Your Fall Craft Beer Guide

The leaves are turning and there’s a slight chill in the air. Sure, it’s a little sad that summer fun is coming to a close but we here at Rampant think that Fall has been given a bum rap. Think of all the awesome things that happen in the fall: football season, the World Series, the trees changing colors, Halloween, and, oh yeah, Oktoberfest! The Grand Daddy of all Beerfests is so universally popular that it has its own style of beer named after it.

The Oktoberfest (also sometimes called Märzen) style originally wasn’t a party brew (well, at least no more than any other kind of beer). It first came about purely out of necessity. Well before refrigeration, medieval Bavarians were disappointed to find that their beloved beers were, for unknown reasons, turning sour and making people sick in the summer months. Today, modern science tells us that airborne microbes thrived in the warm, Bavarian summer months and these little guys were the culprits ruining the beers. Lacking the technology and scientific know-how to figure that out, though, the Bavarians decided on a simple solution: They just wouldn’t brew any beer between April and September.

They weren’t about to go six long months without their beloved beer, though, so the brewers of the time added extra hops and a higher alcohol content to their March beers to prevent spoilage and brewed enough to get them through the summer. The locals named these beers after the German word for March: März.

The Märzen beer was stored in ice filled caves in the foothills of the Alps in casks and carefully rationed out to last the whole summer. Come October, the weather would become suitable for brewing again and the brewers would set about making the new season’s first brew. The problem was, most of their casks were still holding the previous season’s Märzen beer. The only logical solution was to throw a massive party to finish off the old supply to make room for the new. So while the beers were brewed in March and consumed throughout the summer, it became synonymous with the biggest party of the year, when Bavarians would do their civic duty and help free up casks for the brewers. Those parties became known as Oktoberfest.

Here at Rampant, we have quite the stable of Oktoberfest beers we’ll be bringing to the good people of Ohio throughout the fall months. Be on the lookout for these tasty brews wherever fine craft beer is sold:

Atwater – Blocktoberfest

Detroit’s finest brewery pays homage to the classic German style by using 100% German malts. This rich amber lager has a malty caramel taste with notes of toasted bread and mild hops. At 6.4% alcohol by volume (ABV), this brew is on the high end of the style so please, enjoy responsibly.

Ayinger – Oktoberfest

The Ayinger Brewery is located in the small German town of Aying, a short half-hour car ride southwest of Munich. So it goes without saying, this Oktoberfest is the real deal. A full-bodied, flavorful beer that pours a rich, golden color with a slightly sweet, malty nose and a medium-to-big body and a soft dryness from long maturation.

Brooklyn – Oktoberfest

A 2011 Gold Medalist at the World Beer Championships, this brew is just about everything you look for in an Oktoberfest. Brewed with the finest malts and hops from Germany, this full-bodied and malty beer is true to the original style with bready aroma and a light, brisk hop bitterness.

Elevator – 1810 Oktoberfest

Columbus’ own Elevator Brewing brewed this rich amber lager in the traditional Märzen-style with a medium body and a toasty, sweet malt finish. Rampant is excited to bring this local favorite to the Dayton and Cincinnati markets for the very first time.

Hofbrau – Oktoberfest

The Hofbrauhaus in Munich is considered holy ground to most beer drinkers throughout the world especially during The Oktoberfest (and by “The” we obviously mean Munich’s Oktoberfest). Hofbrau’s golden Oktoberfest lager is a rich, full-bodied beer brewed specifically to pair with traditional Bavarian cuisine. An all-natural product brewed from pure water, the best quality malt and exquisite hops, this classic Oktoberfest has a clean, crisp edge perfect for any festival.

Lager Heads – Oktoberfest

When your name is Lager Heads, it’s pretty much assumed that you would have a tasty take on one of the all-time classic lagers and the pride of Medina, Ohio does not disappoint. A smooth and malty amber beer brewed with the finest German malts, hops, and yeast, this is one that all the lagerheads out there will enjoy.

Paulaner – Oktoberfest

Hofbrau’s crosstown rival, Paulaner, is every bit the Oktoberfest institution as the famed beer hall. While Paulaner’s brauhaus may not have the same level of notoriety, their beers stand toe-to-toe with Hofbrau.  Its clear amber color, malty taste with hints of toffee, and its zesty bitterness will make you feel like you’re at Oktoberfest regardless of your actual physical surroundings.

Thirsty Dog – Barktoberfest

 Another Ohio brewery; another great Oktoberfest. The Akron brewery’s clear copper take on the German classic is very malty with a hint of caramel balanced off with a uniform bite of hop bitterness.

Representing craft beer brands with pride