Firestone Walker’s Oaktoberfest returns
Oaked lager is back for late summer and fall 2022
– Firestone Walker’s fall classic Oaktoberfest is back with the 2022 edition. As always, this latest release is an oak-inspired homage to the iconic “festbiers” that are synonymous with Munich’s legendary Oktoberfest celebration.
“Oaktoberfest is our riff on the festbier style—we call it a ‘Paso Festbier’ as a nod to our hometown,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “While the recipe is traditional, we lager the beer in French oak barrels to give it an extra smooth mouthfeel with a hint of oak character.”
The 2022 Oaktoberfest Oak Aged Lager has started rolling out to all Firestone Walker locations and has started to be released in 6-pack (12-oz bottles) and draft formats.
Oaktoberfest has been a seasonal staple at Firestone Walker for more than 15 years—but has undergone a recent makeover that “takes it to another level,” according to the brewery.
Starting with last year’s release, a portion of the beer is now lagered in French oak barrels inherited from one of Napa Valley’s top wineries. The barrels are stored at a temperature of 3°C for optimal lagering conditions. Meanwhile, the ingredients are German: Weyermann Vienna malt, Weyermann pilsner malt, noble German hops, and classic 34/70 Weihenstephan lager yeast.
“It’s German raw materials meets California wine barrels,” Brynildson said. “We’ve really honed the recipe and process, and it just seems to get better every year.”
Oaktoberfest’s light amber color foreshadows its toasty, biscuity flavor. The oak-barrel lagering allows for an even smoother texture, all while remaining true to the beer’s crisp malt profile and hints of noble hops.
“This beer is a perfect sipper for late summer and fall,” Brynildson said. “It’s rich in flavor but also light-bodied and easy to drink, which makes it enjoyable on warm and cool days alike.”