Fall is here and we are celebrating with our Oktoberfest beer, The Rut.
This beer is an homage to the beginning of fall, hunting season, and the German Festival of Oktoberfest. The history of Oktoberfest and beer is a fascinating one. The traditional beer served at Oktoberfest in Munich is Märzen/Oktoberfest sometimes called Märzenbier. Märzen is German for March. In the time before modern refrigeration, beer was brewed in Germany throughout the fall and early spring. This was due to the lower temperatures for fermentation necessary to create more stable beer, free of harmful bacteria. March was usually the last month that this was possible, thus the term Märzenbier, or March beer. This beer was served at Oktoberfest, after staying stored away in cool caves and cellars in the Alps over the spring and summer months. Oktober und März gleichen sich allerwärts is a German folk saying meaning, “October and March resemble each other in every way.”
The festive celebration of Oktoberfest was established in October of 1810 by Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (crowned as King Ludwig I) in celebration of his marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The unusual thing was that the general public was invited to share in his celebration. At the time, such a thing was unheard of nobles rarely associated themselves with the general public however, some 40,000 Bavarians attended the celebration in Munich on what is now called Theresienwiese (the Teresa Meadow). Almost 200 years later, year after year, the celebration is held at the same location. “Wies n” (the local term for the celebration, derived from Theresienwiese) is truly a Bavarian event that has become a celebration of life not only for Barvarians, but for all Germans and now the world, with some form of Oktoberfest happening in many cities and breweries.
Our contribution to this festive season is The Rut. It is reddish brown in color due to the light use of caramel malts. It’s predominately brewed with Munich malt as the base malt creating more of a bread/biscuit-like malt character rather than a caramel-like malt character. It also has a very minute addition of smoked malt (approx. 1%) to give it an additional layer of complexity. It has a sweet maltiness that is balanced by a medium level of hop bitterness. Hop aroma/flavor (Saaz hops) is very low. This beer has medium body.
Here are two German phrases to impress your friends with:
“Ich besorge das Bier.” – “I’ll get the beer”
“Ein bier, bitte.” – “One beer, please.”
After you fill up your growler of The Rut here at Draught Works, you can relax at home after a long day of scaring up game and taking in the majestic scenery of our state. You can also impress your friends with your new knowledge about Oktoberfest and traditional Märzebier.
Auf weidersehen und weidmannsheil! – “Goodbye and good hunting!”