The last Oktoberfest I have to review for the year comes from Saranac, aka Matt Brewing Company, out of Utica, New York. Saranac is one of the first craft breweries that I ever had. Maybe it was because you could get a variety case for under $25, or the fact that I wanted to try some new beers, but in any case, I have been drinking Saranac beers for a number of years. Through all of that time, I never had their Oktoberfest. What’s even better, this beer came as a gift.
Saranac’s Oktoberfest pours and orange, amber color with a thin, slightly off-white head. It is crystal clear as all of the Oktoberfest beers have been (and should be for that matter). The nose has a bit of sulfur on it as a few other examples have had. There is also a grainy malt smell with some bread and slight roast thrown in there. I didn’t get any heat or hops on the nose, which is fine in my book.
The taste has a malty front, with some spice, which is followed by a spicy back-end. There was a lot more of a hop bite than I expected. The typical hops used in Oktoberfest beers do have a bit of spiciness to their flavor profiles, but this was the first Oktoberfest I reviewed that really featured the flavor.
I think this is a nice Oktoberfest. It is slightly more hoppy than other beers of the style, but all-in-all it is a solid beer. It goes down easy, which is something I love in a malty beer. Saranac Oktoberfest also comes in at 5.4% ABV, so you could drink a few and still be standing. It is a good beer if you have the chance to try it, but there are some better examples out there.