“Tapping the Keg” is a weekly review of craft beers brought to you by campus correspondent Dan Wood.
Looking for a tasty beer that is seasonal and local? Look no further than East Windsor’s own Broad Brook Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest. It’s everything you want in a fall beer: crisp yet warm, and goes down smoothly.
This homage to the German harvest holiday should be a welcomed addition to your fall beer list. Brewed in a classic Märzen style, these beers were produced in a unique climate, producing a light yet complex, malted ale.
Before refrigeration, it was nearly impossible to brew beer in the summer, due to the hot weather and bacterial infections. Brewing ended with the coming of spring, and began again in the fall. Most were brewed in March (Märzen), and were kept in cold storage over the spring and summer months, or brewed at a higher gravity, so they’d keep. Märzenbier is full-bodied, rich, toasty and typically dark-copper in color with a medium-to-high alcohol content.
This description hits the nail on the head with Broad Brook’s interpretation of this German classic. Oktoberfest is indeed an amber color with a broad color palate, reminiscent of the changing colors on the leaves of the maple trees of New England’s forests during October. However, the nose of this beer is nothing too exciting, giving hints of acidity and minerality, coupled with raw winter squash or dry roasted nuts.
This is the type of beer that greatly benefits from allowing it to breathe by being poured into a pint glass. The top of this beer is where most of the flavor resides. Oktoberfest hits your tongue with the acidity found in the nose, and balances it out with mellow notes of sweet orange peel, roasted nuts, malt and a bit of herbaceous tones. The medium body of this beer gives way to sweet malt, cooked red apple and toast. The finish of this beer is very light; a brief visit of hops is followed by an after-taste of dried stone fruits with almost no bite, making it very easy to drink, even for beginners.
Because of this beer’s balanced flavor and moderate alcohol by volume at 5.6 percent, it would pair well with many different savory dishes, whether it be lunch or dinner. But due to the German style and predominant flavors present in this Oktoberfest, I would recommend pairing with fresh roasted pork loin or pork sausage on the grill. This beer would also be great with any tomato-based dishes like pasta with sauce or pizza. Oktoberfest is a great compliment to these types of dishes because, much like tomato sauce, it has a balance of sweetness and acidity.
Please support local business whenever you can as a consumer. It does more than you might think for the quality of life around you. This beer is available locally at Price Chopper in a four pack of pint cans for about $8.
Overall Rating 6/10
Dan Wood is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.