Bay Area Brewing

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Oktoberfest

Friends gather in traditional Bavarian costume celebrating Oktoberfest toasting with Märzen filled steins.

Oktoberfest, my favorite beer! It’s the season of the year with a remarkable celebration of beer, tradition, and Bavarian culture. From Märzen lagers to festbiers, it stands as one of the most celebrated beer festivals globally. It can be traced back to Munich, Germany, in or around 1810. The birth of this iconic event occurred during the wedding celebration of the Bavarian Crowned Prince, Louis, who later became King Louis I, to his new wife, Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

The royal wedding took place on October 12, 1810, and the citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities. This event was such a resounding success, that the Bavarian authorities decided to make it an annual tradition. Over time, this celebration gradually evolved into the Oktoberfest that we know and love today.

The name ‘Oktoberfest’ is somewhat misleading. While it begins in late September and typically extends into the first weekend of October, it still retains the historical connection to that original October wedding date. Oktoberfest was not just about drinking; it was a celebration of love, tradition, and the Bavarian way of life.

Oktoberfest beer, commonly referred to as Märzen, got its name from the time when brewers would cold-store the beer in the month of March. In German, March is ‘März,’ which is the origin of the name ‘Märzen’ for the robust, full-bodied amber lager we enjoy today. Märzens are known for their drinkability, rich maltiness, and smooth character, often featuring a malt-forward, toasty, biscuity body with a balanced hop bitterness.

In modern Germany, when you attend Oktoberfest, you’ll find ‘Festbier,’ a lighter-bodied beer with a notable malt character similar to Helles. This variation is preferred by many for its approachable flavor profile.

So, when you have the opportunity, do try out one of these exceptional beers. In Rockport Texas, Bay Area Brewing offers a Märzen-style lager during the Oktoberfest season, from September to October. As we continue to grow, we look forward to hosting our own festive day, celebrating not only great beer but also the camaraderie and traditions that make Oktoberfest a cherished event.

 

Cheers,

Will Amaya

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