Ein Prosit! Der Gemütlichkeit! Oktoberfest is here!
One of the best parts of seasonal drinking – when your beer-drinking habits follows the seasons of the year – is that moment when pumpkin beer takes a back seat to the other fall favorite malty treat: Oktoberfest beers. This is the moment when Florida may get some not-so-hot mornings and a few blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cool evenings. The best match to times like these are the traditional autumn beers of Germany.
What is Oktoberfest?
The original Oktoberfest festivities date back to the 1800s and to the area of Bavaria, Germany. Crown Prince Ludwig married Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in October of 1810. The public was invited to attend festivities, including horse races. The festival grew in size and stature and now includes 12 large tents and 17 small tents. Each tent is sponsored by a brewery or food purveyor and people spend time enjoying traditional Oktoberfest fare like beer, pretzels, bratwurst, et cetera in a town carnival atmosphere with thousands of attendees.
What is an Oktoberfest beer?
Oktoberfest lager is brewed as strong beer – usually around 6% ABV. The beer is traditionally brewed in March (they’re also called marzens for the German month of March) to use up the last of the crops before brewing ceased over the summer.
In the modern brewing world, where temperatures and ingredients can be controlled, Oktoberfest lagers can be brewed at any time during the year.
The flavor of the beer is largely driven by the presence of malted barley, specifically Munich or Vienna malts. Expect flavors of sweet bread and toast.
You don’t need lederhosen or dirndls to experience a true Oktoberfest, instead try some of these malty beers to satisfy cravings for German experience of Oktoberfest.
Barriehaus Oktoberfest Marzen: Tampa’s lager-focused brewery comes out with another Old-World-inspired lager that has all of the malty goodness of Oktoberfest.
Jack’s Abby Copper Legend Octoberfest: Framingham, Massachusetts-based Jack’s Abby focuses on lagers, and their concentration shows in every batch! Celebrate Octoberfest with this malty, smooth and exceedingly drinkable lager. Copper Legend is the perfect beer for creating legendary times with legendary people. Raise a can to Honor Today’s Legends. Brewed with noble hops.
Captain Lawrence MarzenBier Oktoberfest: Captain Lawrence MärzenBier is rich and malty with a pleasant caramel sweetness – this celebratory lager is sure to be a crowd favorite.
Have You Heard of Festbier?
Now served in the Oktoberfest tents in Germany, a new era of Oktoberfest beer began in the 1990s after brewers would drink traditional Oktoberfest marzen-style beers over and over during Oktoberfest. The brewers wanted a different flavor profile than the Munich and Vienna malt-forward beers, so this new style, called festbier, has a crisper flavor profile and includes pilsner malt for a lighter colored Oktoberfest.
For one of these lighter Oktoberfest beers, try:
King State Festbier: King State’s seasonal German-style Tent beer. Gold, notes of bread crumb, but crisp and mad drinkable for Florida “fall.”
Barriehaus Oktoberfest Gold: Flavors of rising bread and honeysuckle meet a delicate hop character. This crushable, classically brewed golden lager is the modern-day style consumed by the liter under the Munich tents.
Ayinger Oktoberfest-Marzen: Rich, amber-golden color. Deep, inviting, malty nose and bready, wonderful flavor that’s an ode to barley. Medium to big body, with a touch of warming alcohol on the finish. Soft dryness from long maturation.
Whatever your favorite Octoberfest (or Oktoberfest) beer you prefer, make sure you seek them out now because these special beers seem to dry up after the month of October! Whether draft, bottles, or cans is your preferred package, make sure you stop by and talk to the team at 99 Bottles in Sarasota! Not only do they know Oktoberfest beers well, but they may be able to point you towards a new favorite beer! Enjoy Oktoberfest! Ein Prosit!