Monday, September 17, 2007

Octoberfests, pt. 1

In the spirit of the reviews of spring and summer brews, I am moving into fall beer season. Apparently, I am also moving through these according to personal/geographic connection.

1. Bell's Octoberfest
It's another Bell's Beer. Need I say more? It is malty and the body is perfect. It carries the whiff of fall when it is poured. The head is light, and the first sip is crisp with a nice malt and spice to the finish. I am steadily moving Bell's up close behind Brooklyn in my list of favorite breweries.

2. Geary's Autumn Ale
The boys in Maine are apparently loathe to make anything other than an ale. Even though their Autumn Ale tastes an awful lot like an Octoberfest-style lager. Anyway, my neighbor's description was that it "tastes like a pile of leaves." She clarified that it was a compliment, that it brought out that tang in the air you smell when you dive into a big pile of October leaves. It's an Octoberfest that wants to call itself something else. And it's a damn fine beer, though not quite as succulent as the Bell's.

3. Harpoon Octoberfest
Years ago in our senior year of college, my friend Erik interned at the Harpoon brewery in the South End. He helped with marketing and business matters. On Friday afternoons, we both helped with drinking the beer. That fall was also my real introduction to Octoberfests. I've never forgotten it, and though Harpoon moved most of their operations to the former Catamount brewery in Vermont, their beer has stayed dear to my heart. This year's Octoberfest continues the tradition. It's got the perfect balance of malt and hops for a nice toasty flavor that hits the tongue crisply and lingers a bit. This beer cries for grilled brats and sauerkraut.

Oh, and two other things: 1. Leapy is still missing; and 2. The fall air has hit, gloriously.