59, 60, 61, 62, and a greatest hit.

We were watching the Cardinals in game one of the NLCS and had planned on a beer tasting…once they imploded in the fifth inning, that really seemed like a good idea to begin. After our Pumpkin Ale post from a couple weeks back, we’d decided we need to do another round of Oktoberfest beers, but we ran into a bit of a snag, not enough of of them to do a complete tasting, so we added a greatest hit, and a couple of other beers of somewhat similar styles and we’re calling this one Autumn Beers. So, this tasting contains beers fifty nine through sixty two.

Bob has been going through the warchest of beer down in the basement and has pretty much forbade me from bringing over any new beers for our tastings. and I walked home with a pick a six from downstairs last night too. So, that’s kind of why we stuck with what was available. Not really any room, and Bob had to offload some beer on me. Jealous?

Bob: It’s October, time to dip into those amber lagers known as Marzen or Oktoberfest beers. We have two from Germany and one from St. Louis, MO, plus an amber Vienna lager that is (supposed to be) just a little lighter. Plus a dark lager that should have just a little stronger taste. We did our tasting from light to dark (beer colors–not the time of day!)

Trader Joe’s Vienna Lager (5.7% ABV)

Trader Joe's

Nik: I’ve long been a fan of Trader Joe’s proprietary brands and their very liberal pick six policy. With as much as I’ve enjoyed the others, I’d assumed I enjoy this one as well, and I was right. It’s very frothy with a tight bubbled head and a very nice malty aroma. It’s got a nice clear, amber color and a great smooth taste. It’s very balanced between the hoppy, bitter flavor and the matly overtones. All in all, a very nice beer that tastes like fall to me. Will definitely seek this one out again.

Bob: This had a very nicely balanced aroma of hops and malt. It poured to a deep orange color in the glass, with a great tan head of tiny bubbles that lastered well. The bittering was excellent, with a pleasant, balanced taste and aftertaste of hops and malt. This is a very nice beer that I will definitely buy again the next time I’m at Trader Joe’s.

Schlafly Oktoberfest (5.5% ABV)


Nik: It’s really starting to seem like we can’t do a single tasting without our biggest local micro brewery getting their product in here, but hey, I’ve been drinking their beer for years. Their beer has a darker color that’s a bit cloudy with a small head. Like many of their beers there’s very little aroma, so little that it’s not even worth mentioning. It has a hoppy, bitter taste with a malty finish. It has that warm, sweet taste to it. This beer is ok. It’s not great or awful. I won’t seek it out again, but I’d not turn one down.

Bob: Poured dark orange in the glass, with a small head that dissipated quickly. No aroma of any kind. No noticeable malt in the taste, just hoppy bitterness. Overall this beer was just OK, and not something I would go out of my way to find.

Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur-Märzen (5.9% ABV)


Nik: I was totally unfamiliar with this one, but once the cap was off the bottle the hop aroma just came flowing out. In the glass it came with a very big and tight bubbled head. It’s clear bronze color was very inviting and the taste was just as good as the presentation. It was very smooth, malty, and a touch of hop bitterness. It was just exactly what I was hoping to find during this tasting. This is the best beer of the day and will have it as many times as I can.

Bob: This German brew had a great appearance and aroma. It poured very clear, with an OK head and a light bronzish color. Good hop aroma, reminiscent of fresh Heineken (similar hop variety?), with a wonderful balance of malt and hops on the tongue. Nice body and mouthfeel, too. Overall this was one of the finest beers I have tasted, and I immediately went to the store to get more, since it is only available seasonally. A must try!

Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen (6.0% ABV)

Greatest Hit

Nik: This beer is our greatest hit. This one is the perfect beginning of marzen beers. It has a great aroma, color, head. It’s sweet smelling and tasting. The warm taste is very, very pleasing. It’s just the perfect autumn beer. It tastes like Halloween.

Bob: Another German favorite, but totally than the Spaten, which drank like a fine pilsner or Vienna. By contrast, the Paulaner has a much darker personality, with different hops and a heavier taste. It felt much more like the fall season, and is what I imagine most marzen beers from Munich to have originally been like. The head was small and didn’t last long, while the beer was orangish brown and cloudy. Taste is malty and a little sweet, with fine bitterness that is mostly noticeable in the aftertaste, which also included notes of burnt toffee. We have reviewed this beer before, but still had a few bottles left so included it for completeness because we liked it so much the first time. Our samples were bottled in 2007 (!) but are holding up very well indeed!

Köstritzer Schwarzbier (4.8% ABV)


Nik: I’d been told about Scwarzbiers a couple of months back and this is my first one..ever. Since we only had two Oktoberfests, we added semi similar beers to the tasting. This beer has a small, tight bubbled head. An opaque, black color and a very nice malty aroma and flavor. It tasted somewhat smokey as well. I’ll definitely drink this one a second time.

Bob: Another German offering that I just couldn’t pass up at the store, this one is a black lager that pours very dark in the glass, with a nice tan head composed of tiny bubbles. Not overly carbonated, which I approve of. Had a decent aroma that was mostly malty. The taster was good, but a little watery. Would make a good session beer. Roasted/burnt notes, not unpleasant, came through in the aftertaste.

  1. Tama Ko says:

    Hi, thx for this article – really helpful!

  2. fontanna czekoladowa says:

    Hi, I’ll be very happy if u could write sth else about it.

  3. fontanna czekoladowa says:

    It’s good, but I wish you could tell something more about this topic

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