Scratch Beer 73 - 2012 (Fest Lager) | Tröegs Brewing Company

very good
68 Ratings
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Scratch Beer 73 - 2012 (Fest Lager)Scratch Beer 73 - 2012 (Fest Lager)

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
To commemorate the annual German tradition of Oktoberfest, Tröegs unveils Scratch #73 – 2012, an OkTröegerFest, if you will. This rich, pumpkin-colored lager goes against the grain by boasting a fairly hefty hop presence for the style, giving the flavor a moderate bitter twist while still maintaining the classic malt character that you’ve come to expect from a traditional Fest Bier.

35 IBU

Added by MasterSki on 08-16-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 68
Photo of donkeyrunner
2.72/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

$7 at Meadhall, Cambridge MA.

Octoberfest in February? Yes please.

Cyrstalline clear dark auburn with a staunch, never say die head. Sticky Kanagawa wave lacing clings onto the glass like intentionally festooned decoration. Such an impressive foam show I doubled checked the menu to make sure it was a lager and not some weird amber wheat. Flawless looking marzen.

Smells like crystal malts. Maybe some herbal hop. That's about it.

Way too sweet. Tastes like someone squirted marzen extract into my beer and was too heavy handed. There's an herbal hop in back that gives an antiseptic flavor which I really don't like but it does help cut some of the sweetness off my palette.

Really didn't like this one.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Amber with 1 finger white head. Low-moderate carbonation.

Biscuits and caramel.

Biscuits, caramel and buttered toast. A touch of cocoa, brown sugar and grapefruit zest. A good dose of earthy, herbal hops on the back end providing a caustic bitterness.

Medium bodied, crisp and clean.

All is well until the hops come into play. The hops are just providing a weird bitterness without much flavor. Very dirty and unpleasant for the Oktoberfest style.

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Photo of JWU
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

neighbors growler fill poured into my trusty mug.

A- beautiful marzen. A clear auburn with a fluffy finger and a half of egg shell head. Very nice lacing down the glass for an octoberfest lager.

S- some bready malts with some light german hops. Nothing to shout about here.

T- A drier, slightly heavier hopped version of the style. A light bready malt, with some light caramel hints, has some german hopping, but also a slight hint of citric hop. Quite dry on the finish, and the finishing bitterness lingers.

M- medium heavy on the carbonation, light to medium body, and again, dry on the backend.

O- Very nice to try, I tend to gravitate to the sweeter octoberfests, so this isn't quite my cup of tea.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint
5.5% ABV, Bottling No: Fest Lager

A - A rather vigorous pour launches the beer's plump ivory head into the air, billowing above the clear rusted chestnut-hued beer. Dense lace clutches the glass in thick webbing as the head slowly lowers for a beer that's got a perfect appearance!

S - Tröegs Fest Lager immediately displaces a hoppier aroma into the air than the typical Oktoberfest. Spice and herbal notes come together to produce crispness which overlays the usual maltiness. Noble hops aside, the grain bill sticks close to the style's heart with delicate toasted Vienna and chunky bread Munich sweetness.

T - Smooth maltiness washes over the tongue carrying the aromas delicious bready characteristics with it as well as some earthy nuttiness but, the hops kick in and bully the malt into submission. A heavy herbal bite slowly creeps in, pressuring the taste buds until the end.

M - At first Tröegs Fest Lager Scratch beer starts smooth and almost creamy with a light carbonation prickle that tingles in the back of the throat but, this beer slowly develops into an incredibly dry, almost harshly astringent, bitter beer for lack of malt balance. The lasting impression, or finish of flavor, which lingers on the back of the tongue and throat does not do this beer any justice.

O - From it's appearance and inviting aroma, Tröegs Fest Lager starts with a promising twist on the classic German lager but it's over-hopped flavor and, subsequently, the feel and finish really impart a distracting and rather loathsome bitter dryness that ruins the experience for me. Far be it from me to call it a bad beer but it's neither to style, nor to my liking.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at revolution house

Pours a clear copper color with a one-finger topping of white head. Dissolves into a bit of retention with some spotty lacing left behind.

Malty and bready with a dash of hops. Hints of citrus with sweetness followed by bread crust and light sweetness.

Kicks off with a welcomed note of citrus hoppiness, quickly followed by bready, caramel tones. Malty with toffee and light sweetness with some toasted notes. Continuing layers of German malt finishing with a bit of dry hops and caramel sweetness.

Medium body, decent carbonation, chewy and sticky on the tongue. A pretty decent Marzen - I enjoyed the slightly hoppy twist as well.

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Photo of Chaney
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Troegs after taking my wife to ride coasters over at Hershey Park.

