Oktoberfest time is here again. Here is a review of four American versions of the marzen style. Marzen or bier de mars, is the traditional amber style associated with this season. Marzen is a delicious full body, malty brew that goes quite well with a large variety of foods. In fact, I can think of no beer style better suited to autumn activities, from baseball and football games, to cookouts in the backyard, marzen goes well with pizza, meat, chicken, snacks etc. Full of flavor, this style of beer is a joy to have on hand to celebrate the close of summer, and to welcome the time of harvest.
Harpoon Octoberfest
Harpoon Brewery
Windsor, Vermont
Like all marzen style beers, this is a copper coloured pour that puts emphasis on the malty finish. The expert use of hops keeps this a delight throughout the entire drinking experience.
Brooklyn Oktoberfest
Brooklyn Brewery
brewed at F.X. Matt Brewery, Utica, New York
This is a masterful rendition of marzen beer, with Brooklyn’s yeast providing a wonderful nutty flavor note in the finish. Beautifully balanced and focused.
Great Lakes Oktoberfest
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Cleveland, Ohio
Seasonal brother of their Eliot Ness Vienna Amber, this one hits the center of the target, with a very malty, almost chewy, showcase. At 6.5% abv, this is also a stronger version. Very good from start to finish.
Samuel Adams Octoberfest
Boston Beer Company
Cincinnati, Ohio

What else can be said of this great fresh beer? Over the years I have always enjoyed the Sam Adams seasonals, but this recipe, thoroughly refined by the use of Noble hops, is one of their very best. Just anticipating the arrival of this brew is a cause for much happiness. A very fine example of a company that refuses to compromise their quality.
So here is the first four, there will be others. Hats off to this very great style of celebratory beer.
As always, my only prayer is Thank You.


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