In the days before refrigeration, brewing was difficult or impossible in the warm summer months, and March was the time a big brew was made as a supply for summer. This March or märzen beer was brewed to a fairly high gravity for protection against spoilage as it was stored away in cool cellars or caves.
At the end of the summer, when the new brewing season began, any beer left in storage was ceremoniously consumed. The pouring of this special märzen coincided with the fall harvest festival, making for one big party. The traditional German märzen is a medium-strong, reddish amber lager, with a malty body and aroma, which has been lagered, or conditioned, an unusually long time.
Our Fest Bier is offered in honor of the old ways. We brewed it in the spring with Idaho 2-Row Malted Barley and Vienna malts, hopped it with German Tradition, and fermented it at low temperatures with lager yeast from a monastery brewery near Munich. It conditioned for weeks in our cellar, then was moved to cold storage for further aging until its release in late summer.
The reddish Munich malts in this beer provide a spicy sweetness and some caramel notes that perfectly complement roast or grilled chicken, pizza, or pasta with red sauce.
Fest Bier is available on August 15th in 1/2 & 1/6 bbl kegs.
Malts: Idaho 2-Row Malted Barley, CaraHell & Vienna
Hops: Hallertau Magnum
Original Gravity (Plato): 15.0°
International Bittering Units: 27
Alcohol by Volume: 5.8%
2007 - Bronze Medal, Oktoberfest (North American Brewers Awards)