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American-Style Maerzen/Oktoberfest

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Location: North American
Category: Lager
BJCP Comparable Category: 6A - Märzen

Style Description

This is the description of how the American-Style Maerzen/Oktoberfest style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the American-Style Maerzen/Oktoberfest beer style.

The American version of this classic German beer is distinguished by a more pronounced hop character.

  • Color: Pale to reddish brown
  • Body: Medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Sweet maltiness should be present, expressed as a light toasted character. Bready or biscuity malt aroma and flavor is acceptable. Low level caramel attributes are acceptable.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Low to medium-low exhibiting herbal, grass-like, spicy, floral or citrus attributes
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Medium-low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present
  • Common Ingredients: Grist varies, although traditional German versions emphasized Munich malt. The notion of elegance is derived from the finest quality ingredients, particularly the base malts. A decoction mash was traditionally used to develop the rich malt profile.
  • Commercial Examples: Buergerliches Ur-Saalfelder, Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Weltenburg Kloster Anno 1050

Brewing Properties of American-Style Maerzen/Oktoberfest

These are the functional brewing properties of American-Style Maerzen/Oktoberfest beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
5.1 - 6.0%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
20 - 30 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
4 - 15 SRM
(8 - 30 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.050 - 1.060
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.012 - 1.020

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.