Beer Review 0496: Erdinger Oktoberfest Weissbier

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Erdinger, located in Erding, Germany, is the world’s largest wheat beer brewer. Founded in 1886 by Johann Kienle, the brewery wasn’t known as Erdinger until 1949, when Franz Brombach, who had acquired the brewery 14 years earlier, changed it. It’s remained in the family since; today, Brombach’s son, Werner, is in control.

Erdinger has nine varieties of wheat beer available. Their Oktoberfest beer, which is categorized as a Hefeweizen, doesn’t have much information available on the bottle or the Internet. The beer is 5.7% ABV (alcohol by volume) and certainly sounds like it will be interesting if it is indeed a mix of Oktoberfest and Hefeweizen styles…

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The pour stirs up an average size, creamy head that has some staying power. This beer looks nothing like a typical Oktoberfest beer; it’s straw-golden in color, cloudy, and has no significant particles or sediment. Lacing is fair, leaving thin, splotchy bits on one side of the glass.

The nose keeps up the, ahem, non-traditional Oktoberfest vibe — we’ve got banana and clove up front and some doughy, earthy yeast. There are notes of bread, grainy malts, and a shot of candied orange peel, along with crackers and wheat. It’s a very light scent and it’s like a typical Hefeweizen.

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And straight up Hefeweizen this is: candied bananas, a touch of clove and grainy wheat greet the taste buds. It’s all very clean and refreshing, and it finishes pretty much the same way, with orange peel and general spice, maybe some white pepper. An Oktoberfest this is not, and a good Hefeweizen this isn’t either.

Honestly, I think Erdinger brewed one of their standby beers and slapped an Oktoberfest label on the bottle. It’s not bad, but its just one step above being a bland wet drink that contains some alcohol. There’s very little flavor here, and I’d be pissed if I forked over money for this thinking I was going to get a real Oktoberfest. Oh, wait…I kind of DID expect to get that…sheesh! I’d avoid this one.

Short review, eh?

Erdinger Oktoberfest Weissbier, 71 points. Price: $1.99 US for one 11.2 oz. bottle.

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