Jul 312008

Oktoberfest girls

This was the only Oktoberfest picture I could find...Honest!

Somehow, the general public has signed us up to host an Oktoberfest party at Casa de Loot. I don’t mind the idea, since it combines my love of beer, friendly gatherings, polka, and large German flags, but I have the sinking feeling that people aren’t coming to hang out with us…they’re coming to hang out with the beer! This will be the first time my homebrew will be exposed to the public at large – until now, we’ve kept it pretty much to ourselves. (Brewer’s note: Reason #67 to start kegging – when people ask for bottles of your brew, you can make a face and say, “Sorry, I keg.”)

This means a lot of brewing in the coming months. Luckily, I just scored a 15 cu ft chest freezer I will be converting into a dispensing/lagering fridge (more on that later, planning a huge feature detailing the conversion). But, what to brew? I have to balance time constraints (party planned for early October), taste constraints (need to accomodate a large group of palates), and budget constraints (don’t want to spend a ton brewing beer I won’t be drinking the bulk of). I’m thinking three beers – I only have three kegs right now, and fifteen gallons of brew should be plenty for the 20-30 people we’re tentatively expecting. Fifteen gallons = 160 bottles of beer, plus whatever liquor, cheap wine, and pharmaceuticals people bring along with them.

Obviously, an Oktoberfest beer (Märzen) is a must. I’m a bit late on this, seeing how they are traditionally brewed in the Spring and lagered over the entire summer, but people will deal. I’ve been wanting to brew my Kölsch for some time now, and that would be a nice beer for any BMC drinkers that happen to get lost and wander into the yard. So, that leaves one tap looking for a mate.

Gentle readers, I turn to you – what should the third beer be? I would like it to be a Deutsches Bier to keep with the theme. Should I go a bit heavy with a Dopplebock? Bend people’s minds with a smoky Rauchbier? Or give myself a break and throw an ale (Hefeweizen? Altbier? Roggenbier?) in the mix? With two lagers already I’ll be pressed for time (yes, some consider Kölsch an ale, but for the brewing effort it takes to pull it off, it’s a lager today).

Comment or email with your advice. I’ll document how it turns out. Servus!