9/28/22: Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.'s Oktoberfest

9:21 AM

We have, after nearly a month, now arrived at the penultimate Oktoberfest 2022 post. When I wake up now, the temperatures are in the 40s (that's Fahrenheit, mind you). Soon enough, there'll be dawn frost, the trees will finally don their autumn's best, and Michelle and I will be carving our little family of Halloween Jack-o'-lanterns. 

But, before we get to all that, we have to run out September and the final few Oktoberfest-style lagers. So, today we're doing the single can I bought of Toppling Goliath's entry into the canon. How's it drink?

Decorah, IA's Toppling Goliath was founded in 2009 by husband and wife, Clark and Barbara Lewey. The pair brought their homebrewing experience into the realm of professional brewing and shortly made a name for themselves with their IPAs and barrel-aged stouts.Would you believe that I've never had a beer from this award-winning brewery?

Oktoberfest's official description is short and sweet: This 5.2% ABV lager boasts a biscuity and caramely nose and freshly-baked bread flavor.

First from the lager's bouquet, I'm picking up aromas of caramel and biscuit, both of which are immediately followed by some toffee, some honey, and freshly-baked wheat bread. Behind all of this, I get a pleasant hoppy aroma, which isn't overly bitter but serves to provide a fresh green note to the beer's wonderful nose. Purrl gave my can seven whiffs--this is a beer for her.

The flavor profile is freshly-baked bread, yes, but with a slight char taste that's not unwelcome, only unexpected. I'm willing to that char note comes from hops, seeing as how it's the flavor that lingers longest in the finish, taking on a hoppy and roasty quality. Before arriving at that finish, however, I find caramel, honey, and toffee. There isn't as much biscuit here as I'd expected, given Oktoberfest's bouquet.

As I sit with the beer, reflecting on the flavor while drinking it, I'm finding that a certain ricey taste develops. This is likely a product of the combination of honey and toasted-like hop flavors. It's decidedly not a flavor I'd associate with a standard Oktoberfest-style lager.

The mouthfeel's full and quenching. Oktoberfest's a highly quaffable lager, so much so that I'm a little worried that I'll finish my entire pint-sized can in no time at all.

Have you ever wandered through a field of freshly cut and baled hay? Taken in that wonderful aroma before it dissipates fully into the (hopefully in your instance, too) cloudy autumnal sky? Drinking this cold can of lager is a good encapsulation of that exact experience.

Here on the other end of the post, I can see why Toppling Goliath's held in such high esteem. They've made a damn fine Oktoberfest-style lager. I'm giving my can an 8.5/10. 

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