Dec 14, 2016

Ninkasi Oktoberfest

If you’re wondering why I’m posting a review of Ninkasi’ Oktoberfest in December, it’s because I’ve got a bit of a backlog in my notes. Apparently, I’m drinking faster than I can publish these things — that can be taken as either a good thing or bad, I suppose. At any rate, I purchased and promptly enjoyed this 5.5% ABV marzen back in early October.

Ninkasi’s variation on the annual late Summer brew marries Pacific Northwest hops with traditional ingredients (for the style) to create an interesting and tasty drinking experience. The marzen is much more hop-forward than your typical Oktoberfest, leaning heavily on leafy, earthy flavors and a slightly more pronounced level of bitterness. This beer isn’t a hop bomb by any means, but traditionalists be warned, it’s probably not going to satisfy quite like other examples of the style.

It’s always interesting to see how breweries try to put a spin on standard examples of a beer genre. Too much of a hop presence, for instance, can kill a beer all together. Ninkasi have managed to incorporate a larger hop footprint in this brew without completely overwhelming the malt bill that provide nice bready notes and a hint of honey. It’s not a bad twist on a traditional style.