9/3/18: Braxton Brewing Company's Oktober Fuel

12:37 PM

This is a beer that I saw last year (and, I believe, the year before) and never got around to picking up. I'd always meant to get it but I was so laden down with other fall beers that it fell through the cracks. Eventually I'd worked my way through the seasonals I had only to find that Oktober Fuel was no longer in stores.

So this year I sought it out early. I found a can last month while building a six pack at a local grocery store and threw it in, knowing that there was no way I wasn't going to drink it and write about it. And, now that it's September, I feel I can do Oktoberfests on the blog without ruffling too many readers' feathers. So, here we are: Oktober Fuel, Braxton's Oktoberfest lager.

Since Braxton's becoming something of a frequent flyer around here, let me point you to their "About" page off the top. The place is based out of Covington, KY (they also have a location known as Braxton Labs in Newport, KY, which makes a bunch of rad experimental brews). Braxton's founder is a guy named Evan Rouse, who started making beer in his garage at the age of 16. His skills improved and now his company makes some of my all-time favorite beer.

I'm hoping that I'll be adding Oktober Fuel to that list. See, I've never had it before (I kind of hope you got that from the intro above, but now I've explicitly stated it so we're all on the same page). Braxton has an extensive description of the beer online (good on you, Braxton!), which I'll highlight here for you: It has a 6% ABV, it has a malty aroma with notes of bread and biscuits, it also has a malt-forward tastes that finishes crisp, and it's brewed with traditional German malts and hops.

The aroma does have some breadiness to it, but it's mostly just malted sweetness with the barest hint of hop bitterness. Its nose is similar to an inoffensive macro lager, just with more robust notes. I, personally, really enjoy it. It made Purrl sneeze but she gave the can itself 10 whiffs, so I'm counting that as something!

"You woke me up from my nap for this?"
Oktober Fuel's flavor is hitting me slightly different than I expected it would based upon Braxton's description of it. My first swig immediately hits me with a subtle hoppy bitterness that has a piney quality. Then the beer opens up it's maltiness, which is sweet and bready, before finishing in a dry crispness. This beer is a far cry from most Märzen's I've had--it's not cloyingly sweet. Instead it's crisp and inviting. One swig begets another, which begets another, and so on.

The lager has a slight bite of carbonation to it (which pairs perfectly with the subtle hoppy bite of each swig) but that's it. It's an easy drinking beer fit for consumption on a brisk, early autumn day.

A few years back I went to the Germania Society of Cincinnati's Oktoberfest. It's a fun Oktoberfest celebration because it's early in the season (usually the last weekend in August). The day we went was a little rainy so the place wasn't as crowded as I'd expected it to be (well, the main beer tent was packed), but we still had a good time.

There was a small selection of domestic macro brews on tap, but mostly it was German beers, like Warsteiner. I had a few pints while we walked around looking at all the booths, games, and rides. Eventually we settled down in the small biergarten area where we at pretzels (I had a brat) and listened to the live folk band playing some polka-esque Oktoberfest songs. It was a fun outing and a good memory to ponder while sitting here drinking Oktober Fuel.

I'm not shocked that I enjoy Braxton's Oktoberfest, seeing how I enjoy all of their beers. It's a nice diversion from the sickly sweet Märzens that are all over store shelves this time of year and is getting a solid 8.0/10 from me. Prost!

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