Eagle Park Brewing was started by a pair of brothers who share a love of music and beer. And, just like their first band, the brewery began in their garage but officially came to market back in late 2016.
The Wisconsin brewery has two locations, one in Milwaukee and another in Muskego (about 20 miles southwest of Milwaukee), and also makes their own spirits to go along with their beer. Outside of offering a massive amount of beer at each location (their menu lists 20+ brews at each taproom), they distill gin, vodka, and bourbon and have a vanilla cheesecake cream liqueur as well.
One of my friends hails from the area and was nice enough to bring me back a can perfect for this time of year - M.C. Hammerschlagen. First, what a fantastic beer name. Secondly, even though Oktoberfest is technically over, it’s still a perfect beer for this time of year.
M.C. Hammerschlagen is an Oktoberfest-style lager that’s brewed with all imported ingredients - using 100% German malts, hops, and yeast. Being a bit lighter than a traditional Marzen, this Fest Bier has a solid 5.9% ABV and a six-pack of 12-ounce cans runs about $10.
The beer poured an orange/copper color with minimal head building up. No more than half a finger of eggshell white head ever appeared and what little foam did appear quickly vanished down into a small accumulation around the edge of the glass.
On the nose it was sweet but remained light and subdued. The malts were most prevalent, as the aroma was led by sweeter caramel notes while some biscuity characteristics could be found underneath. There was also a light roasted malt aspect to it as well.
The sip began with some mild carbonation before a short lull buffered the fizzle and the flavors. However, after that brief moment, my tongue was quickly flooded by the German malt.
Up front there was a rush of caramelized grains and bread that provided a quick pop of sweetness. The grist continued to control the taste, packing more and more of the biscuity and toasted malt essence atop my taste buds.
As it progressed, there were some nutty and earthy flavors that started to peek through. Finally, there was a late appearance of hops that added some piney qualities in with the other earthy notes and brought a flash of citrus to the end as well.
It finished a touch dry and that roasted malt flavor outlasted the other, lingering on for a few minutes after everything else had disappeared.
M.C. Hammerschlagen was an easy drinking Fest Bier that was super light and crisp. Having a full liter of this brew in a glass stein seems like the perfect way to enter autumn...the 12-ounce can I had certainly vanished WAYYY too quickly on me.
Grab it while you still can.