(Photographed by Photography Manager Rena Danho)
Volunteer Writer: Lincoln Karle
It’s officially Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, and you don’t need a plane ticket to get there.
On Thursday, September 28th, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth presented “Oktoberfest,” which is one of the many Student, Activity, Involvement, and Leadership (S.A.I.L) “Uncorked” events that are held in the Marketplace Event Center.
As with all “Uncorked” events, they’re designed to educate attendees on the history, creation, and varieties of alcohol. And in the case of “Oktoberfest,” that alcohol is, of course, beer. And it’s not just any beer – it’s German beer.
Oktoberfest traces its origins to the year 1810, in which the citizens of Munich, Germany, were invited to the wedding of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese Charlotte Luis, forever marking the first-ever Oktoberfest. It is an event lasting from September 13th to October 3rd, where millions of German citizens and international tourists indulge in the traditional beer and food Germany has to offer.
While UMass Dartmouth couldn’t quite provide the experience of being engulfed in a crowd of millions, it did provide two essential things: Official Oktoberfest beer and traditional German sausage. And props to UMass Dartmouth because, man, that sausage was really, really good.
The following brews are some notable examples of the many sampled offerings during Oktoberfest.
I noted a distinct caramel coloring and “refined” taste during the tasting. One would understandably mistake it as a light beer despite its ABV rating above 5%.
It reminded me of the Lagers I had during my time in Switzerland, and for that, I happily rated it an 8/10.
The second of six official Oktoberfest beers provided was the “Paulaner Oktoberfest Beer.” Our second Lager, this beer traces its origins much closer to that of Oktoberfest, more than 200 years ago.
After sampling it, I was disappointed with the result.
It’s an uninteresting flavor that came off as grossly American, as if I had just drank a Budweiser. I wrote down a rating of 6/10, only to find that when the speaker asked for the room’s opinions, I was in the minority. People loved it.
The first of the sampled local offerings, Jack’s Abby “Copper Legend,” comes very near from Framingham, Massachusetts. Designed exclusively with Oktoberfest in mind, it is available in a limited window from August to October, and remarkably, Munich has no idea what they’re missing.
It felt blasphemous to remark so highly on a local rendition of Oktoberfest beer when the official, gold-standard German beers were just sampled, but Jack’s Abby impressed me. With a noticeable fall scent and deep, pronounced flavor, I rated “Copper Legend” a 9/10.
Spoiler: It remained my favorite sample the rest of the night.
Coming once again from Massachusetts was my runner-up to “Copper Legend,” Greater Good’s “Giant Pumpkin.” What is the pinnacle of October flavorings, if not pumpkin?
This stout is brewed in Worcester and was offered to event attendees as one of two final samples (which we’ll cover next).
Given its pumpkin flavor and status as one of the last offerings, it was essentially a dessert beer. What I found to be exceptional was the subtlety of its flavoring. Despite having an obvious Pumpkin nature, it was as drinkable as any lite beer, which is often not the case with dessert drinks and, as you’ll see, was the case with the next and last sample.
I recorded a strong 9/10 rating.
Here from Buffalo, New York, was the “Pumking” Imperial Ale. Offered with limited fall availability and a malt from Munich, I declared this to be the pinnacle of dessert beer.
As with all samplings, attendees would first discern the beverage’s scent profile, which, in this case, was welcomingly overpowering. A robust and sweet pumpkin smell was backed up by a flavor that almost exactly replicated that of a gourmet Pumpkin Pie.
Others who are not fond of Pumpkin flavorings would sensibly be turned off, but I have a sweet tooth. Of course, I couldn’t imagine drinking more than one of these in a single night.
Despite that, I recorded a 10/10.
And that concludes this year’s Oktoberfest at Umass Dartmouth.
All of these samples and more are offered at the Crow’s Nest Pub in the Campus Center for anyone intrigued by what they’ve read. The local beers can be found in the area until the end of October.
And don’t worry, if you feel like you’ve missed out and want to attend a similar event, there will be one held for rum tastings by next month.
Happy Oktoberfest, and cheers, everyone!