Okto Festival Ale (Widmer Bros. Brewing)

Ah, fall. It’s my favorite time of the year. The weather is getting cool(er), the leaves are changing, horror movies are playing on TV, and breweries are releasing their autumn seasonals. What’s not to love? With that in mind I picked up a fall seasonal six pack from one of the more consistent breweries out there, Widmer Brothers Brewing.

OKTO FESTIVAL ALE is an Oktoberfest style beer with a 5.3% ABV and 28 IBUs. Beeradvocate has this one listed as an Altbier, but however you want to label it, it’s available from August-October.

Loosen your lederhosen. Our full-bodied Okto Festival Ale is inspired by Bavarian Oktoberfest, and we pay fitting tribute with its distinctive malt flavors, mild floral character and crisp clean finish. Prost! To the land of the prost!

When the beer first poured it came out a very pumpkin-colored orange. As it settled it took on more of the amber color you can see in the above photo. The head was sloppy and bubbly. It started at two inches, but slowly dissolved. Lacing was spotting, but what was there hung on for dear life.

The nose was full of a gaggle of sweet malts that were instantly detectable. Caramel, toffee, donut batter, and cereal grains were all picked right off the top. As the beer mellowed out a bit the scents started to congeal into something I would call “beer malt smell” (patent pending), which is essentially sticking your nose into a bag of freshly milled malts/grains.

Not too surprisingly the taste was also full of malts. It started with a slightly bitter roasted toffee flavor, with the middle full of the more base, or “filler” malts. It ended with a faint touch of caramel that adds some much needed sweetness, but wasn’t quite enough in my opinion.

Mouthfeel was lightish, but not all that smooth. Some mild stickiness is left behind after each sip.

This was a disappointing beer. Traditionally Widmer is known for making tasty beers that are great representations of their respective styles. Not so much here. If the taste would have stayed the same course as the nose, then it would have been much more enjoyable. Mind you it’s not a bad beer, but if I was planning on drinking steinfuls of an Oktoberfest ale while listening to oompa oompa music at deafening levels I would choose something a little sweeter and easier drinking.

Overall: 4.5 out of 10

As an OKTOBERFEST: 5 out of 10


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