Review: Oktoberfest, Bayern Brewing

Bayern Brewing, Inc. — Missoula, MT

  • Lager — Marzen / Oktoberfest
  • Bitterness:  Not listed
  • ABV:  6.0%
  • OG:  Not listed
  • Malts:  Pilsner, Munich, and Dunkel
  • Hops:  Hallertau, Saaz
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description: “Bayern Oktoberfest is the classic Bavarian Dark Märzen: not too sweet yet malty with a nice hop flavor. This beer is brewed with Pilsener, Munich and German Dunkel malt. The hops for this special brew come straight from the Hallertau region in northern Bavaria and the finishing hops are Saaz from the Czech Republic. Bayern's fastest selling seasonal specialty beer, this beer is not just called Oktoberfest, it is Oktoberfest beer. It is brewed according to the standards of the Brewers' Guild of Munich, which was established in 1815 when they brewed this beer for the first time to celebrate the royal wedding of King Ludwig I and Princess Maria Theresia."  — Bayern Brewing

Random thoughts:  This is the seventh of my fall seasonal reviews.  Bayern describes itself as the only German brewery in the Rockies.  I was anxious to try Oktoberfest because it's a different style of lager than the pilsners I have tasted recently (and have not been very fond of).  If you look at the beers on their website, you'll see that they're very different from the typical West Coast style ales you may be used to seeing from Northwest breweries.  I plan to find and sample more of their beers.

The tasting:  Color is dark amber with a cream colored head.  Aroma is very malty, I can't smell any hops.  Taste is VERY malty, with little bitterness.  The IBU count is not listed, and I'm curious about what it is.  Expect it's very low.  I don't think I've sampled a beer with this much malty flavor.  It's a nice change of pace, but is a bit sweet.  Body is medium and it has a nice mouth feel.  Latha actually tasted some pear in there, but I didn't detect that.

Rating:  3 star.  Good.  I'd drink this again if someone gave it to me.  I'm glad I tried Oktoberfest because it redeemed my faith in lagers.  I had pretty much written off all lagers after my experiences with pilsners.  After looking at Bayern's site, I discovered a few more lager varieties that I'd like to try.  If you haven't had an Oktoberfest or Marzen style beer, definitely give this one a try.

Have you had this or any other good lagers lately?  If so, which ones?  I'd appreciate the recommendations!

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