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Oktoberfests / Marzens

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

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  1. Josbor11

    Josbor11 Zealot (519) Dec 21, 2013 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Why is it that Oktoberfest beers are looked down upon in the BA community. I was shocked to see that not a single one is found in the top 250 and there are only four in the Beers of Fame. Personally, this is one of my favorite styles. Great Lakes Oktoberfest in my opinion, is one of the best beers I have ever had. It is a phenomenal brew. These styles seem to get overlooked.
  2. NCMonte

    NCMonte Aspirant (292) Jan 28, 2014 North Carolina

    True, one of my all time favorite beers was the Oktoberfest brew from Spaten in Munich's Spaten tent. Was amazingly good.
  3. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    not enough IBUs brah
  4. Harnkus

    Harnkus Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 New York

    Lots of beers styles are not found in the Top 250. There is a complete fixation on RISs and DIPAs, and a more quiet appreciation for more subtle or balanced styles like Marzens and countless other styles. A tend to think the fixation is more among younger beer drinkers, but of course I might be wrong.

    In any event, time, disease and fat bellies will turn the tides at some point - since there are obvious downsided to consuming high gravity beers. I beleive as such that this is the catalyst of the session IPA that we are starting to see. I do also sense that some lager styes are getting a rebirth, such a pils' in more hopped up forms.
    Sazz9, LittleGus, cnbrown313 and 3 others like this.
  5. Josbor11

    Josbor11 Zealot (519) Dec 21, 2013 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    There are a lot of really good ones out there. I actually just noticed the Bros even gave GL a perfect 100 and its well deserved. Paulaner and Fat Heads also make pretty good ones.
  6. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,078) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    Unfortunately, a marzen probably won’t make the top 250 list until someone makes one dry-hopped with Mosaic
  7. michman

    michman Initiate (0) Oct 14, 2005 Illinois

    i bet if they make a douple imperial hopped marzen barrel aged with angel tears and pixie dust it will be all over the top 10.

    but in all seriousness...love oktoberfests. great style. seems like people are obsessed with the big bold IPAs and stouts at the moment so might be hard for one to get in the mix. another argument for rating by style i guess. i dunno, i try not to get too worked up about lists and and rankings. i like to drink what fits my mood and surroundings. there are many situations id take a marzen over a top ranked beer and not think twice about it.
  8. Fargrow

    Fargrow Zealot (573) Feb 7, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Imperial Marzen aged in Pumpkin Spice Latte barrels.
  9. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,953) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    My own personal favorite style.
    WesMantooth likes this.
  10. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Poo-Bah (1,760) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    Good timing with this thread.

    I believe Sam Adams Octoberfest was released this past week.
  11. Josbor11

    Josbor11 Zealot (519) Dec 21, 2013 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Haha I was thinking the same thing when I posted it that I was a few months too late. Oh well.
  12. sefus12

    sefus12 Aspirant (220) Sep 7, 2006 Kentucky

    one of my absolute favorite styles as well. I wish there were a reliable year-round version I could enjoy.
  13. jkn09

    jkn09 Aspirant (239) Oct 17, 2012 Texas

    Spaten is available year round here (DFW area).
    kerry4porters likes this.
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,953) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    This always gets brought up, but have you seen it lately? And if it still has "Spaten USA" on the label, it's very old stock.

    I haven't seen 12 packs of Spaten beers since A-B took over importation. Doesn't mean they aren't making them, but who knows?
  15. eatabagofbooger

    eatabagofbooger Initiate (60) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I think there are a couple of reasons for this. The main ones are:

    A) American brewers can't brew a good Maerzen. They are usually waaaay too malty. A good one should be balanced. Even American brewers that usually do well with lagers can't seem to get this style right. German ones have often been sitting in transit and on the shelves for way to long. Thus, many Americans (even those that don't write off lagers), haven't had a good Maerzen.

    B) As stated above, the goal of a good Maerzen should be balance and subtlety. The goal of a good one should be a solid, straightforward beer, not a unique, bizarre standout. That's not an insult to the style (one of my personal faves), but it doesn't lend itself to an "omglolblahblahblah this is the most amazing beerz I've had in my life I'm gonna brag about it on untappd" mentality. Hence, it doesn't get standout status.
  16. kerry4porters

    kerry4porters Zealot (587) Dec 31, 2012 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Warsteiner on Draft at oktoberfest = amazing
    dirtyfab likes this.
  17. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,953) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Isn't that pretty much the definition of all U.S. micro renditions of a style? :grinning:
    Saind likes this.
  18. TheNightwatchman

    TheNightwatchman Zealot (511) Mar 28, 2009 Pennsylvania

    The style is a more subtle one. No overly bold flavors. Good balance. Not something that's going to stand out when compared to a BCBS or Pliny.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  19. jkn09

    jkn09 Aspirant (239) Oct 17, 2012 Texas

    Bought some 2 weeks ago. Don't remember what was on the label, but it didn't taste old.
  20. Harnkus

