It’s October, and along with the appearance of pumpkin spice-flavored beers –which some would consider a curse– the month also brings with it what most would agree is a boon: the release of festbiers.
That being the case, today we have a run down on a trio of California festbiers, which we are certain you can still find on shelves and on tap:
Oktoberfest, by Sierra Nevada Brewing (Chico, California, and Mills River, North Carolina), is a rich-tasting Märzen made with Munich and pilsner malts as the base malt, with black malt and specialty roasted malt for body and color. It is hopped traditional German Hersbrucker hops. I got flavor notes of honey, graham cracker, and a bit of caramel. (5.5% abv, 19 IBU)
Oktobierfest, by Altamont Beer Works (Livermore, California), is a nice amber-colored Märzen that pours with an enormous head, and aromas of toasted grains. It delivers the same in the mouth with a moderate bitterness. I found that it went quite well with a meal of wurst and sauerkraut. (5.5% abv)
Festbier, by East Brother Beer Co. (Richmond, California). Festbier is brewed in Richmond with malts made at Admiral Malting in the nearby city of Alameda, and hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops. It has a nicely floral aroma, with a bit of maltiness in the background, and flavors of honey, or maybe brown sugar, with a bit of fresh bread. Perhaps my favorite of the three. (5.8% abv, 24 IBU)