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Oktoberfests / Marzens

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Josbor11, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. I agree with your first point. Having tried only American examples, I thought Marzen was supposed to be a very malt forward style until I tried Paulaner Wiesn. Pale gold color, lots of fresh, floral hops and possibly the most balanced beer I ever had. It's hard to go back to the dark amber, over roasted, caramelly American interpretations.
    Uniobrew31 and TongoRad like this.
  2. The collaboration between all of the Munich Big 6 (brewed at Augustiner) that came out on the 200th anniversary of the Oktoberfest (back in 2010) was absolutely sublime.
    -N8 and TongoRad like this.
  3. Josbor11

    Josbor11 Savant (360) Ohio Dec 21, 2013

    I'm assuming this was a one and done brew?
    herrburgess likes this.
  4. Chaz

    Chaz Champion (815) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002

    Summit Brewing offered a version of their Oktoberfest which was aged on pumpkin pie spices. This was last September at their 'Backyard Bash', and it must've been 96 that day... it was a 'one and done' for me. :confused:
  5. beertasterb

    beertasterb Savant (355) Michigan Mar 1, 2010

    Personally i prefer a mai bock to a fest bier but love both styles. I agree that right now in the u.s. most imports are under rated. I love the barrel aged stuff and the huge ipa's but you can never go wrong with a classic just because it's not a hop bomb doesn't mean it cant be great.
    Chickenhawk9932 likes this.
  6. Some of the German imports are still of the copper/amber variety (at this point they may even be made specifically for export), but you should at least try some of the best ones just to give yourself a baseline of how well they can be done. Hacker-Pschorr still makes a great one.

    Overall I have come to prefer the pale ones myself, and they are becoming easier to find here in the states. In addition to the Paulaner you can also check out two that were mentioned earlier in this thread- Hofbrau and Weihenstephaner. The beauty is that the more you drink of them, the better they get.
    JackHorzempa, steveh and mjtierney2 like this.
  7. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (500) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    What? Did you really drink Warsteiner at the Oktoberfest?
    Flibber and steveh like this.
  8. Lol In Phoenix it was amazing Imo.
  9. Crusader

    Crusader Savant (345) Sweden Feb 4, 2011

    I think one should keep in mind the fact that Bavarian lager beer didn't use to be attenuated the way a pilsner beer was (and even pilsner beers have seen an increasing degree of attenuation since the 19th century). The Bavarian lager beer had a comparatively high wort strenght and a comparatively low abv, with a comparatively low degree of attenuation. If one looks at the relationship between wort strenght and abv for modern Bavarian lager beer, it is clear that all styles have seen a reduction in wort strenght and or an increase in alcoholic strenght, with a subsequent increase in attenuation (a process which might be described as "pilsification" :p). The result is that modern Bavarian lager beers are leaner, drier and less malty than they would have been in the 19th century.

    See for example: http://www.europeanbeerguide.net/lager19.htm
    Sneers and JackHorzempa like this.
  10. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    As Tongo points out there are a few Munich brands that still export the Amber Märzen and, fortunately, they are more traditional; toasty, not roasted, and bready more than caramel. Spaten, Paulaner (they export both Amber and Wies'n styles), Hacker Pschorr, and even Ayinger -- though theirs is a little between the light and dark.
    TongoRad likes this.
  11. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    I'll have to keep my eyes open for some newer stock this year. Admittedly I tend away from H-B's Maibock anymore because it sits on shelves year-round without being pulled for the season. The last few times I've tried it, it's been terribly oxidized, and I don't see the half liter bottles as I used to.
  12. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    A friend of mine was over to try that and wasn't terribly impressed… then again, he's a beer guzzler, not the savoring type. ;)
  13. SAY WHAT!?!? I never heard of this! Sounds like it would be an amazing beer
    herrburgess likes this.
  14. I wish Spaten used brown bottles instead of green I would buy that one more often. On tap, it is an incredible beer.
  15. Plus, the green bottles are a huge deterrent for me
  16. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    I always buy the covered 12 packs. You know a six-pack isn't gonna be enough anyway. ;)

    I always dig into the back of the cooler for HB -- 'course, I did buy a whole case of that Winter Spezial they had a couple years ago. No skunking in that. :D
  17. Domingo

    Domingo Champion (945) Colorado Apr 23, 2005

    The HB Maibock/Ur-Bock is a anomaly. It isn't overly pale (I'm holding one in my avatar) and it has a lot of the same flavors I usually pick up from doppelbocks.
    It's been a few years, but there was a discussion if the Ur-Bock and Maibock were even the same beer. At the time I believe the consensus is that they are. If so, it's the only one I've had in Munich with that color or flavor profile. Admittedly I haven't had the one HP, though. If not...maybe there's a pale Maibock floating around, too?
    I'm unfortunately in the same boat as you. Out here that one tends to sit and even when "fresh" those green bottles have done it no favors. On tap it's divine, though. Toss in some of those country potatoes and sour cream sauce and I can camp out under the Chinesischer Turm all day.
    cnbrown313, YamBag, steveh and 3 others like this.
  18. zrbeer1579

    zrbeer1579 Savant (370) Illinois Dec 3, 2012

    Nobody mentioned Ayinger Marzen? I like it just much as Great Lakes Oktoberfest.
    Givemebeer and ceeg like this.
  19. Brew_Bro

