Oktoberfest is beer… I mean here

By Jack Rechsteiner, managing editor.

The days are getting shorter, the leaves are changing colors and the air is getting colder. It’s finally fall. If you like a good pint of beer, that means one thing – it’s Oktoberfest.  This time of year brings about two of my favorite seasonal beers.

The first is the Oktoberfest Lager, brewed by Frankenmuth Brewery. It has a nice copper color to it with a grain-like aroma. The flavor has hints of caramel on the front with an herbal, hoppy finish. This medium-bodied lager goes down smoothly and pairs nicely with hearty foods, like steak, pork or anything meaty. The thing that’s truly admirable about this beer is where it comes from. Frankenmuth has a very rich German heritage and it plays a large role in the city’s identity, so it is only fitting that they make an Oktoberfest lager.

There are many other Oktoberfest lagers out there and you should try others to find which you like the most. I have not tried every fit-for-fall beer out there, but of the ones I have tried I can easily think of the ones I would recommend.

My other seasonal favorite is an unexpected one for me. One of the styles of beer I despise the most are pumpkin ales; there is just something about pumpkin and beer that just doesn’t sit well with me. Southern Tier Brewing Company threw all of that out the window with Pumking. The Pumking beer has a beautiful orange-yellow color to it with a pronounced pumpkin smell. It has a sweet pumpkin taste with hints of spices that are reminiscent of pumpkin pie, which is balanced well with the flavor of the hops. It is a medium-body beer with some warmth to it on the swallow. Pumking is a great dessert beer for a chilly fall night. The taste of it reminds me of the fall nights when my mom would make a pumpkin pie, the scent of it baking in the air with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and a nice, warming feeling just take me back to those times.

You can find both of these beers at Ideal Party Store in Bay City at 401 Salzburg Ave. and at 908 N. Johnson St. This is one of my favorite party stores in the area due to its wide selection of beer and friendly staff.

If you are new to craft beers I encourage you to keep an open mind; I have ruined beers for myself by thinking that I don’t like this style of beer or a certain kind of flavor note. With this mindset you will never fully appreciate what different beers have to offer. Make sure when you are out sampling beer that you are being safe and have a ride back home or somewhere to stay the night. Enjoy the season, and as always, drink responsibly.

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