Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Ale: A Beer for Every Season
Oktoberfest is not just some big party in Munich, Germany; it is a tradition steeped in rich history and lore. It’s also a really big party held during the last two weeks of September and the first two weeks of October for the 6 million people who attend each year. It’s the most famous event in Germany, and it just might be the biggest fair in the world. The original Oktoberfest on October 18, 1810 was the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and the Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
Oktoberfest, or Marzen, (named for the month of March when the beer was traditionally brewed) is a style of lager beer that has medium to full body, malty flavor and a clean finish. It can vary in color from pale (Helles Marzen) through amber to dark brown (Dunkel Marzen). The North American style normally exhibits a stronger, though not overly aggressive, hop aroma and flavor balance, and it is invariably amber in color.
A seasonal beer program would be incomplete without an Oktoberfest/Marzen as part of it. Indeed it becomes very popular during the months of September and October, and that is why we offer our version of this wonderfully distinct lager for our guests.
BJ’s Oktoberfest lives up to the tradition with the easy drinking subtlety of German-style lagers. From the beautiful crystal clear amber coloring to the aroma and flavor of the Noble hops that bring it balance. a wonderful maltiness pervades the beer with a sweetness that rounds the palette and satisfies the soul.
Oktoberfest has become a very popular style for American brewers and consumers alike. For most brewpubs and craft breweries the seasonal Oktoberfest is the only true lager they will brew all year. In “The Birth of Lager” the late and great beer aficionado Michael Jackson writes: “It is America’s turn to teach the Germans something: to show them that traditions can be rediscovered.”
As a German-style trained brewer I consider myself a traditionalist and this puts Oktoberfest right up my alley. Fortunately we have some of the best brewers in the country here at BJ’s and we have come up with all sorts of fantastic seasonal beers to provide to our guests
Our next seasonal beer is our Pumpkin Ale. As a traditionalist, squash in my beer is not really my cup of tea. But we aren’t brewing beer just for us; we are brewing for our guests who love great handcrafted beer.
It’s an amber ale with a hint of sweetness and a full bouquet and flavor of pumpkin pie. This wonderful flavor profile and unique aroma has made this beer a fall favorite for several years running.
The best part is that Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Ale will be available together for a short time. Yes, come October 15th both beers will be on tap at all BJ’s locations. But it won’t last long; the Oktoberfest is running low and we know from experience you better get to the Pumpkin Ale before everybody else does.
With traditional Oktoberfest lager and all American Pumpkin Ale, we definitely provide the best of both worlds - because at BJ’s we truly do have a beer for every season.
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