Since I haven’t reviewed a seasonal beer in a while, and you won’t find me telling you about a pumpkin beer, this week I’m featuring Sierra Nevada’s 2017 Oktoberfest brewed in collaboration with Germany’s Brauhaus Miltenberger. This Oktoberfest starts with a solid traditional take on the style but Sierra Nevada’s influence on the finished product is definitely there.
The beer pours a golden shimmering orange with an off-white and frothy head. The boldness and conspicuity of the aroma was a bit of a surprise as it leapt from the glass with scents of sweet malt, toffee, caramel, and some floral aromas.
The beer has a medium mouthfeel which was thicker than expected. Sweetness is detected first on the tongue with notes of caramel and toffee before a slight green apple tartness. The sweetness transitions to a biscuity and bready flavor more typical of a traditional Märzen. This fades rather quickly though and the sides of the tongue find a refreshing green apple and slight lemon tartness. The finish changes to an earthy flavor before a lingering definitive but not overbearing hop bite across the tongue. You knew Sierra Nevada wasn’t going to ignore the hops.
Sierra Nevada’s 2017 Oktoberfest is a perfect marriage of a sweet, dark Märzen and a crisp, well-hopped German-style pilsner. It’s been a great beer for warm and cool nights, rainy days, and I’m currently hoping it and apple juice concentrate are good in the cavity can of the beer butt chicken I’m smoking in The Egg right now. Speaking of food, this beer would pair well with pork and pork sausage and mild cheeses.
Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest collaborations are one-offs with different collaboration breweries each year. So if you want to try this one, get out and grab some. It’s definitely a fun and refreshing interpretation of this traditional German beer.
Appearance (clear, shimmer orange with a lingering head)…8/10
Aroma (surprising pronounced, sweet, and a bit floral)…9/10
Flavor (a montage but flavors that nicely complement each other)…8/10