Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beer Review: Hofbräu München Oktoberfest

So by American standards the end of summer is after Labor Day has passed. The winds start to bring in colder air and the corner stores start to put up there Halloween swag. And of course around this time of year breweries start to release their Fall seasonals. I began seeing these start popping up at my store a few weeks ago and had to explain that breweries can't sit on their stock and have to get this stuff out the door so they can start brewing up their winter seasonals. I figure this would be a good time to do some reviews of some of these great fall seasonals. The most widespread style would be Oktoberfest/Marzen beer but darker richer beers also come into play when the light and/or fruity lawnmower beers are making their way out. This will probably go into next week and I will finish up with a post of my favorites in order. 

The Oktoberfest originated in 1810 in Munich, Germany, as a wedding celebration for the Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria. This product was created especially for the event and is brewed usually for the Oktoberfest, now the largest beer festival in the world. Hofbräu München is one of the selected group of breweries granted privilege of supplying the Oktoberfest with their products. Using the highest quality ingredients, HB's Oktoberfest Specialty has it's own distinctive and unmistakable taste. 

Appearance: Pours crystal clear with a large white head that dissipates to a half of finger. Golden straw to light amber in color.  

Aroma: Malty/grainy aroma that seems a tinge sweet with a hint of corn. Rounding it out is a spicy and grassy hop aroma. 

Flavor: Bready and what seems to be a graham cracker like sweetness. The middle of the sip is malty sweet with a little hop presence. Towards the end of the sip there is a slight noble hop flavor and bitterness. Finishes semi sweet with some mineral undertones.

Mouthfeel: Low body with medium carbonation. A little watery with a small amount of prickly carbonation.

Overall: This would be more towards a Vienna Lager here in America but a very nice version of a traditional German Oktoberfest. We tend to think of Oktoberfests' should be "in your face" malt but this is refreshing and gives a good lager character. This seemed to be shipped well even with the green glass. Great for a hot September day.


  1. Thank you for this review. The German Octoberfest/marzens tend to be lighter and more drinkable then their American cousins. This is one of the beers that is in the tent in Munich and thus needs to be extremely drinkable. I get so tired of reading reviews from American tasters that do not understand this fact. Americans seem to think a "real" Octoberfest beer should be copper colored and as you mentioned "in your face". That is not true at all.