2018 Oktoberfest Releases

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by steveh, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,572) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Last year I attended the Oktoberfest in Reading, PA. My wife and I attended the Sunday session and we had a fantastic time! While we were there we spoke to some of the folks working this event and it sounds like Fridays and Saturdays are kinda wild so if you are looking for a more ‘relaxed’ time I would suggest Sunday to you.

    There is a lot of different German brewed beer to choose from plus US craft beer as well. Lots of good food choices and plenty of good live music. A good party!!

    Cheers!

    https://www.readingliederkranz.com/oktoberfest/
     
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  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,572) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    You seem like you are willing to travel for events so I would strongly recommend that you attend Wurstfest which occurs every year in early November in New Braunfels, TX. I have family who live there and I regularly visit them during that timeframe since Wurstfest is a excellent event!! This year it is Nov. 2 - 11.

    Cheers!

    https://wurstfest.com/
     
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  3. Tucquan

    Tucquan Poo-Bah (2,682) Oct 11, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Just arrived in Lancaster, PA this morning. I practically got it off the truck. Delivered fresh and cold. Haven't tried it yet.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Daveshek28

    Daveshek28 Initiate (158) Nov 10, 2015 New York

    Reading this thread has led me to schedule an "Oktoberfest" at my house next month. Cannot wait.
     
  5. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Poo-Bah (2,792) Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    That sounds great. I believe that’s Hill Country, right? Can’t travel any time soon, but some day I would like to check this out.

    I’ll show up uninvited no problem.
     
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  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,572) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Yup! New Braunfels is about 30 miles from San Antonio.

    Cheers!
     
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  7. azorie

    azorie Champion (861) Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    yepper I brew nothing but dark type beer/ale and yep its hot..I love a good IMP stout, or dark mild at 10%.
    Still I would love to brew a fest bier. but I enjoy the classics the rare times I go eat a sandwich at euro cafe and they have some good ones on tap usually near about September usually.
     
  8. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,357) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Trader

    I think @invertalon already mentioned it, but this years HB is dialed in. Phenomenal.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. foundersasap

    foundersasap Aspirant (240) Feb 2, 2015 Michigan
    Trader

    I can tell you that it is drinking well. I have no issue drinking these in August!
     
  10. cmiller4642

    cmiller4642 Aspirant (256) Aug 17, 2013 West Virginia

    I'm going to go get a 6 pack of that and make some brats next week.
     
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  11. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,357) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Trader

    You won’t be disappointed
     
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  12. Lahey

    Lahey Aspirant (287) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    I got a small local brewery to do an octoberfest special menu this fall (schnitzel:slight_smile:). I think they're brewing a marzen too. I mentioned dopplebock as a cool style to try brewing, but she said they may brew their dunkelweizen again. I'm excited:grin:
     
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  13. dirtyfab

    dirtyfab Initiate (134) Oct 21, 2004 New York

    Wow. I was at the Oktoberfest in 1990.
     
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  14. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,357) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Trader

    Unfortunately I wasn’t. My grandfather was though
     
  15. surfcaster

    surfcaster Crusader (728) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Premium Trader

    Just had the SN/Weihenstephaner collab.

    Magic. Just perfect.

    And I love the anticipation and enjoyment of festbier every the late summer/ fall. I for one am glad it is seasonal.
     
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  16. dirtyfab

    dirtyfab Initiate (134) Oct 21, 2004 New York

    Now I feel old.
     
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  17. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,357) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Trader

    If it makes you feel better, he has been dead for almost 10 years
     
  18. Lahey

    Lahey Aspirant (287) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    I picked up Hacker-Pschorr oktoberfest marzen today. The only date I see says 04.19 so I assume that means it's pretty fresh (I assume their best by dates are 9-10 months out and not an entire year, but I don't know this for sure) either way it tastes fine to me.
     
  19. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (760) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I mentioned it too, unless you meant me.

    It's my favorite out of the three I've had so far this year. This might be the best it's ever been (since I've been drinking it).

    Yup, as soon as they hit the shelves Oktoberfest season starts for me. I could care less that it was humid and muggy out. Even the amber style was refreshing in this weather.

    Agreed.

