You can’t beat early September! Football is back, and so are the fall beers. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the Oktoberfests! Magic Hat’s Hex Ourtoberfest is far and away one of my favorite fall seasonals. Technically, it’s not an Oktoberfest beer (it’s an ale, not a lager). But in many ways it’s like an Oktoberfest beer. It has many of the same qualities. So we’ll call it an alternative Oktoberfest. This amber ale is typical of the kind of beer I love best: it’s super-malty... and smooth as all get-out. The flavor profile is heavy on toffee and caramel sweetness, which is balanced by toasty bread notes and a soft kiss of hop bitterness. It’s got a smoky, almost burnt cherry finish to it that mixes nicely with the hops on the back end. All in all, it’s sweeter than normal for an Oktoberfest. But like any good malt-forward ale, it manages to not be too sweet. This beer is precisely what it purports to be – a unique twist on the Oktoberfest style that is in many ways the same and in many ways different. Most importantly, it’s freakin’ delicious. I’m half-tempted to shell out $40 for a case of this stuff – that’s how much I like it! Bonus points for the label and its Halloween-ish motif. If you drink Ayinger Oktoberfest-Marzen while downing brats and kraut, you can switch to Hex when the time comes to don your zombie costume and terrify trick-or-treaters. Yay, fall!