Trying 3 Different Burlington-Area Märzens

Have you heard? Fall is here. Actually, at the time of writing this it seems we’ve already moved on to winter here in Vermont.

But during a recent weekend, with a crisp chill in the air, we set out to try some of Burlington’s falliest beer. We were hunting for one particular style: the Märzen.

According to the BJCP style guidelines, märzen is “[a]n elegant, malty German amber lager with a clean, rich, toasty and bready malt flavor, restrained bitterness, and a dry finish that encourages another drink.”

But on this day, we didn’t set out to find the “ideal” märzen. We set out to gather a few of the ones that were immediately available from Burlington-area breweries and see which one we liked the best with our very subjective opinions and limited knowledge.

Now, meet our contenders, photographed in an attempt to be fancy and festive:

Queen City






Yes, these are all different serving styles. No, we didn’t care. And yes, Four Quarters has a märzen, but I mean come on, it’s like $18 for a 4-pack. Not about that.

We didn’t have a scoring system or a rubric. We just poured them out and tasted to see which one we liked best. Our only criterium: which one of these three would we choose to have a full glass of?

We tasted these beers blind. I poured Ian’s and he poured mine, which wasn’t an issue because they literally looked almost exactly the same.



If that’s not the most official AF thing you’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.

We ranked the beers from one to three.

Ian’s results:

  1. Switchback
  2. Goodwater
  3. Queen City

Liz’s results:

  1. Switchback
  2. Queen City
  3. Goodwater

Switchback ended up being the winner of the question, if someone asked you which of these you’d want a liter of, which would you pick? Its clean, easy drinkability was exactly what we were looking for on this day.

These three beers may have looked similar at first glance, but they were three very different representations of this style. Even though Switchback ended up being our favorite on this particular day, we would drink any of these again! Whats your favorite märzen?


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