    I don't know that I'd go out of my way to have them this often if they were year round. As soon as they hit the shelves in August though I think, "Time to clean out the fridge of IPAs and Pilsners and make room for all the Oktoberfests I can cram in there."

    Ok, maybe the Pilsners can stay. :wink:

    Not all imports are a year "best by" date, but I believe Hacker Pschorr is. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong on this.
     
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  20. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (467) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I posted this question in its own thread, but reposting here hoping to get a response...

    I picked up a 4 pack of Ayinger Oktoberfest on Friday. My recollection is that Ayinger does not bottle date, but these bottles have a bottle date code on the back of "L8135". Is this something new for this year? Anyone know how to decipher the code? I'm guessing it stands for the 135th day of 2018. I'm having no luck with googling this.

    Thanks!
     
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  21. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    @AlcahueteJ has an e-mail in to Ayinger for some feedback on some suspect L8116 bottles. Stay tuned.
     
  22. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (760) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Yup, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I e-mailed them last week and still haven't heard back.

    I thought I held more clout in the beer world than this, guess I was wrong. :wink:
     
  23. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,298) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Did you try the US importer:

    Merchant du Vin Corporation
    119 1st Ave. So.
    Suite 400
    Seattle, WA 98104
    Phone: (253) 656-0320
    Fax: (206) 402-4792
    info@mdvbeer.com

    (Unfortunately, not the among the best US importers as far as consumer contact or freshness is concerned - but they're free to prove me wrong :grin:).
     
  24. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (760) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Thought about it, might try them next.

    I had good luck contacting both Schlenkerla and Rothaus directly in the past, so I figured I'd start with the brewer.

    I had an issue with a Schneider gift pack a few years ago, I may have contacted the distributor then...or Schneider was pissed and contacted the distributor for me. Can't remember.
     
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  25. Crim122

    Crim122 Aspirant (221) Aug 4, 2014 North Carolina

    This might be a naive thing to ask. But traditionally when I've seen Ayinger hit the shelf I assume it's relatively fresh, within the last two months at least. Should I stop operating under that assumption? Still interested to see what that date system means.
     
  26. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,357) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Trader

    I may represent July because that is what Anchor does, but they don’t lead with the month.
    [​IMG]
    https://www.anchorbrewing.com/mobile/brewery/faqs
    Or it could mean something entirely different and it is “18” “May 15”. That seems too early though.
     
  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,572) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    If the Wholesale Distributor has leftovers from last year(s) they could re-distribute those beers this year.

    A bottling date is really important here.

    Cheers!
     
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  28. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (760) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Ok sent them an e-mail.

    Fingers crossed everyone.

    This looks similar to Sam Smith's bottling dates (they are also imported by Merchant du Vin)

    From @Profchaos20 (not sure if this is still a BA user anymore) who got it from "FreshBeerOnly":

    "So I look at the bottle which is stamped SF27H1. I google this to figure out what it means and I find - the S is meaningless, F = month which is June(A=Jan, B=Feb, etc.), 27 = day of the month it was bottled. H = Year with the letter corresponding to the alphabet(A = 1/2001, B = 2/2002), this means H would equal 2008????? The IPA that I just got in a case share was bottled June 27, 2008?"

    A bottling date of May is entirely possible. I recall seeing imported Oktoberfest's being bottled in May in the past. It's why I was excited to see Hofbrau bottled in mid-June.
     
  29. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (760) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    @jesskidden @JackHorzempa @steveh @WesMantooth @Crim122

    Merchant du Vin has responded:

    "Thanks for e-mailing us. The number is a batch code, not a production date. Your bottle of Ayinger Oktoberfest Märzen is this year’s release, brewed in March 2018. Brewery-recommended best-by date is April 15, 2019.


    Thanks again & Prost"
     
  30. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,339) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    So I take it there is no way to tell if a batch code is from 2018 or 2017 ... unless you are privy to the batch codes ...

    Exactly!
     
