The epitome of lad culture, lager is sometimes seen as a one-dimensional beer style. But there are more characters and personalities in the world of lager than you and your customers might think. Adrian Tierney-Jones introduces us to them in this six-part series
Family Member: The party animal cousin
Appears once a year, in late summer and early autumn, a party animal of a beer drunk from one-litre mugs at Munich’s Oktoberfest. The six largest breweries in the city are the only ones invited to the Oktoberfest, but elsewhere in the beer world, the festival is brought to life by lusty, lifeloving breweries, who are just like that party animal cousin who turns up once a year to liven things up.
Some of cousin's friends
Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen
Ruby red in colour, bready sweetness and bitter finish.
5.8% abv, POA, Cave Direct
West Beer Oktoberfest
Authentic Oktoberfest-style beer brewed in Glasgow and released just in time for the lederhosen season.
5.3% abv, POA, West Beer
Keeping it in the family
Until the start of the 1990s, an Oktoberfestbier was reddish-brown in colour. Now, it is light gold, between 5%-6.3% abv, and usually blessed with a full mouthfeel, various degrees of caramel sweetness, hints of citrus fruit and a satisfying dry, bittersweet finish.
The first Oktoberfest was in 1810, celebrating a royal wedding, thus kicking off an annual tradition. It is suggested by beer historians that some Oktoberfestbiers would have been up to 8% abv in strength, but since the end of World War II they have settled down. They still pack a punch, though, as anyone who has visited Oktoberfest can testify.
Gets on well with
You will find the party loving cousin drinking and singing along to oompah bands playing classics such as ‘The Sound of Silence’, accompanied by friends who like to stand on tables and sway to the music. More sedately, an Oktoberfestbier is a dream with fried chicken.