Well, since it is fantastic out side I have the windows open and I am now enjoying a glass of Marty Velas’ Märzen style brew – Harvest Fest. You can trace the Märzen style to its origins in Bavaria to sometime before the 16th century. A Bavarian brewing ordinance decreed in 1539 that beer may only be brewed only between September 29 and April 23rd. The style is characterized by a medium to full body with a malty flavor and a clean dry finish. The brew was often kept in the cellar until late summer and and the remaining bottles served at the Oktoberfest. Snob Rob did a series on this style beer last year if you want to check them out.
With this particular Smoky Mountain Brewery beer, Marty made sure he followed the traditional German guidelines and it shows. Snob Rob and I had the pleasure of being invited to a small sampling at Smoky Mountain Brewery on Tuesday night. We got to hang out with Marty and other like minded folks like Ratchet and Louis from Blues and BBQ whilst tasting some Harvest Fest.
I believe it is time to get to the beer. I need to admit something and that is that I normally do not go for the German Oktoberfest beers but after first sip of this brew, I became a convert. The beer has a deep golden hue with a thin white lacing. I mostly get light toasted malts in the aroma with a bit of spice. The taste is fantastic, with a great toasty/biscuit-y malt flavor with slight bitterness from the Hallertau hops and a great spicy flavor that Marty says comes from the German yeast strain used. I was told this brew is aged for 12 weeks to allow the remaining yeast to absorb the astringent flavors imparted by the German malts. Yum.
Final snobs: Marty Velas is hands down one of the most talented brewers in the state and to be able to hang out with him and talk beer is a privilege and something I look forward to whenever I can. Plus, bonus points for the lederhosen. When you have the chance head over to Smoky Mountain Brewery in Turkey Creek and try a pint. Also, keep an eye on the Smoky Mountain Brewery Facebook page as Marty may be doing some tastings like this in the future and as they raffled off a few spots via the interwebs for this one they may very well just do it again.