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  31. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,298) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Looks like they were prompt, but not particularly informative. "Brewed in March" - OK. Fermented, and lagered and then bottled on _____?
    And no hint on how to read the batch code for the next time you buy an Ayinger product? :rolling_eyes:
     
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  32. Lahey

    Lahey Aspirant (287) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    Sorry I didn't clear that up. It does say best by end of 04.19. I was just unsure if it's a year they give their beer. Seems odd to brew the octoberfest marzen in april... but I suppose they know their global distributors are going to be slow getting it out. Pretty bad when seasonal creep has you brewing 5-6 months ahead of time...
     
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  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,572) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    "Thanks for e-mailing us. The number is a batch code, not a production date. Your bottle of Ayinger Oktoberfest Märzen is this year’s release, brewed in March 2018. Brewery-recommended best-by date is April 15, 2019.”

    I have commented in the past concerning Weihenstephaner brewing their Festbier in the spring (packaged April – May) and now it is the case that Ayinger is brewing their Oktoberfest Märzen with a March packaging date. Why the heck are German breweries producing beers in the early spring for a beer intended for the Oktoberfest season (i.e., September – October)? These beers will be 6+ months old by the time the season arrives. And a claim that these beers are still good at one year post the bottling date is B.S.

    Non-cheers to these brewing practices!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,572) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Given that it is a common practice for these imported German brewed beers to have a 1 year best by duration I am willing to bet that March is the bottling date.

    Cheers!
     
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  35. grantcty

    grantcty Initiate (111) Feb 17, 2008 Minnesota

    They brew that beer year round. Hacker Pschorr and Paulaner O-fest märzens are available year-round here in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The same goes for Spaten.

    And yes, there are semi-regular batches sent over through the year.
     
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  36. grantcty

    grantcty Initiate (111) Feb 17, 2008 Minnesota

    Well, at least it's a step-up from the 'notch' system that they used to use. :wink: I once asked on MdV's Facebook page how to decode the notches on the bottom front label of the beers. I was told that their distributors had a decoder. I then commented that it was disappointing that they didn't have clearer freshness labeling and they deleted my comments and their response.
     
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,572) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    It is evident to me that Ayinger/MdV do not want to provide a bottling date on Ayinger beers. I personally find this to be a poor business practice. My personal practice here is no longer purchase Ayinger bottled beers. I would encourage you to do the same.

    Non-cheers to no bottling dates on Ayinger bottles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  38. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (760) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I think I'll follow up with them and see if there's a way to decode it.

    I had the same problem with Schlenkerla though. They were able to decipher the code on the bottle to tell me if it was fresh, but there was no way for ME to decipher it.

    If you can put a batch code on there, is it that hard to put a bottle on date or best by date? (Or God forbid, BOTH)

    Oh, my apologies, I understood what you meant. I just meant that it was likely bottled in April of this year.

    For what it's worth, the Weihenstephan Festbier I bought this year was bottled June 21st if I'm reading it right. My first two imports purchased this year were bottled in mid-June, not too shabby compared to year's past. The other being Hofbrau.
     
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,572) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    If my memory serves me correctly in the past you were able to obtain Weihenstephan Festbier with a later bottling than the beers that were on my local beer retailers shelves. I will keep an eye out for June 21 bottled Weihenstephan Festbier because that is better than being bottled in April but I am not holding my breath here.

    I am not in the beer industry but it seems to me that when it comes to imports there is a tendency for importers to obtain periodic BIG drops of beer vs. a more frequent but smaller drops of beer. Once a Wholesale Distributor obtains beer from one of these large drops they tend to slowly send it out until they have depleted their inventory. In the past that meant that the only Weihenstephan Festbier beers available for sale at my local retailers were beers bottled in April.

    Needless to say but if Weihenstephaner chose to not produce/bottle this beer in April and instead did this only later (e.g., June) there would be zero April bottled beers available for sale.

    Cheers!
     
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  40. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (760) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Ah, bummer, well I hope you find a June date.

    The code on my bottles is 1258. Which I take to be the 25th week of this year. And the 21st would make the most sense to me as the day.

    Yeah, April bottling dates suck. I believe you don't drink Oktoberfests this early if I recall correctly. But even for someone like me who consumes them in August, a bottling date of April isn't that great. Especially considering I'm just BEGINNING my Oktoberfest consumption in August.