Oktoberfest Label Magnets

Last year, I started working on a project inspired by something my little brother was doing at the time. For each unique Oktoberfest I was able to purchase and drink, I removed the label from the bottle, attached it to a magnet, and stuck it on my fridge.

I was able to collect 26 labels last year, and here's the result:
http://www.theschlock.com/blog/?p=1006

I started in the middle of September last year, which is pretty late to start collecting Oktoberfests, so I was ready to find all the ones I was missing this year.

Generally, Oktoberfest Beers start showing up around the middle of August, and by the time October rolls around, everything that's going to be shipped to stores has been shipped. Many people consider the idea of Oktoberfest beers running out of stock in October (and September being the primary month) rather ironic given the name. Even Oktoberfest itself in Germany starts in September, and ends a few days into October.

But, from the brewers standpoint, it really depends on the summer. The Oktoberfest brewing process begins in March, and the batches are set to ferment over the summer. And when they're done when they're done. The true german name (or classification) of the type of beer, Marzen, makes more sense, as Marzen is german for March. No matter when they're done, the process starts in March (and sometimes April for later batches).

Last year, I tried to keep my collecting efforts to local breweries, but I expanded this year to include (almost) anything I could find. And I found a lot of beers that I missed. Plus, a few that I tried last year that either changed labels, or recipes.

There's a sample of the amount of beers I've been drinking over the last 2 months. I've been driving around to all kinds of liquor stores looking for new beers. I've been to almost all the ones in Madison. I went up to Minnesota, and drove around a bit. I went to Iowa, Dubuque, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Chicago, and a couple other places.

And the results turned out pretty good.

I doubled the amount of labels on my fridge. I think there's a total of 52 up there now. Milwaukee Brewery Company, Berghoff, and Sam Adams had the same beer, but changed the label. And New Belgium release a Red Hoptoberfest (not that great :( ) compared to the Hoptoberfest they had last year.

I arranged all the labels in order by my preference, but with so many beers it's pretty subjective. And at times difficult to remember which ones tasted better than the others.

Overall, I would say Sam Adams Oktoberfest is a good middle ground, mediocre Oktoberfest to judge the others on. Anything better than Sam Adams is a good, tasty Oktoberfest, in my opinion. When I compare, I usually start there. If it's better, than I compare it to Leinie's Oktoberfest. And from there, the process gets a little cloudy. If it tastes similar to another one on my list, I usually place it next to (or near it).

By FAR! my favorite beer from this year is the Three Floyds Munsterfest. It is incredibly smooth, with a deep rustic, autumn feel. It's not as flavorful or deliberate as the Staghorn, but pretty damn perfect for what I look for in an Oktoberfest. Very similar to Lake Front.

Also, I had a chance to try Ayinger Oktoberfest which is the first German import Oktoberfest I actually liked. I think I put it too low on my list, and will have to adjust it next year when I have more opportunities to try it again.

With the exception of Ayinger, one thing I really don't understand is why all German imported Oktoberfests taste like stale rotten Heineken piss. They are the absolute worst beers I've had. And they all taste very similar, so it's gotta be similar to what the Germans actually drink over there, right? Ayinger rises above that, but still has a tinge of the Heineken taste in it. I don't understand it. And maybe the only way to answer this question is to actually go to Germany for Oktoberfest sometime.

Overall, I found every Oktoberfest I was looking except for one. I really really want to try Wiehanstefaner Fest Bier. Wiehanstefaner is my favorite German brewery, and I would imagine their Oktoberfest has got to be pretty good. Hopefully that will lead me to more answers to why German Fest Biers are horrible and gross.

Makin' Magnets!

Anyway, making these magnets are pretty easy. I outlined the process in the previous post, but I'll reiterate it here.

To remove the label, I use Wine Appeals's Wine Label Removal Kit.
http://www.amazon.com/Wine-Label-Remover-Kit-REMOVERS/dp/B000UVJP6O

It's basically just tape that you cover the beer label with. When you remove the tape, the label will come off with it.

And then I'm using Super 77 spray adhesive on ProMAG's Paintable Magnetic Vinyl Sheets. I spray down the sheet, place the labels on top of the sheet, let it dry for a little bit, and then cut them out.

Pain in the Ass!

Most of the time, the labels come off very easily, but the label for Flying Dog's Dogtoberfest does not! I wasn't able to find anymore this year, so all I had were 2 empty bottles I saved from last year.

I tried removing the label very very slowly, but that didn't work. Too much of the label still stuck to the bottle, and would rip the image.

I tried filling the bottle with water, cooling it, and let the condensation moisten the label to make it easier to remove. That didn't work, either.

So, I tried something else. I figured if I couldn't remove the label from the bottle, maybe I could remove the bottle from the label.

That did the trick.

And even after all that, tiny pieces of the glass still stuck to the label. Very very stubborn! But I was able to get what I wanted, and finally was able to stick it to a magnet.




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