We are not trying to rush summer away, but we sure are excited about this Oktoberfest German-style lager! Oktoberfest is a 16 – 18-day festival running from mid to late September to the first weekend in October. This event hosts more than six million people from around the world every year in Munich, Germany. A festival this big is worth honoring and we wanted to bring the celebration right to you with our Oktoberfest lager!
Where does the name come from?
Justin: History? So… Oktoberfest (like Kolsch or Champagne) is actually (in most countries but not here apparently) a legally protected title for a family of beers made within Munich for the fall harvest festival. Obviously, Munich can’t have all the fun so other German cities created the styles of Festbier and Marzen, which have since been adopted as the official “Oktoberfest” beer in Munich at different points in time. Confusing yet? In America, Oktoberfest beers are usually either Marzen or Festbier styles. We went with a Marzen, which is similar to the original Oktoberfest from centuries ago and was actually the official “Oktoberfest” beer in Munich for over 100 years until the 1990s.
Brian: Oktoberfest starts in September. It’s time for German people to drink beer and do a little cosplay with lederhosen and bar matron dresses. Hot dog!
Describe this style of beer:
Justin: Marzen is a malty, amber, European lager. Marzen aroma usually hints at sweetness, but the flavor is rich, bready, and toasty with moderate bitterness and a dry finish. This is a beer that was meant to be drunk quickly and in large gulps. For those who are curious: Festibiers are usually more hop focused than Marzen, light to gold in color, with a bread-like but smoother mouthfeel.
Brian: Marzen. Though there should be an umlaut over the letter “A”, it’s pronounced Mayrtzen. Not Marzen like Mars. Mare like a horse.
Describe its unique flavor:
Justin: Maltiness. This beer is meant to be drunk, and I mean DRANK. Large swigs to accentuate the multiple layers of malty character playing on each other. With just enough hop presence to balance the beer. But even then, the hops fade to the crescendo of caramel, bread, and subtle toast flavors.
Brian: Have you ever eaten a pile of leaves to really understand the flavor of Fall? Me either. A robust orange lager.
Was there anything memorable or funny that happened during production? Interesting quotes or “accidents”?
Justin: Last summer, this beer actually came about from a Belgian IPA we were planning on brewing. We had all the malt in house and at nearly the last minute decided we were IPA heavy at the time, and really should make an Oktoberfest beer. Chad and I wrote a recipe based on what we had on hand plus a couple of extra bags, and voila! Last year’s run of this beer is still our fastest selling beer to date.
Brain: Was originally written using part of the malt we had on hand for a different beer. It ended up being a winner.
If you could pair this beer with a food from a place around town, what would it be?
Justin: Literally anything from Winzer Stube, but especially the Sausage Sampler. Oh, and you have to wear Lederhosen to really experience the glory that is this beer. Trust me. I know.
Brian: Snauseges from Winzerstube.