Oktoberfest...at home

An evening of German food and beer

Reviewed by RD and ED (Esther Derbyshire, guest reviewer)

Oktoberfest may have ended a number of weeks ago but it is in full swing this evening at my house in Saltaire! I’d been planning this for a while and had assembled a range of beers for the evening. With it being half term and my wife Esther being off work, she planned an evening of Bavarian culinary delights.

So start up the Oompah band (Spotify) and bring on the Lederhosen…maybe not that one.

A bountiful feast!

A bountiful feast!

The menu for the evening consisted of:

Bratwurst cooked in beer. This got a bit scary as it boiled over and blue flames engulfed the pot. Spiced red cabbage with apple and cider vinegar, German potato salad and Spelt bread.

Followed by homemade Bavarian swirled pumpkin cheesecake.

Three Oktoberfest beers

Three Oktoberfest beers

On to the beers…

Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier

Hofbrau Munchen

6.3% ABV

Colour: A splendid amber gold as you hold it up to the light with an (unfortunately) unimpressive thin white head

Nose: A wheaty biscuity malt aroma. Kind of like a slice of wholemeal bread on the nose!

Taste: A light, crisp beer with not much going on as you first take a swig.  However, bready malt comes through as you as you swallow.

Overall Experience: A light, crisp beer with not much going on as you first take a swig. However, bready malt comes through as you swallow.

Spatan Oktoberfestbier


5.9% ABV

Colour: A very pale beer with a thin white head that disappeared pretty much immediately (but that may have been to do with the glass). Pleasantly bubbly.

Nose: It smelt earthy and really dry. Similar to a warm, cheap glass of white wine, without the fruit.  Having said that, the smell improved as it went down.

Taste: It tasted sweeter than it smelt and was quite creamy – more so than most Oktoberfestbiers so I’m told. It was slightly cloying like a Weissbier, coating your mouth but without the presence of cloves or bananas.

Overall Experience: From a slightly disappointing start, this beer improved with each mouthful. Ended pleasantly but still nothing to write home about.

Smokin’ Oktoberfest 2009

Crown Brewery, Sheffield

5.7% ABV

Colour: Wow, A very lively beer! I had to dash to the sink when opening this bottle conditioned beer. It poured a very cloudy reddish brown with a bubbly, large, off-white head.

Nose: Bag loads of caramel malt and a hint of smoke came from the glass. The smokiness was definitely a sweet smoked smell, reminiscent of Bavarian ham and not burnt smoke.  A slight presence of alcohol on the nose despite this beer having the lowest alcohol content of the night.

Taste: A massive and sharp hit of smoky malt washed over my palette as soon as I took a sip. Especially smoky on the lips. However, the smokiness was soon taken over by a bitter taste which fell away to a refreshing finish.

Overall Experience:

A really drinkable, interesting beer with flavours that keep you entertained but don’t overpower. Having had bad experiences with smoked beers previously this one was a lovely surprise. The smokiness adds to the character of the beer as opposed to being the overriding feature. One I would definitely drink again.

Crown Brewery are a small brewery based at the Hillborough Hotel in Sheffield, I have a bottle of their Unpronounceable IPA in the cupboard which will now doubt soon get a review. We plan to visit The Hillsborough Hotel sometime before Christmas as it looks like a great place and have heard great things from everyone who has visited.


The winner!

We had a great evening and a good range of Oktoberfest beers. I’d love to experience more Marzen beers; I really enjoyed Flying Dog’s Dogtoberfest. But the winner of the night was Crown’s Smokin’ Oktoberfest. Flavoursome, bold and exciting. For such a small brewery they trounced these two much bigger German breweries. Anybody reading this would like to recommend any good Oktoberfest or Marzen beers please leave a comment.

For more great beers from Crown Brewery Visit them in Sheffield at the Hillsborough Hotel or head over to Beer Ritz and Zak should be able help you out.

3 comments to Oktoberfest…at home

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