Craft Beer Review – Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen: Brewed in Aying, German this is the quintessential Oktoberfest Marzen style beer for the rest of the world outside of Munich, Germany. This beer is rated #1 on ratebeer.com in the Oktoberfest/Marzen styles of beer category. Oddly, I couldn’t find this locally so I had to get it from the USA on a recent trip so I could have one in October. Marzens were traditionally brewed in March and cellared through the summer because in Bavaria you weren’t allowed to brew beer after April 23rd or before September 29th, any beer left over was typically consumed during Oktoberfest as new fresher beer was on the way. Apparently early Marzens were darker, however with the introduction of the Vienna Lager style of beer in the 1870’s having such a significant influence on Oktoberfest beers, a lighter golden or amber coloured Marzen is now the popular style of beer for that festival (sourced from Wikipedia, so take it for what it’s worth). Sadly, I do not have a proper Stein which needs to be rectified!
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a clear amber colour with two fingers of dissipating foam and lots of carbonation in the glass. The aroma is hay, sweet malts, caramel and that vienna lager tradition tangy aroma.
Flavour: Initially lots of Caramel malts and cereal (think corn pops) followed by a fairly effervescent creamy mouth feel and a quasi creamed corn butterscotch flavour with some honey that finishes crisp with some spiced herbs that noble hops are known for.
Overall Impression: This is where the style tops out, it’s always fun to try the top rated beer in a category and it is the best of this style I have had so far.
Rating: Very good at 7/10, never loved this style but like to try different ones to see if I can find the best.
Food Pairing: Bavarian sausages in a pretzel bun smothered in sauerkraut, duh!
Here’s some advice on how to serve and eat authentic German sausages via Whole Foods: