A Floridian’s Thoughts on Oktoberfest

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! For most of the country, football is back on, days are getting shorter, and the weather is cooling. To match that, the crisp summer lagers and shandies are being replaced with more rich and flavorful Oktoberfest-styled Marzens and Vienna Lagers. If you’re in the sunshine state however, it is still a blistering 95+ degrees and 80% humidity for the next few months. Here are my thoughts on how Florida should embrace the Oktoberfest style.

First and foremost, what makes a good Marzen? Well, it should be soft, malty, and complex to start, with bread-y notes and some sweetness. It pours a beautiful amber color with a thick creamy head. The end of the beer is rounded out by crisp and clean hop bitterness which refreshes the palate and isn’t overwhelming. There are even hints of alcohol warming in some which really help out if it’s a cooler day with a brisk breeze. Now that we have that established, we know that crisp and cool isn’t Florida in September.

Even though fresh beer is the best beer in most cases, breweries and distributors should hold off sending this style to Florida until at least Halloween. There is nothing more disappointing than seeing a new Marzen release, which is full of malty and hearty goodness, and realizing you broke a sweat walking into the store. By the time Halloween rolls around, it should only be 90 degrees and 60% humidity which allows you to enjoy the beer instead of being turned off by how heavy it is.

Florida breweries shouldn’t bother brewing this stuff until mid to late October as well. Additionally, we should move Oktoberfest from the end of September to at least mid November. Yes, I know its called Oktoberfest, but there is nothing festive about sweating bullets in a heatwave. Therefore, the date change allows people an excuse to enjoy an outdoor beer festival without dying of heat stroke and also having a bunch of different beers than the run of the mill IPA, Lager, Gose, etc.

If you couldn’t tell already, this is a style of beer that I greatly enjoy. My only regret is that it usually disappears before we can truly enjoy the rich and complex flavors that come with this style. For all three of my readers in parts of the country that do have more than one season, enjoy what you have because us Floridians are down here stuck with session IPAs and light lagers.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

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