It’s the most wonderful time of the year, folks! I hope you’ve got your lager trees trimmed, wet and dusted with Saccharomyces pastorianus, because it’s Oktoberfest, baby. Hang some weisswurst from the front door, put out a plate of Hallertau for the Märzen Man and you might just wake one morning to find yourself mysteriously extremely hungover and covered in mustard.
Slow Lane have kicked off the season with a duo of fest beers, then rounded it out with probably the most "normal" IPA they’ve ever brewed. Ein prosit der gemütlichkeit!
Days Gone By is an ode to the festbiers of yore. These strong amber Märzen are so named for the month they were usually put down in caves with stable, cool climates to while out the hot German summers. They would then be rolled out and tapped for the Autumn Oktoberfest. Märzen continued to be the official Oktoberfest beer until 1990 when the pale festbier took supremacy.
Slow Lane have brewed Days Gone By in the manner of a SMASH (single malt and single hop) beer. A symphony of Munich (the former) and Hallertau (the latter) combine to make a singularly delicious German lager. This gorgeously clear copper beer leads with aromas of sweet malt, and the noble hop leans more heavily into spice than floral. The distinctive Munich malt's toasted bread carries throughout with a hint of caramel and a silky smooth bitterness. Show someone you love them in 2023 by putting a litre of this in front of them.
In contrast to the Märzen, Here and Now is an example of the modern festbier. The kilned Munich malt has been replaced with far paler pilsner and Vienna malts for an entirely different lager experience. Pouring a dazzling golden hue, Here and Now smells exactly how I’ve come to expect a German lager to smell like, only moreso. Floral hops, honeyed malt and German lager yeast character paints a vivid picture of what’s to come. The malt body is salted crackers and a touch of doughiness with a soft minerality and full mouthfeel. It feels like it should be sweet, but it’s clean, balanced and, like the märzen, dangerously drinkable for a 6 percent ABV lager.
I’ve talked before about Slow Lane’s penchant for can-conditioning their hop forward beers and the unique character is gives them. Their latest IPA release Supersaturated is no different in that regard, but this is probably the first full blown IPA they’ve released where the residual yeasty esters are almost non-existent.
Hopped with an absolute tropical fruit bomb combo of Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe and Motueka, Supersaturated is dripping with juicy hop aromas and flavours. Ripe mango, paw paw, lychee and lime zest dominate the nose and palate. The base is full and rounded with wheat malts and a mild sweetness well countered with a moderate bitterness and clean, dry finish.
Published September 19, 2023 2023-09-19 00:00:00