Brooklyn v. Central Waters: Oktober-Off
The final round of the Oktoberfest tournament took place between Brooklyn and Central Waters. In terms of ratings, these two beers are very close. The Brooklyn Oktoberfest is much more widely distributed while Central Waters reaches those in the Midwest.
To all three of us tasting, the Brooklyn rendition was a very good display of style.
After drinking the excellent but un-Oktoberfesty Victory Festbier and the somewhat flavor-lacking Shiner, this classic brew was a treat both in terms of style and flavor. The German malt and characteristic dark red color are spot on and the finish delivers a somewhat dry but flavorful conclusion. The light body is appropriate and pleasant.
On the other hand, the Central Waters Oktoberfest was very mellow with a brief blip of interesting flavor that fades quickly. The aroma is almost citrusy. It tasted more like a generic lager with Oktoberfest notes, but I found it slightly overcarbonated.
The malt is very light although there is a Vienna character to it. The finish is neither sweet nor dry. And that is really all I have to say about that.
We quickly learned that the interpretation of “Oktoberfest” is extremely wide, wider than any other individual style that I can recall. I’d venture a guess that this is in part due to history. Although the first Oktoberfest party in Germany took place in 1810, the beer that we drink today is likely very different. Some experts say that what we call an Oktoberfest is more closely related to beer from about 1870 and later.
After sampling the Brooklyn and the Central Waters, Lisa brought the Samuel Adams Octoberfest for us to try, too!
The Sam Adams fell right into the mix with our other choices – we considered it to be in the middle of the pack among the other 6 beers. It has a slight apple aroma that doesn’t quite fit and is a bit on the heavy side, but otherwise I really enjoyed it. Similar to the Brooklyn, it seemed quite traditional although the German malt, which again should be the highlight of any festbier, didn’t ring through quite as clearly.
I’ll post a final list of the winners and their strengths tomorrow. Oktoberfest is still in full swing in Germany until October 1st. Get out and grab your favorite Marzen before the weather gets cooler.