Today’s date with history, and Oktoberfest takes us all the way to finding out what was actually served at the very first event. On taking a deep dive, we came across Marzen and realised that when we did take a sip of the drink, we weren’t just tasting beer. We were after all, having a sip of Germany’s history, and most importantly, the history of Oktoberfest.
Shakespeare might have questioned what’s in a name – with Marzen there certainly is a lot. This beer’s name means “March beer”, since it was brewed in March and lagered in cold caves during the summer months. Making sure nothing goes waste, the sole idea behind this was to use the last of the remaining hops and malts before brewing ceased for the summer.
The beer is synonymous with Oktoberfest since it was the beer that was served at the very first Oktoberfest. The first festival celebrated the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. The timing was perfect, as the royal couple tapped into that year’s locally brewed Marzen.
From that year on, Marzen continued to win the hearts of all those who attended Oktoberfest. In 1872, it became the official beer of Munich’s Oktoberfest, a tradition that lasted over 100 years till it was replaced by Festbier at the 1990 Oktoberfest. This change from amber to golden was done to get more people to like lager. But hey, that doesn’t mean beer lovers at Oktoberfest have stopped paying attention to tradition. It may not be as dark and brown as previous versions, but there’s no way you can’t enjoy the original party drink of the Oktoberfest in the present day.
THE LOOK AND TASTE
One look at a Marzen and you’ll know that it’s not golden. This beer has a shade that could be anywhere between amber-orange to a reddish copper tinge. The flavour at first might seem sweet to you, but hidden underneath is malty richness of rich toast and bread. You’ll feel the same way when it comes to the aroma as well.