Märzen Madness: Six of the Best Oktoberfest-Style Beers, Ranked – VinePair

For many of us, autumn means getting equal parts excited and infuriated by pumpkin spice lattes and back-to-school specials. For beer lovers, it means Oktoberfests.

Oktoberfestbier, or festbier, is another term for Märzen lager, a German style that was historically brewed in March, to be enjoyed during the fall harvest. The beer style is characteristically copper in color, with toasty, malt-driven flavors from Munich and Vienna malts, and balanced bitterness from German noble hops. Oktoberfest-style lagers typically hover around a sessionable 5.5 percent ABV. They also tend to improve as they warm, with more discernible malt and spice flavors as their temperatures rise, making them ideal for hours-long beer garden sessions.

Oktoberfest beers have captivated international beer drinkers for decades, and every year American craft brewers release their own take on the classic style.

To determine the best Oktoberfest beers of 2018, we tasted dozens from all over the world. Our final picks are all American renditions, with two brewed in collaboration with German brewers. Grab your beer barrow and get tasting.

6. Three Floyds Munsterfest Lager Munster, Ind.
ABV: 6%

This Märzen-style lager follows the German Reinheitsgebot law, which dictates that only water, malt, hops, and yeast can be included in a brew. Panelists found it exceedingly subtle. “I can’t place anything,” one taster noted. “I’m not getting a lot —some citrus, but very little,” said another. One taster found it to be nutty on the finish, but overall this one was mild. That said, it improved as it warmed and would be a welcome addition to any stein. It would also make a great pairing for a fatty sausage.

5. Two Roads Ok2berfest Stratford, Conn.
ABV: 5.8%

Burnt orange in color with a cream head, this Connecticut-born Oktoberfest rendered “a little coppery” on the palate at first, followed by crispy

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