As summer winds down, the nights get longer and beer gets darker. The first sign of that transition comes in the form of bready Oktoberfest märzen-style and festbeer-style beer. Certainly, the countless varieties produced by Chicago-area and national breweries are worthy of every penty spent, as are any of the beers arriving from the six official Oktoberfest breweries of Munich. But, it behooves one try a few other imports and see what is out there, such as the Brauerei Hirt Hirter herbstCULT (5.4% ABV) märzen style from Austria, which arrives this fall.
Brauerei Hirt of Micheldorf, Austria first opened 730 years ago, serving knights and merchants traveling the Vienna-Venice route. The brewery continues to rely on the same classic Bohemian recipes and Alpine spring water today. One example is its Hirter herbstCULT, which will arrive in Chicago this fall via Louis Glunz, Inc/Louis Glunz Imports, who have been putting beer in the hands of Chicagoans since the nineteenth century.
The märzen-style beer pours golden-brown with noticeable efflorescence. The earthy-spiciness on the nose sets the table for a mild, bready first sip. The breadiness builds through the finish and throughout each drink from your favorite stein.
For those used to Munich-style Oktoberfest brews, which inspires most American craft versions, Hirter may seem “off.” Keep in mind, however, much like Prosecco is different than Champagne, HerbstCULT is not a great Munich-style märzen, it’s a great Austrian beer that’s inspired by its Bavarian brethren. The unique style is partly due to Brauerei Hirt’s philosophy of letting beer develop its natural flavors for 40 days.
A few extra notes, provided by Brauerei Hirt:
HerbstCULT is also GMO-free, nonpasteurized, and contains no artificial sugars. Best enjoyed with wild game, goose, and carpaccio of beef and dark roasted meat, the beer is made with Hallertauer Select and Mühlviertler Perle hops, giving it a discreet bitterness and naturally cloudy composition.