While many still see Märzen as the beer style of Oktoberfest, in Germany they’ve largely moved on to festbier. And, while I’ll admit I haven’t had too many festbiers, it’s a style I can get behind: paler than a Märzen, heavier than a helles, and a solid mix of easy-drinking and flavoursome.
Modus partnered up with Lille Bräu, a brewery in Kiel on Germany’s east coast,* to make a festbier that had the personality of the traditional style while smuggling in some nods to Australia. Both breweries made the same beer: a reworking of Lille Bräu’s festbier recipe with some Aussie ingredients thrown into the mix. The final lineup included pilsener, Wiener, Münchner and biscuit malts, plus Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, Saphir and Vic Secret hops.
If you’re worried this might be a New World DDH Hazy IPFestbier, don’t be; the hops were just used for bittering, though Lille Bräu braumeister Lars Kranz says he can taste the difference the Aussie hops bring to the party.
For the most part, however, this is a wonderfully authentic German-style lager. Pouring like gold bullion in the glass, the East Coast Fest Bier serves up a nice honeyed aroma that broadens out to golden syrup in the mouth. A solid bready bitterness takes hold and rides into the sunset for a long, slow finish. But what really grabbed me was the body: it’s absolutely luscious and full in the mouth, with a carbonation that runs over the tongue like a latte made by the world’s best barista.
*Germany’s eastern coast may not be as long as Australia’s, but it does have one!
Published September 20, 2023 2023-09-20 00:00:00