PASO ROBLES, California— Firestone Walker’s fall classic is back with the 2023 edition of Oaktoberfest, an oak-inspired homage to the iconic “festbiers” that are synonymous with Munich’s legendary Oktoberfest celebration.
The 2023 Oaktoberfest Oak Aged Lager (5.2% ABV) begins rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets this week in 6-pack (12-oz cans) and draft formats. The name “Oaktoberfest” is a riff on Firestone Walker’s longtime commitment to brewing beer in oak barrels.
“Oaktoberfest is a beer that has stood the test of time,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “In fact, I believe that more and more craft drinkers are yearning for beers like Oaktoberfest. There’s a certain nostalgia to the style—smooth, sessionable, flavorful and malt-forward. It’s the kind of beer that you naturally crave as summer turns to fall.”
Oaktoberfest has been a seasonal staple at Firestone Walker dating back to the inaugural release in 2006. The recipe has evolved over the years, but recent tweaks have taken the beer to new heights.
A portion of the beer is lagered in French oak barrels inherited from one of Napa Valley’s top cult wineries. The barrels are stored at a temperature of 3°C for optimal lagering conditions. Meanwhile, the ingredients are decidedly German: Weyermann Vienna malt, Weyermann pilsner malt, noble German hops (Tradition and Spalter Select) and classic 34/70 Weihenstephan lager yeast.
Oaktoberfest’s light amber color foreshadows its toasty, biscuity flavor. The oak-barrel lagering allows for an even smoother texture, all while remaining true to the beer’s crisp malt profile and hints of noble hops.
“Oaktoberfest is rich in flavor but also light-bodied and easy to drink,” Brynildson said. “Which makes it enjoyable on warm and cool days alike.”
About Firestone Walker
Founded by brothers-in-law Adam Firestone and David Walker in 1996, Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a California beer company with three innovative brewing facilities. Firestone Walker’s main brewery in Paso Robles produces a diverse portfolio ranging from iconic pale ales to vintage barrel-aged beers. The Barrelworks facility in Buellton makes eccentric wild ales, while the Propagator pilot brewhouse in Venice specializes in R&D beers and limited local offerings. Firestone Walker is also the brewery behind 805, one of the nation’s fastest-growing beers. Firestone Walker was recently named “Best American Brewery of the Decade” by Paste Magazine.
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