It's October, which is the perfect month for my favorite seasonal beer style, Oktoberfest/marzens! The rich malt flavor combined with a clean and easy drinking lager body is perfect for a cool fall day, to complement some hearty harvest fare or to sip while watching football. I am super late in knocking out my Oktoberfest reviews (kind of a trend recently), but my fridge is stocked with these malty lagers and I am going to keep enjoying them as long as they are on store shelves. An interesting new-to-me marzen I tried recently is Konstantin from Schilling, the New Hampshire brewery that specializes in classic styles from continental Europe. Schilling's take on the style is slightly different, while the marzen style is typically associated with Germany, they are also brewed in neighboring Austria, where the style tends to be a little lighter and drier. Schilling Konstantin is double-decocted for maximum malt flavor, and is available in the fall on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Schilling Konstantin pours crystal-clear reddish-orange with a massive tan head. The aroma features a mixture of bready malts and floral hops. The malts lead the flavor, notes of biscuits, honey, cereal and just a hint of residual sweetness. The hops add balance, touches of herbs and grass plus a little bitter bite. Konstantin is medium-bodied, very smooth and sessionable at 5% ABV. The finish is crisp and very clean with just a touch of lingering malt and hop flavor. This is an excellent marzen, a little different than some other versions of the style (by design), but great for the season. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.