Friday, October 23, 2009

Big Beer Weekend

Truly, the fall beer season is upon us. Lots of stuff to do this weekend in Austin. Everything listed is Saturday, except the NXNW event, which is Saturday and Sunday.
And that's all just a warm-up for Wurstfest in New Braunfels, beginning next weekend!

Oktoberfest/fall seasonals I've tried so far:
  • Live Oak Oaktoberfest: Delicious. Had it at Hyde Park Bar & Grill.
  • North by Northwest Oktoberfest: Delicious.
  • Boulevard's Bob's 47 Oktoberfest: Delicious, and seems to get better every year.
  • Real Ale Oktoberfest: Shockingly disappointing. Very mediocre, a rare let-down from one of my favorite breweries. Had it at Draught House. [UPDATE, October 2010: I'm not sure what was wrong with this beer last year, but my opinion is 180 degrees different this year. One of my favorites now.]
  • Spaten Oktoberfest: Awful. What was I thinking? As soon as I saw it was in green bottles I should have walked away. Probably good on draft, but don't buy it in the store.
  • Saint Arnold Oktoberfest: Best of the bunch. Oh damn, I love this stuff. As good as those others are, this has a richness that puts them a bit above the rest. Unsurprisingly, they were out last night at Draught House.
  • New Belgium Hoptober: A really hoppy golden ale, but still has that same kind of richness as the Oktoberfest stuff. Imagine a fall IPA, if you will. This is the best of the fall seasonals in my opinion and really raises the bar for a brewery that already was a standard-setter.
  • Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit: I never thought of wit as a fall beer, but this is harvest time for Louisiana satsuma oranges, so I guess "harvest" depends on what your local crop is. This very citrusy wit has been a wonderful find for me this year, as I've finally started developing a taste for wits. This is part of Abita's Harvest trio, the others being a Pecan Harvest and Strawberry Harvest. That Pecan Harvest intrigues me; I'll have to go grab some.
  • Real Ale Coffee Porter: I've been drinking gallons of this lately, as this previously draft-only seasonal is now available in bottles. And a scoop I just got last night: This will be the cask offering at today's Firkin Friday at the Draught House (begins 3pm). Oh man, as much as I love this out of the bottle, I suspect the cask will blow my mind. I'm there.


Unknown said...

The Flying Saucer event is extremely kid friendly, as well as dog friendly. It's in the Triangle Park. Bring your kids and your friendly, leashed dogs.

Lee said...

I disagree: The only thing for my kids to do was play in that water fountain. Which they found entertaining enough, but it hardly qualifies as "extremely" kid-friendly. Contrast that with all the bouncy houses and face-painting and stuff at NXNW's event, or the full-on carnival at Wurstfest. I wasn't saying the event is un-friendly to kids, but it hardly meets my definition of "extremely."

Marshall said...

Any word on plans for the Austin Homebrew Supply Oktoberfest celebration? We've gone the past couple of years and have had a blast.

Scott-TheBrewClub said...

+1000 on the Spaten. Like you said, probably good on tap or something, but out of the bottle one can do better.

I've heard good things about the St. Arnold, no luck finding it yet to try though. :-(

Randy said...

I'll offer a dissenting opinion. First, I tried the Real Ale Oktoberfest at Freetail a couple of weeks ago alongside Live Oak's Oaktoberfest and Freetail's OktoberFiesta. The Real Ale utterly blew me away; it was like being in Bavaria. The Live Oak, I thought, was a strange sort of malty, and the Freetail was too sweet to finish. But that Real Ale Oktoberfest out-Paulanered Paulaner and hacked Hacker-Pschorr.

Bill Night said...

Lee, do you guys get Deschutes Hop Trip out there? It's a nice little fresh-hop beer, not my favorite but up there.

Lee said...

Bill: I think we do. I'll look for it.

Unknown said...

random question for you local beer folks - do you know who in town has some of the #4 cask ale? it looks like draught house will have some at their birthday party, but that will be packed and I'd love to get my hands on some of that sooner ;) thanks for the help!
we enjoyed the flying saucer event, but we have a little one who is (mostly) happy in a stroller. next year we will prob. head to the NXNW event instead!

Lee said...

Mo: I was only told (via Facebook) that some #4 cask will be available in Austin, but they weren't more specific than that. You might call the Real Ale folks and ask. Or I'll call tomorrow sometime.

Lee said...

Bill, LOL at myself. I thought the name "Hop Trip" sounded familiar – I've had a bottle of it in my beer fridge for a month or two now. Deschutes sent me a bottle to review, and I've been putting it off. I'm about to open it now.