Beers in Review: Notables from Craft & Draft Octoberfest

Greetings from PRB Northern Command!




It's my parents' house.

And no, I did not run away from the hurricane (though I hope anyone reading this that was in its path is safe and secure), but traveled up here for personal reasons. But travelling won't stop me from writing about beer! I still have to write about quite a few beers from the Craft and Draft Octoberfest event, and this intro is already overly long, so let's get started!

First up is a seasonal lager from Hi-Wire Brewing. The charmingly-titled Zirkusfest pours a nice deep copper color, and opens up with a slightly sweet malt backbone. Also among the flavors is a semi-sweet caramel note, along with some other burnt sugars. This all leads to a crisp and fairly clean finish. I found this to be a pretty solid Marzen overall, though it was perhaps a bit overshadowed by some of the other offerings at this event.

Next is another fall seasonal, Thicket Autumn IPA by Natty Greene's Brewing Company. Also pouring a copper color, a standard of most fall beers, I was quite impressed by the hop/malt balance. The nice, spicy malts blend well with dank and piney hop notes. I found little-to-no sweetness in this beer, though it should be noted I had this immediately after the Zirkfusfest, which DID have a bit of sweetness to it. Such can be the hazards of reviewing at such an event. I found this to be a really nice beer, though. The balance of flavors was very pleasing to me. I probably need to try to track this down and try it solo, away from all other beers. Perhaps as a video review?

We now switch gears into more fruity selections, beginning with a fruited Berliner-Weiss from Southern Barrel Brewing Company. Wild Bramble pours a pretty fruity reddish-pink color with a considerable amount of haze. The flavors are pretty straight forward; the Berliner-Weiss is made with raspberries and blackberries, and so those tart berry flavors come through in a strong way. This beer is light, crisp, refreshing, and pretty tasty--everything you would want out of a Berliner-Weiss.

Today's final entry comes from Good Times Brewing. Not Your Grandma's Peach Cobbler is a Bourbon barrel-aged Brown Ale. The color follows suit to the style: a somewhat cloudy brown color. While there were some malt hints detectable in this beer, a few other flavors overtook those malts. Peach and peach skin are quite present, along with a little bit of a brown sugar note. There is also perhaps a hint of booze. Even so, a nice tasty beer that brings some differing elements from your standard Brown.