Technically, authentic Oktoberfestbier is brewed only by the breweries within the city limits of Munich, Germany. These are also the only breweries allowed to participate in the annual Munich Oktoberfest. All other beers that are brewed to emulate the original Oktoberfestbier must be labeled Oktoberfest-style beer.
In spite of their name, Oktoberfest beers are not brewed in the fall. They are actually an outgrowth of the traditional, strong spring brews called March beers or Märzen that were put aside in ice-filled caves or cellars for summer consumption. The leftover Märzen was usually finished off in October when the fresh beers made with grain and hops from the new harvest season needed to be put into casks. Therefore, Oktoberfestbiers are always well-aged, sometimes for three to four months. They are usually deep amber in color and have an alcohol content of 5% to 6.2%.
The high alcohol and hop contents served as preservatives, and the ideal storage conditions ensured that the beer kept well, and actually matured and improved as summer turned into fall. It probably became especially good near the end, when the hops would have mellowed and the brew’s malty character would have fully developed. However, by October after the year’s grain harvest, the last of the Märzen had to be consumed, so the concept of an Oktoberfest emerged, as did the name by which this Märzenbier is most commonly known: Oktoberfestbier.
Paulaner has played an active part in Oktoberfest for over 200 years when it developed its Märzen to celebrate the original Oktoberfest. It still plays a huge part today by being one of only six breweries to serve at the event.
Märzen is an amber-style beer that was developed to celebrate the original Oktoberfest. The Märzen name comes from “March beer” because it was historically brewed in March to be at peak flavor for the Oktoberfest celebration.
This full-bodied beer with its rich malt flavor and dark toffee notes has an underlying fruitiness and masterful hop balance. It will instantly turn your own four walls into an Oktoberfest tent.