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Why is Marzen an Oktoberfest Beer?
Brewed in March, drank in October – this is how you can sum up this type of beer. According to the Bavarian brewing ordinance from 1553, beer could only be brewed between 29 September and 23 April. This was the only natural way to prevent bacterial infections prior to the invention of fridges. The Märzen was brewed in March [März = March] according to a special recipe that would allow the beer to last during the warm Spring and Summer months. The beer was kept in the cold cellar and remaining bottles were served at the Oktoberfest.
The original Bavarian Märzen can be described as full-bodied, rich & toasty, with mild yet distinct hops that ensure a dry finish. It has a medium to high (5-6%) ABV. The colour varies from golden to dark brown, in both Helles and Dunkel variations of Märzen. If you choose the Austrian Märzenbier, you will find it sweeter than the German original, due to the frequent use of caramel malts. Märzen-style beers are also produced in Czech Republic and Poland.