Thursday, September 18, 2008

Summit Oktoberfest Marzen - A Microbrew Review

It's not officially fall just yet. And October's a few weeks away. But hey, I'm already thinking about the Oktoberfest beers. And why shouldn't I be. I picked up a mixed sixpack of Octoberfest style beers tonight and Summit Brewing Co's Oktoberfest Marzen was the first to sample of the evening.

First off, Summit Brewing Company calls St. Paul, Minnesota its home. I'm not all that familiar with the microbrews from Summit so trying this one gave me a little sense of curiosity and intrigue.

Pouring the 12 ounce chilled brown bottle into my glass, I observed a respectable creamy eggshell head which topped a nice mahogany, rust colored liquid. Carbonation was quite lacking however, almost non-existent. Did I get my hands on a bad beer?
Holding the glass up to my nose didn't help. It smelled a bit like that all too familiar scent of when you've got yourself a skunked beer that just wasn't handled or stored correctly somewhere along the way. I was worried I'd wasted $2.00 on this one.

However, I was somewhat pleasantly surprised once I started drinking this microbrew. There was nice comforting caramel malty sweetness. Not cloying or profound, but more common and expected. Being that I thought this one might be spoiled originally, this was a pleasant surprise already. I was a winner already just in the fact this wasn't a drainpour beer. The mouthful was actually fairly thick and rich and only became more profound as the liquid warmed about halfway through the glass of beer. Nothing too off center here and there was a nice spiciness to this brew in the mouthful. No real hop presence at all however, not to worry though. This is an Oktoberfest. Alcohol presence did start to make itself known toward the latter part of the glass. The warmer the beer got, I could more and more feel that alcoholic burn.

While Summit Brewing Company's Oktoberfest was not the best beer I've ever tried, it was respectable. It was sweet, and very easy to drink. My bottle I'd originally thought was spoiled. So just finding out it was drinkable was a pleasant surprise that probably lent to a more favorable subconscious rating that would normally be the case. I'd felt like I got lucky I guess.

I'd recommend giving this Summit Oktoberfest beer a try if you see it in your neighborhood bottle shop or tavern, especially this time of year (just keeping in the spirit of the season). Summit Brewing Company's Oktoberfest Marzen was very drinkable and smooth. There is nothing challenging or out of the ordinary with this beer however. It just kind of blends in with all the other Oktoberfest offerings you can find out there this time of year. Nothing too bad, but nothing all that special either. Not memorable. It is smooth though, and very easy to drink. Despite the 7.7 Alcohol by Volume rating, it's one that doesn't kick you too much in the butt but you're by your second, you're probably going to be ready to move on to something else anyway.

I'm giving Summit Brewing Company's Oktoberfest Marzen a 6.00 out of 10.00 on my rating scale. I will add, that I'd like to try this fresh on draft at a local watering hole sometime. I think it just might make a significant difference in this microbrew's flavor and richness versus the traversed bottled version.

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Cheers, and please drink responsibly!

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