Fall is still hanging on and will be officially with us for the next several weeks. This means there is still plenty of time to sample some of the many Oktoberfest/Marzen style beer products produced and sold by America’s craft breweries and one Fall beer that is certainly worth a try- and not too difficult to find- is Widmer Brothers Okto Festival Ale.
Style: German Altbier
Alcohol Content: 5.3% alcohol content
Widmer Brothers Okto Festival Ale is an amber/copper colored brew with a sweet, caramel nose. A moderate pour produces a nice amount of foam that leaves a good deal of lacing as you consume. Based on appearance, this beer easily scores several quality points.
Moving to the taste, Widmer Brothers Okto Festival Ale doesn’t disappoint. Multiple layers of complexity greet the palate with flavors that start with the taste of sweet, bready malts. Next, one can detect caramel followed by some fruity flavors such as citrus and even some dark fruit, like plums. The beer finishes with some floral hops and a long, pleasant aftertaste that is bread- like and highly enjoyable.
Widmer Brothers Okto Festival Ale is a beer produced by Oregon’s Widmer Brothers, a craft brewery best known for its Hefeweizen. Okto Festival Ale is a step in a different direction; a seasonal beer that is promoted as a brew made for the cooler time of the year. A quick look at a fact sheet shows that this is not a true Oktoberfest/Marzen brew. Widmer Brothers Okto Festival Ale is actually a German Altbier and is brewed using ale yeast. The not- quite- authentic nature of this beer might be a liability to some beer critics, but I can’t hold this against Widmer for one simple reason: Widmer doesn’t claim this beer is Oktoberfest. Sure, the name leads you to believe that it is, but they don’t actually state this.
Widmer Brothers isn’t a brewery I rank among the all time greats, but considering that I have rated all of Widmer Brothers products as average or better, I must agree that Widmer Brothers does command respect. And Widmer Brothers Okto Festival Ale is a respectable beer; medium in body and with a good amount of character that doesn’t go too far in any direction. I recommended grabbing a six pack before the Fall season comes to a close.
Rating: 7 cheers out of 10