms the sweet malts do make a stronger stand but in the sense of things, it's very weak in flavor for an Oktoberfest beer (Marzen style if you're keeping official track).

My bottom line for Lancaster Brewing Company's Oktoberfest is not impressive. While the Oktoberfest/Marzen style is not my favorite and probably never will be, I've had some good to great Octoberfest beers to start off the fall season. Lancaster's Oktoberfest just isn't one of them for me. My strongest lasting impression is that it is a very thin tasting craft beer. I guess a craft beer just makes me expect more. Maybe I'm too harsh or discriminating. But maybe not.

I'm not sure if this is Lancaster Brewing Company's first attempt at an Oktoberfest beer or not. Being from Pennsylvania, this is the first time I've seen it around these parts however. I've had several beers from this brewery and to this point, it's been about 50/50 for me. I love their Hop Hog and their Winter Warmer beer is outstanding. But Oktoberfest comes in low on my score scale for craft beers from Lancaster Brewing. I'll give this one a 4.5 out of 10, at least for now. I will probably try this again just to make sure I'm being fair and didn't accidentally receive a bad bottle. If my findings then are otherwise, I'll post again to correct my first sampling impression.

You can find more reviews of new microbrews and fun microbrew and craft beer related info at Microbrew Review or My Squidoo Lens. Check out Summer Microbrew too!

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