Total Score: 60.0, D- Reviewed 11/15/2011
Today’s beer, Beck’s Oktoberfest, is the second in my Oktoberfest-fest. Coming to us straight from Bremen, Germany, and of course brewed under the Purity Law of 1516, this particular bottle bears a best-by date of June 2012. Seems like a long time for any beer, let alone one packaged in a green bottle. And who drinks Oktoberfests in June?
Perhaps my favorite fact about Beck’s Oktoberfest is that they’re not allowed to sell it in Germany. It turns out that German law prohibits breweries outside of Munich from calling their beers Oktoberfests. Thank goodness I went to law school and now feel qualified to opine that this is a truly stupid law. In case you’re wondering, the six breweries that can christen a beer “Oktoberfest” are Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr (owned by Paulaner), Hofbrauhaus, Lowenbrau, Paulaner, and Spaten.
Despite this shortcoming, Beck’s perseveres as one of Germany’s most successful breweries, ranking as the fifth-best seller and the number one exporter. A lot of this probably has to do with the fact that they’re owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, which purchased Beck’s in 2002. One of approximately two facts offered by their website, which is a nearly un-navigable horror, boasts that they were the first German brewery to use green bottles. Woo hoo.
Poured from a friggin green bottle into pint glass. Large fluffy head, about the color of a sugar cookie composed of large bubbles, dwindles away slowly. Beer is a beautiful, crystal clear warm amber color with lots of little bubbles floating to the surface. Smell is primarily bread-y malts (although not particularly strong) with soft grassy/lemony hops in the back. Taste is really bad. “Harsh” is the first thought that comes to mind, with “thin” a close second. Can’t decide if the unpleasant taste is sharp bitterness, sourness, or some really bad earthy hop taste. Aftertaste is equally harsh with a lingering repulsive bitterness.
If all I had to do was look at and smell this beer it would be average or slightly above, but unfortunately I put it in my mouth, which I’m sincerely regretting. What a mess. Only finished about half, then switched to Dr. Pepper 10. There’s a distinct chance that if I don’t pour the other bottle I have down the drain tonight, it may well last until June 2012.
Looks: 8/10 Smell: 7.5/10 Taste: 5/10 All-Around: 6/10