Falling For Festbier

Oktoberfest Is In Full Effect. 

Since we launched the malt house, Oktoberfest season sales calls were met with a similar refrain…. “I only use German malt for those recipes”. 

Of course this makes sense; these events are wrapped in hundreds of years of history and tradition. Add to this, the relative lack of experience of an upstart malt house and new barley varieties, and you have a recipe for hesitation.

Over the years, we have honed the recipes of our Munich “family”, coaxing a nice mix of bread, sweet aromatics, and floral character from our locally-sourced grain. These aromas combined with consistent color and extract levels have given us a bit more confidence to hit the streets and ask for that coveted Märzen or Festbier spot.

The increase in quality and consistency combined with a global supply chain meltdown helped us gain traction in 2022, and we have built on that momentum this year. Breweries across the Southeast have taken the leap and reimagined these classic lagers with freshly kilned malt from Riverbend Malt House— as opposed to the Atlantic Ocean.

This harvest season, we saw plenty of Chesapeake Pilsner, Vienna, Light Munich, and Dark Munich go in recipes across the region. Heavier on the Munich malts if a richer, maltier Oktoberfest was the target; More Vienna and Pilsner if a Festbier was on the schedule. 

Over the past few weeks we’ve received positive feedback from our customers as these beers have gone into packaging, and gotten tapped for Oktoberfest celebrations. Hearing that makes it feels like we’ve torn down one of the last barriers for craft malt. 

As these releases make their way to the taprooms and storefronts, our hearts are filled with pride. We know there is a tremendous amount of time and effort tied up in this liquid and we are proud to be a part of each of these expressions of the season. If your Festbier (or any other style you might want to tell us about) was #madewithRiverbend, we’d love to hear about it

A sincere thank you goes out to everyone that chose to make their Oktoberfest Lager with Riverbend this season. We look forward to raising a frothy stein with you in the coming weeks!

Prost y’all!

— Brent