Widmer Okto Festival Ale

This beer was Portland-based Widmer Brewery's first-ever seasonal, released in 1986 as a tribute to traditional German Märzenbier, the common Oktoberfest lagers that were once brewed in March and fermented until fall celebrations. The Okto deviates in one major respect – it's an ale, not a lager, which means it will be slightly more fruity, less crisp, and it doesn't require as much time to make. The beer looks Märzen-like, with its deep amber color, and it tastes appropriately sweet and malty, with some subtle caramel notes that are delivered without a heavy body or cloying sweetness. There's something earthy and nutty about this beer that reminds us of how autumn smells in a leafy place.