Top Oktoberfest Beers in Vancouver

Photo credit: markburger83 | Flickr

The days are shorter.  There’s a nip in the air.  Leaves are changing colours.  It must be time for . . . Oktoberfest.

The annual rite originated in Munich, where late September and early October are marked by 16 days of beer gardens and bratwurst.  One on the most important ingredients of any Oktoberfest is, of course, the beer – and not just any beer.

The official beer of Oktoberfest is a style known as marzen.  Marzens are generally medium- to full-bodied, with a distinctive malty flavour and clean finish.  The name marzen (German for March beer) refers to the fact that the beer is traditionally brewed in March, then cellared throughout the summer, which often increases the alcohol content.  Marzens also tend to be very drinkable beers, as Oktoberfest revelers gulp down stein after stein of them.

This year, Vancouver’s craft brewers have outdone themselves turning out a crop of  German-style marzens (Randy Shore details them all and more in this great Vancouver Sun article).   Here are four authentic marzens – available in local bars, brew pubs and liquor stores – to get you in the Oktoberfest spirit.