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KC Bier Co. Head Brewer Karlton Graham Talks KC Bier Co. Festbier

96 Rating - World-Class
KC Bier Co. Head Brewer Karlton Graham Talks KC Bier Co. Festbier

We spoke with KC Bier Co. Head Brewer Karlton Graham about KC Bier Co. Festbier.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
Our team wanted to make a Wies’n or Festbier that would be closer in character to the fall seasonal bier brewed in Bavaria, which has diminished in color over the years to make them more quaffable during the long hours of merrymaking at Oktoberfest. While the Big Six Munich brewers typically brew a pale, higher ABV version of their Helles Lager for Oktoberfest, our beer is a bit deeper in color and more similar to other Bavarian breweries that produce a fall festival bier with a reddish golden hue.

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
It has the clean, crisp, refreshing soul of a lager balanced with the honey and toasted biscuit character from the Vienna malt.

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
The name is copied from the generic name given to the modern bier style served in Munich at Oktoberfest that is usually referred to as Wies’n or Festbier.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
I love our Helles Lager, but Festbier would be a close second.  Both biers have that same simple, everyday goodness of fresh homemade bread.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Honey and toasted biscuit maltiness with a crisp, clean finish

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
The first time I went to Munich for Oktoberfest, I could not understand why I kept getting a pale golden or slightly reddish lager instead of the light brown Märzen lager that I was familiar with in the U.S. Finally, it occurred to me that bier styles are not static just because they were once described in a book.  Americans brewers were copying the older version of Oktoberfest bier that fell out of favor with the Germans. Other GABF judges made the same observation that I did, so the Brewers Association created a new subcategory 44b called a “German-Style Oktoberfest” that is described as straw to golden in color. The odd phrasing “German-style” seems to indicate that Americans have their own Oktoberfest style – a light brown lager – that is now different than the Germans’.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer? 
The most popular food at Oktoberfest, ein halbes Hendel, that is, a rotisserie-roasted half chicken.

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