Brues Alehouse Brewing Co
Our Impression: Every fall we brew an Oktoberfest-style beer, inspired by the beer served in Germany during the worldwide phenomenon known as Oktoberfest. Americans are sometimes confused with what an Oktoberfest lager actually is. This is largely because many German breweries brew “export” versions of this beer style, which are only sold in foreign markets. They darken the beer to the red spectrum with a variety of caramel/specialty malts. They believe that Americans prefer this version for not only its richer taste, but also its beauty. Likewise, this is how many of our craft breweries brew this beer. The traditional version is more orange and light in appearance, and this is likely what you will be drinking from the liter mugs at the German beer halls.
I’ve been observing the releases from German breweries over the last few years and noticed that there is actually quite a large variation in this style, much more so than that of Helles or Hefeweizen. Since this is a seasonal release, I think they have fun with the style and enjoy interpreting the recipes differently each year. We appreciate this philosophy and decided to do something more special for this year’s release. We increased the ABV to 6.6%, and we utilized a traditional triple decoction mashing technique. If you are a brewer, you know this is a very time consuming process that is not easy, and in many commercial brewhouses, not possible. It requires various stages of heating and boiling fractions of the mash to achieve greater fermentability and to produce melanoidins, or intense malt flavors, through maillard reactions. The end result is beer with more malt complexity, more color formation, and a body without cloying sweetness. We hope you enjoy this special release of this year’s Brufestbier! Prost!
Style: Oktoberfest, BJCP 3B
Grain: Vienna, Munich I, Munich II, Melanoidin, Carahell
Hops: Hallertau Tradition, Hallertau Mittelfruh
Yeast: Yeast Designed for Hard Seltzer Production
Water: Reverse Osmosis Base with light additions of CaSO4, CaCl2
Original Gravity: 15.5 Degrees Plato
Estimated IBU: 30
Color: 14.15 SRM
Aroma: Sweet Toasted Grain, Low Noble hop aromatics
Appearance: Pours bright with a deep copper hue, slightly off white head, good lacing.
Flavor: Clean fermentation characteristics are combined with a lasting malt impression. Notes of toasted malt come from layering the Vienna, Munich, and Melanoidin malts. Additionally, a traditional triple decoction mashing schedule was used to create melanoidins and intensify the malt character. Light bitterness and mild floral hop character allow the malt character to shine through. ABV is fairly high for the Oktoberfest style, at 6.6%, yet the alcohol character is smooth, clean, and just a touch fruity. Overall, this is very similar to Copper Lager, with superior malt complexity and perhaps a bit more elegance.
Mouthfeel: Silky and medium-light, with medium carbonation.