Der Gemütlichkeit! Oktoberfest is back!

Autumn is returning to Florida, and since the Sunshine State doesn’t really have much of cooldown, the change is best marked with the emergence of Oktoberfest beers. Oktoberfests – those malty lagers that many know, love, and look forward to all year are about to grace taplists everywhere. What can you expect? Here are some different types of Oktoberfest beers to seek out this September.

Genuine German Oktoberfest – The German Oktoberfest was originally brewed as a Marzen beer. These strong beers were brewed stronger and during the last part of the brewing season (in March). They were then laid down for long lagering. The beers were enjoyed around the time of Oktoberfest, and they became synonymous with the festival. These beers are as authentic as possible, and many of them are served at the Oktoberfest festivities.

For the real deal Oktoberfest, try a classic like Ayinger Oktoberfest. This beer’s malty sweetness and clean finish (and some bratwurst or pretzels) may have you unexpectedly singing “Ein Prosit!”

American Classic Octoberfest – American brewers were inspired by the German brewers and they began to imitate their ancestors, crafting delicate odes to the malty beers of Germany. Many American craft brewers have honed their lagers to bring the taste of the German festival to a neighborhood bar and pub.

For an American Oktoberfest that brings the goodness home, try Samuel Adams Octoberfest. This classic American example of an Oktoberfest shows what inspired craft brewers can create and has had neighbors reaching for lederhosen and dirndls for decades.

Festbier – During the 20th century, the German brewers who served their lagers at Oktoberfest decided a change was in order. The malty Oktoberfest beers brewed in the marzen style were overshadowed by a new, heavier and light-colored lager which would become known as Oktoberfestbier. The name would eventually be shortened to “Festbier” and would retain its popularity to the point where the Germans would ship this beer far and wide.

For an authentic festbier, grab a draft of Paulaner’s Oktoberfest Wiesn. This is one of the most popular Oktoberfestbiers in Germany and its availability is limited during the September/ October months.

Hybrid – What do American brewers do besides get creative with Old World beers? This year is no exception. Sierra Nevada Brewing teamed up with Kehrwieder Brewery of Hamburg Germany to brew a hoppy new kind of festbier for Oktoberfest. The beer uses pale malts and a lager yeast but includes Cascade hops in addition to the traditional German Tettnang hops, giving the beer a crisp bite that invites both IPA lovers and lager lifers to the party.

Why do we celebrate Oktoberfest in September?

The original Oktoberfest was celebrated in honor of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria marrying Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in October of 1810. Eventually the festival grew much larger than the original, and the Bavarians moved Oktoberfest to September for better weather conditions to enjoy the festivities.

Where to find a treasure trove of Oktoberfest lagers

Which Oktoberfest are you most looking forward to? Come down to 99 Bottles and let our beertenders talk to us about your favorites and recommend something for you. We will pour you a pint or a half-liter! And if we don’t have the exact beer, our team are beer specialists – leaders in lager and awesome at ales. Don’t let this fine season for beer-drinking go to waste, come get a pour, growler, or crowler today!

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