On Tap is brought to you by Rosati’s Pizza, 701 S. Gregory, Urabana. 328-2334.
It’s September, and that means the Fall Seasonal Beers are out in full force. So we (me, Ryan and Shane from Rosati’s) thought we should do an extra long On Tap and sample a bunch of these fine offerings. This isn’t and exhaustive sample, but we did manage to get through ten beers. Yes. Ten beers. I did have to enlist some help from our friend Lon Ray to come in and help out with a few sessions.
Here’s the breakdown of what we did. I went out and picked up as many Fall Seasonal Beers as I could grab. I ended up with four pumpkin beers and six Octoberfest beers. Since we had so many to get to, we did things a little differently. We decided up front, that no matter what beer you were drinking, the best thing, food wise, to pair them with would be something meaty from Rosati’s. Luckily, Rosati’s has a bunch of tasty, meaty treats. Shane brought in a bunch of awesome sandwiches: rib eye, sausage, meatball, pork, bbq beef, and a stuffed burger. You won’t go wrong pairing any of these beers with any of these meaty offerings.
So, on to the beers. Since we were doing ten beer, I had to break them down in to smaller sample sizes. In our first round we tasted Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead and Summit’s Oktoberfest. Ryan was looking for some bold Pumpkin taste in his pumpkin beer, and didn’t find it. Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead is actually a pretty tasty wheat beer with some subtle spices… we were just looking for some bigger pumpkins flavor from this one. Now, Summit’s Oktoberfest beer, that one surprised us. This was a smooth, rich, malty brew that just screamed fall to all of us. This one turned out to be an early front runner for our favorite beer of the day, and we were just two beers in.
In our second round, I had to bring in Lon for an assist. We tasted Post Road Pumpkin Ale, Erdinger Oktoberfest, and Goose Island Oktoberfest. We started with the Post Road, and again, we were hoping for bigger pumpkin taste and didn’t get it. This is a pretty good beer, though. It’s rich, and warm and malty, but for what is touted as a true pumpkin ale, I could have used some more pumpkin in my ale. This was spiced well and went down smooth. Overall, pretty good. Erdinger’s Oktoberfest beer came through like a traditional German Oktoberfest beer. It’s a Weissibier (wheat beer) and it’s done really well. It has a classic weissbier presentation. Aromatic with some slight citrus, wheat, banana essence and pours a cloudy golden color. Flavor wise, this was a solid weissbier. Citrus, wheaty, with a hint of caramel. Very good. Next up, is the Goose Island Oktoberfest beer, and here we see the difference from the German style Oktoberfest beers, and the American-ized Oktoberfest beers. This pours out a rich amber color with a toffee, malty, earthy beer. We felt it was good, but didn’t hit it out of the park.
For round three we paired back to just two beers. We tried O’Fallon’s Pumpkin Ale, and Weinhenstephaner Oktoberfestbier. Well, we were looking for a big pumpkin taste, and we found it in O’Fallon’s Pumpkin Ale. This is very much like pumpkin pie in a bottle. It’s warm, pumpkiny, and well spiced. If you dig pumpkin beer, this is the one. Now, Weinhenstephaner is a different beast all together. Now granted, it may be because we are seven beers in, but this one came off a bit funky. It’s very German. It has some maltiness, with some hops happening, but this one came off a bit odd. We couldn’t get our heads around it. This was our lowest rated beer. I’d like to give this one a shot on it’s own, but for now, Ryan, Shane and I weren’t that thrilled with it.
For our final round, I brought back Lon Ray to help out once again. Our last three beers were New Holland Ichabod, Hofbrau Oktoberfest, and Captial Oktoberfest. This was a good batch of beers. The Ichabod from New Holland was a solid pumpkin beer. Not quite as pumpkiny as the O’Fallon, but still solid. It’s well spiced and not overly pumpkiny. Felt very much like fall. Smooth and warm. The Hofbrau Oktoberfest was another genuine German beer. Very hoppy. A bit skunky. But comes off pretty clean. We like it for the most part, but once again, shows the difference between German Oktoberfest and American Oktoberfests. Wrapping up, we tried the Capital Oktoberfest, and man what a difference. This to me was a very Americanized Oktoberfest beer. It’s pours amber and tastes smooth, creamy, warm, malty, and really good. We liked this one a lot.
So, what did we find? There’s a bunch of good seasonal beers out there. Give them a try. This was fun. I’m glad we don’t try and do ten beers every week, but we’re already planning to do another round of Seasonals in December. If you’re curious how we rated each beer, well, here you go:
Shipyard Pumpkinhead: Ryan = 6.5, Shane = 6, Me = 6.
Summit Oktoberfest: Ryan = 7.5, Shane = 8, Me = 7.5
Post Road Pumpkin Ale: Ryan = 6, Shane = 7, Me = 6, Lon = 7
Erdinger Oktoberfest: Ryan = 8, Shane = 8, Me = 8, Lon = 8
Goose Island Oktoberfest: Ryan = 7.5, Shane = 6, Me = 6.5, Lon = 6
O’Fallon Pumpkin Ale: Ryan = 9, Shane = 8.5, Me = 9
Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier: Ryan = 3.25, Shane = 3, Me = 5
New Holland Ichabod: Ryan = 7, Shane = 8, Me = 7, Lon = 7
Hofbrau Oktoberfest: Ryan =5, Shane = 7.5, Me = 7.5, Lon = 7
Capital Oktoberffest: Ryan = 8.3, Shane = 7, Me = 8, Lon = 8