The Beer Savant

November 3, 2012

Pyramid Oktoberfest

Filed under: American,Lager,Oktoberfest — hikingsandiego @ 2:12 pm
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Pyramid OktoberfestDate:  October 2012
Cost: $7.99/6-pack at Windmill Farms
Brewer:  Pyramid Brewing Company, Seattle, Berkeley, and Portland
Alcohol content: 6.7%
Served: Cold in chilled glasses
Every year, I’m noticing new entrants on the Oktoberfest/autumn/pumpkin beer scene, which makes my heart sing but also requires me to make some choices where before that wasn’t required. Pyramid Oktoberfest was one I hadn’t tried before, so into the shopping cart it went.

Pyramid pours a nice caramel color with decent lacing. There’s plenty of carbonation. I could smell some spices blended with a nice hop aroma. Unfortunately, what I mostly tasted on first sip was bitterness. About halfway through the bottle, I began to taste more of the biscuity, malty flavors and spice, which were nice. I would have enjoyed a bit more body to it, less bitterness, and more caramel flavoring, though I found the spice balance just right. Overall, a decent Oktoberfest, but not the pick of the ever-growing litter.

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October 22, 2012

You Know What Autumn Means…

Filed under: Oktoberfest,Pumpkin — hikingsandiego @ 7:12 pm
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…It’s time for Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers!

I’ve been sampling several these past three weeks and will have new reviews posted soon! In the meantime, grab a six-pack and enjoy!

November 4, 2011

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Filed under: American,Pumpkin — hikingsandiego @ 7:55 pm
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Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin AleCost: $7.99/six-pack at Vons
Brewer:  Blue Moon/Coors Brewing Company, Golden, Colorado
Alcohol content:  5.7%
Served: Cold in chilled glasses

With trepidation, I tried my first pumpkin ale at a brew pub in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, in October 1994. The combination of pumpkin and beer sounded like the stuff nightmares are made of to me. But I was hooked on my first sip and have since developed a Pavlov’s dogs’ response to the words “pumpkin ale.” So when I heard a six-pack of Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale calling me from the beer cooler at Vons, I answered the siren song with relish.

The ale poured a deep copper with a slight frothy head. The aroma of spices and wheat swirled inside my nose, and I anticipated that first mouthful of pumpkin wonder with delight. But…no pumpkin. Now, I’m not saying this is a bad beer, because it isn’t. Blue Moon did a good job with the spices and wheat—they’re just right—but I couldn’t for the life of me taste the pumpkin.  This aspect of Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale was a disappointment; however, I did enjoy the beer itself. It was tasty and refreshing with just the right carbonation. I would recommend relabeling this ale as an Oktoberfest and keeping it as is. If it wants to be a true pumpkin ale, I’m going to have to taste more than allspice and nutmeg.

I would buy this beer again, but only when I’m in the mood for an Oktoberfest.

November 1, 2011

Yuengling Oktoberfest

Filed under: American,Oktoberfest — hikingsandiego @ 7:40 pm
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Yuengling OktoberfestDate: October 22, 2011
Cost: NA
Brewer:  D.G. Yuengling & Son, Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Alcohol content: NA
Served: By the glass at Brixx Pizza in Knoxville, TN

Yuengling had always been a treat for me when I’ve visited friends in New Jersey. Until recently, it was only distributed in a few states, mainly in the Northeast. So imagine my surprise to not only see Yuengling on the menu south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but to learn that America’s oldest brewery was now producing an Oktoberfest! Was Halloween around the corner, or Christmas?

It poured a deep orange with a slight cream head and minimal lacing. The aroma was sweet and biscuity. I tasted the underlying Yuengling lager with a hint of spice and caramel. Nice! Carbonation was appropriate.

I have to admit that I like my Oktoberfests with a bit more spice and a fuller body, but Yuengling’s was good and made a nice accompaniment with dinner. I could picture myself enjoying this beer again while sitting in front of a warm fire on a chilly, wet autumn evening. It’s not the best Oktoberfest on the market, but it’s a solid beer that’s worth trying and enjoying.

Here’s more on Yuengling’s Oktoberfest.

October 9, 2011

Tastes of Autumn

Filed under: Uncategorized — hikingsandiego @ 4:15 pm
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Autumn is my favorite season for many reasons, including the excellent seasonal beers offered by many breweries: Oktoberfests, autumn beers, and pumpkin ales. I’ll be reviewing many of these, I hope, in the coming weeks.

Speaking of pumpkin ales, the gold standard for my taste is Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale. However, I’ve sought a six-pack of this liquid nirvana at BevMo, Ralphs, Vons, and Cost Plus with no luck. Has anyone out there found this beer at a San Diego-area store? If so, please leave me a note in the comments.

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