Long time California-based beer company Sierra Nevada recently teamed up with the self-titled world’s oldest beer company, Germany’s Weihenstephaner to release a few autumnal inspired pours. The team up resulted in three unique beers that are the union of legacy and technology, combining old with the new to enhance and entice the palette.
Fall is known for a lot of things, and as the temperature drops and heartier food hits the tables, it’s a pleasant enough experience to wash down a meal or close out a night with a slightly heavier, fuller-bodied beer. The three offerings from Sierra Nevada and Weihenstephaner are Oktoberfest, Braupakt, highlighted for its peach and apricot notes, Festbier, an above standard seasonal lager and the Oktoberfest, which delights both the party crowd and those who just want to enjoy a simple cold one.
The first bottle I cracked open was Oktoberfest, and I was delighted to put my nose to the glass and be greeted by the unmistakable scent of a crisp fall morning. Taking that as a positive sign for a beer named after the festivities that welcome in the season, I was excited to get started.
As first sip, I thanked the powers that be that it is cuffing season, as I want to stay with this beer for a long, long time. From beginning to end, it maintained its claim to being a full flavored beer, starting and finishing with a fine-tuned level of crispness. Bubbly, but not distractingly so, you get the sense on drinking it that is it an intelligently designed and executed beer that had some cerebral engineering at the helm. The Oktoberfest hangs on to your taste buds for an experience that was rewarding to the very last drop. There’s not a single bad thing to say about this beer except the curses you will say to yourself when you run out of it. The slight bitterness is well-balanced and doesn’t overpower or fight with the overall maltiness. In fact, the beer’s malted taste is one of the most outstanding qualities of the beer.
The second beer of the bunch that I tried was Braupakt, and in the ledger of my notes, I have drawn hearts around it. Out of the three, this was hands down my favorite. At first sip, the Braupakt welcomes you with a strong, but lovely developed apricot taste. Once the beer begins to settle in the mouth, it tightens up with some warm and comforting notes of caramel. As it hits the back of your throat, bitter notes seal the deal and you are ready to go in for another swig just like that. The whole package of this beer is a treat- from its aroma, to its color and to its slightly fruity appeal. I really also enjoyed the kind of strange but kind of adorable anthropomorphic bear on the bottle hauling some kegs on its back. If I can get my hands on this beer again it will surely be on my Thanksgiving table. There is a reason why beer is called liquid bread and it’s easy to make that assumption upon drinking something as enjoyable as the Braupakt.
The third beer, Festbier, with its golden color, automatically sent my senses into collegiate beer purgatory. Oh, no, I thought, sipping the rim of the bottle over my glass. I was having war flashbacks of Natty Light and sticky wooden floors at frat house parties. Aside from the color, the smell wasn’t helping either. However, thse nascent concerns were put to an end with the actual taste, which didn’t match up to the preceding visual and odorous qualities. It was an easy beverage to drink and reminded me of the beers your father would be drinking in a basement in the 1970s. It’s a bit on the hoppy side, and this flavor profile remains committed throughout the entire tasting.
Sierra Nevada and Weihenstephaner have created a lovely collection for the fall table and there are tastes on tap that will speak to any specific beer preference. Before siting down for your Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or to relax after a long day of holiday shopping, grabbing one of these beers will be a refreshing treat.
Beer Review & Photos by Laura Cerrone (Ciderella).