Through the years, Firestone Walker Brewing has brewed an Oktoberfest beer that’s named Oaktoberfest. Taking its name after the brewery’s hometown of Paso Robles that is Spanish for “Pass of The Oaks”, this year’s version joins the 2019 version as one that’s been aged on oak.
Over the past 16 years Firestone Walker has usually brewed Oaktoberfest, and on occasion it has packaged this beer in 12oz bottles and even 16oz cans. For 2021 release of Oaktoberest, it’ll be an oak-inspired tribute to the great Bavarian tradition of Oktoberfest.
Firestone Walker’s 2021 Oaktoberfest Oak Aged Lager begins rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets this week in 6-pack, 12oz bottles and draft formats.
“Some recipes endure for a reason, and Oaktoberfest is a perfect example,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson, in a statement. “We’ve been making this ‘Paso Festbier’ periodically for more than 15 years, and it has stood the test of time.”
In brewing the 2021 Oaktoberfest, the brewers at Firestone Walker decided to really live up to the beers name by lagering the beer in actual oak barrels. Similar to what the brewery did for its 2019 limited release of Oaktoberfest, this year the beer was lagered in French oak barrels from a premium Napa Valley Cabernet producer. The beer’s light amber color foreshadows its toasty, biscuity flavor. The oak-barrel lagering allows for an even smoother mouthfeel, all while remaining true to the beer’s crisp malt profile and hints of noble German hops.
“We lager the beer in oak rather than stainless steel,” said Brynildson, in a statement. “We have found, through trial and error, that the beer requires less time in the barrel compared to stainless, as there is more surface area and microxygenation. It brings a distinctly smooth, integrated character to the beer.”
The origins of Firestone Walker’s Oaktoberfest date back to 2005, when the brewery hosted its inaugural Oaktoberfest celebration. Ever since, the beer has come into periodic rotation, most recently as a brewery taproom only offering last year.
Oaktoberfest is best enjoyed with friends. “This beer has tons of flavor but it’s super smooth and easygoing, too,” Brynildson said in a statement. “It’s a perfect fall sipper. Grab your stein and enjoy!”
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.