9/18/20: Sonder Brewing's Oktoberfest

12:50 PM

Fun fact: I've never had a Sonder beer before. The brewery's based out of Mason, OH. This means it's local enough to me for it to be somewhat of an oddity that I've never before sampled their wares. I say "somewhat of an oddity" because, believe it or not, there's still a small smattering of local-ish breweries I've never tried. But, I digress.

When I saw that Sonder had an Oktoberfest, I knew that I had to add it to the beers I'd be drinking on the blog this season (being one of the first of the style to hit the Cincy market played into its being featured, too). I stuck a can of this in a sixer I built last month, and, until I put it in my fridge this morning, that's where it's been. But now it's cold and I'm thirty. Let's get to it.

Sonder (based in Mason, like I said previously) have won some pretty prestigious awards, including a gold a the US Open Beer Championship for their Belgian-style wheat ale, Blanc. They're heavily involved in their community and regularly support local charities. They also have a bevy of good people working at the brewery. All in all, the folks at Sonder seem like a pretty cool bunch.

The official writeup for Oktoberfest can be found here, on Sonder's Seasonal Beers page. It's a 5.5% ABV lager with a clean finish and spicy notes that's "...brewed with German hops and malt...."

Would you believe that I get a touch of spice on the lager's nose? Because I do. It's not much, but it's definitely present. I'm picking up bright coriander with a pinch of clove (I have no clue if these spices were used in brewing the beer, but they're what I'm getting). Other than that, I find: honey, biscuit, toffee, caramel, and toast. So basically, Oktoberfest's bouquet is a slightly spicy take on the style's standard aromatics. Purrl seems to enjoy it nearly as much as me--she gave my can seven whiffs.

My initial swig yields an incredibly clean lager flavor, more hop-forward than other Oktoberfests I've had. Diving back in for a second swig, I find those honey, toffee, caramel, and biscuit notes before the slightest hint of spice--there's decidedly far less of it here than there is the nose. Then, in the finish, I find honey, some lemon, and hops. Overall, this is one hell of an impressive tasting Oktoberfest.

This is a smooth lager. Lightly carbonated. Effervescent. Crushable. Good to drink quickly.

It's a gorgeous day here in my east-of-Cincinnati no man's land. Sunny and 66° with a slight breeze. So, it's weird that Oktoberfest's making me think of walking to class during fall semesters at Ohio University. 

Whenever I could in the fall, I'd walk across the college green. It's where OU's original campus is located, all ivy-covered brick with massive oak trees. During those chilly, cloudy days, leaves littered the ground while the wind gusted. I'd zip my jacket tight and make the trek from my dorm to my classes (usually on the other side of campus). Those walks were quintessential fall to me.

Sonder Brewing's Oktoberfest is a strong entry point into their offerings. I'm giving my can an 8.5/10. This is definitely worth picking up if you happen to see it in the wild.

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