Itascafest
Church Street Brewing Company

ItascafestItascafest
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #298
ABV:
not listed
Score:
83
Ranked #35,456
Avg:
3.69 | pDev: 7.86%
Reviews:
9
Ratings:
24
From:
Church Street Brewing Company
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  0
Gots
  5
SCORE
83
Good
ItascafestItascafest
Notes:
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 24 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

3.51/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Orangey amber clear body with off-white foam. Smell and taste are clones: caramel malt that is crystalized with sweetness, very bright yet pervasive, light amounts of toast and nuts, but really not much else, borders on watery. Feel is thin, malty, bright for style, and gets close to being described as sweeter feeling too. It's crushable though bland and one-dimensional. The wife liked it

Mar 24, 2021
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

caught this one pretty old, so not going to be too critical of it here, and will wait to hopefully try it on the fresher side at some point, but i wasnt real impressed with this. a little darker in the glass than a lot of these, more reddish amber than the burnt orange i am used to, although the head is frothy and nice. aroma is a little sour, like a yeast thats starting to go off, trace fruit vinegar or something, but beneath that is a richer and fuller malt base, a loosely german essence from the grain and yeast, and a sweetness that runs through it. the flavor is about the same, less of the oldness, less oxidation, and none of the weird tang i smell, the malt is still intact, and this just seems like a somewhat heartier version of the style than we usually get. an almond layer, some brown sugar, and still a german lager drying tendency at the end, even with a lot of body on it. overall decent but not great, ill have to find this a little closer to the source, but it was a fun one to try from a brewery i had not heard of before. common knowledge says marzen is for the fall, but i like them all the time!

Apr 01, 2019
Photo of BlackBeerPirate
BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Taste: slight spiced bread, caramel malt, smooth and clean finish. mild nose. Dark copper hue, clear, with soft foam head and ring of lace. Medium to light body. Lighter version of the big Oktoberfest beers. 24 IBUs

Sep 06, 2018
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, amber color with ruby highlights. It smelled floral and grassy. Lots of sweet malty notes, too. It had a subtle spice and a nice toasted caramel malt finish.

Sep 23, 2016
Photo of filstan
filstan from Illinois

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent example for this style. Color is amber as befitting an older traditional Bavarian Maerzen Fest beer. Many people are unaware that the Oktoberfest bier served at the Wies'n years ago was amber and not golden as it has been in since around 1990. Most importantly, the Itascafest has a fantastic caramel malt character due to the use of decoction mashing, and a reason why CS lager beers are better than most imo. Really nice roasted, bready malt aroma too. At 5.1 abv this is a very quaffable brew albeit at the lower end of what would be considered the proper range for the style. Big abv. isn't necessarily better with beer. Foam holds well and the .5 ltr Willi Becher glass I used acquired a fine lace as it drank down. The beer had good clarity adding to a strong visual when first poured from the tap with a 3 finger head of foam. This beer was very good last year, and this seasonal installment is once again outstanding on draft.

Sep 10, 2015
Photo of bwood06
bwood06 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Very dark amber in color with a dark khaki head that is a half finger in thickness. Some visible yeast in the beer. Not the typical Oktoberfest appearance that I am used to. Head disappears very quickly. 3.5/5

S - Major notes a wheat bread and a yogurt tanginess. Maybe a hint of some dark fruit as well. Very little in the way of hops. A bit peppery. Once again, very different for an Oktoberfest. 4/5

T - Yeasty and bready right of the bat with a yogurt tang/funky finish. I am also getting notes of molasses, green apple, and a bit of a buttery note. Very interesting profile. 4/5

M - Clean and crips. Does not linger on the palate. 4.25/5

O - Definitely not the typical Oktoberfest offering. Reminds me more of a wild ale without the high abv. Throughly enjoyed discovering this one of a kind Oktoberfest. Even better that it's a local brewery! 4/5

Jan 29, 2015
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours placidly into a tulip glass, initial burst of cream colored foam, not much lacing but the color is nice. Bright clarity when gently poured.

Funky yeast aroma at first, later becoming slightly sweet and nutty.

Weirdly tart, and that ain't right no matter how you slice it, and on top of that, last years reviews mention the same thing. Raisin and nutty malt flavors comprise the flavor undercurrents, alongside a brief fleeting bitterness. The tart note is jarring, in an otherwise good example of an Oktoberfest.

Oct 01, 2014
Photo of Redrover
Redrover from Wisconsin

3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a couple of these on tap at HB Jones in Elmhurst. HB has a good beer selection and some really nice food options.
Served in a standard pint, the beer is brown with amber highlights. The beer has terrific lacing.

It has a nice aroma of grains and a bit of fruit.

This was a beer that grew on me. The initial taste was a bit sour, but then it was quickly followed by bready malts and some spice from the hops. Malt centric pretty much right in-line for an older style O-Fest (which I like better than the new lighter ones).

Mouth has decent heft. Good combination of easy drinking & good tasting. Session beer for sure.

Nov 01, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a willibecher at the tap room.

Gotta love it when the O=Fest sounds like a party goin' on downtown, right? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear amber-topaz topped by a finger of wan cream foam. The nose comprises lightly-toasted caramel, grass, a hint of flowers, light biscuit, and a drop or two of honey. The taste brings in more of the same, complete with a healthy balance between the caramel and the grass. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a very nice, well-balanced O-Fest. Clearly these guys get the Germans better than most...

Sep 21, 2013
Itascafest from Church Street Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 24 ratings