Well, the Oktoberfest Challenge is complete, and it’s been a great month. There were only 2 days during the month when I didn’t have an Oktoberfest or Pumpkin beer (or even a beer that day). I know this sounds a bit cheesy, but I actually learned a lot during this month-long challenge. First, I gained much more respect for folks like Dave Selden of the 999 beers blog and Beer Drinker Rob of the Daily Beer Review. It may not sound like drinking a beer every day is difficult, but don’t doubt it until you’ve tried it. It really does become quite a chore, and you find yourself two-thirds the way finished with a beer before you can stop critiquing it and start enjoying it. I really am glad I didn’t challenge myself to drink a beer every day.
I also learned a lot about pumpkin beers – perhaps one of my favorite seasonal types of beers. I started home brewing pumpkin beers when Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale was the only one that was commercially available. I’ve got a recipe I love and tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass. However, I have been surprised at the different pumpkin beer flavors. It seems like a lot of brewers put way too many spices in them, perhaps because of their fear of how long it could sit on the shelf and fade. However, I’ve saved my own pumpkin beers for up to three years with an obvious fading – but not so much that you need to stick so much cinnamon in it that it is unbearable for a month or a year (like Hoppin’ Frog Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale). I’ll definitely continue to brew pumpkin beers, as there were almost no other commercial pumpkin beers that I preferred over my own, despite the fact that there are many, many more pumpkin beers now available on the market. In fact, I’m so happy that you’ve read my blog so far, that I might send you bottle of my pumpkin ale if you contact me and send me your address. Thank you to my loyal and attentive readers.
Overall it’s been a great month and it’s inspired me to keep going – in fact I’m now about 20% of the way there. The challenge was fun, but at times, it definitely seemed like a chore. I may try it again. I’m open to trying any other challenges or suggestions you might throw my way, so please take the time to write me. Happy Oktoberfest, and until October 2011, Prosit!!!