Prost to a crisp, clean classic.
Seasonal | Art by (@thebronxer)
Oktoberfest season is upon us, but how did the multi-week celebration of beer and bratwurst originating in Munich, Germany start?
It was October of 1810 and 40,000 citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the union of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese. Part of the celebration consisted of horse races – per German tradition – and one can only assume a lot of drinking. Everyone had such a grand time that they decided to repeat the festivities every year – gradually expanding the party to incorporate carnival elements like rides and food and beer stalls. In 1819, it was officially made an annual event.
During the early years of Oktoberfest, the beers served were primarily dark lagers – a version of what is now called a Dunkel. In 1841, a lighter, amber lager was introduced – the Märzen – which became the official beer of Oktoberfest by 1872. Almost 100 years later in the early 1970s, an even lighter, easy drinking lager came into popularity, the Festbier. By the 1990s, all beer served at Munich’s Oktoberfest was Festbier and remains the only style served at Oktoberfest to this day.
Our biscuit-y, toasty, smooth, and savory Oktoberfest style, Das Bronx is closer to the amber toned Märzen, made with a combination of Munich and pale malts. Generally in the US, an Oktoberfest style lager is almost always considered to be a Märzen.
We’ve used traditional grains and hops in this recipe to keep it as close to the classic style as possible, with a little upfront sweetness from caramel malts and breadiness from Vienna malt, Das Bronx is mellowed out by some roasted malt flavor, and finished clean with some herbal hops.
Oktoberfest fun facts:
- Booths began selling Bratwurst in 1881.
- Glass steins first appeared at Oktoberfest in 1892.
- Only six breweries are approved to serve beer at Oktoberfest, brewed exclusively in Munich and adhering to the German beer purity law, Reinheitsgebot.
- The horse racing tradition ended in 1960, but returned for the bicentennial in 2010 with racers dressed in historic costumes.
- One of the first large scale Oktoberfest celebrations to be held in the US took place in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 1961.
Malt: Pilsner, Munich Malt Type 1, Vienna, Munich Malt Type 2
Hops: German Northern Brewer, German Tetnanger