Traditional German beer styles aren't as sought after as their hop-forward, new-world counterparts, and thus, it can be challenging to find locally made examples. But there's respite for the haze adverse as the Australian spring sets in, with many a brewery creating one or more beers to compliment Oktoberfest events. One such event is set to take over Bendigo on October 14 when Cornella Brewery joins forces with local collaborators, Brewers Collective, and Melbourne experts in German beer styles, Burnley Brewing.
Schwarzbier is the first of Cornella's contributions. The style boasts an illustrious history, said to be one of the oldest continuously brewed beer styles and the team at Cornella Brewery partnered with former Fury & Son head brewer, Brenton Aylward, to create something that pays homage to the traditional German festival. With its ruby brown hue and foamy, tan head, the dark lager is filled with biscuity sweet malt character while remaining crisp with a medium bitterness that makes it a beer that both lingers on the palate and makes you want to immediately take another sip. In other words, it's welcome choice for keeping festivities on an even keel, especially considering the likelihood of enjoying more than one beer during Oktoberfest celebrations.
In stark contrast, Festbier style is relatively young, even if it's so closely connected with a traditional Oktoberfest celebration. It's practically an infant compared to other German beer styles, having been developed in the mid-1970s as a "more poundable" alternative to the Marzens poured at Oktoberfest for 100 years. Again, Cornella have exemplified the style with Festbier thanks to its persistent, fluffy white head that sits atop the deep gold liquid, with sweet malt flavours and a hint of spiciness from the crisp, light to medium-bodied beer. Per its namesake, this festival beer is indeed a beer for imbibing during festivities, but it is not without flavour.
Published September 22, 2023 2023-09-22 00:00:00