Try These Eight Beers At Your Oktoberfest Party

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Most Americans know Oktoberfest as a time for giant pretzels as big as your head, sausages, sauerkraut and giant mugs of frosty beer. However, do you really know why Oktoberfest is celebrated each year?

The First Oktoberfest

The celebration that we now know as Oktoberfest began with the royal wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig (Later becoming King Ludwig) and Princess Theresa of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12th, 1810. The couple wanted the citizens of Munich to attend the celebration so they held it in the field outside of the city gates. The area where today’s Oktoberfest celebrations take place are referred to as “Theresienwiese”, or Theresa’s Fields in her honor.

Oktoberfest Today

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This year, Oktoberfest begins on September 19th and lasts until October 4th. It’s highlighted by the fourteen different tents containing the likes of Spaten, Augustiner and LowenBrau as well as roller coasters, carousels and various other exciting attractions.

We created a list of the ten best beers to impress your friends with at this year’s Oktoberfest party. One is as German as it comes and the others are American Brewery takes on the classic fall beer.

Optimator (Spaten)

Technically, Spaten has an official Oktoberfest beer. But, every year, I grab a six pack of Optimator to celebrate the start of fall. This 7.5% ABV German Double Bock Beer might not necessarily count as an Oktoberfest beer, but it’s the perfect mixture of roasted malts and sweetness to make you completely forget about tank top and shorts weather. http://www.spatenbeer.com/biers-optimator.html

Surly Fest (Surly)

This malty, German Lager is perfect for Oktoberfest. At 6% ABV, you won’t feel bad about throwing back a few of these brews that have as much malt flavor as hop flavor and will help you move from the heat of summer to the cool breezes of fall.
http://surlybrewing.com/beer/surlyfest/

Great Lakes Oktoberfest (Great Lakes)

This hoppy, malt-fueled Marzen is Great Lakes idea of what an Oktoberfest beer should be. At 6.5% ABV, this smooth, sweet beer pairs perfectly with a smoked sausage loaded with sauerkraut.
https://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/oktoberfest

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Odell Oktoberfest (Odell)

This Marzen style Lager is 6.1% ABV with hints of biscuits, roasted malts and floral hops. It’s a beer fit for a celebration and sharing with great friends and family.
http://odellbrewing.com/beer/oktoberfest/

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest (Sierra Nevada)

A collaboration between Brauhaus Riegele and Sierra Nevada resulted in one of the most widely popular Oktoberfest beers. This 6% ABV Marzen is perfectly suited to be enjoyed with sausage, pork or any other rich Oktoberfest foods.
http://www.sierranevada.com/beer/seasonal/oktoberfest

The Kaiser (Avery)

This Imperial Oktoberfest beer varies between 9-10% ABV and should be given the same respect the Kaiser would have received. It’s floral and spicy and has the perfect amount of malty rich character to add it to your Oktoberfest roster for years to come.
https://averybrewing.com/the-kaiser/

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Oaktoberfest (Firestone Walker)

Similar to Russian River, Firestone Walker has somewhat of a cult following in the beer world. I’d join any cult where Oaktoberfest is the leader. This 5% ABV Marzen is great if you want to have a few beers without skimping out on flavor.
http://www.firestonebeer.com/beers/products/oaktoberfest

Oktoberfest Märzen Lager (Left Hand)

This 6.6% ABV Marzen is brewed in the spring to make sure it’s ready for the early fall. Its malted, smooth flavor is a great accompaniment to a bonfire on a cool, early autumn evening.
http://lefthandbrewing.com/beers/oktoberfest/