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Craft beer of the week: Rapp Brewing's Oktoberfest

By Justin Grant, Times Correspondent

Ah, Oktoberfest: the annual, world-famous Bavarian festival that runs throughout… September? Sure, it started out in October, back in 1810, but these days, it's held almost entirely in September, stretching only a few days into October (this year's festival ends on Oct. 3, German Unity Day).

That makes it prime time to enjoy a classic Oktoberfest brew from Rapp, an authentic brewer of classic European styles. During Rapp's Oktoberfest Saturdays (running every weekend through Oct. 22), the tap board will feature a variety of famous Oktoberfest brews from German breweries like Ayinger and Paulaner, along with the house version, which stacks up quite nicely with its international counterparts.

Oktoberfest brews commonly range from blonde helles lagers to the slightly heftier and maltier märzen; the latter is the style that Rapp brews. Despite their ale-like medium body and malt-forward flavor profile, märzens are actually lagers — bottom-fermented and cold-conditioned for a prolonged period, resulting in an exceptionally clean and crisp finished brew.

Rapp's Oktoberfest pours a rich copper, with a mix of fresh grain and sweet malt aromas. It's nutty and mildly sweet up front but finishes surprisingly dry, almost neutral. This makes it well-suited for drinking in large quantities, which is what Oktoberfest is all about, if we're being perfectly honest.

Get a ride to Rapp Brewing's tasting room (10930 Endeavor Way, Seminole) on a Saturday to try it for yourself. Pretzels and food trucks will be available to soak up some of the beer.

Bonus brew: if you've had a few half-liters of the Oktoberfest and want to mix it up, Rapp also serves a smoked version of its märzen that's absolutely delicious. Prost!

— recommendation and photo by Justin Grant

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