Fall is back, and many New Englanders have grown excited by the changing of the leaves -- turning from their vibrant green, into wonderful shades of red, yellow, and orange. But for me and my fellow beer snobs, it is the changing of the kegs -- turning from summer lagers and shandies, into Bavarian maarzens, autumn ales, and spicy ciders.
The best part of Autumn is Oktoberfest and its beers -- and here are the must-try top five!
#5 Leinenkugel Oktoberfest
A very traditional Maarzen brew, brewed with 2-row pale, caramel, and Munich malts. This is one of the favorites among the people, and has been for a long time. Its very clear orange-brown body is a shade lighter than the Shiner. Its head is large but much less durable, settling to a thin top coat in less than 2 minutes. At 5.1% AVB its perfect for celebrating fall in true German fashion.
#4 Samuel Adams Oktoberfest
This beer serves as a wonderful transition from the lighter beers of summer to the winter’s heartier brews. I'm glad they go full-on old school for this one -- hardy malts for a smooth deep flavor with notes of caramel. It’s perfect for the fall season! Deep, red-amber colors with a full inch head, this beer will give you a straightforward taste and smell of fall. Sitting at 5.3% ABV, it’s an easily drinkable beer for any occasion.
#3 Wachusett Octoberfest
Now this one -- yes -- is an Oktoberfest, but spelled differently so we beer snobs can find it in stores. This one is an ale and local, hailing form Westminster, Massachusetts. This ale is nothing but awesome. Relatively clear, yellowish amber in color, it poured with a finger high of white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface. With a 5.2% ABV, this guy is a nice, light easily-drinkable beer, and perfect for this season.
#2 Newport Storm Oktoberfest
This is one of the Newport, Rhode Island, brewery's most technical brews, and one of their only lagers, Newport Storm Oktoberfest is true to its style of Maarzen. Brewed with longer and colder fermentation, and with copious amounts of German Vienna, Carapils, and Munich malts gives this beer a pleasant sweetness that people seek all year. This beer is light brown in color with a half inch head, but is not a heavy beer -- sitting at 5.6% ABV.
#1 Hofbräu Oktoberfest
Sitting at number one, an all-time favorite of everyone and just about the standard to have during this season: Hofbräu Oktoberfest. This beer was created to celebrate the Crown Prince’s wedding and its subsequent 16-day party. The first batch, first brewed in 1810, turned out to be fantastic, and the party hasn't stopped yet. Hofbräu brews a rich, full-bodied beer -- brewed from pure water, the best quality malt, and exquisite hops. Hofbräu Oktoberfest pours golden in color with a half inch head that diminishes quickly. Offering 6.3% ABV and a clean, crisp edge, this a vital part of the Oktoberfest experience.