Malt: Vienna, Pilsner, Light Munich, Dark Munich
Hops: Northern Brewer, Tettnanger
Brewer’s Note: “Gansett Fest is a great example of a traditional amber-brown German Oktoberfest style beer. It is perfectly balanced with four varieties of malts and two styles of hops. This is an extremely easy drinking autumn seasonal beer, but one you will want to savor as the rich malt profile complements the crisp, but not overpowering, hop flavor perfectly.”
The beer’s label is not half bad for a quasi-macro company. Honestly, ‘Gansett doesn’t really fall into any category as far as “company-style” goes. They do some more flavorful beers and they are dirt cheap… They are ‘Gansett. Their label chose a kind of ugly orange color to signify autumn, but it isn’t absolutely awful. The image of Gambrinus is cool and historic, and the sun rays coming out around Gambrinus are also pretty neat. Font styles are funky, and I actually like the font used for the brewery’s title. The different fonts don’t quite mesh, but I do like the white coloring for them. Clutter is kept to the sides of the can, which is also nice. This is not an awful can by any means, and would not shame a can collection to be in its midst.
The beer pours a deep, candied orange, close to amber. The beer pours with an aggressive head of yellowing bubbles that form a creamy canopy over the beer about two fingers high. The head lasts for quite some time, but when it dissipates, splotches of fluffy foam are left behind. In body the beer is clean yet dark, with a steady stream of carbonation from the bottom of the glass. A dark haze is present in the beer, but the other side of the glass is visible. On the nose, the beer smells of buttery caramel malts. Cooked biscuits and toffee swim thickly onto the nose and leave a sticky sense in the nostrils. Faint, spicy hops and grass play at the fringes of the beer’s smell. Dactyl seems to be present in the beer, but I find it inviting with the sweet smell of the malts. On the tongue, the beer tastes bready sweet with definite dactyl touches and a soft, building bitter that is slightly spicy. Faint salinity can also be found in the malt character, and light acidity gives light tartness at the very finish. The balance of this beer is off and lies slightly in the sweet section, though the bitters do wonders for drying out the finish of the beer. In flavor, the beer begins as rich toffee and buttered biscuits. Caramel, maple syrup, and rich breads play across the palate as the flavor slowly swings to the bitter end with dry grass, spicy hay and faint green tea. The finish is smooth caramel with touches of bitter grass, but the aftertaste is mostly of grass and soft dirt. In the mouth, the beer feels creamy and syrupy with a medium-plus body and a middling carbonation that works to try and keep the beer’s sweetness in check. The mouth is left sticky with saliva on the cheeks and a sticky sweet feeling on the tongue. Overall, this is not the worst Oktoberfest by a long shot. It is sweet and pleasing, and not unpleasant to put back. That paired with its cheap price makes it actually desirable. If you want a Marzen for cheap, this is a good option, though I still prefer Jack’s Abby’s Copper Legend.