Oktoberfest season is in full swing and a major attraction at festivals across Long Island is special Oktoberfest beer brewed in accordance with traditional German styles. The most familiar style is Marzen, a lager beer notable for its copper-red color, full-bodied malt flavor and light spiciness from the use of German noble hops. Breweries in Munich also brew a style called Festbier, which is a lighter, breadier lager beer that is closer in taste to a pilsner lager.
Long Island craft breweries are getting in the spirit, including Garvies Point Brewing in Glen Cove, which recently introduced Tauktoberfest, a traditional German Marzen lager brewed with caramel malts and spicy hops. Garvies Point will be pouring its beers at the Oktoberfest at the Mansion at Glen Cove on Sept. 29 and 30, including a special cask ale, Prybil Pale Ale in a 10.8-gallon firkin, that will be used for the ceremonial tapping of the first keg on Saturday. The Oktoberfest at the Mansion will feature live German bands, a Stein Hoisting contest on Saturday and a Best Dressed contest on Sunday.
Black Forest Brew Haus, the German brewpub in Farmingdale, recently tapped its Oktoberfest beer which is a traditional Munich Festbier. Black Forest also serves house-brewed versions of other traditional German styles including Marzen, Hefeweizen and Rauch Doppelbock, a higher alcohol malty beer with smoky favor. The beers will be flowing at the brewpub’s Oktoberfest celebrations with live German bands beginning this weekend and running through Oct. 20.
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Westhampton Beach Brewing Company, the new craft brewery located in the industrial park at Francis S. Gabreski Airport, will release its Oktoberfest beer, a traditional Marzen lager, in mid-October. On tap now at the brewery’s tasting room is brewmaster Dave DeTurris’ Hampton Pumpkin Ale, a malty brew spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
Croxley Ales will have a week-long celebration of Oktoberfest at its four locations on Long Island from Oct. 5-14, with a special menu of German food and Oktoberfest beers from Germany and local craft breweries. The celebration will kick off with a party on Oct. 5 in the beer garden at Croxley’s Farmingdale location, where Farmingdale Village Mayor Ralph Ekstrand will tap the ceremonial first keg.
Plattduetsche Park in Franklin Square, voted Bethpage Best of LI’s Best German restaurant for the past six years, will feature Krombacher beers from northern Germany at a special Oktoberfest party on Oct. 11. Krombacher is best known for its crisp Krombacher Pils lager but also brews a rich Krombacher Dark beer made with roasted malts. The party will include an Oktoberfest feast and live music, and advance reservations are required.
For a complete listing of Oktoberfest events on Long Island visit www.LIBeerGuide.com/li-oktoberfest.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.