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Marzen / Oktoberfest

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All about Oktoberfest beers

What is Oktoberfest beer?

Oktoberfest beer, which also has the name of Märzen, is the traditional beer style of Oktoberfest. It's a dark lager, and it has a moderate alcohol content, from 5.1% to 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). 

If we had to describe this beer style in a single word, we'd say "drinkable" because it has a medium-low bitterness with a delicate and nonoverpowering hop aroma. The medium carbonation level makes it very refreshing, and the toasted malts provide a distinctive flavor. Producers make Märzen with German Noble hops and Vienna, Pilsner or Munich malts. 

A short story of Oktoberfest beers

How did Märzen beer become the official beverage of Oktoberfest? Well, it was a popular seasonal beer in Bavaria, where producers brewed it in March before the weather became too hot. They used roasted malts to mask flavor changes that could occur in the summer.

King Ludwig I of Bavaria loved Märzen so much that he ordered his waiters to serve it at what would become the first Oktoberfest celebration: his wedding to Maria Theresa. 

At Oktoberfest, people originally drank dark beers, similar to the modern Schwarzbiers. Then, in the late 19th century, Germans started to serve a particular amber-colored Märzen during the celebrations. Lastly, in the 1990s, people began to prefer golden Märzen lagers for Oktoberfest. 

Today, only six breweries have the honor of serving their beers at Oktoberfest: Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, Hofbräu, Spaten and Paulaner. The reason is why only breweries from Munich can provide booze for the celebrations. 

You may not be able to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, but you can have your own celebration at home with a nice Märzen beer. Browse lagers on Drizly or see if we've made it to your city. Here are some links to search for Drizly in your city and look for liquor stores on Drizly near you.

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