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Duck-Rabbit celebrates seasonal beer release

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Matt Whaley, right, Trevor Hough, center, and Chauncey Lewbowski, all of Greenville, joined the crowd at the Duck-Rabbit Märzen Release Party.

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Lucas Simonds

Monday, September 5, 2016

Beer lovers from near and far recently gathered on the lawn of The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery in Farmville to celebrate the release of one of the brewery’s most popular seasonal brews.

Duck-Rabbit’s märzen lager is once again available, and the community was invited to come to the factory to celebrate its return.

“It’s really important to me that we remain an active part of the community,” Duck-Rabbit owner Paul Philippon said. “We’re mainly a production factory here, and we’re kind of off in the corner of town, so it makes my heart happy to see so many people coming out to celebrate with us.”

Duck-Rabbit brews nine seasonal beers in addition to its four core beers, but the märzen consistently has been one of the most popular with both the public and critics, Philippon said.

“We don’t do a party for all of our seasonal releases, but the märzen has always been one of our most popular,” he said. “It also has won medals two years in a row at the Great American Beer Festival, so we thought this was a nice way to celebrate that as well.”

Duck-Rabbit’s märzen won silver in the märzen category in 2014 and bronze in 2015 at the festival. It previously was named best of the Mid-Atlantic/South and grand champion at The Great American Beer Tasting Championship.

With the bottles sporting a blue-and-white Bavarian flag pattern and an alpine hat on the brewery’s iconic mascot, the beer’s German roots are readily apparent, and its light color and flavor are a change from the dark ales usually brewed in the Farmville factory.

“Most people would probably know this as an Oktoberfest beer because it’s what is traditionally served at that time, and that’s what a lot of other breweries call it,” Philippon said. “It’s a German-style lager, which is different from what we normally brew here. For us at the factory, the big difference is the yeast that is used, and it’s brewed at a much colder temperature than our ales. For our consumers, what they get is a crisp and clean beer that’s perfect for being outdoors and enjoying the start of fall.”

The märzen got rave reviews from those attending the party.

“I’m loving the atmosphere here, and the beer is fantastic,” Trevor Hough of Greenville said. “The märzen has a nice, almost fruity smell, and it’s not too heavy or too light. It’s just a really good beer overall.”

Chauncey Lewbowski, also of Greenville, agreed.

“This is honestly one of the best beers I’ve ever had,” Lewbowski said. “And Paul is great for putting on a celebration like this. He’s a real captain of industry.”

Duck-Rabbit’s märzen beer is available for a limited time at the brewery’s taproom at 4519 W. Pine St. and at several local grocery stores. The taproom is open from 3-10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday..

“We only brew it once per year, and when it’s gone, it’s gone, so people should get it while they can,” Philippon said.

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