9/12/20: Paulaner's Oktoberfest Bier

12:36 PM

You ever have a super productive Saturday? Whenever I do, it's always because I got up early. Take today for example: I woke at 6:30, ran errands (and got donuts from the local bakery), did some yard work, and have plans to do dishes and clean the bathroom later. But, since we've settled into the afternoon (it's 2 o'clock as I'm writing this), I think I've earned a bit of a break.

That break's being ushered in with Paulaner's Oktoberfest Bier. I'm drinking it while listening to some traditional Oktoberfest tunes on vinyl (courtesy of my public library). Later on, before getting back into the game of the day, I'll enjoy a hot pretzel. Ah, Oktoberfest season.

If you've been around the blog before, you might know that I go into a whole thing about the brewery behind the day's beer and the info they provide on that same beer before I actually get into drinking it. I'm opting to forgo that today (I'll get to it later on). Instead, I'll just tell you what the cardboard around the beer says.

Cardboard? Yeah. Paulaner's Oktoberfest came to me in a cardboard wrapping, holding the liter can of the beer and the glass stein I'm meant to pour it into nice and snug. This whole affair only ran me $8. And, since the beer came packaged with the glass it's meant to be poured into, you'd better believe I'll be doing just that.

This is, again according to the cardboard container (it's not really a box, which is why I'm not calling it one), "Germany's #1 Oktoberfest Bier...". You German readers will have to let me know if that's true. One of only six Munich breweries allowed to brew for the official Oktoberfest celebration, this lager sticks to German beer law, employing only water, hops, malted barley, and yeast in the brewing process. At  6% ABV, the beer, "...'liquid gold'..." according to the cardboard, is like golden, flavorful "...October sunshine."

That's all I need to know to start into it. Let me get this vinyl (Oktoberfest Im Hofbraeuhaus) playing and we'll hit up the beer.

First off, I'll get this out of the way: Purrl refused to sniff my can before I poured (much of) it into the mug. Zero whiffs.

She's sitting on Michelle's shoulder and hates this beer.

For my part, I'm pretty damn partial to the lager's nose. It's all caramel, biscuit, and honey, without much hoppy intrusion. Sure, there're hops here, but not a lot. Those that are here give the beer that crisp quality that's shared with all good Oktoberfests. The aromatics are sweet but not overly so, especially with that subdued hoppiness. Paulaner--to no one's shock--makes a beer that smells like exactly what I've come to expect from the style.

Although the bouquet isn't super sweet, this Oktoberfest still isn't as sweet as sweet as it's nose might've led me to believe. I mean, sure, the honey and the caramel are still here, but that biscuity quality is the driving flavor of the beer. It's akin lightly-toasted bread. The hops are here just like they were in the nose, doing the behind-the-curtain lifting. They provide a subtle bitter kick to the lager's finish that fuels my desire for another swig.

The bitter kick from the hops also give the beer a bit of bite. Sure, it's an immensely quaffable lager, lightly carbonated and effervescent. But bitey, thanks to the sensation provided by the hops.

Since this is in a glass, let's talk about Oktoberfest's look: October sunshine. Gold like Golden Delicious apples or leaves on deciduous trees in mid-autumn. Beautiful, but that head doesn't have much retention. When it was here, it was like lightly-packed snow. It's gone now, though.

So, now that I've talked about the beer, let's get a little into the brewery. Paulaner Brewery, as discussed on the homepage of it's US website, can trace its heritage back to, at least, 1634. To put that into perspective for those of us in the US, the Salem Witch Trials happened from 1692-1693. Meaning that, yeah, Paulaner's got some history. That history's much more than I'm willing to get into here; check out that linked page if you want to read it all.

Also, I'm not even bothering to get into any official online writeup on Paulaner's Oktoberfest--that cardboard container told me all I need to know.

I get the whole "October sunshine" aesthetic the beer's going for, but I think of October as a cloudy time. Michelle and I got engaged during a cloudy October day at Lake Hope State Park. We were hiking and she was taking a picture of a mushroom when I knelt. I popped the question after she turned around from getting that perfect shot, . She, of course (because we're now married), said yes, and the rest is history. While sitting on my porch, listening to Oktoberfest music, and drinking one of the six beers served at Oktoberfest, I'm thinking about that happy day in the those overcast, October woods.

I'm about to go grab a pretzel, so let me wrap up. Paulaner's Oktoberfest Bier is the best German Oktoberfest I've had. It's the best real Oktoberfest I've had. It's phenomenal, especially at that $8 price point. It's an easy 9.5/10. Grab it when you can.

What's up next for the blog? Well, I didn't say this earlier, but this is the first beer I'm going into blind for Oktoberfest season . That means the rest of the beers I'm drinking in September are beers I've never had before.* I'm stoked, and I hope you are, too. Prost!

*I'm planning on two more posts, but I might do a special finale of a beer I've had before (if I still have some by that point--don't get your hopes up too high).

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