Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen

Today we'll be sampling Ayinger's Oktoberfest beer, one of my favorite examples of the style. The Oktoberfest style is a lager beer made with lots of Munich malt and nobel hops. You probably already know the history of Germany's Oktoberfest if not check it out.

Ayinger is one of the best German breweries that exports to America and their fest beer is a prime example of their skills. The beer pours a bright copper color with a frothy white head that settles down to a wispy film. The aroma is sweet biscuit with a touch of caramel and some faint spiciness from the hops.

The taste starts off with some caramel sweetness up front followed by plenty of chewy bread flavors in the middle, along with some nut flavors. Balance is provided by just the right amount of noble hops. The finish is almost tart instead of bitter. Mouth feel is crisp and light bodied with a mostly dry finish. A very interesting lager. If you haven't tried this classic example of a classic style, you need to do so.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Racer 5 IPA

In an earlier post I mentioned that there are a gaggle of new beers available in Kansas, today I'm going to review one of those great new beers. Racer 5 IPA is a award winning west coast IPA brewed by the Bear Republic brewery located in Healdsburg California in Sonoma County, right in the heart of wine country.

Pours a deep golden straw color with a touch of copper in it and frothy, off-white foam. The Columbus and Cascade hops make themselves known right away with a blast of tangerine and mangoes followed by some pine and floral aromas. Later I pick out some caramel sweetness from the malts.

The first taste presents a more bitter fruit profile, more to the grapefruit side of the citrus spectrum with a touch of orange. The malt lays down a subdued biscuity backbone with just a touch of caramel, the hops are the main focus of this beer.

The bottle conditioning gives it a nice smooth body. Finish is appropriately bitter with a touch of a spicy burn from the 7% alcohol. Overall, a really well done, hops heavy IPA that is sure to satisfy your hop yearnings. I wouldn't recommend it for the hop novices out there, but I'll be drinking more than a few this fall.