17 Oct 11 Below Oktoberfest
11 Below Oktoberfest
Northwest Houston, Willowbrook
Packaging: Draft, 32 oz Crowler
11 Below had their Oktoberfest last weekend, and leading up to it, they had crowlers for the low-low. I couldn’t help but stop by for one while I was on the Northwest side, and I’m glad I did. Our newest addition to the team, Josh Olalde the Beertographer, was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Oktoberfest festivities.
There’s no official artwork for this one, but I’ve seen some Oso Bears with lederhosen and a funny little hat. God, I love Oso (the bear AND the beer).
But enough about Oso, let’s get back to 11 Below Oktoberfest. It pours a deep copper color that’s crystal clear with tawny head that drops faster than my leiderhosen at an Oktoberfest party.
11 Below Oktoberfest smells of straight malt – sweet notes of rich caramel and a super slight smoky/spicy note. I also just fired up the coals on the grill, so maybe the smokiness is coming from that. Either way it smells like I need to go to Germany wearing my 11 Below Texas Flag shirt.
Each sip of 11 Below Oktoberfest screams of rich, biscut-y malts but in a welcoming, sessionable way. In an odd paradox, the boldness of the malt characteristic lends itself to a fairly low ABV. There are nearly no hops here, and the finish lingers with nearly no bitterness and a light, sweet, floral note.
The floral finish reminds me a bit of Saint Arnold Spring Bock. The two styles share some similarities, history, and origin, but the comparison is really about the finish to me.
This Oktoberfest, like so many others, won’t be around long. If you’re like us at all, you might agree that festbiers are a little overlooked. If that’s the case, and you can’t find this one on, Katie and the rest of the team put together a pretty cool tour of Houston’s Oktoberfests that you ought to give a gander.
“You know something isn’t quite right when we have 2 lagers on tap,” their Instagram caption read. Thanks for slowing down the brew schedule just a bit to give us this one!
11 Below Oktoberfest
This is a solid beer. It’s great with grilled chicken, and I’d drink it year round if it were an option. The fact that it’s light in alcohol but bold in flavor is one of my favorite attributes. Hats off (the funny little German ones) to the Keenan and the team over at 11 Below for this one. If you’re a fan of them like we are, you can check out some of their history here too.
Let us know what you thought of 11 Below Oktoberfest by voting below or tell us about it in the comments! Beers to you, Houston!