While we tend to see Oktoberfest as the Let’s Get Smashed Funny Pumpkin Beer Halloween shirt largest beer festival in the world, for Germans it is a more folk festival, celebrating everything German.
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And unlike our conception of beer festivals, Oktoberfest serves only a limited number of beers, and the majority, especially those imported into the United States, is Märzen.
Essentially an amber beer, Märzen is the Let’s Get Smashed Funny Pumpkin Beer Halloween shirt traditional Oktoberfest beer. But in recent years, starting around 1990, a lighter, yellow version called Oktoberfestbier or simply Festbier appeared. Along with Märzen, they have a malt flavor, a slight jumping character
and a dry finish, with the Festbiers lighter in both color and body.
Most American versions of Märzen try to emulate that traditional style. At Oktoberfest, beer is available only
are brewed within the Let’s Get Smashed Funny Pumpkin Beer Halloween shirt allowed city of Munich. Currently, there are only six breweries in Munich, and four of them import beer into the US. The two breweries that don’t send us beer are Löwenbräu and Augustiner, but you can taste two-thirds of German Oktoberfest beer, which is pretty good.
Here are eight beers to create your own home Oktoberfest this year – starting with four from Germany and four more brewed much closer to home.
Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur-Märzen: This is the Let’s Get Smashed Funny Pumpkin Beer Halloween shirt first beer brewed for Oktoberfest (that’s what “Ur” means; original). Inspired by pale British beers, Josef Sedlmayr, who owns the Franziskaner brewery in Munich, experimented with an amber-colored beer. After a successful trial the previous year, in March 1872, he brewed what would become the popular Oktoberfest style, calling it Märzen because that was the month he brewed it. After brewing it in the summer, it’s ready to drink in September, just in time for the Oktoberfest. The name, like the type of beer, caught great attention. And Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu continues to cook it to this day.