Oktoberfest Beer: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that Oktoberfest beer is one of the most expensive and most robust beers in the world? If you’ve never tried this beer, it is a must-have style, and you should give it a shot. Oktoberfest is exclusive, and we love it for being a seasonally-friendly beer, which is quite rare.

You are probably wondering what is Oktoberfest beer, right? Well, it is an antique style of German beer that is popularly known across the world for its rich malts and iconic style. The makers of this beer use time-tested brewing methods, and that’s why it tastes remarkably delicious. It is amber in color, flavorsome, and a type of beer to be enjoyed every weekend. Do you know what else there is to learn about Oktoberfest beer? Scroll down to find out!

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The origin of Oktoberfest beer

Oktoberfest is not only a beer but also a party. So, where did it originate from? It all goes back to 1810 when a popularly known crown prince decided to sacrifice his wedding and notable fest to turn it into a huge public festival. Would you forgo your marriage for that? We highly doubt it!

The party included everything, and it marked history on the calendar. It had a huge agricultural fair, a super classy horse race, food vendors galore, and many tents serving people with impressively delicious beer of Munich. Since then, the festival is celebrated until today, every September 16th and not October like the name suggests, in the same manner, but they dropped the horse race.

In the 1810s, the Munich beer was Dunkel or dark lager in simple terms, but later in 1872, the brewers introduced amber beer aka ‘Marzen,’ which we are now familiar with. Throughout the 20th century, the beer turned lighter in color due to the use of paler malts.

Besides, today you cannot compare American brewed Oktoberfest to German Oktoberfest because it contains a lot of caramel malts and Munich. As a result, you’ll realize that the beer’s color is slightly different and sweeter from the American brews, despite trying to mimic the original style served at the German Oktoberfest.

Key ingredients for Oktoberfest beer

Most of us perceive that Oktoberfest should have amber color, muted bitterness, slight sweetness, excellent clarity, and a rich, bready, toasty malt flavor. However, there is more to that. If you want the true Oktoberfest style, you’ll need ingredients of German origin.

If you are planning to make your own Oktoberfest beer and asking yourself which are these ingredients, here they are:

MĂ€rzen Yeast: – You need to look for lager yeast, namely Saccharomyces pastorianus (Latin). To leave some sweet aroma behind, you should choose the yeast with low attenuation, which is also a great way of bringing out the malt’s hints. You’ll love the result and enjoy unique flavors.

MĂ€rzen Malts: – If you want to maintain an authentic taste of Oktoberfest style, all-malt grains should also originate from Germany. Fortunately, if you live in the U.S, you can get prime German grain styles of Pilsner and Munich amongst many from various American maltsters that do a great job in their production.

MĂ€rzen Hops: – You only need 1-3 ounces of hops in Oktoberfest beer to get low IBU. Mostly, it works best when you add it at the start of boiling your mixture. Consider Hallertau, Saaz, Hershbrucker, Hallertau Mittelfruh, Tettnanger, and German Tradition if you’re not sure about which hops to get.  These hops are the key secret to getting a flavorsome Oktoberfest beer.

What’s the taste of Oktoberfest beer?

While there are dozens and dozens of Oktoberfest beers, they are all remarkably drinkable. For you to tell that the lager is Oktoberfest, it is amberish-copper in color and contains rich malt flavors with vaguely toasty notes and bread crust.

We also appreciate this beer’s taste because it has a really nice, dry finish. Oktoberfest has a relatively high alcohol percentage of between 5%-6%, yet smooth and friendly to drink. On top of that, the beer is slightly bitter due to the hops’ presence, but it might not be highly noticeable.

If you’re interested in specific tastes, we’ll take you through various types of Oktoberfest beer so that you can choose what you want.

What are the different types of Oktoberfest beer?

You’ll find a wide range of Oktoberfest-style beers out there, but we’ve only devoted a few spots to those brewed by the club of Munich. We believe that these beers will quencher your thirst as you enjoy their origination. Here are our top favorites, and we have no doubts that you’ll find them delightful as well.

