Yea, it's November. But that didn't stop me from enjoying a good Oktoberfest beer this weekend. Flying Dog Dogtoberfest is a seasonal from Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, MD. The beer won a Gold medal in the German-Style Märzen category at the Great American Beer Festival in early October. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the beer locally. However the good folks at Flying Dog came to the rescue when at the end of the month a package containing a bottle of Dogtoberfest arrived at my door.
Poured into a Flying Dog pint glass, Dogtoberfest exhibits a bright, clear, copper-red color with a thick beige head. The head dropping quickly to leave a thin ring. The aroma is predominantly malt, with a faint nuttiness coming through. The beer has a rich malt flavor. There are some caramel and toasted notes to round things out. The finish brings a mild, and lingering bitterness and is slightly astringent. Mouthfeel is moderate with light carbonation. This is a well-done, enjoyable beer. At just 5.3% alcohol, had I more to enjoy, I certainly would have.
I had forgotten that I had this beer on hand until Josh from Flying Dog spied it in a beer fridge photo I posted to Flickr and remarked on it. Even though we've already started enjoying the bigger beers of Winter, this winner from Flying Dog was a tasty treat on a cool afternoon.
I hear laments from retailers that once October ends, they can't sell beers labeled "Oktoberfest." Okto-phobia I'll call it. That's a shame, as these beers are enjoyable, easily sessionable lagers that are a good fit year round. Given the success of Dogtoberfest at GABF, I can hope that next year it will be more readily available locally. I'll be looking for it.