Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Oshkosh Beer Sampler 015: Doppelbock at Fratellos

A slanted and endless survey of what’s pouring in Oshkosh, tallied one beer at a time.

What & Where: Doppelbock in bottles at Fratellos in Oshkosh

Why: Because if you live in Oshkosh you really ought to be sinking a few Doppelbocks this time of year. But even if you’re not into rockin’ the Doppelbock (what?) you ought to drop in at Fratellos and check out their recently expanded selection of bottled beer. A few weeks ago, they pulled a facelift at the brewpub and added a new cooler for bottled beer. One of the servers told me they can pack 1,000 bottles into it. They’re using it to good effect. The thing is loaded and a good chunk of it is stuff brewed at the Appleton wing of Fox River Brewing; beers we often don’t see here in Oshkosh. Now, about this damned Doppelbock. It’s a beauty. The heady aroma of freshly milled malt is followed by flavors of dark fruit and light caramel. It’s rich and chewy and I don’t know the strength of it, but this is no shrinking violet. There’s a definite warming effect from the alcohol. It’s an ideal beer for transitioning from winter to spring. Kevin Bowen, brewmaster at Fratellos/Fox River Brewing, has turned out a spate of exceptional lagers recently and this is another winner. By the way, we’ve been drinking Doppelbock in Oshkosh since at least 1858 when Christian Kaehler and Tobias Fischer released their “Salvator” beer. In May that year, they invited everybody to come out to their Busch Brewery near the corner of Algoma and Vine and enjoy a “Pleasure like never before.” I love the idea that 155 years later and just a few blocks away from where the Busch Brewery stood we can still head over to the brewery and indulge in the same full-throated pleasure of those early Oshkoshers.

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