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Old 10-10-2009, 01:14 AM   #1
ISLAGI
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Costco had cases of Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest for about $24 per case, so i decided to try some (several) tonight. The first thing that struck me was the color. Definitely a pale yellow. No hint of any chocolate or even 120 malt in it.

So I chilled a few down and had one. It was pretty much exactly what I remember from my visit to Munich about 25 years ago. Only thing is, I went in the middle of July, so no Marzens at that time of year.

Overall, I would call this a mislabeled Helles. Enjoyable, but not what I was planning on drinking.

Anyone else try this beer before? I would be interested in other opinions.
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:44 AM   #2
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I've tried it before, once on tap in Munich (quite good) and once from a bottle in the US. Unfortunately, the bottled one was badly skunked... really no comparison to on-tap.

I'd agree on calling it a helles, it's very light stuff...
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:47 PM   #3
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I had this on tap at Stone Brewery. It was definitely lighter than I expected, but tasty.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:50 PM   #4
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We had this beer in our BJCP training class last night. Definitely not a Helles which I originally thought it was. You can pick up the Vienna malt in it but this version does have Pilsner malt in it as well.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:54 PM   #5
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Chocolate and 120??? whaaaa?????

Most German Marzens are easy drinking and malty with subtle hop presence and just a bit more robustness than the pale lagers. They are not a dark or heavy beer at all. A few US Oktoberfests are way too heavy for the style IMO and are not good reps of the traditional style. My other gripe with many US O-fests is the fruitiness they allow to shine through. Most are not nearly crisp enough IMO.

Hofbrau is a great traditional example.

 
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:51 PM   #6
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I had the Hofbrau Oktoberfest at a beer tasting a couple nights ago, and it was atrocious. The sample was horribly, horrible skunked, worse than anything I've ever drank before. It was like drinking a damn Heineken. The guy running the tasting owns a local packie, he's not a brewer, seemed to think the skunking was fully intentional. I'm thinking that he's been keeping this beer in the bright sunlight, because it was horrid.

Much lighter than any other Oktoberfest, and it must have had a little more hop character before to get that skunked! Interesting to hear that the lighter style is more in the classic vein. We also sampled a couple domestic examples, Flying Dog's Dogtoberfest (sweeter, fruitier, heavier) and Wachusett's (which was labeled on our sheet as an "Octoberfest Ale" - hmm... - and that was thin and bland).
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird View Post
I had the Hofbrau Oktoberfest at a beer tasting a couple nights ago, and it was atrocious. The sample was horribly, horrible skunked, worse than anything I've ever drank before. It was like drinking a damn Heineken. The guy running the tasting owns a local packie, he's not a brewer, seemed to think the skunking was fully intentional. I'm thinking that he's been keeping this beer in the bright sunlight, because it was horrid.

Much lighter than any other Oktoberfest, and it must have had a little more hop character before to get that skunked! Interesting to hear that the lighter style is more in the classic vein. We also sampled a couple domestic examples, Flying Dog's Dogtoberfest (sweeter, fruitier, heavier) and Wachusett's (which was labeled on our sheet as an "Octoberfest Ale" - hmm... - and that was thin and bland).
lol..... I have not heard that term "Packie" since I left Mass 15 years ago, brought back a lot of drinking memories
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:06 PM   #8
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Hmm, Paulaner Oktoberfest is definitely darker with a more pronounced Munich malt taste to it in my opinion. Isn't that a pretty traditional Oktoberfest? From all of the export German breweries I've had O-fest beers from, Hofbrau did seem to be the exception and not the rule. I'll readily admit ignorance to the local breweries in and around Munich, though.

To the OP, I think the chocolate and 120L is an attempt to recreate the Munich/Vienna malt flavors. When I make an Oktoberfest I use almost exclusively those malts, and I mean for 90% or more of my grist. Much better beers in my opinion.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:09 PM   #9
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I had it at the Oktoberfest tent and at the Hofbrauhaus and I definitely was not that impressed with it. In fact, I had a hard time telling the regular Helles from the Oktoberfest. Augustiner's Oktoberfest and Helles, well that was another story. Very different tastes, as would be expected.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:25 PM   #10
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From reading BCS, Tasting Beer and other beer related literature, all of the authors seem to say that most of todays readily available commercial examples are trending toward lighter and drier (think BMC). I think I even remember Jamil saying some commercial examples taste like a beefed up Helles. I'm not exactly sure what the traditinoal style is supposed to taste like, but I'd be willing to bet its not this.

 
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