Like the Pilsener, Baderbräu Oktoberfest is contract brewed at Stevens Point Brewery in Wisconsin. Rob dropped off a sixpack for me downtown at work Tuesday afternoon. Parked in a 5-minute zone, he quickly explained that the Oktoberfest was brewed with a single decoction mash.
Beware—Geek Talk: That's a German brewing method in which part of the wort and some grain is put in a separate vessel, brought to a boil, then returned to the main mash to raise its temperature to the next "rest" level (were certain proteins and carbs do their little dance of making fermentables). It's a time-consuming process, although some German brewers do a Triple Decoction.
The sight of me walking into work with a sixpack caused my fellow seasonal temps, especially when I said the guys who make beer sometimes bring me some ("Because I'm Just. That. Awesome.") So of course I cracked a bottle at the end of the day. The video below is of me trying out a full bottle. And since this beer was given to me to write about, this is not a review, but one of my "previews:"
Impression: A light amber color with a fizzy head. The smell is malty, a little bit sweet, and has a slight bitter note of hops around the edge. The taste delivers on some Vienna, or maybe even crystal malts. Sweetness is just held in check by a German hop note. This is not made with the same soft water profile as the Baderbräu Pilsener (though I haven’t had the Stevens Point iteration yet), so nothing gets in the way of its nice malty character. Not over-filling, so you can have a few, as if you were at Oktoberfest as well.
Baderbräu was given the "People's Choice Award" last month at the inaugural Lisle Ale Fest. Lisle's first craft beer festival and featured over 80 unique beers from craft brewers around the country and hosted the largest selection of Oktoberfest beers in the area.