Märzen. This is a style with an interesting history even if it’s not nearly as prevalent in Franconia as it once was. It’s tied to Bavaria since due to fires caused by brewing, it was forbidden to brew between the end of March and the end of September. They were brewed with more malt and extra hops to help them last all summer. These were the beers served at the orginal Oktoberfest as it was the only beer left after the long non-brewing summer. Unfortunately, they are no longer used and inferior Festbiers have replaced them. Märzens can range in color but are generally deep gold to amber and clock in at around 5.6%. They are richly malty with the best exhibiting some spiciness. It can be a sweet style but if there are enough hops in the mix, it can be a beautiful beer. It was one style I got into when I first traveled around Bavaria as it was mentioned in a guide I had at the time. It was a bit out of date and the writer often talked about a hoppy Märzen but I rarely found one, and often felt the beers had been dumbed down to appeal to more people.
marvelously malty Märzen
There are some fine ones in Franconia and Middle Franconia in particular has a penchant for them. Two I like from there are Wettelsheimer Märzen and Schneider-Bräu Märzen. They are malty treats but avoid being sticky. A relatively recent one for me is the malt-forward Ulrich Martin Spezial from Lower Franconia. In Upper Franconia, Huppendorfer Märzen is gorgeous and Staffelberg-Bräu Märzen is quite good though I haven’t had the pleasure of having on tap. Knoblach Ur-Märzen is quite hoppy for the style and is unusually unfiltered.