I notice a lot of American brewers don’t even bother making an actual
marzen-style lager for the autumn. Brown and amber ales seem to be valid
substitutions for the season, and I’d say Weyerbacher AutumnFest is a
step above your average Oktoberfest.
Appearance: Perfectly amber color with slight reddish/brown highlights.
Forms an average size, white, foamy head which mostly dissipates but
does leave some lacing on the glass.
Smell: Toasted malt and light nutty fragrance. A hint of floral freshness, but nothing noticeably sweet.
Taste: This beer is pretty much the epitome of the standard fall
seasonal. It’s certainly reminiscent of an Oktoberfest, but it’s an ale
so it lacks the overt lager characteristics. They also seem to be going
for a smoother palate rather than anything overly sweet. Instead of
caramel and toffee it’s toasted amber malts and chestnuts. A consistent
subtle bitterness throughout the palate, perhaps a tad spicy, but
nothing overboard. Certainly more hop presence than your average marzen.
Weyerbacher AutumnFest is a mild beer for sure, but not so mild that
it’s flavorless. I’d certainly prefer more sweetness or more aggressive
hoppiness, but this is pretty decent for what it is.
Drinkability: The clean, mild palate and smooth drinkability make
Weyerbacher AutumnFest an easy beer to drink. A fairly short body with a
soft mouthfeel and a perfectly clean finish leads to a refreshing
drinking experience. It has more flavor at only 5.4% ABV than most of
the German lagers with higher potency. This is a great
transition/introductory craft beer for newbies. Drinkers of all calibers
should have no problem throwing back a few bottles of this.