Das good

The art of beer at DAI’s Oktoberfest

By Jim Witmer

Photo: Fill up an Oktoberfest mug at the Dayton Art Institute Sept. 24 and 25; photo: Christian Clothier

The Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest has many attractions, but the liquid being poured is one of the main enticements. Yes, the art is first-rate, the grounds are beautiful, the food is awesome, the music is always great, but the beer just keeps getting better.

The selections are well chosen, so there is something for everyone. If you can’t find a beer that interests you, then you might just be hopeless. However, if you are reading this, you might be looking for the opportunity to sample from a superb selection.

Each year, a committee is formed to work with the DAI staff, the Oktoberfest chairpersons and the beer suppliers, Bonbright Distributors and Cavalier Distributing, to audition and choose what will be available for the event.

Aaron and Carina Sorrell are this year’s beer committee chairs, an enviable job for sure. They say the DAI Oktoberfest will offer approximately 50 beers, including 32 craft beers, as well as a selection of German and other international beers. Every year, the festival also features limited-release cask tappings (to be determined) and special craft selections that are not regularly available in the Dayton area.

Alexis Larsen, Dayton Art Institute’s external affairs director, says “On average, about 25,000 people attend Oktoberfest each year, and many come specifically for the unique craft beer selections and the atmosphere of the festival. They do appreciate the fact that we make an effort to offer new and unique beers each year. And of course, our popular Oktoberfest mugs are always a festival favorite.”

The Sorrels offer this fun fact: “At the first Oktoberfest in 1972, 7,000 people attended and beer was 10 cents. The growth and support over the years has been amazing.”

Space does not allow a rundown of each beer, so here are my favorite picks from this year’s lineup:

True German Oktoberfest Style: Marzens are limited seasonals, slightly malty, copper-to amber colored, dry finishing lagers from two German breweries that are not located in Munich and therefore cannot participate in the worlds’s largest Oktoberfest party. So, they sell in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Weihenstephaner Festbier, founded in 725, from the oldest still-operating brewery in the world. Find it in the bottle shop. Warsteiner Oktoberfest from Germany’s largest brewery: find it at any of the beer trucks on draft.

Authentic German Wheat: This thick-headed hazy brew will give you the traditional fruity esters of banana, clove, bready malts and hints of citrus. Find König Ludwig at the entrance gate draft truck.

Awesome India Pale Ales (IPAs) from Ohio: Jackie O’s Mystic Mama craft beer truck 2 and Brew Kettle White Rajah at craft beer truck 1.

For Your Sweet Tooth: The decadent Southern Tier Salted Caramel Imperial Stout is in the bottle shop. Have this as dessert.

Classic Belgian Sour: For something tart, funky, yet approachable, look for oak-aged Rodenbach in the bottle shop.

A Bit Boozy: A highly Rated U.S. Belgian Quad, contemplate having the flavorful 9.8 percent Ommegang Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale in the bottle hop.

Best Beer Name Ever: An Imperial IPA from Kentucky focused on the citra hop, find Against the Grain Citra Ass Down IPA in the bottle shop.

Classic Ohio Seasonal: The always Imperial Red Ale Great Lakes Nosferatu at Craft beer truck 1.

Local Brewery: The easy drinking, German-style Dayton Beer Company Requarth Upright Kolsch can be found at the beer truck 1.

Gluten Free Options: Crispin Cider, Crispin Honey Crisp, Crispin Pear, B Nektar Zombie Killer Cider, B Nektar Tuco Style mead. Various locations.

Something Different: For wine drinkers who want those characteristics in beer, Shorts Soft Parade is a high gravity ale made with malted barley and rye with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Craft beer truck 2.

Must Try: The B Nektar Tuco-Style Freakout. Orange blossom honey, agave nectar, lime juice, and lime zest are used to create this slightly sweet, yet balanced tartness and approachable 6 percent limited seasonal elixir. Craft beer truck 2.

When Having More Than One: This low ABV (4.5 percent) ale is refreshing and drinkable, a balanced use of hops and malt. Madtree PSA (Proper Session Ale). At craft beer truck 2.

Here is a list of the most up-to-date choices and their locations:

Main Beer Truck: Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Coors, Leinenkugel Oktoberfest, Leinenkugel Shandy, Warsteiner Oktoberfest, Warsteiner Dunkel, Warsteiner Pilsne, Warsteiner Braumeister, Harvest Patch Shandy, Blue Moon, Crispin Cider, König Ludwig

Entrance Gate Trucks: Miller Lite, Leinenkugel Oktoberfest, Warsteiner, Warsteiner Dunkel, Warsteiner Oktoberfest, Harvest Patch Shandy, König Ludwig

Warsteiner Beer Truck: Warsteiner Dunkel, Warsteiner Pilsner, Warsteiner Oktoberfest, Bottle Shop, Grolsch swingtop, Warsteine\

r, Crispin Honey Crisp, Ranger IPA, Oskar Blues Pinner IPA, Köenig Dunkel, Warsteiner Grapefruit, Southern Tier Salted, Caramel Imperial Stout, Southern Tier Warlock Imperial Stout, Not Your Father’s Root Beer, Ommegang Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale, Wolters Pilsener, B Nektar Zombie Killer Cider, Stone Arrogant Bastard, Old Speckled Hen, Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, Weihenstephaner Fest Bier, Rodenbach Sour, Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout, ATG Citra Ass Down IPA

Craft Beer Truck 1: Great Lakes Oktoberfest, Southern Tier Pumpking, Brew Kettle White Rajah, Longtrail Limbo IPA, Moerlein Plum Street Wheat, Great Lakes Nosferatu, New Belgium Fat Tire, Crispin Pear, Sweetwater 420, Dayton Beer Company Kolsch

Craft Beer Truck 2: Schofferhoffer Grapefruit, Weihenstephan Original, Short’s Soft Parade, Fat Heads Bumbleberry, Jackie O’s Mystic Mama, Mad Tree PSA. Stone IPA, B Nektar Tuco Style

Oktoberfest takes place Saturday, Sept. 24,  from noon-11 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 25, from 12-7 p.m., at the Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North in Dayton. The lederhosen lunch takes place Friday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. -2 p.m; preview party, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. Advance tickets cost $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children ages 7-18; tickets at the gate cost $7 and $5. For more information, please visit DaytonArtInstitute.org.

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Reach DCP beer writer Jim Witmer at JimWitmer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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