Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/9/2018 (1099 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Oktoberfest is becoming much more of a popular event here on the Prairies, so I’ve decided to review three beers from three breweries out of three provinces that happen to be brewing an Oktoberfest style lager or ale. I hope you enjoy the three selections I’ve specially chosen for my personal Oktoberfest. If not, maybe you’ll enjoy next week’s selection!
•Beau’s All Natural Brewing’s Märzen Oktoberfest Lager (Vankleek Hill, Ont.) — This weekend marks the 10th annual Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill. I wish I was able to visit, but unfortunately I’ve done too many beercations this year, it seems.
This year’s Beau’s Oktoberfest features musicians such as Joel Plaskett, Fred Penner and Sloan, all acts that have performed in Brandon in the past, as well as a wide range of indie acts, also a wide range of Beau’s beer to pair with the music and local food trucks. I may not have time to be able to visit the lovely town of Vankleek Hill to go to one of Canada’s top rated Oktoberfests, but Beau’s brought out their Märzen Oktoberfest Lager to those who want to have a mini-Oktoberfest in their homes!
Beau’s Märzen Oktoberfest lager pours a clear, rye whisky or caramel brown body with a light amount of carbonation. My mind thinks that I’m drinking rye whisky … but I’m not. The aroma has notes of caramel malt for a hefty sweetness, a light nuttiness and an earthy yet bitter hop presence with a bit of peat at the end.
The taste of the Märzen lager starts off with a rich, nutty profile right at the beginning — neither the sweet caramel malt, nor the toasted malt profile seemed to be the dominant flavour here. As I’m drinking the beer, I’m getting a light booze-like sweetness (mostly caramel) on the palate. Eventually the beer warms up a bit because I have to slowly critique three beers on my own, it retains its caramel malt profile quite well, as well as retains a light nuttiness, and a bit of a flavour that reminds me of banana bread but without the banana — maybe it’s the spice? Cloves? I don’t know.
Beau’s Märzen Oktoberfest is easy to drink, rather nutty with a sweet caramel flavour and just a hint of sourness to it. It’s definitely something I could drink a stein of. $5.30 per 600 mL bottle at Liquor Marts in Brandon (10th & Victoria, South End), Portage la Prairie and Dauphin.
•Torque Prost! Märzen (Winnipeg) — I’m never in Winnipeg so I miss out on all the cool Torque tap releases and cool parties. But thankfully Western Manitoba enjoys Torque enough that they do frequent deliveries here! Yay! Prost! is Torque’s take on a Märzen Oktoberfest lager. The appearance of Prost! is a clear caramel amber ale with the slightest hint of carbonation — there’s only a bubble popping up here and there, yet there’s a good sprinkling of beige snow … oh, more likely head on top of the beer, leaving behind a light lacing alongside the glass.
The aroma is insanely light and mostly a hint of a caramel sweetness to it. I can’t get anything else from the aroma … maybe a bit of brown sugar, it’s that light. The flavour of Prost! is a moderate caramel flavour with a very light toasted malt profile at the end. There’s an ever so slight bitterness from the toasted malt/hop being used, but it diminishes near instantly.
I’m really trying to find the flavour in this beer, it’s definitely not watered down as the 6.3 per cent ABV is definitely present in the beer … but … I was hoping for more of a flavour profile and a bit more complexity, I think this is going to be easily drinkable in 1L steins, but watch out — the buzz will hit you hard! $3.70 at Liquor Marts in Brandon (10th & Victoria, South End) and Dauphin. 3/5 Pints
• Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires' Oktoberfest (Brossard, Que.) — In the past, this Oktoberfest lager was considered the official beer of Le Festival Oktoberfest des Québécois (now known as Oktoberfest de Repentigny), but now it’s available here in Manitoba! I’ve sampled beers by Les Trois Mousquetaires for many years now, and even bump into their employees at beer festivals when I go to Montreal, so it’s great to see their beer here in Manitoba.
This Oktoberfest lager comes in a corked and caged 750 mL bottle, which I found to be overly special just for an Oktoberfest lager, but I suppose they want people to drink this beer in a large stein. The beer pours a clear, dark caramel amber ale with a light amount of carbonation in the body, as well as a minimal amount of foam on top — a slim rim of bubbles at the side of the glass.
The aroma of this Oktoberfest lager is a light caramel aroma with a note of lightly salted potato chips, a very light nuttiness, slightest hint of honey, and a hint of cinnamon at the end. The beer tastes decently sweet, with a rich candy-like caramel presence popping up in the beginning that gives off an almost Hubba Bubba bubble gum flavour, a good amount of caramel, a dry nuttiness that still has that flavour that reminds me of lightly salted potato chips, a hint of apple peel, and a very light grassy hop profile that I can attribute to the apple peel flavour.
I feel that a cork & caged 750mL bottle of an Oktoberfest beer at 6.0 per cent ABV is incredibly excessive, but in the spirit of Oktoberfest, .75L in a large mug may be worth sampling or even aging! LTM’s Oktoberfest Lager is available at the 10th & Victoria and Portage la Prairie Liquor Marts for $7.99 per 750 mL bottle. 3.5/5 Pints