Oktoberfest is underway in Munich. The largest beer festival in the world dates back to 1810 with the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. Six Munich breweries produce almost seven million liters of festbier, a style similar to the standard German lager and accented by generous additions of noble hops and specialty malts. It is also the strongest beer Germans drink outside of bock beer season.
This fall the Iowa City beer bar The Sanctuary is having a rotating series of Oktoberfest kegs. At the moment they have on the Paulaner Oktoberfest from the eastside brewery Paulaner. This beer is brilliantly clear, an aged copper color that borders on ruby. Some of the tan head lingers a while.
A sweet nose is pungent but not sharp, full of toast, caramel, and plum. The flavor is very sweet. Burnt caramel and some earthy hops dominate, with an accompanying sweetness. Alcohol tickles the back of the throat, but the cloying sweetness lingers.