Brewed at BOMBER BREWING, VANCOUVER, BC
ABV: 6.2 IBU: 25 SRM: 10
October in British Columbia is BC Craft Month, and what better way to celebrate year 7, but with a limited release beer created by the BC Brewing industry! Bombers Brewing Head brewer Blair Calibaba created the original recipe. He used his well-recognized Marzen recipe as a base and called out to the brewery community for suggestions then tweaked it accordingly. A few brewers in the neighbourhood came to help out on brew day and the beer was packaged in 500ml tall cans by West Coast Canning and launched on October 14th. It is a true collaboration of the BC Craft Brewers Guild members, BC Craft Beer Month and many of the local industries suppliers. Prost!
There is something about German beer styles that reminds one of the wonder and elegance of malts. This lager shows off rich, bready malt aromas and flavours with a grainy sweetness, a hint of caramel and a light, comforting toastiness. The malt character gives off an initial perception of sweetness, but the lager is well attenuated with a clean, crisp fermentation character that finishes medium dry. The hop profile is low with just a hint of spice. Golden in colour with a slight haze, the beer sports a foamy, off-white head with good retention. Its medium body and mouthfeel contribute to a smoothness that enhances the drinkability of this malt focused lager.
Evidently brewed at Bomber Brewing, this is said to be a collaborative effort of the British Columbia Craft Brewers Guild, which seems to me like a lot of people for one mash tun and brew kettle. That said, it does possess qualities of an Oktoberfest märzen: amber of hue, malty in its aroma and crisp but not too crisp, strong but not too strong. More specifically, the nose offers loads of caramelly maltiness with just a touch of moderating, spicy-woody hop, while the body starts sweet and caramelly – a bit too much so for my preference, and arguably also for the style – before adding a lightly spicy hop note and suggestion of vanilla in the mid-palate and drying to off-dry with hints of dried leaf and mild bitterness in the back and finish. This is a fine enough beer for a glass or two, but true Oktoberfests are meant to be consumed by the litre and I fear this might grow too cloying for that.