A: Poured an orange color (mostly), with the slightest bit of red also. The soft pillowy head seemed inviting to me on this early fall day.

S: Definitely bready and malty, with only a hint of Germanicism (my word, you owe me money if you use it. :)). More American that German for sure.

T: I got a light sourdough bread sweetness with a bit of a caramel toffee undertow. Where's are the mothballs"

M: Creamy and with no alcohol detected (but that's not really a problem many have with Marzens anyway). The lacing was ridiculous in the on-tap version but not so much on the bottled one.

O: While I liked this overall, I still longed for the Hack-Pforr esque, mothball-laced, less sweet, non-Americanized version of the style.

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Photo of John_M
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap a Hudson St. Stackhouse during BBW.

The beer pours a coppper amber color with fairly good head retention and lacing. The nose is intriguing, as I pick up some clove, cinnamon and sweet malt. The flavor profile is more of the same, with something of a pumpkin element as well. Interestingly, despite all the spice and flavor, the beer is a bit thin on the palate, and I didn't feel as if the spice blended in all that well with the pumpkin and sweet malt. Also, there's some noticeable alcohol on the finish, which is a bit of a detraction.

Interesting effort, and certainly not a bad beer, but not something I could see myself ordering again either.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice shade of orange and copper, slight clarity with a bit of hazy particles in the middle, some small white sediment floating around. Beige-like, small head that sinks down to a thin cover around the edges of the glass quickly. Smell is hard to pick up on, not as powerful as I'd hoped. I am getting some mild spice and sweet, buttery malt, but that's about it. It's definitely getting stronger as it warms up.

After the first taste I was thinking, "Wow, this tastes like an O-fest!" - Then I realized, it is called FEST Lager. Hah, must be the Munich malts. Very malt heavy beer, biscuity and full of caramel and some toffee. Slight sulfur smell in the background, but not too heavy or distracting. A bit of grains and almost some fruity sweetness, although I can't pinpoint one specific fruit. Bitterness is very low and appears only briefly at the end in the form of very, very, VERY faint, floral, musty hops. I also picked up a slight weird, astringent flavor, almost old cork-like. Not a big deal. Aftertaste is like buttered toast and full of grains. Medium body, slightly stick with low-medium carbonation.

This beer was pretty damn good. I wasn't expecting much from it, but it certainly delivered and then some. I'm also not a huge fan of O-fests, but I still enjoyed this one very much. True to the style and full of flavor. Low ABV doesn't hurt, either. Some slight off-flavors here and there which prevented a higher rating, but I would definitely have this one again.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer was served a golden-amber color with a one finger white head. The head faded over a moderate amount of time to give a lighter level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was of toasted bread and malt with caramel and a light level of a citrus hop aroma mixed within.

Taste – The taste began with a bready flavor mixed with an ever so light caramel flavor. Up front there is a decent presence of citrus hop taste as well. While not too sweet initially, some of the initial caramel sweetness faded as the taste when on. Toward the end, the now drier flavor bittered lightly as some more citrus hops as well as some more roasted malt flavors come to the tongue. In the end, a crisp and slightly hopped, toasted bread flavor are left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the average side in terms of creaminess as well as chewiness. The carbonation level of the brew was quite average as well. Both made for a very drinkable brew and accentuated the crisp nature and the tastes quite well.

Overall – A rather flavorful brew that was refreshing and very easy drinking. One to try if you get the chance.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at The Brass Rail in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear deep copper to amber in color with some garnet red highlights and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted/bready and caramel malts with some light sweetness as well as some herbal and grassy hops.

T: Like the smell, the flavor of this beer sticks to the traditional Oktoberfest style flavors of toasted and caramel malts with some light amounts of sweetness followed by moderate amounts of herbal and grassy hops that give it some bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: Enjoyable with the slightly more than normal hops for the style giving it a little more "bite." I could easily put a couple of these down and it was a welcome flavor on this cold early winter evening.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear brown pour with about a finger of white head. Looks darker than I'd expect an Oktoberfest to be.

S: The aroma is predominantly malty with your typical lager-like characteristics. Bready and sweet, it's inviting.

T: Caramel malts and a light breadiness make this lager really inviting. I certainly could drink a lot of this in one sitting (and I may or may not be doing just that). Great lager taste, with that iconic Oktoberfest take. I like this year's much better than last year's.

MF: Light body that is carbonated well. Goes down smoothly.

O: Really glad I was at the brewery when they put this one up for sale. Split a case with a few friends and don't regret it at all.

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Photo of williamtlow
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served "brewery fresh" from a growler into beer-clean pint glass (with heavy lacing).

