'Tis the Season (for Oktoberfest Beers)
Oktoberfest has become one of the most wildly popular beer festivals and is celebrated around the world. The original was held in Munich, Germany, two hundred years ago, and the festival has taken place ever since (although 24 of the events have been canceled due to war or other disasters). The style of beer associated with the celebration is a Märzen (now almost synonymous with the Oktoberfest-style) which is a medium or heavy-bodied lager. Interested in trying it out? Already have your faves? Below we list a selection of Oktoberfest beers you can expect to find in bars and stores this time of year.
Avery Kaiser: With its high alcohol content, Avery’s take has more of a kick than many others of this style. The Colorado-brewed beer is relatively thick, but still presents the subtle sweetness typical of Oktoberfest (10% ABV).
Flying Fish OktoberFish: This New Jersey brewery produces a relatively standard Oktoberfest brew, with a light to medium-bodied and a deep coppery orange color (5.5% ABV).
Hofbräu Festbier: One of the official beers served at Oktoberfest in Germany, Munich-based Hofbräu puts out a lager with an earthy flavor, spiced by notes of caramel, fruitiness and heavy malt (6% ABV).
Köstritzer Oktoberfest: From another German brewhouse comes this easily drinkable, medium-bodied, refreshing orange-hued quaff, great for sipping outdoors in late summer or early autumn (5.6% ABV).
Sam Adams Oktoberfest: Even people who eschew Boston-based Sam Adams’ regular products (as too corporate) enjoy their Oktoberfest each fall. It’s nothing spectacular, but has served as a template for what an American version of festival beer should be (5.3% ABV).
Sly Fox Oktoberfest: This Pennsylvania brewery’s lager has hints of apple and a bit of spice that make it ideal for fall weather. The flavor and smooth body make it almost too easy to drink (5.8% ABV).
Spaten Oktoberfest: First brewed in Munich in 1872, this is the original Oktoberfest beer, the world’s first. Hops and malt combine to provide an underlying sweetness and an easy-drinking glass (5.9% ABV).
Victory Festbier: The smooth, medium-bodied lager from this Pennsylvania brewery is made with all-German malts and European hops, for an authentic seasonal sip (5.6% ABV)