This week's beer of the week is bittersweet, both in flavor profile and because it marks the end of another Minnesota summer. The malt-forward Oktoberfest from August Schell's is back in stores across the state. The beer is modeled after Munich beers, and Schell's travels to the area on a nearly annual basis to stay current on the details of true German beers.
The beer itself has a reddish hue with a rich and nutty malt palate. It's fizzy and well carbonated, which gives a light mouthfeel with a clear, filtered complexion. The true distinction in the beer, however, is the sweet caramel finish. Per Schell's president Ted Marti, "The hops are secondary." It's a malt-dominant beer in the tradition of German Oktoberfests and Schell's has retooled the recipe in recent years to further pronounce the malt sweetness over dryness.
"We brew beers the way we like them," Marti adds, referencing how Schell's identifies when to stay closer to a traditional recipe and when to further experiment. "We try to stay more traditional. If we tweak it [from the traditional], we do it to our tastes. We don't follow American trends."
Schell's Oktoberfest was a bronze medal winner at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival in Denver. It can be picked up at most liquor stores, such as Dinkytown Wine and Spirits and Lake Wine and Cheese, and can be enjoyed alongside a tasty meal at Dulonos, Haute Dish, Mayslacks, and others
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