More than Märzen: Limericks on German Beers
- By Marsha Bryant
O Germany, thank you for beer
That we relish this time of the year.
A Sober October?
My dears, that’s a Noper
With so many brews to revere!
Oktoberfest Märzens are fine,
As are Festbiers if you’re so inclined.
Yet there’s more than these styles
For us Germanophiles—
And for you I have sampled these kinds.
Foam-headed, light-bodied, and dark
Is this Erdinger Dunkel. Remark-
ably crushable brew
For the chocolate brown hue,
A sweet finish and wheat give it spark.
This Weihenstephaner, an amber
And hazy Hefeweissbier—enjamber
Of banana smooth
And a cidery groove!
It’s delightfully Dunkel, a slammer.
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (the Urbock),
Is charcuterie worthy. Let’s unlock
Its smoky-malt flavors
By fire pits. You’ll savor
This lager. Enjoy, then restock.
Celebrator, a Doppelbock brew,
Is quite roasty with toffee-tastes, too.
And the malt won’t diminish
With hops in the finish:
It’s mahogany, rich through and through.
Dunkel, Erdinger Weissbier, Erding, Germany. 5.3% ABV.
With its lager-light mouthfeel and pleasing maltiness, this beer can be a refresher with pretzels or a good pairing with brats and desserts. It pours chocolate brown with a cream-colored head, and it finishes with a hint of sweetness on the tip of your tongue.
Hefeweissbier Dunkel, Weihenstephan, Freising, Germany. 5.3% ABV.
Pouring hazy amber with a foamy white head, this dark wheat beer tilts toward sweetness with notes of dry cider and yeastiness. Banana notes add to the refreshing smoothness, and the mouthfeel is lighter than Märzenbier.
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (Urbock), Schlenkerla, Bamberg, Germany. 6.5% ABV.
You’ll smell the smoke before you taste it in this opaque, molasses-colored beer, which pours with medium-sized bubbles in its frothy, tan head. As you sip it, you’ll feel a small malty fan-out on your tongue before the smokiness rises to your palate; these flavors blend beautifully as you finish your glass.
Celebrator Doppelbock, Ayinger, Aying, Germany. 6.7% ABV.
Roasty with toffee notes in the finish, this beer is richly flavored with a stoutish mouthfeel. Pours mahogany brown with a beige, foamy head. The malts settle nicely into your foretongue before the full flavor moves toward the back of your throat. There’s some hop tingle in the finish that tempers the toffee notes, keeping the beer from becoming sweet.
Marsha parsed Märzens in an earlier brew review.
MARSHA BRYANT writes about poetry, modernism, pedagogy, and craft beer. Her recent essays appear in The Bloomsbury Handbook to Sylvia Plath, the online journal Humanities, and the textbook Impact of Materials on Society. Bryant is Associate Editor of Contemporary Women's Writing, and Professor of English & Distinguished Teaching Scholar at the University of Florida.