German / Imported Märzens

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by jonphisher, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. jonphisher

    jonphisher Aspirant (286) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    Love the thread you made @keithmurray and it got me thinking about import marzens. I know this could divulge into the freshness debate quickly but I’m more curious what people enjoy the most.

    I know it’s predictable but my favorite is Ayinger and it’s what I will probably buy most of import wise this year. I also came across “anno 1050” by weltenburger the other day. I almost bought one but it wasn’t price marked so I skipped. Anyone had that one? Also what are some other ones I should be on the lookout for. I’ve had most of the regular suspect imports.
     
  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,673) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Anno 1050 is definitely worth a try.
     
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  3. DCH

    DCH Aspirant (241) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    Kostritzer Oktoberfest is great, I’ve had a hard time finding that one lately though.
     
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  4. officerbill

    officerbill Zealot (528) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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    I've never seen this and didn't know it existed. Are you upstate or down?

    I prefer the weisn Oktoberfests over the märzen and the only märzen I specifically seek out is Schlenkerla's
     
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  5. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,471) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    I'm an ayinger fanboy, nothing else comes close for me.
     
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  6. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,673) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    I only saw it around here about 10 years ago. My first six-pack was so good that I bought a whole case, but I don't think it's been imported since -- if even brewed.

    @officerbill it was a Fest style Märzen; very good melanoidin breadiness and highly drinkable.
     
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  7. officerbill

    officerbill Zealot (528) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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    Thanks, the only Kostritzer anything I've ever seen around here is the schwartzbier
     
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  8. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,384) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    I like all of the usual suspects when if comes to fhe imports.

    Ayinger
    Hacker Pschorr
    Paulaner
    Spaten (wish it shipped in brown bottles or at least mini kegs)
    Weihenstephaner
     
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  9. DCH

    DCH Aspirant (241) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    Downstate/LI area, have to admit it’s been a while since I had it but it was awesome, marzen style Oktoberfest, 500 ml bottles
     
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  10. DCH

    DCH Aspirant (241) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    I’d love to see the kostritzer Oktoberfest return. That was prob the maltiest one I’ve had aside from the big boys of the Munich tents.

    Side note- I’d also really love to see a wolters festbier come back, they haven’t brewed that in about 6 years. Since they moved over to the 500 ml can format with all their other beers I’d be interested to get a fresher taste at the brew. Had a very unique sort of minty aftertaste that I had not seen in any other beer.
     
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  11. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,849) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    Ayinger is the only German one I buy every year. (So, referencing the domestic Märzen thread, my every-year purchases are Ayinger and Schell's.)

    Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen is my second favorite German Märzen.

    As you can tell, I prefer the amber Märzen style to the lighter Fest style.

    For the last several years, I have been adding one more German import to the Oktoberfest/Märzen's I have tried, but I'm running out of choices that are distributed to local stores. I have a couple more to go: Weihenstephan and Warsteiner. I'll be trying to track down the Weihenstephaner Festbier this year.
     
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  12. DCH

    DCH Aspirant (241) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    If you prefer the marzen style, the weihenstephaner might not be your bag. It’s not a bad brew at all, it’s just very much the festbier style. Warsteiner is a little bit more of the marzen style and definitely more of a bargain if you can find it by the case!
     
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  13. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,849) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    Addendum to my post above:

    The German imports I have tried (and, hence, along with the Weihenstephan and Warsteiner are the only ones I've seen on shelves here) are:
    Ayinger
    Hacker-Pschorr
    Hofbräu
    Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen
    Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn
    Memminger Gold (in the Advent box from Costco)
     
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  14. DCH

    DCH Aspirant (241) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    Ayinger, Hacker-Pschorr, and Paulaner are all so incredible. It basically empties my bank account every year:beer:
     
  15. mambossa

    mambossa Aspirant (236) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    holy fuck I didn’t even know they made one. As a heavy Köstritzer fanboi, I’ll be pestering every resource I know about it.
     
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  16. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,673) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    I checked their website -- it's not a part of the lineup anymore. :confused:
     
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  17. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,050) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Of course, that doesn't mean that it's not still on the shelf in some US retail shops....:astonished:
     
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  18. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,673) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Where - where?! :grin:

    Last BA review -- 2012. :grimacing:
     
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  19. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,323) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
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    My favorite style. I love when these start hitting the shelves!

    My top 5:
    Benediktiner Festbier
    Ayinger Oktoberfest Märzen
    Paulaner Wiesn
    Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen
    Spaten Ur-Märzen

    The 5L mini-kegs of Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier are a real treat as well, when I can find them.
     
  20. jonphisher

    jonphisher Aspirant (286) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Trader

    I didn’t end up buying benediktiner last year. With so many saying it’s one of their tops I guess I should give it a try this year.
     
  21. Grounder

    Grounder Initiate (65) Jun 20, 2019 Illinois

    If past years are any indication, come September local Costco will have cases of Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten, and Hoffbrau. And that's where I am going to be.
     
  22. bsp77

    bsp77 Poo-Bah (2,329) Apr 27, 2008 Minnesota
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    Ugh, you guys suck. I see mentions of this Benediktiner, get curious, and see it's not distributed to MN. Sad.
     
  23. mambossa

    mambossa Aspirant (236) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    On Untappd it looks like some kegs are still making their way to the US, but seems extremely few and far between. Latest review was in June in Hoboken NJ. There’s still a microscopic sliver of hope!
     
