At Oktoberfest’s oompah-blasting, sausage-sizzling festivals, local brewers try their hand at the traditional Bavarian lagers known as Märzen, a balance of subtle hops with smooth, sweet malts that goes down easy between rounds of boisterous song. Here are some of our favorites and where to find them.
Lost Rhino Brewing, Ashburn
This gold-medal winner at last year’s Great American Beer Festival in Colorado hews to traditional Oktoberfest style, with warm notes of toasted malts and a crisp finish. At Lovettsville Oktoberfest and Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest.
Mad Fox Brewing, Falls Church
This light-bodied, less filling Märzen leaves lots of room for bratwurst and sauerkraut. At Hoppy Oktoberfest, Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest, and Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest.
Port City Brewing, Alexandria
Port City uses only German malts and hops and leaves its beer unfiltered, lending it a hazy complexion, full body, and deep flavors. At Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest and Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest.
Corcoran Brewing, Purcellville
This brew from the owners of Corcoran Vineyards is a winemaker’s bright, floral take on beer’s hoppiness. For festivals, see facebook.com/corcoranbrewing.
Capitol City Brewing, DC and Arlington
Märzen meets smoky Rauchbier in this innovative brew that bursts with campfire flavor. At Hoppy Oktoberfest and Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest.
This article appears in the September 2014 issue of Washingtonian.