Appearance: Almost PERFECT amber, orange-copper color. Clear with no cloudiness and consistent carbonation. Thick, consistent head lacing the sides of my glass beautifully.

Smell: Immediately bursting with floral, citrus aroma with a hint of the traditional oktoberfest, pumpkin, and slightly spicy smells.

Taste: Initial hit of zesty (and tasty) hops followed by a mellowing, smooth finish expected from a lager/marzen.

Mouthfeel: Not too carbonated. Crisper than other marzens/lagers but still smoothes out nicely.

Overall: A very, very, well done beer. Just the right amount of hops. For this style, it may be one of my favorites. Sessionable, yet very tasty. This beer is a crowd pleaser.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the tasting room 8/16/12 enjoyed chilled in a stange type glass.

The color is deep crimson with good clarity and thin cap of a sand color with tight bead and ringlets of lace adhere. The smell has the familiar marzen odor of toasted grain with mild almond and light hint of herbal hops in the nose. The feel is good except the only thing I disliked is the carboantion level, it just seemed a little gassy to me which took away from some of the malt flavor possibly. The hop bitternes is moderate with gentle spicy tinge in the back.

The flavor is very nicely balanced with both malt and hops present in the flavor with more spice in the hops with slight german yeast elements and bready lightly toasted malt with some nutty almost almond like sweet elements. The flavor of hops becomes a little more noticeable in the finish with a semi-dry yet full flavor. Overall this is a very good lager I liked the way the malt and hops are integrated with neither outdoing each other. The only thing I disliked was the gassiness a bit high in carbonation made it less enjoyable to me overall, but that is minor and the taste is very good.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Tröegs Brewing Company (Hershey, PA) on 8/16/12. Served in a stange.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger-sized cap of slightly off-white colored head. This retains with some foamy ringing around the sides of the glass, leaving back some patchy lace. The aroma is fresh, spicy and leafy feeing, with earthy citrus notes and malt combining to give this a ripe and green smelling feel in the nose.

The taste has a solid green citric bite to it, which mix with malty flavors of caramel and bread to impart a rich tanginess to the profile. This is overall crisp and firm feeling on the palate, with a dry spicy bitterness on the finish that lingers a bit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and tight feeling on the tongue with a creamy yet firm carbonation that gives this a quaffable presence in the mouth.

This is yet another in a long line of Fest Lager variations that Tröegs always seems able to impress me with each year. This one has a bit more of a ripe citric earthiness to the profiles but that same crisp dryness still gives this a hugely drinkable character. I could have easily drunk multiple glasses of this.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Transparent copper body with a sticky off-white head. Carbonation bubbles can be seen through the body.

S- Caramel malt and lager yeast come through the most. Malty bread aromas along with some sweetness as well.

T- Caramel malts are the main attraction in this one. Bready flavors come through along with a slight earthy hop presence. Pretty standard marzen flavors.

M- Crisp with a slight bite on the tounge, medium carbonation, smooth and drinkable.

O- Solid marzen. Not a style that will blow anyone away, but a drinkable, enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Troegs Brewery
Scratch 73 : Fest Lager

LOOK: This test batch brew pours a rich copper color with a foamy froth providing plenty of lacework.

SMELL: Bready malts, caramel and floral hops. Light toasted notes from the malts come through as well.

TASTE: Moderately bitter with a nice earthy, grassy noble hopping and Munich malts. Satisfying brew with a caramel like malty flavor and a solid dose of hop bitterness. Sugary sweet caramelized malt flavor is quite delicious and the hops keep things interesting. This is a high quality example of an Oktoberfest, with very clean and enjoyable flavors.

FEEL: Medium bodied, well carbonated, fairly smooth and goes down with ease. A great beer to drink for extended periods of time, this deserves the name " fest lager ".

OVERALL: This is an impressive Oktoberfest from a well respected Pennsylvania brewery. Definitely stands up to alot of others on the market, I could make buying a case of this a holiday tradition. Very well done.

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Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the brewery.

A - Pours deep amber orange with a nice one and a half finger tall white head leaving spotty streaks of lace down parts of the glass.

S - Smells of rich german malts, caramel, light spice and a nice earthy hop aroma. Smells like the typical Märzen with a little extra hop zip to it.

T - Starts off with plenty of the typical Märzen flavors. Hints of caramel, mildly toasted bready grains, dash of spice and some nice earthy hop bitterness. The malt to hops ratio is pretty good, hops grow a little strong toward the end of glass.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth feel with a lightly bitter finish, not lingering on the palate for very long.

O - Over the last few years I have found myself looking forward to the scratch Märzen and this years did not disappoint. It still tastes like a classic Märzen but with a little extra pop. A very nice beer.

