Oktoberfest in Munich ran from September 22 to October 7 and, while the festivities have been over for a while there, many of its related American celebrations are still going strong through next weekend. The festivities in the US feature some similarities and many differences. The Oktoberfest beer, which is a Märzen/Festbier style, can be found in both Munich and the US. Naturally, beers such as Bud Light and Coors Light, which are available at many US celebrations, are not on the beer menus in Munich.
The Festbiers that are seasonally available in the Fall in Munich, and quickly disappear after Oktoberfest draws to a close, are clear and golden in color. Great Oktoberfest beers are slightly creamy and mildly caramelized pale malt with a hint of sweetness. They are not hoppy like IPAs. Some of the local favorites in Munich are Oktoberfest brews from Hofbräu, Paulaner, Lowenbräu, and Hacker-Pschorr. Paulaner is strongly recommended and is available in the US.
A favorite this year has been the Benadiktiner Oktoberfest, which is brewed by monks at Klosterbrauerei Ettal in Bavaria. The monasteries in Bavaria produce some of the region’s best beers. If you see Benadiktiner on tap and like Festbiers, give it a try. Find an Oktoberfest with a band and request the song Das Fliegerlied. It’s the happiest German song ever and there’s a dance to it that gets everyone up and moving.
If you’re looking for a fun day or night out before the end of October, look for an Oktoberfest celebration near you. If you’ve had a chance to try any great Festbiers, let us know!