Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Speaking of Octoberfest Beer

October 3, 2007

By Kurt Epps—The PubScout

Back in mid-September, by which time Prince Ludwig's Munchen sated revelers have begun to loll along the cobblestone streets, I stopped by Uno's in Metuchen, NJ to see if Brewer Mike Sella had presented his seasonal Oktoberfest. To my chagrin, he had not, which I found somewhat odd, since his Fest is usually available by then. Mike makes some great beer, but his Oktoberfest is usually brilliant.

Today I found out why it was delayed. GM Tom Corrigan discovered that last year's early release was so popular with beer drinkers that they ran out before Mike's Annual Oktoberfest Beer Dinner—which he runs (very un-Germanlike) in October. Had Mike not had the foresight to squirrel a keg away, our 2006 Ein Prosit! Dinner would not have been the blast that it was.

Anyway, in an attempt to avoid running out too soon this year, the beer cognoscenti in Uno's (Mike and Tom) decided to hold off a few weeks. Having just tasted the 2007 edition of Mike's Oktoberfest, I can tell you this was very likely a prudent move.

The 2007 version is, in my humble and besotted opinion, the absolute best batch of Oktoberfest he has yet created at Uno's. This beer, with a beautiful amber color, a sweet, bready nose and a very smooth malty taste can rival any Oktoberfest made in the state of NJ. And that's saying a lot, because a German/Jersey boy from Roselle Park named Dave Hoffman has a Climax O-fest will knock your lederhosen off. (I haven't yet sampled Augie Lightfoot's version at JJ Bittings in Woodbridge, but I heard it's also outstanding. Give me time.)

Bottom line?

If you're anywhere near Uno's on Rt. 1 South in Metuchen, NJ, make a beeline for the bar and ask for Mike's Oktoberfest. I had it with a wonderful dish called Honey Crisp Chicken Salad and the pair worked perfectly. Having the salad made me guilt-free enough to pick up a growler of the Oktoberfest to enjoy at home tonight.

Fair warning, folks. Don't wait. Because if you do, you'll miss an exceptional beer-tasting experience.

And, even under pain of death, Mike and I will not reveal where the spare keg for the November Oktoberfest dinner is stored….

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