The party began in October 1810, when a great horse race was organized to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Everyone had so much fun that it was held again, and eventually became an annual event, dubbed “Oktoberfest” in 1872. It has since evolved into a 16-day Munich blowout in late September and early October. Oh, to be in that great mass of humanity, dancing to the throbbing polka beats, scarfing down sausage, kraut, and strudel, and most of all, imbibing from the holy grail, er, stein, or today at Peaks and Pints — a taster glass. We’re offering another flight of Oktoberfest in keeping with the spirit of our month-long Son of Fresh Hoptoberfest. Don the lederhosen or dirndl and get to drinking our Craft Beer Crosscut 9.19.18: A Flight of Oktoberfest Bier.
5.8% ABV, 25 IBU
Sweet and grainy on the nose — think of fresh bread baked with honey and raisin — Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen features a pronounced sweetness of caramel and caramelized pumpkin on the palate. Hearty, and even a bit creamy as it warms, Oktober Fest-Märzen features a touch of bitter hops and fresh straw upfront before veering into a long malty finish. However, the beer dries out nicely to avoid a sticky or cloying aftertaste. This beer pairs beautifully with our pretzel bread sticks and side of beer mustard. Gemütlichkeit is, of course, free as always.
5.8% ABV, 26 IBU
Weihenstephaner claims to be the world’s oldest brewery with a history dating back to 1040. And while peaks and Pints can’t confirm that boast, we can assure you that the centuries of experience show in its Oktoberfest. The Festbier is lighter in color than most — a brilliant gold — and in turn offers a lighter malt character. It hits the nose with all the malt, plus honey and caramel with a little grassy hops. The flavor has only a hint of caramel with dough and bread crust standing out in this supremely drinkable lager.
Hellbent Brewing Oktoberfest is a traditional Märzen-style lager brewed with Vienna and Munich malts. A step-infused mash highlights the big caramel malty character, and Mt. Hood hops add a noble hop flavor and aroma, as well as a nuttiness. This beer was lagered for 3.5 weeks to give it a creamy and refined, dry grain flavor.
Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria wanted a wholesome brewery in Munich. The new brewery, Hofbräu München, lurched into action in 1592 in the city’s old courts building with brewmaster of Geisenfeld Monastery, Heimeran Pongratz, to plan and supervise the construction of Hofbräuhaus (the “ducal brewery”), and to be its first master brewer. The only beer produced at that time at the company to be called Hofbräu was brown ale. While the brown ale was brewed with barley, the duke’s successor to the dukedom, Maximilian I, preferred lighter wheat beers, and he promptly ordered the brewery to make them. By 1605, the facility was producing 38,000 gallons of beer per annum, and couldn’t keep up with the demand. By 1607, a new, larger building had been constructed to house the brewing operations. By 1614, the brewery began making a darker, stronger beer called maibock. King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria spared no expense when his son Ludwig married his beloved Theresa of Saxony-Hildburghausen, and held a massive party for 40,000 guests on Oct. 17, 1810. Two years later, desirous of offering His Majesty a really special beverage, the Hofbräu brewers started to brew a beer specially for the festival with a deep golden color, stronger original wort and higher alcoholic content, Oktoberfestbier, using four types of hops that are grown in Hallertau, a central Bavarian region: the bitter Herkules and Magnum varieties, and the milder, aromatic varieties of Hallertauer Perle and Spalt Select. On the tongue, this marzen has buttered caramel, honey, red apples and toast on the front, while the back gains a floral noble hop bitterness.
Two year’s ago, Great Divide Brewing changed the name of its Hoss Rye lager (2009 Great American Beer Festival bronze, 2010 World Beer Cup bronze and 2010 Australian International Beer Awards gold) to the more market-savvy Hoss Oktoberfest Lager because the beer was based on the märzen style and moved to a fall seasonal. The rye adds a spicy, earthy character to the dominating rich, layered malt notes, with hints of cherry and dark fruits. The finish is dry and crisp despite the bigger 6.2 percent ABV.