Presenting the Alt-oberfest-bier
A Review of Westoberfest by Mystery Brewing Co.
Posted on 10/8/2013 by Chops
                   
Delicious
Ah, Oktoberfest. That wonderful time of year when beer fans morph into giddy school girls. Oktoberfest is a glorious German tradition that is celebrated world-wide by, you guessed it, drinking a lot of delicious brew nectar. The festival dates all the way back to October 12, 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig wed Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. A new beer was created for the celebration, a brew we know today as the Oktoberfest amber lager. Breweries all around the world just love to through their hats into the Oktoberfest ring and it's actually easier to name the breweries who don't craft one. And because so many do, it can be a bit challenging to set versions apart. One of my local breweries was up to that challenge and decided to put a twist on this classic style. Mystery Brewing Company created the Westoberfest, a hybrid between an Oktoberfest and a German Altbier.

In the glass, this beer has that classic earthy amber coloration of a good Oktoberfest and is actually a shade or two darker than usual, like a German Altbier. It comes with a frothy light tan head that has good retention. On the nose, I was greeted my a sweet malty aroma of toasted bread and sweet caramel. At this point I would say that the beer leans more towards an Oktoberfest than Altbier. Not that it matters, there's no hybrid equation to follow or anything. Just making the observation. Thumbs up, let's do this.

One of the defining characteristics of any good Oktoberfest is accessibility. The only worry I had going into this hybrid was that Altbiers tends to be nippy and bitter, which might turn off novices. However, Mystery knew just what they were doing because this beer is very smooth with a light-to-medium body and a muted hop profile. The nippy character of a good Altbier is certainly present and it adds a nice zesty quality to an otherwise sweet malty beer. All of the Oktoberfest flavors are present and accounted for, including earthy malt, toasted bread, and light caramel. This version also has a subtle fruity character, which is a nice touch. The beer finishes clean with a light sweet malty aftertaste.

Overall, the Mystery Westoberfest is a delicious hybrid brew with a quirky personality. Around these parts, Mystery is well known for their cavalier approach to brewing and their dedicated fan base love them for it. I'm one of those fans and it's because of beers like this. At the very least, I knew that Westoberfest was going to be a quality brew. The only question I had to answer was who to recommend it to. Mystery retained all of the approachability of the Oktoberfest beer style, so I can easily recommend it to any and all beer fans. It's a zesty interpretation with lots of great flavor. Plus, the Mystery Pub House is one of my favorite places in the area to hang out, so come join me in a pint before this most glorious of beer seasons comes to an end.

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Westoberfest by Mystery Brewing Co.
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