The months are passing by quickly and summer is almost over. When the weather begins to grow cold and you can smell fallen leaves in the air, our tastes want amber colored and bready beer that has been lagered over the summer months. We want beer that represents the change of seasons; not exactly the dark beers of winter but something in-between.
Historically in September, the Märzen would usher in the change of seasons. It was once the Festbier but was replaced around 1990 with a golden colored, less complex version (Category 4B). Most people still consider the Märzen to be the Festbier, and many breweries will brew this style when releasing their “Oktoberfest” beer. Of course we chose Category 6 for our style of the month for September because in our hearts this is still the beer of the fest. These are the flavors of fall!
Category 6 of the BJCP Beer Style Guidelines includes: Märzen (6A) a rich amber lager with bread-like notes, Rauchbier (6B) a beechwood smoked amber lager, and Dunkles Bock (6C) a dark, malty lager. These are malt forward, bottom fermented German lagers. All three beers are similar in appearance with Dunkles Bock being the darkest of the three.