The Brew Club has reviewed a bunch of domestic and imported Oktoberfest beers over the past two years – so many in fact we had to create an Oktoberfest category on the site to keep track of them all!
We’ve found that, for the most part Oktoberfest beers aren’t always all that great. Check out Bob’s recent reviews of Spaten Oktoberfest and Lowenbrau Oktoberfest. Both classic German brews, but nothing to really write home about.
Thinking I was all Oktoberfested out, and finished trying them for the year, sure enough something catches my eye at the local purveyor of beer. Ayinger Oktoberfest Marzen. As we’ve seen, the German Oktoberfests can be very hit or miss – “should I buy it?” I thought… Then I saw the bottle cap (scroll down a bit to see it) and just had to! What the hell. Plus, according to the label it’s an ‘Authentic Bavarian Festival Lager’ – who can resist?
The Ayinger Oktoberfest is a 5.6% ABV lager from the Franz Inselkammer Brauerei located in Aying, Germany. The 500ml bottle was $3.99 + tax so it didn’t break the bank, and what’s more it has that ‘Protected Geographical Indication logo on the label…how can you not buy it? It’s got Protected Geographical Indication man! That and the cool cap.
As you can see in the picture, the Ayinger Oktoberfest looks much like most Marzens do, very clear, medium amber with a decent off-white head. The smell, again not really surprising to anyone who has had a German Marzen is more on the malty side, and there is that sweet distinctive bready smell that is just very appealing. Still, nothing stood out as a dominant component of the aroma – very well balanced I’d say.
Taking a sip of the Ayinger Oktoberfest, I find a smile forming on my face. This particular German Oktoberfest is not so plain-jane as some others we’ve reviewed recently!
There’s a very nice malty flavor and really nice mouthfeel. This beer is smooth and not bitter more than just a ‘smidge’. I poured the heck out of this beer, so I probably eliminated most of the carbonation, but that’s cool, it went down smooth without bite or burn without any notable alcohol flavor.
The flavor really follows the aroma, mildly sweet and malty with a nice biscuty type of flavor. Weird, but I get a flavor of butter in there as well, especially in the aftertaste, (I’m sure it isn’t butter though!) and overall I think this particular German Oktoberfest is nicely balanced and very flavorful.
There seems to be just enough hop in the flavor to give balance , the malt does not get all the attention here. Malty, sweet, slightly hoppy. None of this beer’s components overpowers another – really nice harmony. What else can I say?
I hadn’t seen this brand – Ayinger before, but I am glad that I did and I’m glad that the little cute bottle cap swayed my purchasing decision! This was a very nice German Oktoberfest, (brewed in accordance to the Reinheitsgebot) and I think its probably the best of the Germans I’ve had so far this year. I’d even say that the Ayinger Oktoberfest bests the Beck’s Oktoberfest which was also really good – but a little maltier I think. I’ll need to revisit the Paulaner Oktoberfest at some point as well which was lats year’s favorite – I gave that a killer rating, but I’ve tried a lot of Oktoberfests since then. Still…
I liked the balance of this beer, and that’s what did it for me.
Overall, the Ayinger Oktoberfest was a really easy-to-drink and enjoyable German Marzen. If you like German Marzens, look for the cutesy bottle cap and give it a try! You might have a new favorite too!
I’m giving this sucker 4 stars!
What’s your favorite German Marzen?