Monday, October 27, 2014

Beer Mail:Ninkasi Brewing's Venn and Oktoberfest

A couple of weeks back received beer mail from Ninkasi Brewing. Samples included Venn, a Dortmund-style lager from Ninkasi's Prismatic Lager series and Oktoberfest, a Festbier Lager, from Ninkasi's Seasonal release series.

Since it's more fun to share samples than just sample alone, I tried to gather local friends to share the Venn and Oktoberfest....but it was not to be, as everyone was too busy to gather for beer....I know...crazy. So instead, last weekend my parents had a little get together with some family and I decided, perfect occasion! We'd do a little family-style beer mail sampling.

Being the type of person I am and therefore wanting to control how I shared the samples, I actually packed in my own set of eight tasting glasses. I'm convinced this made a positive difference, though the beer is good regardless of serving vessel.

Samplers this time included my mom and dad, my aunt and uncle visiting from Seattle, my brother and his girlfriend up from Corvallis, and Emily and me of course.

First sample was the Oktoberfest. This one got great reviews from our "tasting panel."  It was a crisp fall day, we were eating chili and cornbread, and this was a very fine accompaniment.  It was nice and malty but not too sweet with a nice very mild hop flavor as well.

Next we broke out the Venn.  This is a great Lager, very light and clean, well balanced.  This was also popular with our crew, who noted, slight citrus and grassy hop aroma and slightly bready or biscuit and citrus and grassy flavor's. It's very drinkable and mellow; it would be easy to enjoy a few.

Oktoberfest Stats
Style: Festbier Lager
Series: Seasonal Release Series
Available: Sept.-Oct. 2014
ABV: 5.9
IBU: 25
Starting Gravity: 1058
Malt: Pilsner, Carahell, Cara Munich
Hops: Sterling, Willamette, Tettnang
Packaging: 22-ounce bottles, 12-ounce bottles, draft
Distribution: Oregon; Washington; Idaho; Montana; California; Alaska; Nevada; and Vancouver, British Columbia

Description: To celebrate the harvest, we decided to brew a beer dedicated to the tradition of Oktoberfest. Using Pilsner malt and hops grown in the Northwest, this beer is our way of toasting to the great bounty that our area brings us. Cheers!

Tasting Notes: Our Oktoberfest has a slightly higher ABV than most Bavarian-style lagers, followed by a more prolific aromatic hop profile. With a deep copper color, this lager has a toasty malt flavor and a dry finish with earthy, grassy hop notes.

Food Pairings: Chicken, Duck, Rabbit, Pork, Potatoes, Spaetzle, Salads, Caramel Sweets and Cookies

Venn Stats
Style: Dortmund-Style Lager

Series: Prismatic Lager Series
Available: Sept.-Dec. 2014
ABV: 5.1
IBU: 25
Starting Gravity: 1050
Malt: Pilsner, Vienna, Carahell, Acidulated
Hops: German Magnum, German Hersbrucker
Packaging: 12-ounce bottles, draft
Distribution: Oregon; Washington; Idaho; Montana; California; Alaska; Nevada; and Vancouver, British Columbia
Description: Venn is the definition of balance, where American craft meets European tradition. First brewed in 19th century Dortmund, Germany, the hallmark of the style is its sophisticated symmetry. Brilliantly marrying a perceptible Noble Hop bitterness with a rounded, sweet malt flavor, Venn is golden in color, clean and harmonious.
Tasting Notes: The hallmark of this Dortmund-style lager is the balance between perceptible Noble Hop bitterness and rounded malt flavor; making it deliciously easy to drink.

Food Pairings: Sausages, Spaetzles, Trout, Fondue, Potato Salad

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