Monday, October 12, 2009


Oktoberfest beers were originally brewed in the style we would currently categorize as Märzen for the Royal Wedding of 1810 between Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in Bavaria. Over time, the industry of the German Oktoberfest has lightened these brews for drinkability and heightened their more modern and “festive” character. The resulting Wiesenbiers, pale and quenching, can be crushed and—often—cannot be differentiated. They are gulped by the liter every year in Munich sometime in late September or early October.

Reviving the original flavors of true Oktoberfest beers had really only been the provenance of American craft brewers until now…

ChurchKey looks forward to sharing an Austrian version of a this classic style, a version perhaps closest to what one would have sipped in the meadows of Bavaria in the early 19th century: the Original Hochzeitsbier von 1810, proudly created by Brauerei Hofstetten.

Hochzeitsbier von 1810, or beer brewed for the Royal Wedding of 1810, is the end result of a lot of research by the head brewer at Hofstetten, research revolving around the brewing recipes and practices of Bavarians in the early 1800s. He threw out the rulebook, and the preconceived “definition” of Märzen/Oktoberfestbier that Spaten set well after the royal wedding that established the tradition.

This original Festbier is fuller-bodied, toastier, and stronger than the “adjusted” Oktoberfestbiers commonly drank today. As filters were not widely used until the turn of the 20th century, this brew remains unfiltered, and is obviously hopped with traditional German varieties: Spalt Select and Spalt Tradition.

Greg Engert, Beer Director

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