Released annually with a different recipe, this year’s edition is an amber märzen, a traditional German beer.
It’s 5.5% ABV and 19 IBUs.
“The beer has a malty sweetness with a little bit of herbal, floral hop presence, and the bitterness levels are just right to balance the malt character for drinkability,” says Scott Jennings, innovation brewmaster at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. He adds, “it’s a substantial beer but it’s really, really drinkable.”
In developing this iteration of Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest, brewers aimed for a darker, malt-forward beer. The traditional amber märzen style fit the bill.
This year’s darker style is a departure from the brewery’s seasonal Oktoberfest offerings of the past few years. Those were more in the style of modern fest biers, such as Helles bock, that began rising to popularity at Oktoberfest in Munich in the 1970s and ’80s. However, Amber Märzen have been a mainstay at Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich prior to that shift toward lighter styles, Jennings says.
Sierra Nevada’s 2021 Oktoberfest pours a clear deep amber color with aromas of dark bread and graham cracker, the company reports. The flavor is balanced between sweet maltiness and hop bitterness with a medium body.
Shipping now, supplies will last into the fall season.