When I first set the goal to taste a beer a day, I went out and stocked up for the first month or so. Among the acquisitions was a variety pack of Gordon Biersch, a brewery I had heard about but never tried. Their assortment (mostly German style beers) didn't appeal to me, but I picked it up to challenge myself to try beer varietals I have a prejudice to. Of the four varietals included (such as Czech Style Pilsner, Blonde Bock, and Winter Bock), the Marzen seemed like the one I would least enjoy, so I chose that one to get out of the way.
Right out of the bottle, Gordon Biersch was a surprise, pouring a gorgeous auburn with ruby red accents with a sudsy head. The scent in the bottle was a yeasty dough with hints of coriander.
Drank, Gordon Biersch Marzen was bright and crisp up front with little carbonation and faded to a savory, whole wheat bread taste with no lingering bitterness. The beer was incredibly well balanced and seemed ideally suited to a pairing with pizza. None of the coriander I detected in the nose made an appearance in the actual taste.
Beers like the Gordon Biersch Marzen are a big part of the motivation to the year of beer... finding examples of varietals I typically pass over that provide insight as to why people who love a given variety do. While I won't be replacing my favorite beer types for a Marzen-style beer, I can say I would heartily recommend this beer to anyone looking for a drinkable, non-hoppy beer with some dimension.