I know that the official Oktoberfest is over, but there seems to be a number of these beers hitting the shelves around me right now. I’ve made an effort to purchase more Oktoberfest beers from Germany this year in order to better understand the style. From my experiences it seems that the products from Germany have a might lighter flavor and color profile than their American counterparts. Most American Oktoberfest examples seem to be amber in color and be more malty than balanced.
Hofbräu Oktoberfest is brewed by Hofbräu München of Munich, Germany. This traditional Oktoberfest comes in at 6.3% which seems to be inline with both the German and American examples of the style. The lager pours a golden color and is perfectly clear. It also has a healthy white head. The nose is pretty sulfury and has a bit of “euro-skunk” going on. I’m guessing that this one was on the shelves a bit too long and had a little too much sun exposure.
On my first taste I was surprised to see how light it was in the flavor department. There is some slight malt sweetness in there, but not much else. The hops come in about half way through and balance the bit of sweetness that is there. The shinning star for this beer in my book is the nice bready ending that offers something to the beer, because overall the flavor was pretty nondescript.
This wasn’t a bad beer but it also wasn’t anything special. I’m not sure if I would get it again. It is interesting to see another German beer with a light color and light flavor. Does anyone know of a German Oktoberfest with a darker flavor and color profile?