(ROCKWALL, TX – Sept. 3, 2019) Each year about now, we start seeing the Oktoberfest beers roll into stores. It’s a reminder that fall is right around the corner. But what is Oktoberfest and what is the deal with this beer we associate as just another seasonal beer?
Well my friends, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival and is held annually in Munich, Germany (and many other places around the world celebrate with them). Locals call the festival “wies’n” (pronounced visen). The festival currently runs for 16-18 days leading up to the first Sunday in October. It was first celebrated in October of 1810 when Kronpriz Ludwig married Princess Therese. All the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held in front of the city gates, Theresienwiese (Theresa’s Fields) to celebrate the coming royal wedding. The event was so successful they decided to repeat it again the next year and the tradition was born. In 2018, 7.5 million liters of beer were drank during the festival!
Now back to the beer! This beer is rich malty amber to copper colored German lager typically about 6% ABV. It commonly uses malt known as Munich malt which gives a toasty and light caramel flavor in the finished beer. Well brewed examples should finish dry and not cloyingly sweet (ex. OHB Oktoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest). This beer is also known as Märzen meaning March. It would traditionally be brewed in March and lagered in ice caves all summer long. Another tidbit many Americans do not realize is in 1990, the Munich city committee changed the official beer served in Germany during the festival to a lighter, more drinkable, and less filling style known as Festbier. It is about the same ABV percentage as the exported version above, but has less body and sweetness in it to make it more sessionable. It is lighter in color than traditional Märzen. This version is rarer in the U.S. However, our own DFW brewery, Pegasus City, makes a version in this style (Big D Fest bier).
Come on by Beer Geeks today and celebrate Oktoberfest 2019 by stocking up on this Märzen style!
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