Bomber of the Month: October
Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen 16.9oz
By: Kevin .
Regular Price: $3.99
Sale Price: $2.99
Sale End: 10/31/2017
The Oktoberfest celebration might be one of the single most recognized images in traditional beer culture. Large thirsty groups gathered in close proximity, steins in hand and full of frothy bier, the ladies delightfully showing off in their Dirndl dresses while the men dawn the iconic Lederhosen, this is a sight that is not only iconic but still practiced within the southern German region of Bavaria. This exuberant gathering celebrates a beer that shares the name of Oktoberfest but is also classified as the Marzen style.
Named as the ‘March’ beer, Marzen was originally brewed at the end of winter as a way to supply beer throughout the warm summer months. Before the modern age of brewing equipment and high sanitation, many beers would easily become infected with ambient bacteria that thrive in warmer weather. Because the summer month meant that almost no beer was to be brewed, many breweries would make an extra large batch of beer at the end of March that would be aged in the cool caves until the next harvest season. The timing of the new season’s crop was easily integrated and eventually gave name to the moment that happened around the month of October.
The Marzen beers had extra amounts of hops added and helped to act as a preservative for the beer over the extended months of aging. As a way to free the barrel’s space for the new season of brewing, a celebration would be held to drink up all the remaining beer. The Oktoberfest celebration was a way of bridging one season unto another, an acknowledgement of the new harvest of ingredients and an acceptance of the future to come.
The Brauerei Aying or Ayinger Brewery is a large representation of the beer culture and styles that can be found within Bavaria. Known for their focus on the highest quality local ingredients, Ayinger is a special brewery that can happily be enjoyed stateside. One of their most celebrated seasonal beers is the Oktoberfest-Marzen.
On to the Tasting Notes:Burnt copper in color, with a filtered appearance and a frothy head of lasting bubbles, the beer pours in a way that instantly makes one salivate. Wonderful aromas of baked biscuit, toasted grains, sprouted seeds and grassy hops come together in a delightful unison. The hops are obvious but certainly not out of balance. They keep the nose of the beer from coming across as too candied and add to the fresh, inviting quality of the beverage.
As to be expected, the first sip is wonderfully satisfying with a diverse range of soft flavors that intermingle and merge together. Lightly fruity up front with a lightly toasted bread flavor than emerges mid-palate and transfers into the long finish that is focused solely on the hops. The smooth texture is almost silken, making the beer highly drinkable and showcases just how easily multiple glasses could be drank without fatigue. A subtle spice is noticed, not far from anise or cardamom, adding another layer of flavor upon the already varied range. At nearly 6% ABV, this Marzen is almost a bold beer compared to other German styles, and yet, Ayinger is still all about balance with nothing seeming out of place.
Food Pairing:This is a great beer to exemplify the cuisine that accompanies the Oktoberfest celebrations. Sausages and other cooked Wurst meats go down that much faster when a glass of Weizen is in hand. Up the amount of mustard and onions, the Ayinger Oktoberfest won’t have a problem with the intensity, as the slight caramel sweetness will round things off nicely. Potatoes, pretzels and pickles all have their place if just snacking. Consider the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as Ayinger Oktoberfest seems to be the long lost accompanying beverage to the celebratory meal.