Aug 20, 2022 - Food and Drink

A guide to Marzen, Oktoberfest and more fall beers

Märzen beer. Photo: Ben Hasty/Reading Eagle via Getty Images
Märzen beer. Photo: Ben Hasty/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Fall is the best time for beer.

What to know: When the temperatures cool, two once-a-year beer styles rise like the harvest moon: Märzen and pumpkin beers.

First sip: The first to emerge is the Märzen, an amber-colored lager that matches the fall colors and the mood with a balance of crisp taste and notes of sweet caramel and toasted bread

Be smart: Not all fall lagers are the same. In addition to Märzen, you can find Oktoberfest, which ranges from lighter to a Vienna lager. And then the actual beer served at Munich's famous Oktoberfest is known as Festbier, a lighter lager more akin to a Helles style.

What to do: Buy an assortment and see where your taste buds land. Last year, I did two blind tastes tests with a combined 58 Märzens and Oktoberfests and it was fascinating.

  • My favorites — and the top scorers — Great Divide's Hoss; 4Noses Oktoberfest, Bierstadt Oktoberfest and Ska Oktoberfest.

Pro-tip: Märzen is pronounced like "Mare-Tsen."

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