Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oktoberfest and Fall Seasonal Series

Over the next days, weeks, (and more?) Musings will see a series of posts celebrating the most celebrated beer season. Oktoberfest goes into full swing this Saturday (September 17) in Munich and accordingly beer stores everywhere are stocking dozens upon dozens of Fall seasonal beers ranging from small craft producers to macros who just can't seem to stay away.

The traditional Oktoberfest beer is a Märzen, originally brewed in March (or thereabout) and held in cold storage throughout the Summer. Before the advent of refrigeration technology Summer brewing was difficult and potentially unsafe (due to bacterial infection). Thus, Summer (and later Spring months) were not available for brewing and the early Spring stock was held through the summer (in cellars or caves) for drinking in Fall during the annual harvest.

While Oktoberfest/Märzen beers remain extremely popular, many breweries, particularly American craft producers opt for different styles of ale or lager for their Fall seasonal fare. Especially popular in America is the Pumpkin Beer. Pumpkin ales are made with the addition of real pumpkin, puree, or flavoring. Typically, these beers also introduce spices commonly used in making pumpkin pie.

Keep an eye out during this Fall seasonal series for at least two dozen Fall seasonals from American and European producers in a variety of styles. 

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