Brother Maximus with a seasonally-relevant post:
Alright you crazy kids, after a week’s hiatus I’m back with a
vengeance. Come get some! So this week we shall talk fall beers, and in particular, Oktoberfest beers. What should you be drinking this,
my favorite season? Oktoberfest ales, Marzens, and pumpkin beers, of
course. 'Tis the season to get sloppy!
So what is a Marzen? Marzen is actually a direct translation from
German to English meaning March, as in the month. Before
refrigeration, brewing tended to end before summer, typically in the
month of March, due to bacterial concerns, hence the Marzen. As you
hopefully know, beer takes a while to ferment, so Marzens are brewed in
March and are typically available towards the end of summer/beginning
of the fall. They tend to be darker in color, similar to a nut brown
ale, and earthy in flavor with a nice bitter bite on the end. When
you think of an Oktoberfest beer 9 times out of 10 you’re thinking of
a Marzen. Sam Adam’s? Marzen. Sierra Nevada? Marzen. Firestone?
Marzen mixed with a Vienna Lager aged in oaked Chardonnay barrels.
WOAH! I know. We have it on draft at my joint and it’s as WOAH as it sounds. Check that bad boy out.
For the fall, I recommend seeking out Abbey ales, Belgian Strong ales,
Barley wines, and anything else with a strong ABV and a rich flavor.
North Coast’s Brother Thelonious is a 9.4% ABV Abbey ale that has a rich caramel flavor with a boozy finish. These past couple of days have been crappy and rainy and cloudy and cold, and I LOVE those days. I wish that my big boy duties of work were not in play because I
would have loved nothing more than staying in bed all day/night with
my girlfriend, watching cheesy movies like Army of Darkness and The Labyrinth, and pounding down a Brother Thelonious or 12. But alas, this was not meant to be. If you’re in the market for a Barley wine,
which is actually a sweeter, boozy beer, check out Alesmith’s Old
Numbskull. And if you’re looking for a nice bottle of a big Belgian
Strong ale, just go for old faithful and grab an Arrogant Bastard from
Stone Brewing. Or better yet, grab the Oaked Arrogant Bastard,
available in the six-pack year round. Drink a sixer of Oaked and tell
me that hair doesn’t grow in places that you never thought it could.
There are very few Pumpkin ales out there these days, but a
few of my faves tend to be Shipyard's Smashed Pumpkin, which is a 9.25% Pumpkin ale that is pumpkin and cinnamon in YOUR FACE!!!! For the lighter side of things there is Dogfishead's Lil' Punkin' which is like a nice little slice of pie down your gullet. And our local yocal Manzanita Brewery has a nice Pumpkin ale that I recommend you all try as well. DO IT, DAMN IT!
So guys, tell me what you like to drink on cold, rainy fall days with
your loved ones. Is it a nice whiskey? Is it a nice Chianti? Or
Commander, is it a nice glass of warm milk? A glass of water sans ice
perhaps? Don’t get crazy on me now.
Until next time my beer loving brethren, have a beer for me.
(ed. note: We've never had much luck with Pumpkin Ales... we may need to expand our hop-centric palate and take up Max's suggestion of Firestone's Marzen... Our favorite cool weather drink? Well, we were able to attend a Mezcal tasting event a couple of weeks back and let's just say that we may have acquired another vice)