  24. bsp77

    bsp77 Poo-Bah (2,329) Apr 27, 2008 Minnesota
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    To answer the question though, here are my planned puchases this year:

    Ayinger Marzen (my favorite of the amber ones)
    Hacker Pschorr Marzen (solid and inexpensive)
    Weihenstephaner Festbier (never had)
    Hofbrauhaus Freising (never had)
    Bitburger Festbier (brand new and excited)

    I also like Paulaner Marzen and Hofbrau Festbier, but maybe not enough with the others I want. Still might get though. Paulaner Wiesn is decent too, but probably not worth it considering the options. And I have never been impressed with the Spaten Marzen, even if it is "Ur".
     
  25. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,849) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    I checked too... :slight_frown:
     
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  26. bsp77

    bsp77 Poo-Bah (2,329) Apr 27, 2008 Minnesota
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    Hold the phone. It isn't on Untapped locater but I see their Weissbier at local Total Wines. So the Oktoberfest may come here.
     
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  27. LangstonHuge

    LangstonHuge Initiate (53) Oct 23, 2014 New York

    Agreed, funny how fast a 4 pack of Fest-Marzen goes!
     
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  28. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,323) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
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    I bought it last year with fairly low expectations and it ended up being one of the best beers I had all year. Pretty sure it was less than $6 per 4-pack of 500 mL cans too. So it's a great value regardless.
     
  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,609) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    From the OP: "I know it’s predictable but my favorite is Ayinger...

    I used to be a HUGE fan of Ayinger Oktoberfest Märzen and I would always purchase several bottles of this beer every year despite the fact this beer is very pricey in my area. A couple/few years ago I purchased four bottles and all of those beers were off (i.e., stale). I was pissed for several reasons:
    • I paid a lot of money for those four bottles
    • I was really expecting to experience a lot of joy from those bottle since I am (well, was) a HUGE fan
    • etc.
    I have not purchased any Ayinger Oktoberfest Märzen since that experience; just not worth the risk. Plenty (more brands than I can buy) of other high quality Oktoberfest beers to choose from that I know will not taste stale.

    Cheers!
     
  30. jonphisher

    jonphisher Aspirant (286) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Trader

    I’ve never had a stale tasting Ayinger so I’ll hope that doesn’t happen to me this year. Not worth it just to give it another shot for you? A four pack can’t put you back that much.
     
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  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,609) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    A number of BAs are fans of this beer. I discussed Benediktiner Festbier last fall in New Beer Sunday. I thought it was good but this beer, despite its economical price, will not be a repeat purchase for me.

    "Overall:

    This beer is a tad one-dimensional but I enjoyed drinking it. It sorta reminds me of a Helles Bock."

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/new-beer-sunday-week-760.623043/#post-6628052

    Cheers!

    [​IMG]
     
  32. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,673) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Sliver indeed -- as mentioned, it's not listed at the Kostritzer web site, but neither is Spaten Ur Marzen listed at theirs -- export only. So cross your fingers that Kostritzer could be the same.
     
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  33. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,050) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Nor on the website of the US importer, St. Killians (which also uses the 'dba' of "Bitburger, Intl") https://stkillian.com/beers/bitburger-braugruppe/ but a Köstritzer Pale Ale is. :rolling_eyes: (Sierra Nevada influence?).

    Nothing on TTB's COLA site (which is hardly definitive, tho') but interestingly looks like they did bring in kegs of Köstritzer Bockbier starting back in 2015.
    [​IMG]
     
  34. officerbill

    officerbill Zealot (528) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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    You're fortunate.
    From a post i made on 8/8/19
    The manager claimed he never checked the date and would contact the distributor. He might have, but as of February the same beer was on the shelf.
     
  35. jonphisher

    jonphisher Aspirant (286) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Trader

    @officerbill that stinks but yea that seems more the stores fault than the brewery I guess. I’ll double check when I grab mine that the store doesn’t try and pull that.
     
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  36. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,673) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Oh, but it's one'a them strong German beers, it'll last forever.

    Yeah, I really heard that from a retailer once.
     
  37. officerbill

    officerbill Zealot (528) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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    Not blaming the brewery. The fault lies with a combination of distributors wanting to unload old stock and stores wanting to at least have something on the shelf.
    Personally I wrote prefer to see occasionally empty shelves than fully stocked with out of date beer.
     
  38. jonphisher

    jonphisher Aspirant (286) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Trader

    So true. It would be a very nice trade off.
     
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  39. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,558) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    So was it a pale Oktoberfest or an amber one?

    I contacted Ayinger last year and discovered they brew this beer in March, and bottle it in April. So it’s already about four months old when it hits my area in August.

    They claimed they brew it in March, because it’s a “Marzen”. It would be more helpful if they brewed it a couple months later so it was fresher when it arrived and into the fall months...we have refrigeration now, beer can be brewed in warmer months...

    On the topic of the thread...

    Amber Oktoberfest favorites:

    Spaten
    Paulaner
    Hacker Pschorr

    Pale Oktoberfest favorites:

    Hofbrau
    Andech’s Spezial Hell (technically their export Helles, but it gets released each fall on tap around here)
    Weihenstephan (pick some up today, it’s July and possibly a record breaking temp of 100, but whatever)
     
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  40. bsp77

    bsp77 Poo-Bah (2,329) Apr 27, 2008 Minnesota
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    It has a bottling date of 4 digits, with the first being the last digit of the year and the next 3 being the Julian date. So come August, you should find ones with somewhere around 0140, as they bottle it in April every year for an August release. Yeah, a little old but they have always done this. I am guessing that if you got stale ones, some shady distributor or store put out ones brewed in the previous year.