9/29/22: Hacker-Pschorr Bräu's Oktoberfest Märzen

9:50 AM

This is it: The official end of the blog's Oktoberfest season. It's become something of a tradition in recent years to see September off with an actual German Oktoberfest. 

To that end, we have Hacker-Pschorr's Oktoberfest Märzen today. This is one of the few beers you can get at the true Oktoberfest celebration (the one in Munich). Only six breweries--all Munich-based--are allowed to serve at the festival. Let's get the cap off my bottle and see what all the German-inspired fuss is about.

Hacker-Pschorr's been around since the 15th Century. Let that sink in for a moment. The 15th Century. The brewery's six-hundred years old. It started as the Hacker brewery, before Joseph Pschorr married into the family in 1793. Peter later founded the Pschorr brewery in 1820 and eventual gave his breweries to his two sons. Each of his kids operated their own brewery as singular entities; the two finally merged to become Hacker-Pschorr in 1972.

Their Oktoberfest Märzen's brewed in strict adherence to the Reinheitsgebot (Germany's beer purity law stating beer can only be brewed by utilizing water, malt, hops, and yeast). The webpage for the beer says its 5.7% ABV, but my bottle claims 5.8%. A tenth of a percentage point won't make a bit of a difference to how the beer drinks, though. Let's get to it now.

The Märzen has a sweet bouquet: caramel, freshly-baked bread, toffee, biscuit, brown sugar, some wheat, and a touch of something roasty (almost a burnt-caramel note). There's a bit of a hop here--it's nothing exceptionally bitter, just an earthy quality that serves to round out the nose. I have to say that this is an overwhelmingly welcoming bouquet, and one that Purrl gave eight whiffs. Trust me, the beer's aroma is something you really ought to experience for yourself. 

A pull from my bottle rewards me with a rich and malty flavor that's full of what I've already noted when discussing the lager's bouquet. When all that goodness starts to ebb away, I find the roasty quality I mentioned. This straddles the line between dunkel and porter, but is more than I'd think I'd find in a Märzen. The finish hits after this, with a slightly spicy hoppiness that, when combined with the rest of what the beer has going on, makes for something wonderful.

The mouthfeel here is frothy, full, and rich. Really, Oktoberfest Märzen's reminiscent of a root beer float in this aspect. The beer's the most easy-drinking one I've had this season. Give me a boot full of it and watch me put it away.

A pivotal fall memory of mine is riding in the back of my parents' van as they drove us through the golden central-Ohio countryside. We never did too many of these drives but, occasionally, my folks would get the urge to pile the whole family into the van and just go, all of us taking in the gorgeous fall colors along the way.

Sometimes these trips would culminate in pumpkin-picking. But, most of the time, the drive itself was the full extent of the experience.

When I was about twelve, I used my birthday money to buy what remains to this day one of my favorite video games: Dragon Warrior Monsters for the Game Boy Color. I played an intense amount of the game on those drives and now always associate it with crisp and bright autumnal afternoons. Hacker-Pschorr's Oktoberfest Märzen gives me the same feeling as that game.

I'm giving the lager a 10/10. Hacker-Pschorr's much more than a staple of Oktoberfest; it's a historic brewery that's has used the years its been in operation to master brewing. This is a beer you must try. It's widely distributed in my neck of the woods. Here's hoping it's similarly available in yours. Prost!

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