    Harnkus Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 New York

    See Victory Festbier for a great example of an American Marzen. But otherwise I tend to agree with you. That said, I still think American versions have their place in the cool months, despite not adhering to style
    Givemebeer, Tilley4 and BWM-77 like this.
  21. barrybeerdog

    barrybeerdog Initiate (170) Aug 17, 2012 Minnesota

    Josbor11: I couldn't agree more! If you ever come across Schell's Oktoberfest, give it a try, IMHO, one of the very best.
  22. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2010 Pitcairn

    Understood you're not getting this in OR, but Stoudt's does them nicely.
    Tilley4 likes this.
  23. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (390) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Tend to agree.
  24. barrybeerdog

    barrybeerdog Initiate (170) Aug 17, 2012 Minnesota

    Here's a thought, maybe if we all keep quite about our fondness for Oktoberfest & Marzen beers, the DIPA & BBA crowds will get bored w/ this thread & move on....Then we can reap the benefits of shelves filled w/ these treasures!!! Cheers
    PSU_Mike, Modernrickk and Josbor11 like this.
  25. sefus12

    sefus12 Aspirant (220) Sep 7, 2006 Kentucky

    It is here as well but I'm just not a big fan of that particular beer. Or at least not big enough a fan to drink it year-round.
  26. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,953) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Have to keep my eyes open, but right now I can't even find the Helles.

    I would definitely rotate the beer in my selection. Nothing else like it.
  27. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    Hofbraeu's is probably a top ten beer for me. Incredibly satisfying stuff.
  28. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,953) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I hope you sent that back, they short-changed your pour. :grinning:
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  29. Josbor11

    Josbor11 Zealot (519) Dec 21, 2013 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I will absolutely track one down later on once its actually the Marzen season. Honestly, its just such a good style of beer for the Fall. I love me some cold Oktoberfest on a cool day. Hell, I would drink them all summer long too along with my Kolsh and Hefes if they were available.
  30. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (390) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    I assume it would have settled to the line, but it never got the chance to sit that long!
    herrburgess likes this.
  31. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,953) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Oh man, it's that sort of indifferent attitude that brought U.S. brewing down post-prohibition! :grinning:
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  32. DarkDragon999

    DarkDragon999 Aspirant (271) Feb 13, 2013 Rhode Island

    I like them ok but wouldnt want to drink them year round.
  33. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,013) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I always load up on that one. How do you find their Maibock? They strike me as being incredibly similar to one another, plus I've never seen them in the same room together :wink:. It's definitely close enough to make the Maibock a reasonable substitute when the O'fest isn't available.

    This past year I was able to get the Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier, and found it to be even better than the Hofbrau. It was one of my top beers of 2013, and has me anticipating when it returns already.

    Another big surprise was Sly Fox, which got the malt profile spot-on. I think some American breweries may just be catching on to how it's supposed to be done.
    Rekrule likes this.
  34. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,953) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Really? Because I've always had the Wies'n Märzen from HB in my area; very yellow-golden and crisp, but still maltier than a Helles. Whereas the HB Maibock is always deeper gold to bronze with a maltier character and bigger body... nearly what the Spaten and Paulaner Oktoberfests come in at.

    Then there was the HB Winter Spezial we had for one season -- that beer was the twin to the Festbier, maybe a touch bolder in malt.
  35. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    I've not had their Maibock, though I hope to try it. Apparently it's stronger than the Oktoberfestbier (which is one of the heftier ones of its sort anyway). I'll have to keep an eye out for the Weihenstephaner.
  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,018) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    To springboard off what @TheNightwatchman posted: “Good balance”. To me the Oktoberfest beer style is defined by a pleasant balance between bready malt flavors and Noble hop flavors.

    I agree 100% with @TongoRad on: “Sly Fox, which got the malt profile spot-on.”

    As has been discussed by others, crafting a beer that is perfectly balanced is not the type of beer style which is greatly appreciated by BAs (for the most part).

    TheNightwatchman likes this.
  37. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,013) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I'm definitely keeping an eye out for the Maibock this year, but last year's did seem to be more on the golden side and slighter in profile than what I was expecting. They both do strike me as using their helles as a starting point, so that's where the similarities come in. Although the Maibock may be bigger, I didn't think it was that different. Perhaps I will hold on to a few until fall comes around this year, and keep them as cold as possible- just to do a broad comparison.

    I don't think I've even seen the Winter Spezial, but it does sound like a nice beer to bridge the gap.
  38. WettNutz

    WettNutz Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2014 Indiana

    Agree, my fav style too. Under-appreciated and usually disrespected. IPAs and all the heavy beers are ridiculously overrated right now. Sam Adams is ok, but not the best. I'd give that nod to Spaten.
  39. Josbor11

    Josbor11 Zealot (519) Dec 21, 2013 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    keithmurray likes this.
  40. Feel_the_Darkness

    Feel_the_Darkness Disciple (313) Oct 17, 2012 Virginia

    Being the maltaholic that I am, Oktoberfests are far and away my favorite beer style. Can (and do) drink an awful lot of them when the season is upon us.
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