Paulaner Oktoberfest

Reviewed by on September 24, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Paulaner Brauerei GmbH & Co. KG

  • Origin: Munich, Germany

  • Rated On: September 23, 2014

  • Best Before: April 3, 2015

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen

  • Rating: OKAY

The Review

As the original Oktoberfest location is in full swing for 2014 in Munich, it seems appropriate to bust out an offering from one of the participating breweries there.  Overseas, Paulaner’s canned Oktoberfestbier is sold inside a gargantuan, rather solid beer stein (or Maß, in German).

This 1L behemoth of a can pours a clear, pale golden yellow hue, with three fingers of puffy, billowing, and densely foamy off-white head, which leaves a thick spattering of painted lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of grainy, somewhat sweet barley malt, a bit of sour breadiness, some soft orchard fruitiness, and tame earthy, leafy noble hops. The taste is sweet bready pale malt, with a significant edgy, flinty swath cut through it, origins difficult to surmise, some slightly stale buttery character, and plain herbal, leafy hops. A meek, probing booze essence arises here and there as I make my way through this tome of a beer.  The bubbles are rather restrained in their placid frothiness (and given the general purpose of this particular style, that’s a well-conceived trait), the body a decent medium-light weight, and smooth, but for a hollow metallic and hoppy twang. It finishes mostly sweet, the graininess riding out the now fallen away mineral and booze twinges, and the hops (and hop extract) doing a commendably cute job of providing the illusion of balance.

Unfortunately, Paulaner’s rendition of this seasonal style is not the biscuity, bready, softly balanced, moderately ABV-enhanced standard-bearer that I was expecting, but adequate enough in what it offers, once those awkward umami moments (say that 10 times quickly, or after finishing this can) have passed. And nice of the manufacturers in the Bavarian Land to allow we foreigners to experience the overindulgences they do, as not so subtly suggested by this crazily (but apt) bloated serving size. Prost, I guess.

Brady White



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