9/4/21: Brink Brewing Company's Brinktoberfest

3:24 PM

The cool weather just keeps on a-coming! This morning when I came out to read on my porch (I'm working on Rateliff's The History of the Hobbit) I had to throw on a long sleeve shirt to stave off the bite of chill in the air. It was great. I knew from the exact moment I sat down to open up my book that I'd be tackling the next Oktoberfest post. Sometimes things just fall right into place.

Luckily I had the second beer of the season in my fridge already, just waiting for the moment I'd need it. That beer's Brink's Brinktoberfest. Let's see how it's drinking on this fine late-summer evening.

Brink's a Cincinnati-based brewery headquartered in the city's College Hill neighborhood. The brainchild of four men (Kelly, Andy, Mark, and John), the brewery opened in 2017. It features approachable beer and has positioned itself to be a neighborhood hub. You can find out more over on Brink's website.

Brinktoberfest, which seems like an approachable beer, has a spot over on Brink's "Beers" page. To sum up it description: This is a 6% (my can say 5.7%) ABV Märzen-style lager with clean, toasty, and bready malt flavors and a dry finish. Brink also touts the lager's "restrained bitterness."

I'm picking up an incredibly clean bouquet here. Dry and bready, with a touch of caramel and honey. There's also something like a riciness in the nose that's pretty pleasant. On the whole, the lager's aromatics are aligned with what I expect from the style. Purrl gave it two whiffs--so, she doesn't like it. The jury's out on whether she identifies it as an Oktoberfest beer or not.

All those notes Brink listed in Brinktoberfest's official writeup are present in the lager's flavor profile. Toast and bread, for sure. Some honey and an impression of toffee. I'm also picking up on some outstanding flavors, such as dark chocolate and coffee, which may be unlooked for but are far from unwelcome. That riciness I noted above is coming through here, too. The finish is certainly dry, prompting an immediate second pull. The bitterness here is sizeable, more than I expected given that it's restained. It's not a bad thing, just something worth noting. If it was unrestrained, I think the beer would be a little too much.

Brinktoberfest's full and frothy. Really, it drinks like it's a lager you're supposed to consume in massive quantities at a drinking festival. Weird, huh? 

In our old apartment, we decided to have an Oktobefest with our roommates. That involved me getting a case of cheap beer and us making pigs in a blanket. It was a hot mess--we each only drank a few cans of the beer because, well, it was bad--but a damn fun time.

That was on a spectacularly mild fall Saturday. It was a kind of an impulsive thing I'd suggested while grocery shopping earlier that day. Wish I'd had some Brinktoberfest with me then instead of the beer I bought--would've made an enjoyable evening that much more so.

Brink's made a mighty fine Märzen with Brinktoberfest. A lot of it ticks the boxes of what that style should be. The extra stuff--the darker flavors and overall bitterness--helps it to stand out. I'm giving my can an 8.5/10. A boot of this wouldn't go amiss.

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