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Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served with a clear, copper colored body...a white, two finger head formed and showed some nice staying power as it slowly fell to a solid cap...nice lacing was left

S - Caramel and biscuit malts were the front runners...the malts gave a nice toasted presence...all of the hops added a slight citric aroma, not typical of your normal Oktoberfest

T - Everything starts off the same as you would expect...there is a sweet caramel flavor that is present throughout the entire beer...the toasted flavor weaves in and out...biscuit malt gives a nice bready flavor and there is also a buttery aspect lingering...the hops are earthy and show up towards the finish

M - Medium bodied...clean and crisp...this one goes down very easy

O - Again, everything goes as a normal Oktoberfest would...but since this is an OkTröegerFest the addition of the hops is very pleasant...they added a nice background to the nose and were very earthy in the finish

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Photo of pburland23
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I pikcked up a growler ar the new Troegs brewery in Hershey on my way home from Carlisle last ight. Poured from said growler into my newly acquired Troeganator dimpled mug.

Appearance: Beer pours a light, tawny auburn color with two dense, sudsy fingers of off-white head.

Smell: Lots of bready malts notes with plenty of caramel to boot. The citrus hops notes are pleasant and they add a different dimension to the traditional marzen.

Taste: a kicked up tasting marzen. Starts with some sweetness (dark caramels) and then a punch of citrus hops. There's a warming quality to the beer. It ends with a dry but creamy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very quaffable. Creamy and well carbonated.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. It's a unique take on the marzen's components are more American than traditional German but it's quite tasty. Glad I was able to picked this up.

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Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one into a pefect pint glass, it has a copper colored body with a 1' finger of white foamy head that hangs out for a while. The aroma of toasted malt and carmel. The taste has a toasted malt and grain taste, with a little hop bit on the finish of it. The mouth feel is really good and overall a really damm good O-fest, one of the best i have had.

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Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a matching Troegs pint glass. The brew appears a perfectly clear color of copper with a solid finger of off-white suds. The cap retains very well and slowly fades leaving finger-like patterns of lace sticking to the glass. Throughout the entire duration a half finger maintains across the top.

The aroma is mildly buttery with some toasty grain and a faint citrus to herbal inclusion of hops. Super clean smelling, tight package here that is exactly what you would expect for a fest bier. Nothing negative to say about the aromatics, well done.

The taste is a reiteration of the aromatics. Slight notes of buttery diacetyl give way to an herbal inclusion of hops that are just bitter enough to contrast the toasty sweetness of the grain. The brew finishes crisp with a lingering flavor caught between buttery, toasty and herbal/citric with hops. As it warms up, some tinges of alcohol poke their way through.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is crisp, refreshing and a solid representation of the style. About the only gripe I have is the focus on diacetyl, if those buttery tones could be tamed down a bit this would be world-class.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another very good Fest beer / Scratch from Troegs. Served in a plastic cup. Beer is amber and clear with a soft white head, lazy, breaks quickly, pulls apart. Some lacing on the glass.

Beer has a mild aroma but expected as much, mildly yeast, midly sweet.

A nice lager for sure, I do enjoy this beer. Easy drinking, malty, medium in body, definitely a repeat. I hope they make this annually.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A growler filled at the brewery and consumed in OCMD - from notes taken a week and a half ago.

A: The festbier is an amber color - cuprous and clear if not a little darker (relatively speaking). Luxurious white head blankets my glass, a few fingers on each of the first few pours - lacing follows.

S: Toasted malts - pleasantly bready with caramel sweetness in tow. A piquant hoppiness provides more of a kick than I was expecting. Possibly the best lager aroma from the Scratch series - heavy praise indeed.

T: And the taste lives up to the hype - plenty of toasted malts, dark and caramelly, with an equally present hop presence. Warming, the lager makes me feel better with each sip. The hoppiness is earthy with a light citrus, stronger than most lagers but at home with the sweeter, breadier malts. A light spiciness pervades the beer, present throughout and a nice accompaniment to the rich malts. Light and prickly thanks to ample carbonation. Definitely one of the best lagers from the Scratch series.

M: A full flavor, prickly bite and rich caramel flavor - a little early for an oktoberfest but if the result is this good, the beer should be available year-round.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome copper color, outstanding clarity, carbonation streams, topped by four fingers of highly whipped dense snow white foam. Good stretchy lace.

Great deep toast aroma. Toast with caramel poured on it.

Terrific depth to the malt without being overly sweet. Veers off from tradition with a tasty bigger hop bite than expected.

Light to medium mouthfeel with a bit of chew.

An exceptional traditional Octoberfest with an extra hop bite. Find it if you can.

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Scratch Beer 73 - 2012 (Fest Lager) from Tröegs Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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