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The ownership of the brewery changed hands many times until 1807 when the royal Hofbräu brewmaster, Gabriel Sedlmayr, took over what was then Munich's smallest brewery named Spatenbräu. The still today used logo with a spade symbolising a malt shovel bears his initials. Sedlmayr's sons
continue to run the business and in 1867 Spaten became the largest brewery in Munich, as then measured by malt use.
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In 1872, Spaten made history by introducing a light-coloured Vienna-style beer at Munich's Oktoberfest. The [[Märzenbier]]
which was sold in the Schottenhamel Festzelt became an instant success as other beer supplies ran out. The Märzenbier was originally permitted to be brewed only between St. Michael's Day (29th September) and St. Georg's Day (23rd April) and had to be stored in ice cellars until the Oktoberfest. Märzenbier, also known as [[Oktoberfestbier]], is a slightly stronger Helles (lager).
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