Friday, September 17, 2010

International Beer of the Week: Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest-Märzen

In honour of particular beer-fest I bring to you, this week's international beer straight from the bowels Oktoberfest: Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest-Märzen. This is one of the beers that all the Germans will be getting pissed-up on this weekend and for the following couple of weeks at Oktoberfest. 

Founded in 1417, Hacker-Pschorr is one of the so-called 'Big Six' Munich breweries. While originally founded under the name Hacker Brewery, in the late 1700s Joseph Pschorr bought the Hacker brewery from his father-in-law and subsequently founded a separate brewery under his own name. His two sons divided his estate by each taking control of one breweries and it wasn't until 1972 that Hacker and Pschorr merged to form Hacker-Pschorr.

Oktoberfest Märzen is a special type of beer produced seasonally for Oktoberfest. The style originated from a time before refrigeration when it was difficult to brew beer in the summer due to the hot weather and bacterial infections. The brewing season ended with the coming of spring, and began again in the fall. Beer intended to last until the fall was brewed at the end of spring in March (März in German). These brews were typically brewed with higher alcohol or strengthened hopping so they would keep throughout the Summer. The style is characterized as full-bodied, rich, toasty, typically dark copper in colour with a medium to high alcohol content.

The taste of this particular Märzenbier is mildly malty with caramel flavours. The hoppiness is relatively mild but maintains a nice flowery character. A nice refreshing beer that would be perfectly complimented by an oversized pretzel or some wießwurst while sitting under the blue skies of the Hacker-Pschorr beer tent. In addition to all other goodness, this beer is 5.8% abv making the piss-up all that much greater.

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