One thing that’s pretty great about the modern craft beer landscape: So many more breweries are willing to take a swing at making a lager. Even better? The ratio of hits to misses has gotten *so* much better in the past few years.
Take, for example, this Old Nation Oktoberfest. It’s a solid marzen! Bordering on pretty good, even. Pleasant color, lightly sweet with your expected caramel-toffee nutty-toastiness, all well and good. Pretty straighforward, and that’s not a bad thing when it comes to these extremely-well-established styles.
But prior to a few years ago, would you expect even a passable dark lager from a brewery mostly known for leading the way on hazy IPAs across Michigan? I might be grading on a curve because I really was pleasantly surprised by this beer after being bummed out by their West Coast IPA (not nearly bitter enough for me; but hey, my palate might still be blown out by that Devil Dancer Triple IPA I had like 8 years ago).
But this Old Nation Oktoberfest really serves to remind me – you just can’t discount lagers from mostly-ale-producing breweries any more. That’s a pretty great thing. We’d love to see more of them, too – and especially let us know when you start spotting locally produced schwarzbiers whenever you see them.