Hoptoberfest at Arbor
Yes, it’s that time of year again when Oktoberfest is almost at the tail end in Germany but just starting to kick off in other cities around the world. Several brewpubs and bars across Bangalore have special menus for Beer lovers.
Arbor Brewing Company India kicked off their Oktoberfest special with a themed event for those lucky enough to have been able to register on their website.
The event was anchored by the multi-talented Craft Beer aficionado Ram Vaidyanathan, founder of the Yeast India Company among several other ventures he is involved in. Ram walked us through the significance of Oktoberfest and kept us entertained by running a series of quizzes on the information presented.
So what did we learn? Here’s what you need to know about Oktoberfest in a nutshell:
- The World’s largest Volkfest (Beer & Traveling Fun Fair) is held in Munich, Bavaria in Germany. It normally starts in the 3rd week of September and runs for 17 days. This year, September 17th was the start of the fest and it ends on October 3rd.
- The fest was initially held in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig & Princess Therese with a parade and a horse race that eventually became an annual fair and Beer was later introduced.
- The fairgrounds are called Thereseinweise and are 31 hectares in size.
- Today only 6 breweries are allowed to participate in this festival.
- Oktoberfest beers fall into the märzen style, whose name is derived from the month (March) in which it was traditionally brewed. Before refrigeration, March was the last month that beers could be put into cold storage or lagering where they’d age during the summer and be enjoyed for the fall harvest.
- More than 6 million visitors flock to Munich for the fest and end up consuming copious amounts of Beer and traditional Bavarian food.
- Basic Oktoberfest Jargon – Just remember these few words during the fest:
Bier – Yes, it means Beer.
BierKrug/Maskrug – Your Oktoberfest glassware.
O’Zapft is – Bavarian expression meaning, “It is Tapped” signalling the official start to Oktoberfest.
Prost – The most important expression for Cheers or you could also say “Zum Whol” (to your health).
- The festival is child friendly and there several attractions besides just Beer and great food such as all the carnival rides.
- Men traditionally wear a Lederhosen and women wear a Drindl.
Arbor’s Marzen & Other Offerings
Arbor’s Hoptoberfest Marzen is an medium bodied amber/ copper colored, lager brewed with traiditional German malts and hops that is true to style – malt forward (bready notes on the nose and palate)and has some residual (low) bitterness from the noble hops used.
It’s a clean brew that is mean to be sessionable – easy drinking and it certainly was. Several brewpubs will be releasing their own interpretations of Oktobefest beers throughout the month. Arbor’s Hoptoberfest is a great way to start the festivities but if this style isn’t your thing, there are a total of 10 beers on tap on the moment to choose from.
5.5% ABV | 12 IBU
Arbor’s Hoptoberfest wouldn’t be complete without an authentic German food menu including pretzels, german sausage, spatzle and even strudels.
Other Beers on tap
Raging Elephant on Nitro
There’s a new twist on the Raging Elephant IPA. It is now on Nitro which simply means they are using a gas blend now to dispense ( a mix of Nitrogen and CO2). This is the same technique as you normally see on some Stouts available in Bangalore. Guinness and Sam Adams launched Nitro IPAs late last year.
What does it do to the Beer? Nitrogen adds a creamy mouthfeel to the Beer and although it may alter your perception of the bitterness from the hops used. Clocking in at 80 IBU, the Raging Elephant is typically for Hop Heads but this new twist maybe well received by those normally not into hop forward beers. In other words, try a sampler or pint and check it out for yourself! We personally feel this new twist works well – take a look at the pictures below.
6.8% ABV | 80 IBU
Smoked IPA (sold out)
If you like smoked meat, then this is an interesting variation on an IPA for you to try. The hops used clearly make their fruity, citrusy, spicy presence known with some aroma from the smoked malt used. We kept getting Guava on the nose – Citra perhaps?
On the palate, this medium bodied brew is slightly hop forward with the smokiness from the malt present in the finish. Try this before the batch runs out.
7% ABV | 50 IBU
Phat Abbot Dubbel (sold out)
Trappist or Abby style Beers are some of the best Beers in the world originating from Belgium. If you’ve tried a Dubbel or Tripel, you know why these Beers shine – the Trappist monks certainly know what they’ve been doing for hundreds of years.
The name Dubbel simply means double that is double the malt for the grain bill comprising of specialty and “cara” family malts and the use of candi sugar gives you a dark, stronger, malt forward profile on the palate and lots of dark fruits/rum/raisins/toffee and the palate. Typically noble hops or other European hops such a Styrian Goldings are used more for bittering with less emphasis on flavor & aroma. Essentially hops take a back seat for this style, as with several Belgian style brews. Belgian Trappist yeast strains are well known for their fruity and spicy notes. This Beer style is heavily carbonated thanks to bottle conditioning giving you a thick, dense head.
The Phat Abbot Dubbel at Arbor has the right flavor profile – plenty of toffee/raisins on the nose and palate (think Christmas Cake), is on the sweeter side and is full bodied but slightly under carbonated. Force carbonation for this style of Beer is challenging and these brews are served right off their Bright Beer Tanks and not bottle conditioned. Great effort by Arbor and I must say our personal favorite when compared to the Phat Abbot Tripel.
8% ABV | 12 IBU
Barrel Aged Sours
Batch 600 Porter
Food, Fun and Finishing Remarks
The Hoptoberfest session at Arbor was an afternoon filled with Beer banter and connecting liked minded Beer enthusiasts together. Ram, Manish, Nipun and I spent some time afterwards talking about Beer our individual experience with this wonderful beverage. The picture above is an illustration of that.
After all those pints, we certainly worked up and appetite and paired our IPA’s with one of the most satisfying Beef burgers in town, The Arborger – a 1/4 pound seasoned beef patty with lettuce, tomatoes, onion rings smothered in mayo and sandwiched in a masala bun. Served with a handful of fires, this will definitely satisfy your hunger cravings and certainly a nice finish to our evening at Arbor.
For more on Bangalore’s Brewpubs, checkout this comprehensive post on all the brewpubs in Bangalore > Bangalore Brewpubs
Hoptoberfest continues at Arbor with a new Hoptoberfest menu and the Marzen on tap till you help finish it!
Brewpub details at the end of the post.
JJ The Keg and Manish The Ninja
All Images Courtesy Tales OF Froth, Arbor Brewing Co India & The Internet