10 Best Oktoberfest Beers to Try This Year
When we talk about the best Oktoberfest beer choices, we should remember that there are two different beers. One is the traditional German style of lager called Märzen, the German word for the month of March. These lagers began production in March and were sold in September and October. Märzenbier is traditionally medium-strong, amber-red, and with a strong malty scent.
The other beer, Oktoberfestbier, is a paler version of Märzen designed to cater to the international taste for lighter, weaker lagers. Oktoberfestbier tends to be more golden than amber. Here are some of the best Oktoberfest beer choices.
10. Bob’s ’47 Oktoberfest
Bob’s ‘47 Oktoberfest is a fall seasonal offering from Boulevard Brewing Co. of St. Louis, Missouri. BeerAdvocate gives it score of 84 (good), and it has an average rating of 3.73/5 based on 670 reviews. This medium-bodied, dark amber lager has an IBU of 27, alcohol content of 5.8%, and a noticeably toasted, prominent caramel malt aroma. It pairs well with sauce-based meat dishes, including pastas and pizza, roast chicken, roast pork, pretzels and mustard, and hamburgers.
Boulevard Brewing Co.’s best Oktoberfest beer offering is distinctly malty in flavor, dark amber to orange in color, medium-bodied, and relatively low on the bitterness scale. This seasonal brew is sold in September and October only.
9. Goose Island Oktoberfest
Goose Island Beer Co. of Chicago, Illinois gives us this Märzen with an IBU of 17 and an alcohol content of 6.4%. The color is described by Goose Island as “copper over rose with a bone white head.” The aroma is of toffee and burnt sugar, and the flavor is malty and mildly bitter with notes of apricot.
BeerAdvocate gives this best Oktoberfest beer from Chicago a score of 84 (good). It’s rated 3.7/5 from 903 ratings. Goose Island pairs this Märzen with aged cheddar and beer fondue, spicy Korean-style meatballs, orange-scented lentil salad with wilted escarole, and soft pretzels with brown beer mustard.
8. HOSS Oktoberfest Lager
HOSS Oktoberfest is a Märzen-style rye lager from Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado. BeerAdvocate gives it a rating of 85 (very good) and it maintains a rating of 3.78/5 from 1,061 reviews. Its color is red-orange, the aroma is of malt, wheat, and cherry/dark fruits, and the flavor is crisp, dry, and spicy with a hint of earthiness.
This best Oktoberfest beer bet out of Colorado pairs well with barbeque chicken, Camembert cheese, German chocolate cake, tacos de carnitas, or veal bratwurst. HOSS has an alcohol content of 6.2%. It’s available between July and September.
7. Left Hand Oktoberfest
This Märzen from Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado has a medium body, a copper color, and an alcohol content by volume of 6.6%. Its IBU is 24. BeerAdvocate gives it a score of 84 (good) and it maintains a rating of 3.74/5 from 1,211 reviews.
Left Hand Oktoberfest has a light copper color, an aroma of grains and brown sugar, a medium body, and a mildly spicy, biscuity, caramel/molasses flavor with notes of herbal hops and a dry/bitter finish. Certified cicerone Anne Becerra recommends pairing it with boiled potatoes with parsley and dill.
6. Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan calls itself the world’s oldest brewery, and this German Oktoberfestbier is its Bavarian-style seasonal lager. It has an alcohol content of 5.8% by volume and an IBU of 26. Its color is lighter than the American Oktoberfest lagers, definitely more golden than red/copper.
BeerAdvocate gives Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier a score of 84 (good). With 1,535 reviews it has a rating of 3.7/5. It has a generous, fluffy head, a floral hops aroma, and a very doughy flavor with honey-like, spice, and herbal notes.
5. Brooklyn Oktoberfest
Brooklyn, New York’s best Oktoberfest beer offering is this Märzen from Brooklyn Brewing. BeerAdvocate gives it a score of 83 (good). With 1,714 reviews it has a rating of 3.69/5. Its alcohol content is 5.5%. It has a spicy/roasted/slightly sweet aroma and a bread-like flavor with hints of pumpkin and autumn spices.
Brooklyn Oktoberfest is available from August to October. It pairs well with chicken, pork chops, steak, cold cuts, hamburgers, roasted meats, sausages, and Swiss, Gruyere, or Stilton cheeses.
4. Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest Amber Märzen
This German beer produced in Munich by Hacker-Pschorr Bräu GmbH is golden/copper in color like the Bavarian style of Märzen. BeerAdvocate gives it a score of 88 (very good), and it has a rating of 3.92/5 off of 1,795 reviews. It has a 5.8% alcohol content by volume. A mild, sippable beer, this Amber Märzen has light carbonation and a light body.
Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest has a bread-like, malty flavor with a mild caramel sweetness. The brewer recommends pairing it with all the traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest foods, which it describes as suckling pig cooked in Wiesn beer, sausages, roast chicken, and Bavarian sausage salad.
3. Great Lakes Oktoberfest
This seasonal beer from Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, Ohio is only available in August. BeerAdvocate gives it a score of 89 (very good). 2,220 users have reviewed it and given it an average rating of 3.99/5. The color is amber, the alcohol content is 6.5%, and the taste is crisp and complex.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. recommends pairing its Oktoberfest beer with potato pancakes and roast pork loin. The aroma has notes of toasty malt, barley, and fruit. This is a medium-bodied beer with a creamy mouth feel.
2. Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen
Brewed by Paulaner Brauerei GmbH & Co. KG, this German beer is one of Munich’s best Oktoberfest beers. Its alcohol content by volume is 5.8%, and BeerAdvocate gives it a score of 87 (very good). BeerAdvocate’s rating is 3.87/5 after 2,503 reviews.
This Märzen boasts an amber color, a full body, a malty flavor, and burnt toffee notes. Unlike most Oktoberfest lagers, this one is available year-round.
1. Best Oktoberfest Beer – Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur-Märzen
With an alcohol content of 5.9% and an IBU rating of 23, Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur-Märzen by Munich’s Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu, this lager bills itself as “World’s First Oktoberfest Beer.” BeerAdvocate gives it a score of 81 (good). It has a rating of 3.56 based on reviews by 2,538 drinkers.
Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur-Märzen has a golden-copper color, a light hops aroma, and a malty, mildly sweet flavor. Its moderate bitterness is tempered with some notes of toffee flavor. Like Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen, this lager is now available year-round due to its popularity.
These are 10 of the best Oktoberfest beer suggestions according to the users of BeerAdvocate. Beer lovers might also like to see our posts about best IPA beeers, or best root beers. Have you tried any of them? Which one was your favorite? Do you have a favorite Oktoberfest beer that didn’t make the list? Leave your impressions in the comments section below.