Oktoberfest is a nearly two century German tradition, dating back to an 1810 celebration of the marriage of Prince Ludwig (later to be King) and Princess Therese. While it was certainly a part of the celebration, beer would not play a prominent role for several decades. Spaten is credited with brewing the first Oktoberfest beer in 1872, a
The good thing is that you don’t have to fly to
If you want an authentic Oktoberfest beer, there is no better way than to go to the source. My personal favorite so far is from Ayinger, who not so coincidentally also brews one of my favorite dopplebocks. Their version is crisp, slightly sweet and almost nutty, and eminently drinkable. Other German versions to look out for are the aforementioned Spaten and Paulaner.
American brewers have also taken a stab at the style. I have had the Samuel Adams Octoberfest, the Brooklyn Oktoberfest and the Victory Fest beer, and they all do a pretty good job with the style. If you are adventurous, you might look into trying Avery’s The Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest, which is a regular Oktoberfest on steroids. Honestly, I thought it was a bit too much and it strayed away from the subtle balance that I normally expect from the style, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good beer. You should also seek out our own local version of Oktoberfest beer from