Brew Review

Beer Review – Ninkasi Oktoberfest

This Saturday marks the official kick-off of the 2017 Oktoberfest. The festival lasts 16-days and is held each year in Munich, Germany. Here are some interesting Oktoberfest facts:

  • The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.
  • The festival takes place in the Theresienwiese area of Munich, where it has been held for the past 200 years.
  • The festival has been cancelled 24 times. The majority of these cancellations have been due to war, i.e. The Napoleonic War in 1811, the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, World War 1 from 1914 to 1918, and World War II from 1939 to 1945.
  • Beginning in 1950, the traditional opening of Oktoberfest has involved the following: a twelve gun salute, a Noon tapping of the opening keg by the Mayor of Munich who then proclaims “O’zapft is!” (German for “It’s tapped!”), and the drinking of the first beer by the President of Bavaria.
  • When most foreigners think of Oktoberfest, they picture men in Lederhosen and women in Dirndls.
  • There are 14 main tents at the festival which serve food and beer to the masses, as well as providing music and entertainment. The Ochsenbraterei tent specializes in oxen dishes, Feisinger’s Kas- und Weinstub’n is all about the cheese, Able’s Kalbs-Kuchl is all about the veal, and The Wildstuben is known for venison. And of course, they all serve a plethora of beer!
  • In 2014, 6.9 million liters of beer were consumed by 6 million people. They also produced over 1,000 tons of garbage.
  • If you plan to attend this year’s festival, there’s an Oktoberfest App available from iTunes.
  • The top rated German Oktoberfest-Mårzen is made by Augustiner Bräu – Kloster Mülln. It scored a 92 on Beer Advocate.

As luck would have it, we just so happen to have a six pack of Oktoberfest Style Beer on hand which was brewed by Ninkasi Brewing Company of Eugene, Oregon. Before we get to the review, here’s what Ninkasi Brewing Company has to say about their Oktoberfest Style Lager:

Crafted with Oregon-grown hops, this Oktoberfest marries Northwest ingredients with a traditional German style. Celebrating the harvest, this light-bodied beer has a toasty malt bouquet and just a touch of hop bitterness. Prost!

And now for the review…

  • Appearance: Golden yellow color. Slightly cloudy. An inch of off white foam that dissipates slowly.
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • Aroma: Sweet malts of the tea biscuit and honey variety. A bit of lemon zest on the back end.
  • Taste: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation. Yeasty and bready with a mild biscuity sweetness. Light bitterness too which helps lend some balance. The finish is crisp and clean with some lingering bitterness.

The Verdict

I don’t usually like Oktoberfest style beers because most I’ve had are too sweet with a lingering wet bread thing going on. Thanks to the gently bitter hopiness of this beer, there’s none of that nonsense happening here. The Ninkasi Oktoberfest is a solid and very drinkable beer which I would definitely have again.


Many thanks to Ali AAsum of Ninkasi Brewing Company for sending us these very generous samples!

6 replies »

  1. How can the ‘Verdict’ be taken seriously if the one giving it generally doesn’t like Octoberfest beers? How? Why is this person even giving it then? How can and or does this person have any authority to judge this type of beer? Isn’t that an insult to this particular brew?


  2. It’s funny how everyone has different taste buds and opinions. I didn’t care much for this beer because it reminded me more of an IPA, but did appreciate that it wasn’t as sweet as some Oktoberfest beers. Have you had Shiner Oktoberfest?

    Liked by 1 person

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