Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers
The Best Oktoberfest, Märzen and Festbiers
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 of the breweries featured here are among the six that are allowed to serve beer at the 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 slightly 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, dark copper-hued, with just enough hops to balance the malty sweetness and a slightly higher alcohol content (5-6 percent ABV rather than the standard 4 percent). While sweet malt is the dominant flavor, some American versions of the style impart a stronger hop presence.
by Bob Barnes