Brewer: Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG/Brauerei Aying
Beer: Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen
Description: Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen pours a clear copper orange color with a huge frothy off-white head that lingers long and leaves a heavy honeycomb-like lacing on the glass. The aroma has notes of fresh bread, grains, toasted malt, as well as inviting earthy tones. The taste backs up the nose with pleasing bready notes, fresh grains, toasted malts, and very subtle hints of noble hops. This is an extremely clean-tasting beer, as one would expect from a world-class lager such as this one. The body of this beer tends towards the medium-full side, but with a very creamy texture and moderate carbonation that leaves behind a wonderful malty coating on the palate for a moderately dry finish. This is one of the best examples of the Oktoberfest style that is available in the States; if you are a fan of the style, you owe it to yourself to get your hands on this one.
Food pairing: This fantastic German beer is an absolute must for pairing with German cuisine. In Germany at the Oktoberfest, huge piles of pork, whole chickens, and fish are brought in for the masses to enjoy, and Ayinger’s Oktober Fest pairs perfectly with all of them, as well as any sausages you can imagine. One dish that is certainly not an Oktoberfest staple that goes perfectly with this beer is pizza. The sweetness of the tomato sauce matches the malt sweetness, the bread of the crust matches well with the breadiness of the beer, and the carbonation and hops cut right through the cheese. Also try this fantastic Märzen with a burger, and do not be afraid to pile on the toppings.
The final word: There are a lot of fantastic Oktoberfest beers available today, but Ayinger’s Oktoberfest sets the standard for this style of beer. The rich malty character is perfectly balanced to make it a beer that can certainly be enjoyed in large quantities without the slightest bit of palate fatigue. I must make a personal confession in that this style of beer is not a huge favorite of mine, as I do not enjoy overly malty beers, but Ayinger has created a beer that has truly changed my viewpoint on this style. Do yourself a favor – whether you are a huge fan of this style already or have reservations on this style, try this world-class Oktoberfest and celebrate the season!
Rating: W W W W W
Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City; Wegmans, Dickson City; J & H Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Backyard Ale House, Scranton.
Also available on draft at Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek’s beer blog at idtapthat.org.