Total Score: 61.0, D- Reviewed 11/20/2011
NOTE: Elevator’s owner Dick Stevens has contacted me to discuss this review. Stay tuned for updates.
Today’s brew, 1810 Okotoberfest, is from the Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus located right here in downtown Columbus in the historic Columbia building. Elevator was originally founded in 1999 about 30 miles from downtown Columbus in Marysville, where it got its name from a grain elevator located on the property. The current building, which is on the national registry of historic places, was built in 1897 and originally housed a billiards hall and gentleman’s saloon. Elevator keeps that history alive with two restored pool tables, one from 1891 and one from 1884. The building also features two historic bars, one of which was given an award for craftsmanship in 1893. According to the website, the building may even be haunted by ghosts.
Elevator’s 1810 Oktoberfest is one of the many beers produced by brewmaster Vic Schiltz and assistant brewer Mark Beery (seriously? Is that your real name?). Unfortunately the website doesn’t even mention the beer, and an attempt to contact the brewery for more information was not answered. The bottle offers the only guidance as to what we’re getting into, noting that it’s a “traditional Marzen” that is “rich amber in color, medium body, with a toasty sweet malt finish.” It ends with the phrase “Lass uns Bier trinken” which, according to Google translator, means “Let us drink beer.”
Lass uns bier trinken!
I know these guys are a small brewery with limited bottling operations, but the label looks pretty cheap, and trying to read the text on the back through the checkerboard pattern feels like doing a Magic Eye puzzle. Sunday beer review, so out comes the Cleveland Browns pint glass! Out of the hideous bottle the beer pours a nice amber but is slightly hazy, and on closer inspection there are a bunch of little tiny particles floating around in there. Pour produces a huge fluffy off-white head, so big in fact that I had to pause several times to get the whole beer in there. Head lingers quite a while and a leaves a pleasantly thicker than usual film once it settles. Nice sticky lace. Smells like the first beer I ever homebrewed, which was not good. I’m getting biscuity malt and sourish grassy hops in the smell. Taste is – wow – nothing like an Oktoberfest, and just not very good. A light floral hoppiness leads the taste, more like a pale ale. Very bitter toasted malts sneak in towards the end to lash the taste buds. Just seems like the beer is a bit messy and doesn’t really know what it’s trying to be. Aftertaste is weird and unpleasant, like burnt toast almost. Taste starts ok but finishes poorly. Body is on the lighter side as is carbonation. Finish is bone dry. I drank most of it just trying to figure out what the hell it was, but saved the last few sips for the fish.
When it’s all said and done, this beer is more disappointing than the Browns for me. As much as I want Elevator (and the Browns) to wow me, this isn’t the first time I’ve been disappointed, and as much as I want to support the local breweries, I wouldn’t let this touch my lips again. Whether or not the brewery hosts ghosts, it is certainly haunted by bad Oktoberfest.