Ayinger Oktober Fest Märzen

Märzen or Märzenbier (German: March beer) is a style of lager beer.



Märzen has its origins in Bavaria, probably before the 16th century. A Bavarian Brauordnung (brewing ordinance) decreed in 1539 that beer may be brewed only between Saint Michael (Michaelmas, 29 September) and Saint George (23 April). The reason for this requirement was the increased danger of fire during the warm and dry summer months.

Over the summer months, beer had to be stored in a Lager (storage), in caves or stone cellars, sometimes built into the sides of mountains or hills. Frequently these locations were chosen because there was a pond nearby. During the winter, when the pond had frozen, blocks of ice would be cut and put into the cave or cellar. This was usually possible until March, when the beer was brewed to be stored there for months to come. The entrance to the cellar or cave would also be shielded from sunlight by planting Horse-chestnut or Conker trees in front of it, which have large leaves.

Some of these cellars and caves are still in use, primarily in Franconia, as part of beer gardens which are often still shaded by the traditional chestnut trees.[1]

The original Märzen was described as "dark brown, full-bodied". As intended, the beer was often kept in the cellar until late in the summer, and remaining bottles were served at the Oktoberfest.[2] In order to last so long, either the original gravity and alcohol were increased or the hopping was strengthened.


The style is characterized by a medium to full body, a malty flavour and a clean dry finish. In Germany, the term covers beers which vary in colour from pale (Helles Märzen), through amber to dark brown (Dunkles Märzen).[3] Brewers in the Czech Republic also produce pale, amber and dark beers in the Märzen style, called respectively 14° Světlé Speciální Pivo, Polotmavé Speciální Pivo and Tmavé Speciální Pivo.[4]

The North American style normally exhibits a stronger, though not aggressive, hop aroma and bitterness balance. The Austrian style closely resembles a Helles in color, body, and flavor balance, and is the most popular beer style in Austria.[5]

Common names for Märzen include Märzenbier, Wiener Märzen, Festbier, and Oktoberfestbier.


Märzen is an extremely popular style in many lager-producing countries, and is produced as a seasonal special (usually for the autumn) by a great many breweries around the world.


  • Augusta Augsburger Märzen - continuously available
  • Augustinerbräu Oktoberfest Märzen - seasonally available
  • Ayinger Brewery Fest-Märzen - seasonally available
  • Calwer-Eck-Bräu Märzen - seasonally available
  • Dinkelacker Märzen - continuously available
  • Distelhäuser Märzen - continuously available
  • Eichhorn Märzen - continuously available
  • Fässla Zwergla Märzen - continuously available
  • Feierling Festmärzen - continuously available
  • Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen - seasonally available
  • Hebendanz Märzen-Gold - continuously available
  • Herbsthäuser Goldmärzen - continuously available
  • Hummel-Bräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Hummel-Bräu Räucherla Märzen - continuously available - notable for its use of smoked malt
  • Leimener Märzen - continuously available
  • Mucker Bräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Palmbräu Ur-Märzen - continuously available
  • Paulaner München Märzen - seasonally available
  • Rothaus Märzen Export - continuously available
  • Schlenkerla Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen - continuously available - notable for its use of smoked malt
  • Schlössle Spezial Märzen - continuously available
  • Schwaben Bräu Das Echte Märzen - continuously available
  • Spaten-Bräu Ur Märzen - seasonally available
  • Spezial Rauchbier Märzen - continuously available - notable for its use of smoked malt
  • St. Georgen Bräu Gold Märzen - continuously available
  • Vogelbräu Märzen - seasonally available
  • Wagner Märzen - continuously available
  • Wichtel Märzenbier - continuously available
  • Wolters Märzen


  • Argus Bräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Augustiner Bräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Bauers Bräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Baumgartner Märzen - continuously available
  • Branger Bräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Kaiser Märzen - continuously available
  • Zipfer Märzen - continuously available
  • Eggenberger Märzen - continuously available
  • Erlauftaler Märzen - continuously available
  • Freistädter Märzen - continuously available
  • Fohrenburger 1881 Goldmärzen - continuously available
  • Gösser Märzen - continuously available
  • Grieskirchen Märzen - continuously available
  • Großstübinger Märzen - continuously available
  • Haselböck Märzen - continuously available
  • Haydnbräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Highlander Märzen - continuously available
  • Hofstettner Märzen - continuously available
  • Hubertusbräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Johannesbräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Kaiser Märzen Faßtyp - continuously available
  • Kapsreiter Märzen - continuously available
  • Keller Bräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Königsdorfer Helles Märzen - continuously available
  • Medl-Bräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Moar Bräu Märzen - continuously available
  • Mohrenbräu Pfiff - continuously available
  • Villacher Märzen - continuously available
  • Stiegl-Goldbräu - continuously available
  • Zillertaler Märzen - availability unknown

United States

Other countries

  • Švyturys Baltijos - continuously available
  • Ožujsko Beer - continuously available
  • Kaltenecker[6] - continuously available
  • Eisenbahn Oktoberfest[7] - seasonal
  • Damm: Voll-Damm Beer - continuously available in Spain
  • Wild Rose Brewery [8] - available seasonally in Calgary, Alberta, Canada


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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