LOKO Cuisine and Ichicoro Unite Once Again for Eggs & Kegs: IchiLoko

LOKOlargeOn Sunday, September 17 at 10:45 a.m., LOKO Cuisine and Ichicoro Ramen will head back to the Fermentorium at Cigar City Brewing (3924 W Spruce St, Tampa, Florida) to collaborate on a second edition of Eggs & Kegs: IchiLoko.

For IchiLoko: Round 2, the chefs of LOKO Cuisine and Ichicoro Ramen will combine their talents to honor Oktoberfest with a four-course brunch that merges the culinary traditions of Germany and Asia.  The menu will consist of the following inventive dishes:

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To cover the “kegs” side of this event, Cigar City Brewing will be pouring their Oktoberfest German-style Festbier and “other delicious beers.”  All attendees will receive one beer ticket “good for any pint or snifter of equal value.” If you would like a beverage other than beer, Ginger Beard Coffee will also be on-site with nitro-infused cold brew coffee and nitro matcha green tea on tap (coffee & tea not included in ticket cost).

Tickets for this installment of Eggs & Kegs: IchiLoko are available now for $32.10 each, and you can purchase yours by clicking here.  Ticket cost includes the four-course brunch and one pour of beer (pint or snifter of equal value).  Physical tickets will not be issued, but your name will be added to a paid list once the purchase process is completed. FYI: Everyone in your party will have to check in under the purchaser’s name at the door.

Friendly word of advice: If you wish to attend IchiLoko, we suggest that you secure your tickets as soon as possible because this event will be limited to just 60 seats due to the Cigar City taproom being closed for remodeling.  Make it happen and we hope to see you all there!  Prost!

Tasting Notes: Oktoberfest German-style Festbier from Cigar City Brewing

CCBOfestThese Florida breezes carrying fleeting cooler temperatures certainly call out for the flavors and styles of fall.  I will wisely heed this call by taking a look at Oktoberfest German-style Festbier from Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida) in this week’s edition of Tasting Notes.

Back in September, I gave you all the lowdown on the seasonal return of Cigar City Brewing’s Oktoberfest German-style Festbier (click here to view that post).  Brewed with Hallertauer Mittlefruh hops, Munich malt and five other varieties of German malts, the brewery describes this Festbier as a nod “firmly toward the style’s history with its amber color.”  The news of a more traditional, heartier, locally-produced Oktoberfest lager certainly piqued the interest of my German side, and I just had to go out and grab a few cans to experience this one for myself.  So, here we are . . . can in hand . . . stein at the ready . . . I guess the only thing left to do is get to some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Oktoberfest German-style Festbier from Cigar City Brewing

Appearance: Oktoberfest fills the stein with an amber colored liquid popping with brown, garnet and sunny orange hues.  Held to direct light, the body brightens and bursts with lighter browns and burnt oranges.  The beer is quite clear with an ample carbonation presence darting throughout.  The pour produced two fingers of off-white to light tan foam.  The head is loose and bubbly, falling to a thin ring that leaves minimal lacing.  This brew certainly makes this stein look good and feel at home.

Aroma:  Each time the stein’s cap is raised, the air is filled with a comforting presence that is as gentle and subdued as a fall day.  Grains . . . so much grain presence pushes forward to produce notes of the beautifully baked, hearty breads of Europe.  Real bread.  This fantastic grain note and a bit of nuttiness comprises the majority of the profile, but there is a muted and restrained hop presence kicking around in here to lend complementing earthy and herbaceous tones.  If these aromatics could fill my house each and everyday, I would not be upset at all.

Taste: Cereal grains and rich breadiness lead the way once again.  A touch of caramel is woven in along with just a kiss of floral honey.  Although this brew is malt driven, it is by no means overly sweet thanks to a deft and balancing infusion of hops.  Herbal in character, these hops supply a wisp of complementing flavor and just enough bitterness to pull everything together.  Delicious and incredibly satisfying.

Mouthfeel: This one is medium in body with a bright carbonation that carries the beer gracefully across the palate.  Sweet on the tongue, but it clears out with haste to achieve a wonderful level of crispness and drinkability.  The ABV shows itself as quite light in presence with just the slightest tinge of heat prickling the throat at times.  The aftertaste is all bready malt.

Final Thoughts: When my mind wanders to ideas of what makes a good Oktoberfestbier, the characteristics residing within Cigar City’s Oktoberfest German-style Festbier are pretty much what always come to mind: comforting, bready malt qualities possessing just enough sweetness to meld seamlessly with floral and herbal hop notes that supply balance and added depth.  Malt is the unrivaled yet careful wheel-man for this ride, and the hops know that their place is in the backseat.  Through cunning and a non-obtrusive nature, this Oktoberfest proves that malty beers can also be easy drinking and quenching.  If my notes have led you astray, please do not be mistaken because there is nothing simple about this beer. No, sir . . . this is artful complexity disguised as simplicity.  Without a doubt, this is a beautifully executed, respectful homage to the Festbier . . . and to that, I can always raise a glass.  Prost!


Cigar City Brewing releases Oktoberfest Lager

CCBOfestCigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida) recently announced that their Oktoberfest German-style Festbier has officially made its seasonal return to shelves and taps.

The traditional breweries of Munich may be largely focused on creating Märzens that are “lighter in color and lower in body” for Oktoberfest celebrations these days, but Cigar City Brewing has decided to approach their Festbier in a way that “nods firmly toward the style’s history with its amber color.”  Oktoberfest German-style Festbier is brewed with a sizable amount of Munich malt and five other German varieties to give the beer a bready quality with light notes of caramel and toffee.  Hallertauer Mittlefruh hops provide herbaceous, grassy and floral characteristics. Fermentation is achieved with Bavarian lager yeast and results in “a clean, dry and complex lager that’s at once intriguing and drinkable.”  Weighing in at 5.7% ABV, this special release is the perfect beer to “compliment the onset of autumn.”

Oktoberfest German-style Festbier is available now as a limited release in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft.  Look for this offering at craft beer friendly establishments in Florida and wherever you normally find specialty releases within Cigar City Brewing’s distribution footprint.  Get your Fest on and enjoy, folks!  Prost!

Vital Information on Oktoberfest German-style Festbier from Cigar City Brewing

Availability – Special Release
ABV – 5.7%
IBUs – 20
Ingredients – German-malted barley, German-grown hops, German lager yeast
Packaging – draft and 6-packs of 12 oz. cans