As the Germans would say — happy Oktoberfest, y'all!
Ok, so maybe they wouldn't say it exactly like that, and maybe the official Oktoberfest in Munich took place in September, but that's no reason we can't continue the celebration stateside.
Our friends at Colonial Wines and Spirits are hosting a beer and food pairing event on Oct. 21 (more on that here), and their very own Josh Liddy has broken down Colonial's selection of Oktoberfest märzen beers, both from Germany and the U.S.
Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen
This beer was brewed 207 years ago for the royal wedding celebration that became Oktoberfest. If you go to Munich for the festival this year, Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen is one of the beers you can enjoy. On the palate, the malty-ness is accompanied by dark toffee notes. This is the Oktoberfest beer you need to have during your festivities.
Another beer that you would find at Oktoberfest this year. This is a little higher ABV (6.3%) than most traditional märzens, but it's as good as the rest! This rich, full-bodied beer is perfect to have with your bratwurst.
Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen
Though this is a German beer, it's not one you would find at the Munich Oktoberfest. This has been everyone's favorite of the year so far, and I think the brewers describe it best: "Rich, golden color. Slightly sweet, malty nose. Medium to big body and alcohol. Soft dryness from long maturation."
Samuel Adams Octoberfest
First on our domestic Oktoberfest roster is this one from Sam Adams. Some might see the Sam Adams name and write it off, but don't be too hasty — this is a very decent beer. I was pleasantly surprised when I had it on draft the other night. Notes of caramel and toffee are very prevalent, and at 5.3% ABV, it's easy drinking and pleasant. Like I said, don't judge it too quickly (like I did.)
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
Another American craft titan, Sierra Nevada, teams up with a German brewer each year to bring us their Oktoberfest. This year they chose Brauhaus Miltenberger. This beer has a rich, malty flavor that's balanced well with the German hops they use to produce it. It's a fest beer that is true to the style.
Boulevard Brewing Bob's 47 Oktoberfest
Brewed in honor of Master Brewer Bob Werkowitch, this beer pours a dark amber with rich, malty flavor and hops added for balance to create a great American take on the classic style.
Bonus: Can't pick just one? Here's a guide to hosting a craft beer tasting party.