Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Know Your Beer - Märzen/Oktoberfest

Ach ja, baby! Oktoberfest time! In the spirit of this annual goodness, let's take a look at the beer that is best associated with the festival of brews - the Märzen/Oktoberfest style.

Back in the old days, when you would walk uphill, both ways, in the snow, it was nigh impossible to brew beer in the summer months because there wasn't really a way to keep it cool. As such, beers were brewed in March (hey, that sounds very similar to Märzen...) and stored in caves that were surrounded by ice until about September.

This lager is a full bodied, rich, malty beer. Depending on where the beer is from, you may get some different flavor profiles. Austrian/German beers will be more malty and lighter in color (almost pale ale coloring). North American Marzens will be a bit hoppy and bitter, but not aggresively so. Coloring may be a bit darker as well.

This style will range from 4% - 7% ABV, with most falling near mid 5%...

There are all sorts of these beers around the place - Spaten Oktoberfest, Flying Dog Dogtoberfest, Paulaner München Märzen, Gordon Biersch Märzen, Left Hand Oktoberfest Märzen and Sam Adams Octoberfest. Some of Albuquerque and Santa Fe's breweries do Oktoberfest beers.

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