Oktoberfest: The Hunt for Red Hoptober

New Belgium Red HoptoberFall is the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year.  All of the seasonal brews start to make there way onto shelves in late September, and then it’s a non-stop beer lover’s dream through the winter.  

Okay, who are we kidding?  There’s no season when beer isn’t loved, but there’s something to be said for the flurry of seasonal brews available only through fall and winter. While the term “Oktoberfest” actually refers to the 16-day German beer festival which ends on the first weekend of October, that doesn’t stop anyone from thinking it should be celebrated through the entire month of October… And I have no problem with that.

I’m starting our October off with Hoptoberfest.  New Belgium Brewery recently released it’s Red Hoptober Ale and it’s quite good.  BeerAdvocate gives it a 3.86 rating, which is just on the verge of “exceptional” on their scale, and you won’t hear any disagreements here. 

Described by New Belgium as having a bold presence of hops with flavors of pine, caramel, barley and citrus with a “roast tone.”  It definitely has a distinct hoppiness up front and the piney flavor can be noticed only if you’re really concentrating on it.  It’s got a very nice and smooth finish.  They’ve done a really nice job of hop-control, if such a thing exists.  I’d describe it as being very well balanced.

Red Hoptober has a nice color and great aroma, but most of all, it tastes great, and that’s the most important box to check off.   As it says on the bottle, “Crack one open, sit back and enjoy the season’s change.”