    Brew_Bro Aficionado (235) Florida Mar 4, 2014

    This is in my top 3 favorite beers. I love a good marzen.
  20. ceeg

    ceeg Aficionado (155) New York Dec 16, 2010

    Ayinger is the best! I too was surprised it hadn't been mentioned this deep in the thread.
    Tilley4 and zrbeer1579 like this.
  21. 57md

    57md Savant (485) Pennsylvania Aug 22, 2011

    Great Lakes is my favorite Marzen by far. I must confess that I am partial to the malty Marzens even if they are less than genuine.
    Chickenhawk9932 likes this.
  22. Holy cow! That is not the beer I had last year. Something strange may be going on- even on the first page of reviews there are a few with a description of a 'golden color' sprinkled in among the rest. Different beers with the same label? I'll definitely have to report back when we get it- hopefully by April. The stores by me get it as a seasonal- maybe a 5 case drop- and when it sells out it isn't available till next year.
  23. Harnkus

    Harnkus Savant (360) New York Oct 31, 2013

    You might have been mislead if you think that beer is a traditional Marzen.
  24. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Advocate (520) Tennessee Nov 13, 2007

    Victory makes a killer Fest bier as does Stoudts.... Left Hand should be mentioned as well
  25. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Only 8 posts previous. ;)
    TongoRad likes this.
  26. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Just wonder if they're phasing it into a paler beer?
  27. Victory Zeltbier is incredible. I went through a sixtel and half keg last year.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  28. Until Domingo mentioned it, I was unaware of the confusion regarding whether Maibock and UrBock were the same beer. I guess it's possible that maybe the older ones are darker- what he is holding looks like a straight-up traditional bock to me. When I see it I will also check for dates, if there are any- being a mostly seasonal purchaser of theirs I never really checked before.
  29. Domingo

    Domingo Champion (945) Colorado Apr 23, 2005

    I believe the discussion goes back to before the site went down (2010?), but there was a lot of talk whether the HB Maibock and UrBock were the same. I have no idea of the hows and whys, but at the time it seemed to be that they were the same...or someone who knew better said so. It's been a while, so I really don't know.
    The one I have looks a hair darker than it is (just because of the lighting in the shade) but it's definitely not blonde. If anything, it looks pretty close to the amber Maerzens they export to the US.
  30. Wait, none of you guys made it to the marzenpus release? I was promised a case but only landed 9 for trading. Such a rip.

    Seriously while I love a good fest beer my true passion is for dortmunder export. Another totally unheralded style in the current American beer scene. Always looking for recommendations in this genre.
    YamBag likes this.
  31. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    This is the label I always see around here, and it's always been much darker than the traditional Maibock -- I always compared it to an Amber Märzen (it's what I was talking with you about above). Here's a good example of what I've always gotten from HB.

    It's a mystery what you've had available. ;)
  32. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Interesting that I see BA has listed a Hofbräu Strong Bock (US Import Version) that is labeled as a Maibock, along with the Maibock Urbock… which has the same label I always see imported.

    Rather confusing indeed. Anyone work for the HB importer or a distributor?
  33. Here's a video of Michael Jackson drinking a Hofbrau Maibock (starting around the 3'30" mark). Looks pretty classically amber.

    seanyfo, Domingo and steveh like this.
  34. Crusader

    Crusader Savant (345) Sweden Feb 4, 2011

    On their website in the history section, you find this picture next to some information about the first Maibock that was brewed by Hofbräu:

    [​IMG]
    "Der Maibock von HB - Münchens ältestes Bockbier."
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  35. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    So basically, Ur Bock on the label can be referring to Ur Maibock. Sort of sounds familiar, as though I've found more info on this in the past… I'll keep digging.
  36. steveh

    steveh Advocate (705) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    The classic "chewy" mouthfeel! :D
  37. It's a lager
    It's not high ABV
    It's low in IBU's
    It's not aged in bourbon barrels
    It doesn't have vanilla/cinnamon/chocolate in it
    It's not "American"

    In my experience, these characteristics are not viewed as favorable amongst the beeradvocate community.
    Augustiner719 likes this.
  38. bubseymour

    bubseymour Advocate (625) Maryland Oct 30, 2010

    I love a good Marzen, Helles, Pils and other low ABV styles (Pale Ale, wheats/heffs/session IPAs) I rotate as my more frequent and daily standards. Heavier stouts, Strong Ales, DIPAs, Big Belgians, Sours etc. I go to as a mix-up and slam my taste buds on rare occassions but too much and my palet is wrecked, belly gets big and pocket gets emptied. I personally prefer 3 out of ever 4 beers I drink from the lighter lager/ale styles.
  39. Augustiner719

    Augustiner719 Savant (405) New York Dec 11, 2008

    lets not forget to mention americanized bastardizations of Oktoberfest beers. All wreaking of diacytl and the color of an amber lager.

    Also someone above mentioned they have low IBU's, aren't barrel aged, and not american (for the most part)... so this forum really isn't the best place for this style of beer
  40. I ‘hear’ what you are saying in your post (and I do not disagree with the statements), but Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer is a popular seller during the Oktoberfest season (August/September until they run out in October/November).

    I am personally not a fan of Sam Adams Oktoberfest but many US craft beer drinkers are.

    @jesskidden, do you happen to know how much Sam Adams Oktoberfest is sold per year?

    Cheers!

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