Oktoberfest, Märzen, Festbier

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Oktoberfest, Märzen, Festbier

Happy Oktoberfest! Prosit! Tomorrow marks the beginning of Oktoberfest in Lionshead Village. Oktoberfest is a great time to enjoy the last bits of summer and say cheers to the incoming fall season. Oktoberfest began traditionally in Munich, Germany. This year the festival runs in Munich from September 21-October 6th and if you are lucky enough to attend you will have a blast. However, the dates are not the only thing that differ from American Oktoberfest and the German counterpart.

You may notice that the beer you get poured in Germany is quite a bit lighter than the Oktoberfest you might buy seasonally in the states. That is because the beer you will most likely receive in Germany is actually a different style than what you might think. Generally speaking, the style of beer served in Munich during Oktoberfest is actually called “Festbier”. Festbier is yellow to golden in color. It has a malty and bready taste and a clean finish. Festbier is not reserved only for Oktoberfest. It is served at many different German festivals and may pack a little more flavor (and alcohol) than a normal German Helles for example. You can find a few traditional examples of this style at West Vail Liquor Mart most namely the Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn and the Weihenstephaner Festbier.

However, if you have drank Paulaner Oktoberfest (sans the Wiesn name) in the past in the US you most likely were drinking their Märzen. Märzen is a different style and is more what we in the United States associate with the festival. Märzen when compared to Festbier is darker, stronger, richer and more malty. It is also delicious and is a bit more evoking of fall flavors than Festbier. Examples of this style in the store include Ayinger Oktoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Hofbrau Oktoberfest and 4 Noses Oktoberfest, which is brewed here in Colorado.

So whether you are going to enjoy a Festbier or a Märzen doesn’t matter much. What does matter is that you get outside and celebrate. Go see some OOM-PAH music drink a few brews and have some fun! We will be celebrating Oktoberfest here at West Vail Liquor Mart on October 4, 2019. Come in between 4-6PM for some delicious food and brews. It is the second year we have had a celebration here at the store and we had an absolute blast year. So please come by and enjoy the fest with us.

Dean LoRusso, Beer Buyer, West Vail Liquor Mart