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We Ranked American Märzen-Style Beers To Get You In The Fall Spirit

Fall is a great season for beer. While nature is seemingly crumbling (and falling to earth) around you, the beer world is thriving with new styles that are a great respite from the crisp pilsners, hoppy pale ales, and bitter IPAs of the summer months. It’s the season of the brown ale, Saison, and pumpkin beer. And also the season of the much-beloved märzen.

For the uninitiated, märzen is a copper-hued beer that’s known for its robust, rich, malt-driven, bready flavors. The style for Oktoberfest, the style (unsurprisingly) has its origins in Bavaria sometime in the 1500s. Traditionally, it’s brewed in the spring — literally March (March/märzen, you get it) — with a slightly higher alcohol content than most beers. The beer then spends about five months in the cellars (or lagers) mellowing before it’s tapped right about now, making it the ultimate harvest festival beer.

Since we already know the Bavarians have perfected the style, picking up a brew from Spaten, Augustiner, or Hofbrau is surely a good call. But the American craft brewers are no slouches either. That’s why we decided to highlight eight crafty American Märzen-Style beers that are well-suited for late summer and early fall drinking. Check them all out below and click on the prices to give them a try yourself.

10) Great Lakes Oktoberfest

Great Lakes

ABV: 6.5%
Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

The Story:

If you’re looking for a great mixture of American craft ingenuity and old country style, this is your märzen. Brewed with Mt. Hood hops, 2-Row base malt, Munich, and Caramel 45 malts, it’s mellow, sweet, easy to drink, and perfectly malty.

Tasting Notes:

If you take time to nose this beer before your first sip, you’ll find aromas of bready malts, caramel, toasted wood, dried fruits, and gentle spices. Drinking it reveals more caramel malts, oak, wet hay, freshly baked bread, and a sweet, slightly spicy, subtly bitter finish that will warm you on a cold fall night.

Bottom Line:

This beer has a great combination of sweet malts and floral, slightly bitter hops that should please the palates of myriad different types of fall beer drinkers.

9)DuClaw Mad Bishop

DuClaw

ABV: 6%
Average Price: $15 for a six-pack

The Story:

This 6% märzen-style fall seasonal beer from Maryland’s DuClaw is definitely the Oktoberfest brew for hop fans. This is because it’s brewed with a whole slew of hops including Chinook, Tettnanger, and Hallertauer Mittelfruh. It’s also brewed with Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich, & Melanoidin malts to give it a multi-dimensional flavor profile.

Tasting Notes:

Before sipping, breathe in a nose of sweet, caramel malts, biscuit-like malts, clover honey, and wintry spices. The flavor profile is slightly nutty and loaded with sticky toffee, oak, and sweet caramel malts. It all ends with a nice hit of floral Noble hops at the finish.

Bottom Line:

This is a complex beer. It’s malty, hoppy, and a great way to bridge to gap between summer and fall. The kind of beer you’ll look forward to every year.

8) Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest

Firestone Walker

ABV: 5.2%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

When it comes to fall beers, Firestone Walker fans eagerly await its Oaktoberfest. But this year, the California brewery is changing things up a bit. For 2021, they’ve lagered the brew in French oak barrels from Napa Valley. The result is a seasonal beer with caramel and bready malt flavors with a slight fruitiness and a bite from Noble hops.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find biscuit-like malts, sweet caramel, dried fruits, and a nice, gentle fruity background. The palate is loaded with more caramel malts, freshly baked bread, slight spice, and a nice crisp bite of bitterness due to the addition of German hops.

Bottom Line:

This is a very complex fall beer. It has everything beer drinkers could want in an autumnal seasonal beer. Bold, rich, fruity — everything you’d want.

7) Victory Festbier

Victory

ABV: 5.6%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

This 5.6 percent ABV märzen is brewed with whole flower German Noble hops, 2-Row, Vienna, and Munich malts. The result is a fall beer that bridges the gap between America and Germany perfectly. It’s known for its malty, sweet, and slightly hoppy flavor.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is loaded with hints of caramel candy, bread-like malts, and a nice, slightly spicy hoppy backbone. Sipping this beer reveals notes of biscuit malts, caramel, subtle vanilla, slight herbal flavors, and a sweet, dry finish that leaves you wanting more.

Bottom Line:

Sure, you’re going to drink some authentic German beers this fall. But this fall seasonal is pretty much as close to the old country as you can get from a beer brewed in Pennsylvania.

