Year-round Oktoberfests/Märzens?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by sefus12, Jun 17, 2013.

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  1. dhannes

    dhannes Zealot (538) Feb 14, 2010 Wisconsin

    Capital here in Wisconsin used to release their "Fest" beer as their summer seasonal...which was a märzen...which was nice.
  2. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    I enjoyed the heck out of Beck's Ofest this year and will buy more before the season is over. Seems a bit more heartier and has more depth than I remember when it was brewed in Germany - has a bready/toasty flavor up front and a bit of a caramel/toffiesh finish without being annoyingly sweet. Like it more than Spaten and Paulaner that I've had so far this year (haven't had my beloved H-P yet though).
  3. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,914) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Hmm, interesting. I was just eyeing the Beck's and wondered how it was. Your beloved Hackor-Pschorr may be a bit old by the time you get to it. In Boston it arrived three months old already (this is from memory, but it wasn't fresh). It was certainly lacking compared to last year. Typically it's my second favorite Marzen next to Ayinger.
  4. TheBeerShop

    TheBeerShop Initiate (0) Jul 23, 2012 Massachusetts

    If you're in MA, Brewmaster Jack's Stray dog Lager is marzen in style. If I recall, its about 4-8IBU's higher to be considered a marzen by German rule, but there you go. :wink:
  5. mrk829

    mrk829 Initiate (194) Aug 1, 2008 Georgia

    I agree with the folks that mention the H-P, it is one of my favorites. Another one I would recommend (that has not been mentioned) is the New Glarus Staghorn Octoberfest. It is a seasonal but there is enough of it to go around Wisconsin and then some - it would be fairly easy to trade for someone living there.
  6. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Marzen = March - named after the month in which they were traditionally brewed. I have no issue with 3 month old Marzen - or 7 month old Marzen for that matter - its a style designed to last. What's oxygen going to do to it in that time - make it taste a little maltier? - ooohhh, its ruined....:grimacing: As long as it was brewed in the current year, I'm good.

    Tried a liter of H-P on tap yesterday - it was good but not the best I've had from them.
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  7. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,486) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Oxidation will alter the flavor, giving it a cardboard character -- even wet cardboard. Not exactly in line with an Okto flavor profile.
  8. TheBishopco

    TheBishopco Disciple (373) Feb 4, 2011 Tennessee

    Core Brewing in Arkansas has their marzen on tap all year long. They are supposed to start canning soon too.
  9. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,914) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Wasn't IPA originally a style designed to last?

    n = 2, but as I said earlier in the thread, it wasn't as good as I thought it was last year either. Whether freshness actually effects an Oktoberfest appreciably could be irrelevant. Maybe it's just not as good this year.
  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,561) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Wasn't IPA originally a style designed to last?” That was certainly the case for the Pale Ales brewed in Great Britain circa 1800. The IPAs brewed today are generally intended to be consumed very quickly (e.g., 1-2 or 3 months from bottling).

    If you prefer to drink an Oktoberfest beer that has been bottled many months ago, then please feel free to do so. The majority of lagers are intended to be consumed quickly. While AB beers are often the source of much scorn on BA, one thing that AB is well known for is their ability to brew and deliver a consistent product. They insist on a best by timeframe of 110 days (less than 4 months). There is a genuine reason why lagers are best consumed fresh.

  11. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Within a few months? I don't think so. Cardboard flavor is an extreme result of oxidation - there are also degrees of change before you get there - and some beers never develop that flavor after years. I have had enough year + old ofests from Bavaria in my years of drinking - haven't had one yet that tasted like cardboard - golden lagers are a different story.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,561) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “ …golden lagers are a different story.” Is there a reason on why the chemical reaction of oxidation is different in a golden lager vs. a non-golden lager? If the color of the beer is the ‘difference’, then do Wiesn style (Helles Marzen) beers oxidize more quickly than amber Marzen beers?

  13. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,486) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Up until July I was able to get my hands on Spaten Okto 12 packs bottled in November of 2012. I could tell it was going a little flat in flavor, but it wasn't until I got my hands on newer bottles that I really realized how much it had lost. But yeah, not quite oxidized yet, however...
    You've been lucky. A few years ago I stocked up on Spaten Okto cases at a good price -- was drinking Okto almost to the next season and just about July or August it started getting that tell-tale cardboard character.
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  14. KentT

    KentT Aspirant (244) Oct 15, 2008 Tennessee

    Ayinger and Hacker-Pschorr are my favorite German Oktoberfest beers. I like the Marzen beers. I like the US Samuel Adams version, a good beer. I have never drank it on tap, my experiences have been bottled over the last 4 years. I usually buy a case each season. And no butterscotch note. Usually has great malt character with toffee and caramel notes and easily my favorite Samuel Adams Lager style. Beck's tends to be inconsistent from year to year, when that year's Beck's Oktoberfest is really fine, I'll buy a lot of it.
  15. dangle47

    dangle47 Initiate (115) May 16, 2007 New York

    Paulaner Octoberfest-Marzen is available year round.
  16. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (4,725) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    I'm doing a blind taster this weekend with these:

    Great Lakes
    Sam Adams

    *I wanted Spaten in this but no-one in town has it right now.....I had several others i wanted to include but they are not this 11 will have to do.

    Going to do this on Sunday while watching Redzone channel since my squad (GB) is off..

    My prediction (we'll see how I do)..I have not tried them all this year

    1.Great Lakes
    3. Ayinger
    4. Paulaner
    5. Sam Adams
    6 .Schells
    7. Weihenstephener
    8. Summit
    9. Becks
    10. Leinie
    11. Shiner
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  17. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,901) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Dark malts are antioxidants. That is why a RIS will age for a long time, in addition to high ABV and hop rates.

