German-Style Marzen / Oktoberfest (2024)

A beer rich in malt with a balance of clean, hop bitterness, similar to the Vienna lager. Toasted bread or biscuit-like malt aroma and flavor is to be expected. Originating in Germany, this style was traditionally brewed in the spring (“Marzen” meaning “March”) and aged, or lagered, throughout the summer. A stronger version was served at early Oktoberfest celebrations and became known as Oktoberfest. Today, the festival’s version of an Oktoberfest is quite a bit lighter than what American craft brewers consider an Oktoberfest.

Category: Dark Lagers

Food Pairings

  • Kielbasa
  • Jalapeno Jack
  • Coconut Flan

Glassware & Serving Temperature

45-50 °F

German-Style Marzen / Oktoberfest (1)

Commercial Examples



Pale to Reddish Brown



Carbonation (Visual)

Medium Rising Bubbles





Hop aroma and flavor are very low to low. Hop bitterness is medium low to medium




Not common to style


Not common to style






Finish Length

Short to Medium





German Noble


Pilsner, Vienna, Munich





Other Styles you May Enjoy

German-Style Marzen / Oktoberfest (2024)


What is a German style Märzen? ›

A beer rich in malt with a balance of clean, hop bitterness, similar to the Vienna lager. Toasted bread or biscuit-like malt aroma and flavor is to be expected. Originating in Germany, this style was traditionally brewed in the spring (“Marzen” meaning “March”) and aged, or lagered, throughout the summer.

What is German style beer Oktoberfest? ›

Märzen (German: [ˈmɛʁt͡sn̩]) or Märzenbier (German: March beer) is a lager that originated in Bavaria, Germany. It has a medium to full body and may vary in colour from pale through amber to dark brown. It was the beer traditionally served at the Munich Oktoberfest.

What is the difference between bier and Märzen? ›

Classic Märzen should be a little darker, a little richer, a little heavier, and a little higher in alcohol than Festbier. Basically, Märzen is just a little “more.” The switch to the lighter Festbier occurred specifically to allow Oktoberfest attendees to drink more beer.

What does Märzen taste like? ›

An elegant, malty German amber lager with a clean, rich, toasty and bready malt flavor, restrained bitterness, and a dry finish that encourages another drink. The overall malt impression is soft, elegant, and complex, with a rich aftertaste that is never cloying or heavy.

What is the difference between Dunkel and Märzen? ›

Dunkels might just as easily be confused with Vienna-style lagers, or with Märzen, a German beer often consumed at Oktoberfests. These, too, are dark lagers but generally more reddish than dunkels, with the aroma of hops a little more apparent.

When should you drink Märzen? ›

The beer was often kept in the cellar until late summer and then served at the Oktoberfest. Because it the association with Oktoberfest, Marzen is considered a seasonal Fall beer.

What beer is similar to Märzen? ›

Märzen is “fest” strength, meaning it falls slightly higher in ABV than normal lagers of pilsner and helles with an ABV of 6% vs the normal 4.5-5%. If you like märzen, try its non-fest equivalent, the Vienna lager (more on that in a few weeks!).

What is the difference between Märzen and Hefeweizen? ›

Märzen – Malty, amber in color, and extremely drinkable. No wonder this beer is a favorite during Oktoberfest! Hefeweizen (weissbier) – A wheat beer with a light body, hint of bananas, and slightly sweet finish.

What to pair with Märzen? ›

5 Meat & Märzen Combos You Must Try
  • Bratwurst & Märzen. Brats and märzen are a classic combination that is still just as good today as it was way back when. ...
  • Spare ribs & Märzen. Spare ribs and märzen is an underrated combo that should be tried more often. ...
  • Pork Schnitzel & Märzen. ...
  • Grilled Chicken & Märzen. ...
  • Bacon & Märzen.

What is a marzen beer called? ›

Märzenbier is German for “March beer,” a golden to deep amber lager style with a full body and a moderate bitterness, which is related to both the oktoberfestbier and the Vienna lager.

Is Märzen a dark beer? ›

Historic versions of the beer tended to be darker, towards the brown color range, but there have been many 'shades' of Märzen (when the name is used as a strength); this style description specifically refers to the stronger amber lager version. The modern Festbier can be thought of as a pale Märzen by these terms.

Which of the following is typical for a Märzen beer? ›

Beer Style Description

Malt Flavors & Aromas: Bready or biscuity malt aroma and flavor should be present. Sweet maltiness is medium-low to medium and leads to a muted clean hop bitterness. Malt flavors should be of light toast rather than strong caramel. Low level caramel character is acceptable.

What is a German style beer called? ›

When it comes to ales, Germany is most famous for their wheat beers. Hefeweizen is the most common—poured into towering vase-like glasses, this cloudy southern German specialty is all about the yeast. Heck, it's right there in the name—hefeweizen translates to "yeast wheat" in German.

What is a trait of the German style Bavarian Weizen? ›

Weissbier Styles

The classic Weissbeer is characterized by a balance of phenolic (cloves, spices) and estery (banana, pear, red fruits) flavors but a large range of beers from totally fruit dominated to mostly ester dominated beer is currently being brewed.

What are German Oktoberfest outfits called? ›

What Are The Outfits Called? Authentic outfits for Oktoberfest in Munich are called Tracht (Tra-oct). Women wear traditional dirndl (DEERN-dul) dresses while men wear leather lederhosen (LAY-der-hozen) shorts.

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