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Brewing the Original Oktoberfest Märzenbier

In Munich in 1872, the famous Schottenhamel tent needed more beer. Josef Sedlmayer had beer to sell ... but it was a stronger lager brewed in the Viennese style. Thanks to beer historian Andreas Krennmair, we have an educated guess about the recipe.

Joe Stange Jul 15, 2021 - 5 min read

Brewing the Original Oktoberfest Märzenbier Primary Image

Drei Mönche bei der Brotzeit, by Eduard Grützner, 1885.

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There is no single type of Oktoberfest beer. Only in recent decades has the famous hoolie in Munich settled on a deceptively strong, dangerously easy-drinking blond lager. For more about brewing this modern type of festbier, check out our August-September 2021 issue—out now.

However, from its beginning in 1810 until well into the 20th century, there were a variety of beers available at Oktoberfest—advertisements in old event programs make that clear. Depending on the year, you might find dunkel, helles, export-strength helles, weissbier, or even a pilsner.

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