If you think there’s only one staple in beer connoisseur’s Oktoberfest stash, think again. Hofbrauhaus is the world-famous Bavarian brew that whets almost anyone’s appetite for a boot full of the liquid gold.
Rudolf Seider, Export Director for Hofbrauhaus, was able to answer some of questions on what makes their beer so amazing.
ABC: What’s the difference between Oktoberfest beer and a typical lager?
Erdinger: Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier is a bottom fermented festival beer with an alcoholic content of about 6.3 % alc /Vol. (ca. 13,7%wt). It is brewed by the infusion method with light barley malt and Munich malt and the hop sorts “Herkules,” “Perle,” “Magnum” and “Select.” It has a shiny, strong golden hue with supple texture that is full-bodied and palatable leaving a slightly sweet finish. A typical lager beer is brewed with a different combination of malt and hops. Translating into a lower malt filling and a lower alcohol content of approximately 5% alc vol. giving them a lighter color and a taste that is not as strong and full-bodied as an Oktoberfestbier.
We’re used to slightly sweeter Märzen styles here in America. How is that different from what you brew?
All depends on the combination and variation of different malts and hops combined with the brewing process. This may be different in different countries which results in slightly different profiles.
What do you think is the reason for such wide success in the US with your Oktoberfest?
A lot of people recognize the brand name (Märzen) in a very positive way – some grew up with it, for some it was their first beer or for some it’s a family favorite. 1.3 million visitors from all over the world come to visit the Hofbräuhaus each year, which is why it is a symbol for Munich hospitality, excellent beer and typical Bavarian food. Another reason is the Hofbräu festival tent at the Oktoberfest, which is the biggest beer hall at the Oktoberfest. Nearly 16,000 up to 25,000 visitors are our guests per day. That sums up to 250,000 visitors in 16 days. There is so much going on that it’s easy to plug in somehow, someway with the brand.
Hofbräuhaus aims to transfer more than 400 years of tradition and success into their worldwide franchise. In each of our locations, guests will find our high quality brews and Bavarian food. We take pride in creating a classic Bavarian atmosphere, through the interior design, music and traditional bavarian-style uniforms.
Tell us what sets your Oktoberfest apart.
The brewing process of Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier is not too different from a lager beer. But it is the anticipation of the Oktoberfest that makes it special. We are one of only six Munich breweries, which are allowed to deliver the Oktoberfestbier to the Oktoberfest itself and to our customers around in the world – that’s a part of the process that doesn’t have to do with brewing but is very special.
What’s your favorite pairing with Oktoberfest? What’s a delicious pairing that not everyone has heard of?
Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier pairs well with pork roast, pork knuckle, roast chicken, white radishes, and hard cheeses like Emmentaler.
How do you ensure quality when shipping to America?
We make sure that we send out our beer right after the filling line in order to have a fresh product in the market. Our thorough and professional brewing process ensures that we have enough shelf life to offer a premium product to our customers. All of our beers are brewed according to the purity law which means only malt, hops yeast and water is used in the brewing process. Our raw materials come from controlled farming and certified suppliers from the local area of Bavaria. Our water comes from our own well which is a huge asset.