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Chicagoist's Beer of the Week: Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen

By Roger Kamholz in Food on Sep 30, 2011 8:20PM

2011_9_botw_ayinger_okt2.jpgMunich's annual Oktoberfest turned 201 years old this year and wraps up on Monday. (Oktoberfest largely takes place in September - go figure.) It stands to reason that Oktoberfest-style beers are typically very drinkable. Who wants to drink porters or hop-bomb IPAs for nearly three weeks straight? Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen, our Chicagoist Beer of the Week, perfectly captures that classic Oktoberfest style.

In the glass, this Bavarian lager wavers between copper and amber and produces a nice pillow of starchy suds consisting of tiny effervescent bubbles. It's got a sweet and malty aroma. Sips yield flavors of citrus, caramel and bread, and the whole affair finishes clean and a touch dry. It has the welcome yet dangerous trait of being a palate cleanser for itself. Make that very drinkable.

The city of Munich stipulates that only beers made within its borders can be served at Oktoberfest. So, despite Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen's being a Bavarian lager in the style of traditional Oktoberfest beers, it's not allowed into the party. (Aying, hometown of Ayinger Brewery, is just a 28-kilometer autobahn ride from Munich.) That rule, of course, doesn't stop breweries like Ayinger (not to mention several U.S. outfits) from making delicious Oktoberfest beers, and this one in particular seems ready for the big show. Well, their exclusivity is our gain - more Ayinger for us. We'll prost to that.