Schmohz Oktoberfest – Dark Wheat Ale
Schmohz Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI
Information: (Label) : “Schmohz rendition of this harvest tradition is an ale brewed from dark wheat and pilsner malts. Lightly hopped and left sweet, but never too sweet. Just in time for Fall colors.”
This is not only a beer I’ve never tasted, but also a brewery from which I’ve never even had a sample, let alone seen in local markets. Fortunately, I found a different location that carries many odd and harder-to-find beers, regardless of the fact that they’re completely local. I am, in fact, just 40 minutes south of Grand Rapids so one would assume that the samplings from this particular brewery would be that much easier to come by. You’d think.
The pour is a deep brown with a very effervescent head that foams rapidly, but just as quickly dies off into a thin, nearly non-existent white ring. The rising nose is a very bright maltiness coupled nicely with a rich wheatiness. It comes across as just a bit odd since it’s rather infrequently that you see an Oktoberfest in this particular style. It seems that of late you’re more apt to find beers constructed from large amounts of pumpkin or even Marzen-Style brews for the season, yet this one, being so different, is just as much a nice change of pace.
The flavor is a wonderful mix of both it’s inherent malt body and the semi-sweet wheatiness of the style. It is very nice with a crisp, taught, slightly brutish nuttiness that matches the deep malts perfectly. As many of you know, beer is essentially bread in liquid form (slightly tongue-in-cheek, of course) and this beer is the first I’ve had in a long time that actually tastes like it could, with much of the same ingredients, be made into bread! It’s very delicious and seems like it ought to be toasted and slathered with butter or jam. The malts remind a little of a waffle, the wheat notes lend themselves to a nice loaf of grain bread, and the nuttiness match an almost Pumpernickel style. Really interesting and really very nice. Matching this with food seems easy as it does have such a distinct taste, and that being said, I’d go with a beef stew or even Welsh Rarebit… which is basically cheese toast. Good stuff.
Rating: * * * * 1/2
A beer that could very easily defy all snooty classifications and simple be called yummy!
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