Spaten was first founded in the 14th century, with the Munich tax bill of 1397 registering a brewer by the name of Herr Spaeth on the property of ‘Welser Prew’ brewing his own Oberspathbräu. The building would go on to play a massive part in Spaten’s history, outliving many brewery owners during the 15th century. It then ran under the ownership of several different families across the next few centuries; the Stamberger family (1522-1622), the Spatt family (1622- 1704, the family that gave their name to the brewery we know today) and the Siessmayr family (1704-1807). Whilst the business was kept alive and well, it never truly prospered until it entered the hands of one of Munich’s most famous brewing families, the Sedlmayrs. Gabriel Sedlmayr was the master brewer to the Royal Court of Bavaria and bought Spaten, then the smallest brewery in Munich, with ambitious plans to turn it to greatness. His death in 1837 brought an end to his reign, but his sons promptly took over with aspirations of their own. Gabriel’s son Joseph soon left to own the Leist-Franziskaner brewery, whilst the other son, also called Gabriel, ran the Spaten brewery. Come 1867, Spaten is the largest brewery in Munich, a title it retained until the 1890’s. The 20th century brought Spaten and Leist-Franziskaner (both still owned by the Sedlmayr family) together to form a joint stock family. Later on in 1997, celebrating its 600th anniversary, Spaten merged with Lowenbrau, although both still stand independent with their products and brand.
Spaten has played a pivotal part in Oktoberfest over the years, being the first of the big six to brew an amber marzen style beer, thus birthing the idea of brewing a special beer specifically for the festival. More recently, since 1950, the Mayor of Munich has personally tapped the first keg of beer in the Schottenhamel tent, which marks the beginning of Oktoberfest. The onlookers and citizens of Munich judge the Mayor on his ability to strike the cask as they see it as a good judge of character and whether he is a good fit to his role as Mayor.
Spaten Oktoberfest pours a yellow colour and has a decent, long lasting white head. The aroma highlights the malts in the beer, with toasted grains as well as hops also lurking. The flavour of the marzen beverage is sweet with a bitter taste and a few mild spice notes, followed by a hoppy finish. Spaten Oktoberfest should be served in a traditional stein glass with a hearty dish but is just as perfect on its own. An authentic tasting Oktoberfest beer that oozes history as well as quality.