Hold the oompah music but give me an Oktoberfest beer, said Eric Asimov in The New York Times. “A good Oktoberfest beer is a masterpiece of balance and integration, delicious without being extravagant,” malty but crisp. In Germany, Oktoberfest long marked the start of the brewing season—a tradition dating to before refrigeration, when the cooler weather and the completion of the Bavarian harvest made conditions ideal. Add some “juicy loins, smoky chops,” sauerkraut, buttered noodles, and that, “my friends, is a party!” A Times panel recently sampled 24 American and German Oktoberfest brews, and rated American beers among the top three. The winners:
Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Bloomfield, Conn. ($1.40, 12 oz)
“Best value.” A well-balanced beer with “a refreshing bitterness.”
Victory Festbier Downingtown, Pa. ($2, 12 oz)
“A sweet malt aroma and a touch of licorice.”
Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Frederick, Md. ($2.25, 12 oz)
A bold, crisp beer that nicely balances hops and malt.
Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen Munich, Germany ($3, 25 oz)
A sweet aroma, but “no sweetness on the palate.” Lively.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 'Having it all' has officially jumped the shark
- Did Republicans overshoot on the Ebola panic?
- 10 things you need to know today: October 23, 2014
Subscribe to the Week