9/30/18: Warped Wing's Lagerstadt

5:30 PM

We're on the cusp of October. It's around 80 degrees here, and it'll be in the 80s all week. Damn. Nothing like pulling into the best three months of year in a crazy sweat (that was sarcasm, if you couldn't tell).

But, honestly, 80 degrees in October is the new normal. The delivery method of beer for this post, though, is not normal. Nor will it ever be normal. I'd fully meant to nab a sixer of this stuff, but the cans didn't launch in time for my final September Oktoberfest post. So, I had to track down a growler.

At the end of August, Warped Wing announced Lagerstadt via their Instagram. I've had, and loved, all of their craft lagers. So, I felt a rush of joy when I learned that the newest entry would be an Oktoberfest Lager. Since then, I've planned on finishing this blog series with it. It launched on tap at the brewery on the 20th and was canned and sent to distro on Friday. I've been hunting furiously for cans for the last two days, to no avail. Today I went to a giant grocery store nearly an hour away, and managed to find it on tap as a carry-out beer in a growler. I didn't bring a growler with me, so I bought on and had it filled with Lagerstadt. Let's find out if it was worth the trouble of tracking down!

Warped Wing recently revamped their website, so, for the first time ever, I'm pleased to link directly to their webpage while discussing who they are and what they do. The brewery, based out of Dayton, OH, is dedicated to pursuing innovation. Their name comes from an invention from the Wright brothers (who were from Dayton) that helped to create the first flying machine. Warped Wing is all about putting new twists on old beer styles and pushing the envelope to see what they can come up with next.

As a quick aside here--I definitely recommend you do some digging around on WW's slick new site. I did and found a page for Holiday Special, a Christmas lager that you can bet your behind will see a post here in December!

Getting back to why I'm here today, Lagerstadt, according to Warped Wing, rings in a a mild 5.5% ABV (which is pretty much the ABV I'd want an Oktoberfest to hit) and hints of almond, honey, and hazelnut. It's brewed with noble hops from Germany, which help to balance out the sweetness from its malt before finishing clean and crisp.

The nose brings me honey and the caramely, malty sweetness I expect from and Oktoberfest. I also get something akin to a nutty woodiness, but I couldn't tell you if its almond or hazelnut. There's no hint of hoppiness to temper the sweetness, but the sweetness isn't so overwhelming that it needs to be tempered. It smells like a small-town Ohio Oktoberfest and Purrl, my cat, loves it. She gave it sixteen whiffs, which is unheard of around here.

The nuttiness comes through a lot more in the lager's flavor. It's the first taste on my tongue after a swig. The more I drink, though, (and the longer it sits in my stein), the more the beer shows more of its flavors. The honey is here, but it's not cloyingly sweet--it's just bright and pleasant. The lager also has breadiness that has a warm quality. I wasn't wholly impressed with my first swig, but the subsequent ones make me more and more of a Lagerstadt believer.

I don't have much to say about the mouthfeel. This is a smooth. With each swig I'm tempted to take another one.

One of my favorite fall memories is when I had chili for the first time. Full disclosure, it was while I was in high school. My friend's family was having a football party out in the country. I've never been a big sports guy, let alone a football guy, but my buddy invited me out. It was a crisp fall day and his mom had made her "famous" chili.

I hesitantly ladled myself a bowl and, at my friend's insisting, dumped some Goldfish crackers into it. I settled down onto the picnic table outside and dug in. I was floored--the chili was warm and filling. It wasn't as spicy and I had expected it to be. Chili's since become a staple of my diet (on hotdogs if it's Cincinnati-style, in a bowl as its own meal if it's not). Thanks to my pint of Lagerstadt, I'm finding myself revisiting that memory.

So, if you've read this far, you're most likely wondering: Was Lagerstadt worth the effort of tracking it down? Well, yes. It lives up to the pedigree Warped Wing's set with the rest of its lager series. While I don't think any offering from the set can compare to the first time I had a Trotwood, I'm happy to say that Lagerstadt holds its own. It also stands taller than the average Oktoberfest lager. It's getting a 9.0/10 from me. I hope that, once cans of it hit the market in force, you're able to grab some and taste for yourselves how good it is--it'll be a fall staple in my house!

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