It’s that time of year when we wish a fond farewell to summer’s sweet kiss and start to dread the impending embrace of the night king’s icy grip. But before we hunker down, fear the snowy parking wars of winter, and pray for spring, we get to experience a small window of seasonal happiness in the form of changing leaves, pumpkin spice, and malty beers: IT’S FALL TIME. With fall comes sweater weather, amazing candle smells, PSLs and best of all, OKTOBERFEST. The German holiday that consists of liter beers, busty beer maids, and lederhosen’s begins the third Saturday in September and runs until the first weekend of October. Have you ever wondered why an event named Oktoberfest predominately occurs in September? Well we have the answer for you!
The original Oktoberfest was actually the wedding celebration of King Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates. It was such a great time they basically said “fuck it, let’s do it again next year”. By 1819, they were like, “yo let’s do this every single year and for longer. And screw this colder weather of October. I am sick of freezing my brats off. Let’s do it in September so we can spend more time drinking since the days are longer and warmer.” And there you have it, our current version of Oktoberfest was born.
Lots of breweries in the states have their own Oktoberfest beer. However, in Germany, only beers conforming to the Reinheitsgebot, and brewed within the city limits of Munich can be served at the Munich Oktoberfest. The 6 breweries that are allowed to make official Oktoberfest beers are:
- Staatliches Hofbräu-München.
Oktoberfest beers are lagers known as Marzens. They are dark/copper in color, have a mild hop profile, and a beautifully bready malt flavor. The word Marzen is March in German and are named accordingly because they are traditionally brewed in March and were meant to last until the October, since new beer was forbidden from 24 April to 28 September (A law that was passed in Bavaria in 1539. Summerwas too damn hot to properly brew beer!).
Now you have the history of the events and the beers, you can impress all of your friends at your local Oktoberfest party with your extensive knowledge, or they will make fun of you for being a nerd and tell you to shut up. Either way, raise a glass, look one another in the eyes when cheersing*, and repeat after me: PROST!
*in Europe is you don’t look into the eyes of the peeps you cheers, you will be cursed with 7 years bad sex….true story.