Time of the season…

To every beer, there is a season and a time to every beverage under heaven.

Oktoberfest is a magical time of year. The brewers of Munich pump out many a delicious brew to satisfy their patrons love of beer and fun. Around the world, although mostly throughout the rest of Germany and the United States, other brewers offer seasonal beers modeled after the traditional German Märzen. These smooth, malty beers are among the things I most look forward to in autumn. And although Oktoberfest proper has ended, modern refrigeration and filtration mean that I can enjoy the taste of Oktoberfest for months to come. After a long day at work, there really is nothing better than a good beer.

In the words of the Preacher in Ecclesiastes, “every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour.” What lies beyond is not knowable to us. What we do know is that ” all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” We cannot be certain of what happens outside of this life, so we are obliged to live it completely. Sometimes laboring, sometimes enjoying the fruits of labor. Sometimes weeping, sometimes laughing. Sometimes loving, sometimes hating. But always living life fully.

Beer of the Week: Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier – Expecting a dark, malty Märzen, I was surprised by what poured out of this bottle. Paulaner’s Oktoberfest Bier is a light gold color with a slightly sticky white head. The taste is malty but not as bready as I had expected. It has a smooth feel and finishes with a little flavor of hops and of alcohol (it is 6%.) It really strikes me more as a Munich Helles Lager in the style of Löwenbräu than any Oktoberfest-style beer I’ve ever had. It is delicious, but not what I was hoping for.

Reading of the week: The Book of Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher, Chapter 3 – Best known to many as the lyrics of the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes is rather better when not put to music. It is a very interesting passage which may indicate that earthly life should be the real focus of humanity because man cannot know what comes after this life: “who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?”

Question of the week: Familiarity breeds contempt. If Oktoberfest-style beers were not seasonal, would they be less popular?