Last Monday I congratulated Anheuser-Busch for their bronze medal for their Michelob Marzen. At the time I mentioned that I hadn’t had a chance to sample it yet. Last Wednesday Matthew from AB kindly offered to send me a sampler. I was planning on just purchasing a 6 pack, but this worked also.

So as I’m toiling away at my real job on Thursday afternoon, I get a call from Irene telling me that a package from AB was dropped off. I wasn’t too surprised as they’re just down the road. Ship it on Wednesday, delivery on Thursday.

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I opened it up and was surprised to see a large twenty-pack sampler. Contained in the Sample Collection is their Pale Ale, Marzen, Porter and Bavarian Wheat.

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As I reached in the box to grab out the bottles to place them in the fridge I noticed they were cold. That’s right, AB couriered me cold beer. Not only was it cold, but the beer was still cold enough to drink after sitting out for 2 hours. I’ll admit it was pretty impressive.

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As for the Marzen itself? Even though I’m just really becoming familiar with the Marzen/Oktoberfest style, I was pretty impressed. It has a nice malt sweetness (without being too sweet) and a bit of roastiness. I tried to get some information on the yeast used, but unfortunately it’s a trade secret and all I could be told was that the yeast used in all of their beers is applicable to the style.

I wish I could say I enjoyed the other beers as much as I enjoyed the Marzen. They all seem to suffer the same problem I have with most of AB’s craft line, the complete lack of an aftertaste. I think the problem is that AB has conditioned their customers to think that an aftertaste is bad and have produced beers that fit that mold.

Now let me add that I didn’t think any of the other beers were bad. I’ve been drinking them all week, they’re pleasant beers if a bit forgettable. But if given the chance, I’d probably pick up the Marzen again next year. Give it a try and tell me what you think.