Regardless of the exact dates, many beer lovers look forward to the release of Märzen-style beers from many of their favorite brewers. One which I'd never sampled before this year was the Shiner Bock Oktoberfest from the Spoetzl Brewery, which has been bringing Bavarian-style brews to Texans and the world for about a century. Their Oktoberfest beer surprised me by actually being a little more malty than some other domestic Oktoberfest brews from places like Sam Adams. The caramel and Munich malts lend a toasty aroma to the beer, and it has a lovely amber color in the glass. The finish of hops is noticeable, but certainly not overpowering like some U.S. beer makers seem to prefer. I found it to be a very approachable beer, and it's available in cans or bottles around town if you'd like to give it a try.
If you're in the mood to sample a wide selection of Oktoberfest beers (and get the tee shirt), head to one of the local Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom locations (Cool Springs and Murfreesboro).
Now through Sept. 29, Old Chicago will celebrate Oktoberfest with a variety of Oktoberfest beers including Ayinger Oktoberfest, Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock, Warsteiner Premium Dunkel and Samuel Adams Oktoberfest. Members of the Old Chicago World Beer Tour who complete the Mini Tour by drinking all eight designated beers will receive a special Mini Tour T-shirt.
As a special treat that sounds like it was invented by SNLwriters, Old Chicago is also featuring two special food offerings, Ditka’s Sausage Stromboli (Mike Ditka’s Polish Sausage smothered in grilled peppers and onions and wrapped in Old Chicago’s house-made dough) and the Oktoberfest Survival Kit (16-ounce Samuel Adams Oktoberfest, Mike Ditka’s Sausage Sliders, and a Jalapeno Cheddar Pretzel).
Ditka saaa-sages and "Da Beerz?" Count me in!