1. Ayinger Oktober Fest-MĂ€rzen

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We appreciate the sweet aromas of toffee and caramel in this exquisite Oktoberfest beer. It has a deep golden color highlighted with amber. The German beer is not too sweet nor too bitter, and you can sense a malty nose balanced with floral hops.

It is smooth, medium-bodied, and filled with delicious flavors that are pleasant to the mouth. The dry finish and slightly spicy palate are also impressive. We are not professional tasters, but take it from us, this is an excellent choice.

2. Faust Miltenberger Festbier

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Faust Miltenberger Oktoberfest is half German because it is produced by the Sierra Nevada, an iconic American craft brewery. We love its unique recipe and everything about it. You will appreciate how Faust Miltenberger pours brilliantly on the glass showing a crystal clear golden-orange color. It has a medium-carbonated and foamy white head lasting for more than 60 seconds. Even after fading, this foam leaves a lovely lace.

You can quickly notice an outstanding balance of fruits, hops, and prairie grasses in the nose, as well as slight undertones of metallic. We were also surprised by their high hop presence, which is more than that of an average MĂ€rzen. It first tastes slightly sour, then quickly changes to bright hops’ flavors, later progresses to a pleasant brown-roasted malt and ends with a crisp metallic lager essence.

3. Sudwerk MĂ€rzen

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We found Sudwerk MĂ€rzen quite impressive, from its appearance to the taste. When considering beers with a reputable representation of German-style by brewers in Davis, it is not an exception. The beer is dark amber, and after pouring, you’ll notice a medium, creamy off-white foam at the top layer of the glass.

Besides that, Sudwerk MĂ€rzen is medium-bodied and offers a rich, complex array of bready malt, melanoidins, caramel, and light earthly hops. It is slightly bitter, easy to drink, satisfying, and pretty enjoyable. Unlike most beers, this particular style finishes sweeter, and that’s the most adorable thing about it.

4. Hofstettner Original Hochzeitsbier von 1810

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This special Brauerei brew represents Germany’s neighbor Austria. It is a little darker and slightly robust than most traditional beers. The amber MĂ€rzen pours a foggy, tainted sunburst orange liquid with a thick, fluffy off-white foam at the top. We like how this head retention leaves a vague silver, a frothy collar, semi-creamy cap, moderate, and a webby lace around the walls of glass.

The taste is pleasant with lighter tones of doughy yeast, brown bread, and a hint of smoked toffee with a touch of grassy hops and caramel sweetness. You’ll also experience an incredible mouthfeel with a dry finish that this exceptional beer has to offer.

Best food pairings for any Oktoberfest beer

What can you eat with Oktoberfest beer? In contrast to other beers, Oktoberfest is extraordinarily compatible with a variety of foods. Its malty-sweet profile provides a bizarre tasty counterpoint to acidity meals like tomato-based Italian dishes. We like the combination because the spicy hops and toasty malt of any Oktoberfest beer blend perfectly well with savory elements of the dish.

We also like Oktoberfest beer with light Mexican fares like tostadas and tacos. Another great Oktoberfest accompaniment you should try is dry-rubbed, roasted, grilled, and baked meat, especially pork. Do you want more ideas? Here is a list of Oktoberfest foods to check out.


Oktoberfest is an incredible German-style beer that every beer lover should try. It is rich in malt with a balance of smooth, hop bitterness like that of Vienna lager. The beer is famous globally because there is a traditional festival behind its origin, which people celebrate until today.

If you’re not sure where to get an Oktoberfest beer, today they are flooded in store shelves, both domestic and imported. After all, apart from the mentioned types of Oktoberfest beers above, you’ll find plenty of them in the market. For those who would like to make their own, you should have at least a German origin ingredients.

Since Oktoberfest is made of food-friendly flavors like malty, caramel, crispy, and toasty palates, it is compatible with many different types of dishes, especially those with some acidity. So, you can always eat your favorite meal with Oktoberfest beer of your choice. Would you like us to clarify something? Please don’t hesitate to ask.

Tell us: From the Oktoberfest beers we have mentioned above, which one would you like to try and why.

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