It’s that time of year again – Oktoberfest is here – and what better way to celebrate than with a beer straight from Bavaria, made in the oldest brewery in the world? The Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier (also known simply as Festbier in certain markets) pours a brilliant, clear, golden color capped by a nice crop of white foam that retains fairly well before leaving behind some lace as it drops to a persistent collar. Unlike some other Oktoberfest-style beers, which are often very focused on doughy/bready malts, this brew offers a much more balanced approach, and actually leans a bit more towards the hoppy end of the spectrum. The malt presence is there on the nose, offering a bit of a bready, crackery quality, but we found the European noble hops really shine through, presenting a grassy, herbal, and lightly earthy quality bolstered with some notes of lemon pith. Expect a well-balanced beer on the palate, with a fairly substantial core of pils malt offering a touch of honey-like sweetness, while the hops balance with a lemony zing and a spicy herbal character that does a good job of drying out this festbier in the finish. Like all of the Weihenstephaner beers, this one is supremely drinkable; try pairing with grilled spicy sausages, pierogies, pizza, or spicy chicken dishes. Prost!