As fall season approaches, craft beer pioneer Firestone Walker Brewing has announced the 2022 release of its classic seasonal brew, Oaktoberfest.
“Oaktoberfest is our riff on the festbier style — we call it a ‘Paso Festbier’ as a nod to our hometown,” says Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “While the recipe is traditional, we lager the beer in French oak barrels to give it an extra smooth mouthfeel with a hint of oak character.”
The 2022 Oaktoberfest Oak Aged Lager rolls out to all Firestone Walker markets this week in 6-packs of 12-oz. bottles, and draft formats.
Oaktoberfest has been a seasonal staple at Firestone Walker for more than 15 years, but has undergone a recent makeover.
Starting with last year’s release, a portion of the beer is now lagered in French oak barrels inherited from a Napa Valley winery. The barrels are stored at a temperature of 3°C for optimal lagering conditions. Meanwhile, the ingredients are decidedly German: Weyermann Vienna malt, Weyermann pilsner malt, noble German hops and classic 34/70 Weihenstephan lager yeast.
“It’s German raw materials meets California wine barrels,” Brynildson says. “We’ve really honed the recipe and process, and it just seems to get better every year.”
Oaktoberfest’s light amber color foreshadows its toasty, biscuity flavor, the company reports. The oak-barrel lagering allows for an even smoother texture, all while remaining true to the beer’s crisp malt profile and hints of noble hops.
“This beer is a perfect sipper for late summer and fall,” Brynildson says. “It’s rich in flavor but also light-bodied and easy to drink, which makes it enjoyable on warm and cool days alike.”
This follows the recent release of Firestone Walker Hopnosis IPA.