Yuck! Tuberfest…..That was my reaction when I sipped on my first bottle of Lagunitas Tuberfest, a fall seasonal lager from the Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, California. That’s unusual, too, because I’ve only ever come across one beer from Lagunitas that didn’t work for me, and that was many moons ago.
As I do with all beers, I looked at Tuberfest, Lagunitas example of an imperial Oktoberfest Marzen, both stylistically and hedonistically. It failed for me in both respects. Stylistically, it’s way too hoppy for an Oktoberfest. Marzens should sing the praises of glorious Munich malt, not be drowned out by the latest hop fad.
Anyway, Lagunitas says this about the beer on the label:
During the Dark Age reign of Sir Loin of Boef, Germanic warlords imported Irish salves to work their potato plantations. The Irishmen celebrated the harvest with a unique fermented potato beer from which rose the cry ‘Ach! 'Tuberfest'…!’
Or in my case, Yuck! Tuberfest!
Lagunitas Tuberfest has an alcohol content of 7.5% by volume with 45 IBUs. It is indeed a lager per the label, and is part of the brewery’s “One Hitter” series. It is said to be available in August and September. I drank a bottle on a lovely October afternoon. It sells here for $11.99 a six-pack, which also does not work in its favor.
Lagunitas Tuberfest pours to a dark caramel color with a thick creamy head and a nose of tropical fruit and a hint of Germanic grassy hops. Taking a sip, I get a little caramel malt, but the beer is not really all that toasty nutty like I want in an Oktoberfest; even more so an “imperial oktoberfest”. The malt seems thin and gets drowned out by all the fruit loop hops that dominate the palate, although there are some more Germanic ones in the bitter finish.
A good way to ruin an Oktoberfest with all these hops if you ask me, which you did, or you would not be reading this. I get that they are trying to do something novel here, but if I want hops, I will drink an IPA or a German pilsner. They just don’t work here in a malty style, and for that reason I give Lagunitas Tuberfest 2 ½ stars, less a half star for the high price.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.