Schnitzengiggles Fest Bier
Purchased at the brewery, 5.8% ABV

schitzenLOL. CTMQ. SG.

Laughing out loud, sure, everyone knows that one… even my mom. CTMQ? Oh, you think that’s the site your reading right now – but it’s also used for “chuckling to myself quietly.” It’s true. And of course SG is for Schitzengiggles.

What’s LOL, or I guess more of a CTMQ, is that NEBCO (New England Brewing Company) has swapped between “schitzengiggles” and “schnitzengiggles” when announcing this, the first run of a fest/Oktoberfest/Marzen bier. While I’m sure it’s just accidental on their part, I think we’d all agree that dropping the ‘n’ makes it funnier.

So funny, in fact, that NEBCO isn’t unique in using this term. There’s a comedy club in Mumbai(!) A bar in Ohio. An Urban Dictionary thread about it.

What happens when we add the ‘n’? You get a bar in Georgia. And an Eisbock from Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ.

But it’s not like NEBCO had to apply for labeling legalities from the federal government, so there won’t be any copyright infringement issues for them to worry about at least.

And no, I am certainly not proclaiming that our favorite brewery “stole” the name from one of these entities. (Though head brewer and part owner Matt loves him some Indian food, so maybe he’s a big fan of the Mumbai comedy club… Hmmm….) I’m merely pointing out that other beer-related bars and breweries have gotten here first. No worries.

I feel the need to also direct you to an old beer review of mine – The Schnickelfritz (a Dunkel Lager) from Cambridge House Brewpub in Granby. It’s a pretty enlightening and entertaining page. I think you’ll get some CTMQ’s and SN’s out of it.

To my knowledge, this was NEBCO’s first attempt at what they insist on calling a fest bier. It is my understanding that “fest bier” is merely a shortening of “Oktoberfest bier,” and why they insist on not using the word Oktober (or October) is beyond me. Then again, who cares about that anyway? I served this growlette to my wife and brother-in-law enjoyed it while celebrating his birthday.

Though I suppose I should pretend we were celebrating the autumnal harvest. Hooray gourds and kale. Hooray.


A traditional Fest Bier.

Gee, thanks.

Actually, this says a lot. It says that NEBCO is trying to move away, however incrementally, from the hop bombs they are known for. They released a Belgian table beer shortly before this – one that did not have any of the signature hops NEBCO is known for. Then they released a saison concurrently with it. Granted, it was hopped with Nelson Sauvin, but still… I see a push in Woodbridge to depart from their dumptrucks full of Citra and Galaxy hops.

Fanboys cry.

High-minded craft beer epicure*s such as myself welcome this subtle shift.

*I am neither high-minded nor epicurean.

SoTrueToLifeFor one, it allows me to share NEBCO beer with my brother-in-law; a wonderful man who happens to dislike highly hopped beers. He’s Asian and his genetic make-up forces him to gravitate towards green bottled beers. That’s just a scientific fact. So, a light, slightly malty Oktoberfest is much to his liking. So happy birthday to you, bro.

My man almost downed the entire 32 ounces before I could get a taste. (Fortunately, I was able not only have half a glass, but also to take the lead picture when no one was looking to ask me why in the world I was taking a picture of a glass of beer.)

I haven’t much to say about the beer itself other than it is a “traditional fest bier.” Bready and malty and dry, yet somehow refreshing at the same time. Lighter than many Oktobers out there, it still retained the taste of most of the traditional ones from Germany with nothing “interesting” about it other than it being interesting that NEBCO didn’t add anything “interesting” to it.

I love the fact that this beer appealed to my inlaws. I’m not really sure anything else NEBCO does would. Maybe Ghost Pigeon if they were feeling it and maybe Weiss Trash, because of the whole sour element in Vietnamese cooking. But you get my point – let’s just keep enjoying whatever NEBCO does and allow them to play around with styles a little bit outside their wheelhouse.

I’m down for that.

Overall Rating: B
Rating vs. Similar style: A-

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