As with so much in beer, the historical influence of trade, tax and general human connection is entwined in the liquid we love. The annual Oktoberfest marks Märzen’s time in the spotlight, although the beer’s genesis is actually months early, as decreed by a 1553 Bavarian brewing quality ordinance.
With warm summer’s affecting beer quality pre-refrigeration, brewing was only permitted in Germany between September 29 (St Michael's Day) and April 23 (St George's Day) to help avoid spoilage. To work around this calendar gap, brewers created a maltier and higher ABV lager which could handle extended ageing before being enjoyed in the late summer.
True to style, Colonial’s cellar door Märzen was brewed in February then conditioned for months before being unveiled. Glowing clear amber with a tight, cream-coloured head, Märzen’s biscuity malt moves to Fantales yet never runs sweet, something with which a touch of malt acidity and mineral hints assist. Soft carbonation is balanced by the dry length, and thoughts of oversized glassware, pretzels, Bratwurst and mustard.
Those visiting CBCo’s venues may also find a draught only, SMASH 630 release on offer this October, which uses a single malt and the experimental HBC 630 hop. Expect red berry, candy and stone fruit notes.
Available in limited release from CBCO cellar doors.