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Posts published in “Stylistically Speaking”

The Oldest Beer…IN THE WORLD

Okay, so maybe not quite the oldest beer in the world, but a decent argument can and has been made that since the first beers were almost certainly wild and open fermented, they bore more than a passing resemblance to the subject of this post. By the way, this is the first in a planned three-part series on lambics. The next two will be shorter.

Prost! Here’s to Märzen/Oktoberfestbiers

Munich’s Oktoberfest has been over for a week and a half, but that doesn’t stop us American beer lovers from enjoying a good Märzen—also called oktoberfestbier—throughout the month of October. Traditionally, these beers were brewed in late winter to early spring, which is why the style is named for the month of March. Back in the day, German beers tended to come out pretty funky in the summer—it’s not like they knew a great deal about sanitation, and yeast hadn’t even been ‘discovered’ yet—so brewers did most of their work in the cooler months. Come fall, it was time to finish off the last batch so they could fill the barrels with new beer. This led, naturally enough, to some beer-drinking revelry around early autumn.

While your modern Märzen may not be aged for six months like its predecessors, it should still be at least a month old, according to the German Beer Institute. A good Märzenbier should be amber in color, with a rich malty flavor and plenty of body. It should also be fairly hoppy, at least for a German beer. Every fall, lots of American breweries come out with variations on the style—some good, some not-so-good. Since we couldn’t get to Munich, we rounded up a few examples and had a rather pleasant afternoon.

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