Ah, October. It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a beer drinker (in my humble opinion.)
Why? It’s Oktoberfest time! And there are no beers I love more than when the Martzens and Festbiers come marching in.
Yes, I am fully aware that the traditional Oktoberfest starts in September, and that the real stuff happens in Munich, and I don’t care because pretty much every brewery in the country that does their own Oktoberfest events.
And it’s even better when brewpubs do their own thing, because then you get the special Oktoberfest food menus along with it. Hence, another trip to Big Bear Brewing.
I have not made it any secret how big a fan I am of the beers coming out of their little brew system headed by their brewmaster Jeff Evans. He’s been adept at taking a great lineup of beers he inherited and amping them up, winning more awards that he really has space for.
But we’re not going to talk about awards, we’re going to talk about Oktoberfest. And yes, their Oktoberfest menu leaves nothing to be desired.
House-made sausages made with buckets of his beer, a really nice and lightly breaded wienerschnitzel cutlet, lots of fantastic mustards, and the best warm potato salad, accentuated really well with bacon bits.
Excellent food, and just as filling as you would expect. Of course, it all gets topped off with a pint or two of Oktobearfest (Martzen, 5.7% ABV), the signature required beer of any October German feast.
It is surprisingly enough not overly sweet or syrupy. For a Martzen, it’s lighter and snappier. To be sure, the beer has big, bready waves of malt that wash over you, and maybe the faintest earthy hinges of a noble hop in the background.
But all that being said, there’s a moderate body that never ends up being heavy or weighing you down. (The food does plenty of that.)
But the beer is smooth and simple and very flavorful, and can easily keep the party going for a few pints. But go quickly, beers like this don’t tend to last until November.
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