what: Bierkeller Columbia’s Festbier
ABV: 6.1 percent
cost: one token ($2.50 each) per quarter liter
where: Riverfront Park, 312 Laurel St. (next biergarten Oct. 9, 5-9 p.m.)
When you think about it, it’d be rather damning if Bierkeller Columbia didn’t have a great festbier. After all, the lager-centric enterprise conducted by Scott Burgess within the facility belonging to Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company sets as its mission to (per its website) brew “exclusively German styles [that] contain only the four essential ingredients: malt, water, hops, and yeast.”
True to the exemplary form Bierkeller shows with its other offerings, its seasonal Oktoberfest brew is a crushable delight. Pouring out dark gold with a pleasantly foamy head, it drinks a little slower and heavier than the company’s other beers, and is the only one with an ABV above 6 percent. But it’s heavier with purpose, providing a bright but delicate honeyed malt backbone enhanced by subtly floral hop accents. It’s a perfect brew for the early fall in Columbia, complementing the hint of cool in the evening air while providing enough refreshment to stand tall against 80 (or 90) degree afternoons.
And you’ll have ample opportunity to enjoy it. Bierkeller is back hosting biergartens in Riverfront Park, setting up most Tuesdays (5-9 p.m.) and select Saturdays (1-8 p.m.) through December.