Though just a bit early, I thought it time to review an iconic seasonal beer style: the German Märzen, or what Americans typically call Oktoberfest beer. Consumed in great quantity commencing the middle of September until the first Sunday in Germany inside cities like München (Munich) under tents, and consumed with copious amounts of wursts and pretzels. This is a cherished style for Bavarians. These beers were originally brewed in the spring and lagered for months (translation: stored) and signaled the traditional end of the brewing season.
On the docket: Paulaner’s Oktoberfest Märzen, 11.2 oz. bottle, best-by date of 5/16
S: Thick foamy off-white head crowns a burnished, crystal-clear amber body. Tiny bubbles constantly journey up to replace the now-receded thin cap of head.
A: A few sniffs reveal a bread-crust, malty sweetness, a touch of toffee, almost no hop presence, clean lager aroma, with no fruit but just a notion of alcohol.
T: A sweet start, aided by toasted bread-crust, and malt. It starts to dry out in the middle, ending with a crisp thirst-quenching smack. Very subtle noble hops with tastes of hay and gentle spice. Did I mention the dry finish?
F: This one has a medium body, and nice carbonation. Though it has a short finish, you go back for more.
O: An excellent and typical example of this seasonal style, though the brewery produces this year-round.
Food pairing suggestions: German, German, and perhaps German. Great with authentic Bavarian pretzels, wursts, spätzel… and don’t forget the mustard.