|Schlenkerla, fresh from the barrel.|
Yesterday I placed the emphasis on Oktoberfest-Märzen, arguably the most famous seasonal style of beer in the world.
In an excellent article at Fortune, Anne Becerra contributes a mouth-watering overview of different German styles, with her top pick for each. She’s the beverage director at Treadwell Park in New York City and plainly nails these choices, from Oktoberfest-Märzen to Pilsner, and from Roggenbier to Helles. I’ve emphasized one passage in this excerpt.
“What I really love about German beers are the subtle nuances, the attention to detail, and the consistency,” Becerra says. “German brewers really understand the importance of balance, and the beers are crafted to perfection Every. Single. Time. Like a good friend that’s always there when you need them, reliability is key. As American craft beer continues to grow in popularity, and the search for latest thing or the newest It Style takes over, let’s not forget about the beers that have been getting it consistently right for decades, often centuries. I love Oktoberfest season, because in addition to all the great Oktoberfest styles, I inevitably end up celebrating German beer, food, and culture as a whole—not that I really need an excuse to do that, but it helps.”
As for her top recommendations, it’s exactly what a beer rookie like me would want to see. It’s got something for every palate. And not all of them are ridiculously difficult to find—or come with a purchase quantity limit.
The Pints&union bottle and can list includes the following selections from Germany and Austria, and there’ll be others as time passes. Note also that the current draft lineup has Pilsner Urquell (Bohemian Pilsner), Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (Bavarian Wheat) and the aforementioned Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest.
Central State Garden (Gose)
Daredevil Vacation Kölsch (Kölsch)
Schlenkerla Märzen Rauchbier (Smoked Lager)
Schneider Aventinus (Wheat Bock)
Schneider Weisse (Bavarian Wheat)
Stiegl Grapefruit Radler (Lager & Fruit Soda)
For those interested in a comparison, now’s the time for a beer sampling at Pints&union. Recalling that Oktoberfest and Märzen are largely interchangeable in terms of style, first order a draft Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest, and then finish with a Schlenkerla Märzen Rauchbier.
Taste the smoky difference, and ruminate about the timeless classics.