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Because it’s September and I’m Done with Summer – The Most Interesting and Fascinating World of Märzen

September 13, 2011

Fall is here

Build yourself a time machine, dial it in to some time in the mid-16th century, preferably around March, and set your destination as “Germany.”If this seems a tad difficult, go find Doc or Marty, and hitch a ride with them.Hopefully, good fortune has always been on your side, and you end up in a cave, cellar or if you’re even luckier than the luckiest, the excavated side of a mountain.  Maybe wherever you end up, you’ll see some barrels of beer sitting there, freshly brewed, patiently waiting to be imbibed upon when summer and fall arrive.  That’s if it makes it to the fall.

The beer that you would have stumbled upon is what’s called Marzen, or Oktoberfest. Marzen is German for March.  The short version is brewing typically ended as Spring approached because of sanitary reasons, and there happened to be an ordnance dictating when one, being a German, could brew.  So, these beers were brewed around March.  To make it through the summer, the beers were designed with more alcohol and more hops, which naturally provides some preservative character.  And, from that, you get Märzen or Oktoberfest, because any leftover beers were consumed then as well.

So, since it’s a little over 2 weeks to September, I have been drinking Märzen style beers, the latest being Harpoon Octoberfest from a brewery in Boston.  Let me give you the low down on this beer.

It’s a dark amber in color.  It’s a little sweet, bready and malty with a dash of hop bitterness, and you know what, it smells the same way.  I find the style analogous to amber ales, well balanced, refreshing and delicious beers.  So, enjoy the anticipation of the fall by grabbing one of these styles.

I got this beer from: Food Emporium, 2008 Broadway, New York, NY

I would like this beer if:

  • I like amber ales
  • I want a lager with a bit more oomph
  • I love Germany
I would not like this beer if:
  • Lagers suck
  • Boston sucks
  • Yoga like balance is boring
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