Wednesday, 10 October 2012

And now for something completely different

As someone who drinks in the ways of righteousness it's not often I drink lager. I mean, when there's decent stuff to drink why would I? Of course this isn't always the case so I sometimes have to settle for lager, but I recently had one of the rare occasions when I bought some out of choice not necessity.

Having delivered an order to Nobel Green Wines I was perusing their excellent beer selection when Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen caught my eye. Stronger lagers are better than the bog standard variety, and I've got a bit of history with Hacker-Pschorr.

Back when I was a fresh faced 17 year old I went on my first CAMRA event. It was a trip to a company in New Haw that was importing Hacker-Pschorr beers. Draught lager was freely distributed, and gratefully guzzled by the assembled visitors. It must be something of a rarity having CAMRA trips to go and drink keg lager but everyone seemed quite happy with it, which is perhaps why I've always taken with a pinch of salt comments from those that claim CAMRA is made up of blinkered dogmatists.

However, the real starts of the show were the bottled beers, cloudy wheat beer and Oktoberfest Märzen. We were limited to a bottle between two of these, though orders of crates were soon placed so a more thorough appraisal could take place. I preferred the wheat beer and since then wheat beer has become much more common, to the extent that several brands are now on sale in my local supermarkets. I wasn't quite as taken with the Märzen, and lagers like this are certainly seldom seen.

So I couldn't resist adding a bottle to my basket when I saw it, and I eagerly awaited the time to drink it. To get into the occasion I poured it into my pewter tankard from Munich, though as this stopped me seeing the colour it was perhaps not my best plan. So I put a bit in a glass as well and got so see that it's pale brown. The beer had enough alcohol to make it interesting (5.8% ABV) but there was still an unmistakable lageryiness to it, being a bit thin for the strength and having a touch of vegetable about it. It seems my 17 year old self was right: wheat beer's better.


  1. Yeah, modern Märzens seem to be more lagery and thinner-bodied than I remember. Look for a decent Winterbock or Doppelbock instead is my motto!

  2. I've enjoyed more the bocks and doppelbocks I've found, but I very rarely see them either.

  3. That was the last beer I had at a bar outside Munich station before leaving a couple of weeks ago, felt it thoroughly ordinary, enjoyed Augustiner and Hofbrau’s fests more, plus HB’s Urbock

  4. I wonder if Hacker-Pschorr is a poor quality brand now? If I remember rightly they were taken over by Paulaner since I first discovered them and they might just be a brand best avoided.