Like many beer lovers, I always look forward to autumn, a time marked by the arrival of richer and stronger brews, Oktoberfest celebrations, and a whole bunch of beer festivals. But with Atlanta Beer week moving to October, this season looks to be better than ever.
In September, Der Biergarten kicked-off an impressive Oktoberfest party, billed as “Munich on Marietta Street,” that will run through Oct. 30, with music, beer and brats every Saturday and Sunday and food and drink specials other times. An array of German beers on tap served up in steins and boots, a menu that features spit-roasted chicken and pork shank, and a rooftop beer garden make it a unique Atlanta Oktoberfest destination.
In its second year, Atlanta Beer Week, Oct. 8-16, moves from the spring to the fall, with beer bars, beverage stores, brewpubs and breweries putting on dinners, special tastings and educational seminars for the metro-wide event.
Among the most interesting, four brewpubs, Five Seasons Westside, Twain’s, Max Lagers and Wrecking Bar are joining forces to create a series of four unique cask ales under the moniker, Cuvee de Atlanta. The first one will be tapped on Oct. 11 at Max Lager’s.
Check the schedule at atlantabeerweek.com or add your events in the comments section below.
Here are a few more I’m excited about.
Hop Harvest Festival at Brick Store Pub, Oct. 8 — “We will kick off Atlanta Beer week with the ultimate tribute to our friend the hop! All 25 lines will be devoted to the Humulus Lupulus plant. That’s right, all 25 draughts will be pulled and replaced with I.P.A’s. All kinds of IPA’s. Fresh Hop, Imperial, Seasonal, One-Offs, Belgians, you name it.”
Dessert Beer Flight and Pairing at The Porter Beer Bar, Oct. 9 — “Try Southern Tier’s Mokah, Java, & Creme Brulee, each paired with a miniature dessert! Starts at 4pm, come by anytime and indulge! While supplies last!”
A Night with Bell’s Brewery at Midway Pub, Oct. 10 — Featuring Hell Hath No Fury Ale and Batch 10,000, with a 100 different malts, grain and fermentables and 60 different hop varietals. Crazy! Also, Founders KBS on Oct. 11.
Small Plate Specials and Beer Pairings at Muss & Turner’s, Oct. 14 — “Muss & Turner’s chefs celebrate 2011 Atlanta Beer Week with small plate specials and beer pairings.”
Though it always sells out quickly, the Decatur Craft Beer festival, Oct. 15, is a fall favorite, with more than 100 American and international beers, plus lots of music and food. Decatur has become a hot drinking and dining destination, so even if you don’t have a ticket, the pubs around the Square, including Brick Store, Leon’s, Mac McGee and Square Pub, could make for quite a crawl.
Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen
Ayinger Brewery, Aying, Germany
$3.49/ 16.9-ounce bottles at metro beverage stores; also on draft at select beer bars
Profile: There are so many really good Oktoberfest-style beers, including some fine examples from American breweries, such as Victory Festbeir. But for my money, Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen remains the standard of excellence. With its deep golden color, malty nose, rich, slightly sweet palate, and soft, dry finish, it’s simply everything a quality session beer should be.
Pair with: Ayinger recommends serving Oktober Fest-Marzen in tall glass or earthenware mug and pairing it with pretzels and radishes, goulash with dumplings, bock-wurst, weiner schnitzel, roasted chicken and pork.
Bob Townsend is editor of Southern Brew News, a bimonthly beer publication distributed throughout the Southeast, www.brewingnews.com/southernbrew.
— Bob Townsend, AJC Drink blog