Oktoberfest with the best
Fall brings the beer world’s most recognized and celebrated festival: Oktoberfest. Known in Munich as Wiesn, Oktoberfest first took place in 1810, spans approximately two weeks and brings in about 6 million visitors each year. This year, it runs from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3.
Oktoberfest beers poured at Wiesn must be brewed within Munich’s city limits. They’re also lagered (fermented and stored at a cool temperature), malt-forward with light to medium body and bitterness, and boast an aroma and flavor profile predominantly driven by grain and, to a lesser extent, hops. The alcohol intensity and appearance of the beers, however, run the gamut.
Breweries around the world celebrate Oktoberfest through September and October with their own seasonal recipes, incorporating its traditions into their repertoire. It’s time to embrace the lederhosen, dirndl dresses, beer steins, massive tents and beautiful lagers that perfectly complement the autumn weather. Ozapft is! (The barrel is tapped!)
Schlafly Noble Lager
Although not an Oktoberfest by name, this new seasonal release stands with the best of the German-style lagers. The bright golden beer has a grainy and lightly grassy aroma and a vibrant palate with mildly malty sweetness, dried grass and hop spice notes with a clean, lightly bitter finish.
The Civil Life Oktoberfest
This amber lager embraces the palate with perfection. It smells of baked bread and floral hops, tastes of toast and grain, and finishes with a round, clean bitterness.
Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest
This maerzen has a medium body, great texture and a rich malt character highlighted by nuances of honey, earth and mild hop spice, while a smooth, round bitterness brings out the finish.
Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen
Deep gold in color and medium bodied, this Bavarian beauty is full of malty goodness. Biscuit, hay and honey dominate the nose, while bread and malt sweetness finish off the palate.
Left Hand Oktoberfest
Pouring a beautiful copper color and smelling of German malt and hops, it’s light on the palate. The toasty breadiness and light malt sweetness upfront finishes dry and crisp with light grass and hop spice notes.
Katie Herrera is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and account manager at Craft Republic.
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