By Josh Liddy
Hold on to your Lederhosen, Oktoberfest is here! This year marks the 184th year of the festival in Munich, Germany. Oktoberfest began as a celebration of the union of soon-to-be-King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810, but has continued on through the years. At Colonial, we'll celebrate all October long!
What is Oktoberfest without the beer? Marzen is the true name of Oktoberfest beers. A Marzen is a lager brewed in the month of March (März=March in German) to be consumed in October, during the festival. Colonial has an awesome selection of Oktoberfest Marzen beers, both from Germany and right here in the USA.
Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen
This beer was brewed 207 years ago for the royal wedding celebration that became Oktoberfest. If you go to Munich for the festival this year, Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen is one of the beers you can enjoy. On the palate, the malty-ness is accompanied by dark toffee notes. This is THE Oktberfest beer you need to have during your festivities.
Another beer that you would find at Oktoberfest this year. This is a little higher ABV (6.3%) than most traditional Marzens, but it's as good as the rest! This rich, full bodied beer is perfect to have with your bratwurst.
Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen
Though this is a German beer, it's not one you would find at the Munich Oktoberfest. This has been everyone's favorite of the year so far, and I think the brewers describe it best: Rich, golden color. Slightly sweet, malty nose. Medium to big body and alcohol. Soft dryness from long maturation.
Samuel Adams Octoberfest
First on our domestic Oktoberfest roster is this one from Sam Adams. Some might see the Sam Adams name and write it off, but don't be too hasty--this is a very decent beer. I was pleasantly surprised when I had it on draft the other night. Notes of caramel and toffee are very prevalent, and at 5.3% ABV it's easy drinking and pleasant. Like I said, don't judge it too quickly (like I did.)
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
Another American craft titan, Sierra Nevada teams up with a German brewer each year to bring us their Oktoberfest. This year they chose Brauhaus Miltenberger. This beer has a rich, malty flavor that's balanced well with the German hops they use to produce it. It's a fest beer that is true to the style.
Boulevard Brewing Bob's 47 Oktoberfest
Brewed in honor of Master Brewer Bob Werkowitch, this beer pours a dark amber; with rich, malty flavor, and hops added for balance to create a great American take on the classic style.
With all of these options, your Oktoberfest celebration should go off without a hitch! From the true Marzens that would be in your stein at Munich to the American versions in abundance right here at home – grab a six pack and some brats and celebrate like they do in the old world! As always, you can follow us on UNTAPPD at Colonial to see what we have to offer and my personal UNTAPPD (jliddy09) to see beers I've been trying lately.