Without a doubt, Autumn is my favorite time of year.
I love the warmth and freedom of Summer. In the brewing industry Summer is usually referred to as “sweating season”. So we sweat, swat at bugs, have cookouts, and get a great tan. Then, one perfect day, I wake up and the humidity has broken for the year to be replaced by 70 degree sunny (dry) days and there’s still sunlight at 8PM. In my brewing life, the first part of Fall means I can still wear shorts, keep the brewery overhead doors open, and the morning frost takes care of all the pesky flies and mosquitoes. In high school it meant the start of football season, homecoming, and the magic that accompanies the hope of starting something new. Having been very active in Boy Scouts from grade school through high school, this time of year represents the perfect opportunity to go camping and have a huge bonfire with awesome people. I would have thought that my Autumn nostalgia (perhaps the polar opposite of seasonal depression) would dissipate as I grow older and time moves ever more swiftly. Instead it has only intensified, and even more so with the addition of children. I am jazzed to pass on my love for this perfect time of year.
Oaktober is meant to capture all of that magic in a glass. We take a proprietary blend of roasted French and American oak and soak it overnight in whiskey. This helps to “open” the dry wood as well as kill any wee beasties (microorganisms) that may be present. On brew day we use climbing gear to rig the bags of whiskey oak in the fermenter to soak in the beer as it ferments. We use our ale yeast to ferment the goods. This yeast is tolerant of near-lager temperatures, so we run a cooler fermentation to offer a very clean flavor profile. That is where the Oktoberfest-Style Ale name comes from, as Oktoberfest/Marzen beers are normally fermented with lager yeast. The result is 12 months of barrel flavor produced in a matter of weeks, backed by an incredibly smooth malt profile. This year marks the first time we are bottling it, which makes me a hero at home because it is my wife’s favorite beer. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy brewing it.