6) Flying Dog Dogtoberfest

flying Dog

ABV: 5.6%

Average Price: $13 for a six-pack

The Beer:

This 5.6 percent märzen is as authentically German as an American craft beer can be. It’s brewed with Perle, and Hallertau hops, and Vienna and Munich malts all sourced from Germany. This results in a malty, crisp, refreshing beer well-suited for early fall drinking.

Tasting Notes:

A complex nose of spicy, floral Noble hops, sweet caramel, and rich, biscuity malts draws you in. Sipping this beer reveals freshly baked bread, wet grass, caramel malts, toasted oak, and floral, slightly bitter hops. This all leads to a dry, sweet finish.

Bottom Line:

Another beer that tastes like it was brewed in Germany. Maryland’s Flying Dog really nailed the fall style with this one.

5) Schilling Konstantin

Schilling

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $16 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Schilling is one of the most respected breweries in New Hampshire. If you haven’t had a chance to try any of its beers, fall is the best time to try its beloved Konstantin. This Austrian-style märzen is copper-colored and filled with sweet, bready malts, and a complex, dry flavor.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to breathe in the aromas of toasted wood, biscuity malts, sweet caramel, and a nice hint of floral hops. Take a sip and you’ll find more caramel malts, sweet vanilla, freshly baked bread, dry hay, and herbal, slightly bitter hops at the finish.

Bottom Line:

While many märzens are made in the German style, this fall seasonal is special because it’s Austrian-centric. It’s slightly different and more herbal and floral than some of the other märzens on the market.

4) Avery The Kaiser

Avery

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Avery The Kaiser is one of the most well-known märzen-style beers in the US. Only available August through October, this bold, eight percent ABV Imperial Oktoberfest beer is brewed with Vienna and Munich malts as well as Bravo and Hallertau Hops. It’s malty, dry, and very memorable.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find scents of dried fruits, slight fruitiness, caramel candy, and sweet, bready malts. Right away, you can tell that this is a high-octane beer, the warming alcohol flavor is prevalent right off the bat. There’s also more caramel, vanilla, toffee, and a nice hint of floral, earthy hops.

Bottom Line:

While the alcohol flavor is pronounced, it doesn’t take away from the malty, sweet flavors. In fact, it makes it an even better fall sipper.

3) SingleCut Inexplicably Used

SingleCut

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $18 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

SingleCut doesn’t mess around with this fall seasonal beer. In the classic German-style, Inexplicably Used gets cold conditioned for three months in horizontal lagering tanks. The result is a terrifically malty, creamy, caramel-filled, slightly hoppy seasonal offering.

Tasting Notes:

This is a complex beer. You’re first greeted with aromas of spicy, floral hops, a nutty sweetness, and caramel malts. The flavor is all sticky toffee, vanilla, candied pecans, bready malts, wet grass, and a slightly spicy, sweet finish.

Bottom Line:

This might be the perfect fall beer. It’s not too heavy and not too light. It’s filled with the caramel malt flavors, fall beer fans crave, and it’s high enough in ABV to warm you up on a cool fall day.

2) Jack’s Abby Copper Legend

Jack

ABV: 5.7%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

With a name like Copper Legend, you know this is a highly sought-after, eagerly awaited fall beer. Only available from August through October, it’s known for its copper color and malty, mellow flavor that makes it extremely drinkable and pleasing on a chilly fall day.

Tasting Notes:

This beer smells like fall with notes of toffee, caramelized sugar, crusty bread, and light, herbal hops. The palate swirls with more bready malts, sweet caramel, dried fruits, honey, and more herbal, slightly bitter hops at the very end.

Bottom Line:

If you only drink one beer on this list, make it Jack’s Abby Copper Legend. There aren’t many other beers on the market as perfect for fall.

1) Half Acre Lager Town

Half Acre

ABV: 5.8%

Average Price: $10 for a 4-pack

The Beer:

This 5.7 percent märzen-style is Half Acre’s foray into the world of Oktoberfest-style beers. The Illinois-based brewery channeled its inner Munich with this perfectly malty, sweet, caramel, and cereal-centric beer that deserves to be paired with heavy fall foods and an equally heavy sweater.

Tasting Notes:

This fall-flavored beer is highlighted with aromas of sweet cereal grains, biscuit-like, caramel malts, and slightly spicy, floral hops. The palate is loaded with slightly bitter, resinous hops, mellow caramel, fall spices, and slight vanilla. The finish is complex, slightly dry, and effortlessly sweet.

Bottom Line:

If this city actually existed, we’d definitely visit Lager Town in the fall. Since it doesn’t, we’ll settle for this sweet, malty, slightly hoppy beer instead. It’s my favorite brew in an increasingly packed field of American Märzen-Style brews.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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