WunderBEER! Our guide to Oktoberfest.

The eagle eyed among you will have noticed our nice little selection of specialist Oktoberfest beers. Naturally we’ve been getting questions about these tasty new additions so this week, we’re going to use the blog to answer the most frequently asked.

What IS Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest, confusingly held in September, is the world’s biggest public festival, dating back to the early 1800’s. It’s steeped in tradition, from the location in Bavaria where it is still held to this day, right down to the costumes and, of course, the beer.

The festival began to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Theresa, 18th century Germany’s equivalent of Will and Kate. The royal wedding was huge, with the citizens of Munich all invited to share in the festivities on the plains in front of the city walls, which are still known as Theresienweise (Theresa’s meadow).

During the horse racing at the festivals people were invited to tastings of wines and beers in the kings tent, which is where the idea of the Oktoberfest beer tent came from. These tents are still used today, with people booking tickets months in advance to be able to sample the various Munich beers.

Enough about that…what’s the beer like?

The beer is a traditional Munich Märzen, a full bodied, dark copper coloured beer with a mild hop character but a rich, bold toasty flavour. Alcohol percentage usually lingers around the 5-6% mark but can get higher.

The beer’s tradition goes way back to before the invention of refrigeration where it was brewed in March, usually at a higher altitude to keep it as cool as possible until September/October when the festival begun.

Hang on…isn’t that one from Brooklyn?

Short answer, yes it is. The Brooklyn Brewery have taken a leaf out of the Bavarians’ book and created a Munich style Marzen from their own Brooklyn lager especially for sale around the time of the festival. This is a growing trend amongst craft brewers to commemorate Oktoberfest in their own way, so don’t be surprised if you see more Oktoberfest style beers from further and further afield.

When can I get them?

These beers are only available for a limited time, and even then only in store. Can’t make it? Drop us a line on 01207 523555 or at info@thepipstop.co.uk and we can take an order that way. Prost!

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