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The No. 1 beer at Oktoberfest?

Cheers to the Newark Star-Ledger for featuring Greg Zarcardi and High Point Brewing in Butler, N.J., today.

The hook (why he’s getting the attention now) is that Zacardi “was selected to represent the United States this weekend at The Mondial de la Biere Strasbourg-Europe in France where he will speak about the history and evolution of American microbreweries.”

Zarcardi has been making excellent weissbiers in the tradition of southern German breweries (like Schneider-Weisse or Weihenstephaner Hefe Weiss) since 1996 without getting much attention. That can get a little frustrating, as he explained when I talked to him for Brewing With Wheat.

“The biggest consumers of wheat beers want German wheat beers,” he said. When he conducts blind tastings, which he calls the “Ramstein Challenge,” locals like those at the Deutscher Club in a nearby town prefer his beers to well-known German weiss beers. “You can taste the difference in a locally brewed wheat beer. They love our beer, but it’s not German. They still buy the German beers.”

Although his original plan was to make only wheat beers, non-wheat beers now account for about 40 percent of his production. But somebody is going to have to explain this to me:

His recipe won him several awards, and was recently rated No. 1 at Oktoberfest in Germany.



3 Responses to The No. 1 beer at Oktoberfest?

  1. Pivní Filosof October 18, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

    Don’t need to explain anything. it’s very clear.

    People buy what they know. Doesn’t matter if the alternative is better, they’ll still keep on buying the usual stuff.

  2. Greg Zaccardi October 22, 2009 at 8:20 pm #

    Thanks for your post and supportive complements. A bit of a confusing rating. The correct award is that our Ramstein Oktoberfest is currently rated the #1 Oktoberfest (for aroma, flavor, etc.) in the Oktoberfest category by Beer Advocate. Beer Advocate is an international beer reviewing web forum/ site and magazine.

  3. Stan Hieronymus October 22, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    Thanks for the clarification, Greg. And a tip of the hat for winning over the beer rating crowd ;>)

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