    One of the early signs of oxidation in a light lager is a honey aroma.
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,561) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Jeff, I have read about oxidation and dark beers in other papers. Below is an extract of the article you provided a link to:

    “Darker, fuller-bodied beers tend to be affected differently by oxidation. As a darker, fuller-bodied beer becomes oxidized, rich malt flavors and aromas are replaced by sweeter, sherry-like flavors. These sherry-like flavors are the result of the oxidation of the malty-tasting chemicals in beer called melanoidins. Darker, fuller-bodied beers contain lots of melanoidins. The oxidation products of melanoidins are myriad and have a wide range of flavors. One of the products of the oxidation of melanoidins is benzaldehyde. Benzaldehyde has an almond-like flavor and is a primary contributor to the sherry-like flavor in oxidized beer. A small amount of these sherry-like flavors may add complexity to the flavor and aroma of certain strong beer styles like dark Belgian ales and barleywines, but even a small amount of these sherry-like flavors is usually not considered appropriate in lighter, lower alcohol beers.”

    In fact, I have a BSDA that I bottled last May that I am ‘aging’; I will start to drink this batch of beer in another month or two (a minimum of 6 months in the bottle).

    What I don’t fully understand is the effects of oxidation in an amber beer like a Marzen. When I homebrew my Marzen beers it is a 50/50 mix of Pilsner and Munich Malt. I fully understand that the Munich Malt (which is 50% of the grist) is kilned darker than Pilsner Malt but what contribution does that 50% of Munich Malt have wrt permitting the beer to withstand aging (staling) better?

    I also did not see specific mention of “antioxidant” in the linked article; did I miss it?

    Do you have any scientific papers which quantifies the antioxidant qualities of dark(er) malts? Does a darker malt like Roasted Barley (300 L) have x% more antioxidant capability (I am unsure of the proper metric here) than Munich Malt (10 L) on a per pound of grain basis?

    It seems to me that if amber lagers had ‘better’ means to resist aging that commercial breweries would provide longer best by timeframes for those beers. I have not noted any differences in the US craft brewed beers in that regard. For example, Victory Brewery utilizes a 5 month best by timeframe for their light colored lagers (Prima Pils and Lager) and also a 5 month best by timeframe for their Oktoberfest beer (Festbier).

  19. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,901) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I should have said roast malts.

    Not sure if Munich has the reduction properties that a roast malt does.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,561) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Not sure if Munich has the reduction properties that a roast malt does.” That is my suspicion as well.

  21. MooseBoose

    MooseBoose Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2007 Wisconsin

    Had Spaten and Hacker-Schorr head to head this weekend on draft at Oktoberfest in La Crosse. While in the bottle I prefer the HS, I liked the Spaten better on draft. I can only assume the green bottles have a bad effect on the Spaten on the shelves, as expected?
    herrburgess likes this.
  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,486) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I'm betting that you estimated Schell's too low... and Great Lakes too high... if you rated true to-style.
  23. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,486) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Having had all these (this year, and many years previous), and Märzen being my favorite style, here's how I'd rank them to-style:

    1. Hacker-Pschorr -- Paulaner tie (they're pretty much the same beer this year)
    2. Weihenstephaner
    3. Ayinger
    4. Schell's
    5. Summit
    6. Shiner
    7. Sam Adams
    8. Great Lakes
    9. Leinie's
    10. Beck's
  24. Pegli

    Pegli Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2006 Rhode Island

    Ayinger #3 ???
  25. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,486) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Yep. Though I could have tied it with Weihenstephaner, it still doesn't carry as well the toasty bread character a good Märzen ought to have. Sorry man.

    OTOH -- Paulaner and H-P are right there... and since Spaten wasn't part of the tasting, I stayed fair to the list.
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  26. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (4,725) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    I'm not sure I rated true to style or not but it was very difficult...spent over an hour at it and ended up getting another round of six ounce pours for the final six or so that I had in the top group.

    I'll post the results soon but Great Lakes was #1 followed by Hacker-Pschorr (love that beer). I did add Point and Spaten to the group as well. The real surprise was Shiner near the top.

    Weihenstephaner was kind of easy to pick out as it is the other style wiesn or whatever....much lighter colored..I'll post the results soon..don't have them on me right now..
  27. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (4,725) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    I just bought a case each of Hacker and Paulaner at Costco for $24 a case...been drinking one of each just about every night and they are similar but definitely different. Hacker is a bit sweeter and maltier. Both are great though and last night when I was really thirsty after working out I found the Paulaner to hit the spot a little better. I much prefer them both to Spaten although that is a good beer too and scored pretty high in my taste test if I remember right..[/quote]
  28. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,486) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    See, that just proves difference in palates -- while I like H-P and Paulaner pretty well, I find them more dry than Spaten and prefer it more.

    To H-P and Paulaner, try them blind and see if you can really tell them apart. I found it quite telling that both batches I bought of each this year had the exact same best-by dates -- add that to the fact that they're brewed under the same roof these days and it makes you wonder.
  29. EBeckett3

    EBeckett3 Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2013 New Jersey

    Marzen is supposed to get us through the autumn months - drink it as intended...
  30. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (4,725) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    Yeah that does make you wonder. I did identify them both correctly in the blind test with 13 beers. I'll do it again with just those two to see how it goes. Pretty sure I'll peg them correctly again. I get a bit more sweetness and a bit fuller body from them both though
  31. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (4,725) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota
    Society Trader

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