By Bob Barnes
Even if you can't make the trek to Munich this year, you can still enjoy some of the same beers being served across the Atlantic. In fact, three breweries featured here are among the six that are allowed to serve beer at the true Bavarian Oktoberfest.
The Oktoberfest style, also known as Märzen, was originally brewed around March (Märzen derives from März, the German word for March) before modern refrigeration, when brewing during the summer was problematic due to high temperatures that could result in bacterial infections. The beer was lagered (kept in cold storage) over the hotter months and brewed at a higher gravity (or alcohol content) to help it maintain stability against the summer heat. This German lager style tends to be full-bodied, malty, toasty and dark copper-hued, with a slightly greater alcohol content and just enough hops to balance the sweetness. It's an ideal beer for early fall drinking — lederhosen or not.