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Sixer: Out-of-the-box Oktoberfest beers

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If you’ve sipped too many malty-sweet Oktoberfest beers to count, turn your sights to this mix-six: all fest-worthy, all a different direction from the seasonal lager.

Penn Brick Biergarten IPA: A hopmonster for the O-fest crowd, this bitter bomb’s loaded with seven different hops that inject crackery, crisp malt with sharp spice.

Smuttynose Vunderbar!: Say auf wiedersehen to Oktoberfests’ caramely malts and sip a pilsner; the light, crackery malts of Smuttynose’s seasonal, sessionable version are still sweet, but read more balanced when paired with prickly noble hop spice.

Konrad 11: Another pilsner, this one’s Czech-style, with gorgeous bready malts, floral Czech hops, and bubbles that just don’t quit. A 4.8%-ABV means you can drink the whole bomber.

Neuzelle Kyritzer Mord und Totschlag: Swing to the opposite side of the Oktoberfest spectrum with something smoky and sultry: This 7.2%-ABV porter-schwarzbier hybrid fits the bill. Dark, stormy and oozing with meaty smoke, this beer’s nothing to nothing to mess with; the name’s German for “murder and manslaughter.”

New Glarus Yokel: This “Wisconsin lager” combines Wisco and German malts with a whole lotta zippy yeast, giving the smooth, creamy swallow a breezy, fruity perkiness and a tart pinch.

Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest: Five malts blend to give this 5%-ABV Oktoberfest-style beer a dry, thin sweetness that’s more honey than toffee. German Hallertau hops latch on to the grain and shoot their grassy spice over the tongue.

 

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