It's September - that means Oktoberfest. Yes, for those that don't know Oktoberfest actually takes part in September, finishing up the first weekend in October. For the last three years we've done our own twist on Oktoberfest and created bierFEST. From September 27 to October 1st we'll be celebrating fantastic UK breweries that like to make German style beers, and there are quite a few to choose from.
German beer styles means lager will be involved. A dirty word to many because of the mass produced lagers we've been force fed through macho TV advertising and sports sponsorship. Well things have changed and people like Lost and Grounded from Bristol, Utopian in Devon, and Saint Mars of The Desert in Sheffield, and others are changing that perception.
Lost and Grounded produce classic German styles on a German kit with German ingredients. They even go to the extreme of using a special piece of kit to adjust the acidity of their beer naturally, as the German's do, order to change their water profile to produce stunningly balanced beers. But Utopian go the other way, using only the best British ingredients to create stunning classic German styles.
On a completely different spectrum you have Martha and Dann at Saint Mars of The Desert in Sheffield who take German styles and twist them into their own creations. we were lucky enough to pour their Rauchy-bock, a cross between a smoked lager and a Bock beer - or dark lager. And for bierFest we'll be pouring their own take on another German style, using UK and American hops.
The whole area of interpretation and not having to strictly conform - as can be the case in Germany - makes the world of lagers and other German beer styles produced by UK craft breweries something to celebrate and if you're curious investigate.
And we're excited about celebrating these three and others both in the fridges and on the taps. - for those who have been the last two years Duration's Harvest Bier will obviously feature - And so you know we'll also have the safety net of some hoppy pales on aswell, but why not give these a try. You might be surprised.