Notes of Deutschland

OktoberfestSaturday marks the first day of Oktoberfest this year. To honor this awesome beginning, we offer an excerpt from our current issue of Off Tap., ABC’s craft beer magazine. You can read the full issue here. Just make sure you have a glass of Oktoberfest in hand.

From the brewery that triggered America’s insistent desire for hoppy beers comes a German offering fit for true Bavarians.

Sierra Nevada is teaming up with various German breweries for a recurring Oktoberfest series. The first offering partners this California brewery with Brauhaus Rigele, a family-owned and operated brewery in the Bavaria region, the mainstay of Oktoberfest itself. Brauhaus Rigele has been in business for more than 600 years, solidifying its expertise in brewing both traditional and innovative German beers.

It seems Sierra Nevada’s authentic approach to this series of Oktoberfest brews answers the question posed to Ken Grossman in the March 3, 2014 issue of Forbes:  Once you’ve graduated from insurgent to incumbent, how do you keep growing–and keep the fan base happy? You stick to your roots. But when your style’s roots are deeply imbedded in Deutschland, that’s where you go.

This German-American collaboration comes in at 6% ABV, pours a deep gold color and shows complex malt flavors and aromas, true to the traditional German Steffi barley used in this quintessential Märzen. Pair this Oktoberfest with the usual German dishes, especially if those German dishes involve bratwurst or better yet, pretzels and mustard.

oktoberfest_2015_bottlepintGIFAfter strapping on our lederhosen and donning our Tyrolean hats, it’s no surprise that from our very scientific test labs (aka our salivating mouths) we have determined that soft pretzels dipped in Sierra Nevada mustards pair perfectly with the rich, complex malt of traditional German Steffi barley in this year’s Oktoberfest.

And if you didn’t know about these tantalizing, award-winning mustards before now, you’re in for a treat. All three styles—Pale Ale, Stout and Porter—are crafted using the “old world” practices, where rotating stones grind and smoothen until the perfect texture is spun and the flavors harmonize. The Pale Ale and Honeyspice is subtly tart with a soft sweetness shining through. The Porter and Spicy Brown is good for anything that requires Dijon flavor, while the Stout and Stoneground is coarse in texture and full on body and flavor.

All three mustards are available year round in select ABC locations, while Sierra Nevada’s premiere Oktoberfest collaboration hits shelves this fall. Prost!

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