With the changing of the seasons comes the quick and feverous shifting of the craft beer drinker's palate. Rolling into the fall weather, beer enthusiasts start to seek out the heavier, maltier, and all around full-bodied offerings, not only from their local breweries, but from the nation-wide producers as well. Today, I want to talk a little bit about the fall seasonal offerings from our New York State breweries, specifically their take on a traditional Oktoberfest style, the Märzen.
First up, Adirondack Oktoberfest. This traditional Märzen pours a robust amber color with a creamy off-white head. On the nose, this beer stays true to its origins with caramel and toffee malt notes. As for taste, this particular brew has rich flavors of bread, caramel, and toasty malt with a crisp, clean finish. Munich malts play a large role in the flavor profile, while the hops are there, but subdued as the style calls for. Overall, this is great beer for the season and would pair excellently with any Oktoberfest dish. Living in the Adirondacks, it would almost be criminal for me not to mention that Adirondack Brewery hosts an annual Oktoberfest party at their brewpub in scenic Lake George. This year, Adirondack's Oktoberfest celebration will take place on Saturday, October 14th.
The second beer I want to talk about is Brooklyn Oktoberfest. With Garrett Oliver at the helm, it comes as no surprise that this traditional Märzen clings tightly to the roots of the style. All the usual suspects of German malt and hop varietals are present and on full display. This beer pours a clear amber color with a white head and immediate notes of strong malty sweetness. As for taste, this beer is slightly more bitter than it’s Adirondack cousin, with a similar malt character of caramel and toffee and some light bready flavor as well. Again, a perfect beer for the season and pairs nicely with any traditional German dish.
Lastly, I want to pay tribute to Saratoga Death Wish Paralysis. This Oktoberfest beer is brewed in collaboration with Death Wish Coffee. It pours black as night with strong notes of coffee and sweet maltiness. The dark malts enhance the classic Märzen style, adding depth and drinkability. Saratoga Brewery's patented dry beaning process utilizes just the right amount of Death Wish Coffee in the conditioner, making this limited release the perfect tribute to fall.
There you have it. Three absolutely delicious German beers brewed with an American twist. Look for these great fall seasonal offerings on draft and in stores throughout the Capital Region.
Ben Richards has been brewing beer since 2012 and was very active in the campus beer scene during his time at St. Lawrence University, being both the founder of the beer and brewing club and running a beer column for the University newspaper entitled “Brewers Buzz.” Currently, he can be found making trips to breweries all over the northeast and brewing with our Brand Development and Education Manager, Nathan Reynolds.