Is it cooling off yet? No? Well thankfully The Duck-Rabbit Märzen is a great way to keep cool for these last few days of summer and celebrate the coming of some pleasant fall weather! Märzenbier is German for “March Beer,” which seems like an odd name for a beer that we use to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall. There is a good reason for it though!
It all started in 1553, when a Bavarian ruler decreed that no beer could be brewed between April 23, and September 29. And while that may seem a cruel thing to do, to ban brewing for the hottest months of the year (those months when a Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier or Amber Ale taste so good!), he had a pretty good reason. Beer brewed in the summertime tasted bad. Why? Well, this was before Louis Pasteur, before the compound microscope, in short: before anyone knew much about microbiology! The Brewer’s ignorance of the ambient bacteria, let alone how to control it, caused beers brewed in the summertime in Bavaria to become contaminated and taste terrible. So in an effort to maintain the quality of the beer, brewing was forbidden in those warm months that encouraged beer to spoil. Bavarians then, like you and me now, did not want to go through the whole summer without delicious beer. So to ensure folks had beer for those hot summer days the brewers worked overtime in March to make sure that everyone had enough beer to make it through the summer. Hence, Märzenbier.
The first Märzenbiers were brewed a bit stronger, and stored cold so that they would keep longer. They would drink this beer all summer in Bavaria. And of course, at the end of the summer, when brewers could begin making beer again, you could finish off the rest of the Märzen in what I can only imagine was a celebration of the brewers returning to their noble work! I can think of few better reasons to celebrate. As it happens, Märzen IS associated with an official party this time of year…
In 1810 Munich held it’s first Oktoberfest, and it was at that celebration in 1841 that the first beer labeled “Märzenbier” was officially released. This beer much more closely resembles the beer we know and love today. The Duck-Rabbit Märzen is our version of this delightful style. intended for autumn festivals, and other outdoor fall activities, our Märzen’s soft malt character, subtle and beguiling, is an excellent beer for celebrating this special season. So whether you are going to a beer festival, a tailgate, a cookout, or just sitting on your back porch enjoying the changing seasons, be sure to raise a glass of Duck-Rabbit Märzen to the brewers, and the glorious fruit of their labor.