Oktoberfest Beer Reviews
One cannot think about Oktoberfest without thinking of Spaten. At noon on opening day, the Lord Mayor taps a Spaten barrel at the Schottenhamel Tent and shouts to a crowd of thousands “O’zapft is!” (It's tapped). After this ceremonial tapping all the tents are allowed to start selling beer and Oktoberfest has officially started.
The history of the Spaten brewery can be traced back to the 14th century. Following centauries of dynastic brewers, the 17th century Spatt family gave its brewery the name which is known today. In 1807, the Royal Brewmaster, Gabriel Sedlmayr, bought and developed Spaten, which at the time of acquisition was Munich’s smallest brewery. By the time of his death, Spaten had grown to be Munich’s third largest brewery behind Pschorr and Hacker. Gabriel Sedlmayr II took over control of the brewery and continued its growth. In 1851, the brewery you see today in Marsstraβe was built. While no longer a working brewhouse, it has been converted to a museum for the Spaten brand.
In 1867, Spaten had become the largest brewery in Munich. Joseph Sedlmayr and the Schottenhamel introduced an amber-colored beer with 13.5% wort to the 1872 Oktoberfest. This new beer was well received by visitors to the Wiesn and over time has become the classic Oktoberfest Märzen we know today.
In 1909 Spaten started beer deliveries to North America. In 1922, Franziskaner-Leistbräu merged with the Spaten-Brauerei. In 1997 the brewery merged with Löwenbräu AG creating Spaten-Löwenbräu-Gruppe which was then sold to Interbrew in 2003 which soon became InBev in 2004. Today Spaten is part of the world’s largest beer conglomerate: Anheuser-Busch InBev.