There's a touch of cool foggy mist this morning. Were it afternoon, I might reach for an Oktoberfest lager, which I in fact did do recently on the outdoor patio at Legend Brewing in Richmond, Virginia.
Oktoberfest lagers —and this fine example from Legend— emphasize the flavor of high-dried malts rather than great bitterness from hops. They are stronger in alcohol than 'average' beer —from just under 5% to nearly 6% by volume— yet not excessively so as to forestall the enjoyment of two or three in a session.
Legend Brewery has produced a beautiful reddish-amber lager with good clarity and head retention. There's good toasted malt flavor with a just a hint of Juicy Fruit yeastiness. Noble hops are more evident in the dry finish than as a grassy aroma.
A liter stein holds 33.184 U.S. fluid ounces, which is a scosche more than 2 U.S. 16-ounce pints (or not quite 3 12-ounce bottles).
Hop heads and extreme-beer zealots often eschew lagers, but millions of other beer drinkers (including me), do not. Oktoberfest officially begins tomorrow, 18 September, at noon in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, and will continue through 2 October. It's arguably the world's biggest beer party. I didn't look up last year's figures, but here are a few statistics from 1995:
- 6.5 million attendees
- 5.8 million liters of beer sold
- 589,000 rotisserie chickens consumed
- 320,000 pork sausages
- 200,000 fish served
- 84 cows (consumed, not attended)
- 60 deer (the same!)
If you won't be in Munich, there are alternatives. USAToday has a list of ten North American Oktoberfest celebrations.
- For the Mid-Atlantic region, refer to this calendar of events from the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News.
- Albert Einstein —yes, that Einstein— figures in the history of Oktoberfest. Read more here.
- Drinking Again is a series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits). More: here.
- The Drinking Again graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.