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Sep 20, 2007 10:03 AM

Oktoberfest beer picks

So fall is definitely my favorite time of year...Football, cool weather, and of course the Oktoberfest beers. So far this season, I've tried:

-Sam Adams

I'm partial to the German picks, but was pleasently suprised with the Bell's. What should be next on my list?

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  1. Ayinger Oktoberfest
    Weihenstephaner Festbier

    1 Reply
    1. re: ultramagnetic

      ooo Ayinger is probably my favorite German brewery but I haven't seen their it tough to find?

    2. hacker pschorr octoberfest
      dogfish head pumpkin ale

      1. Hogaarden with an Orange.....fabulous !

        8 Replies
        1. re: Buddernut

          Why is Hoegaarden an Oktoberfest beer?

          1. re: Josh

            The OP seemed to favor a wheat beer with the mention of Paulaner.... and I would not consider Sam Adams an actual "Oktoberfest" beer, even though they may label some as such. I merely recommended a white wheat that I felt the poster may enjoy. IN my book Oktoberfest = any beer that you may enjoy... Have a beer !

            1. re: Buddernut

              Paulaner is a brewery which makes many different styles, not just their Hefeweizen. As a munich brewery they make a marzen/oktoberfest beer. it is quite good and is not made with wheat.

              Oktoberfest or marzen is an actual style. I think that is what the original question was asking, which marzens are good.

              Try a Brooklyn Oktoberfest, gives most of the Germans a run for their money.

              I will be in munich ext week sampling as much as I can, I will try and take otes to figure out which one i like best.

              1. re: Buddernut

                "IN my book Oktoberfest = any beer that you may enjoy... "

                Sorry, but in my book accuracy still means something.

                Know your beer!

                1. re: Chinon00

                  Darn, and I was just getting ready to don my Lederhosen and quaff some Guinness.

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    "IN my book Oktoberfest = any beer that you may enjoy... "

                    Yeah, we've all come across the "beer style nazis" who can argue forever over were the bold, definite line is that divides, say, "pale ale" from "india pale ale" (hop types or rates, ABV, etc. and that's not even considering "English" vs. "American" style...) but this is my first run in with "beer anarchists".

                    What's really odd about it, is the earlier statement " I would not consider Sam Adams an actual "Oktoberfest" beer, even though they may label some as such." Is Buddernut speaking of Sam Adams Octoberfest beer or just any SA beer ("may label *some* as such.") ? So, it seems also that any beer one *doesn't* enjoy, is NOT to style if one doesn't like it?

                    Now, I don't really care if some brewer's O'fest is a bit more hoppy than "normal", or even if an ale brewer choses to make a beer with an O'fest's grain bill using ale yeast- especially if it tastes good and is so stated on the label.

                    Seems to me, otherwise, if brewers don't choose to "tweak" a traditional recipe, or vary outside of some sort of "approved" definition, all beers would be striving to taste the same, and we'd never have gotten any new styles. I'm sure someone coming from the Bohemian brewing tradition to San Francisco in the late 19th century would probably have said "That's not how one brews lager beer!" when confronted with "Steam" beer.

                    1. re: JessKidden

                      I tend to like the Paulaner and Ayinger O'fests the best. I forget what it was, but there was something about Brooklyn's that was a bit out of style (maybe too bitter or sweet instead of toasty). Spaten's good also, but it's year-round at this point, so I go for drinking the ones that are seasonal during the season.

                      Maybe the problem with SA is that it seems like all of their beers taste vaguely similar. Call it a brewery flavor.

                      And the unpleasant variation on assuming the Paulaner is the hefeweizen is ordering "a Paulaner" and getting the light lager. Yuck!

                      1. re: ted

                        I picked up a 6 of Victory Festbier based on this thread, and it is excellent.

            2. Normally, I wouldnt think twice at reading a post on Oktoberfests because for some reason I havent developed a taste for them. Perhaps it is my lack of ability to get the taste out of them, but never was a big fan.

              However, combined with the fact that I am also not a proponent of Sam Adams beers for the most part, I tried a sample last night of the SA Oktoberfest and immediately demanded a pint (after pint, after pint) and loved it.

              I was shocked but would strongly recommend. The aroma and spicey nutmeg flavors were tremendous. I would borderline put on the same level as Anchor Christmas Ale from last year which is saying a lot.

              I look forward to getting a 6er of this one for this weeks dinners. Perfect fall beer with great drinkability and smooth nutty taste that holds on nicely.

              1. I like Spaten and Paulaner. I'd like to try Bell's.

                The Sam Adams "Octoberfest" annoys the hell out of me. I bought some recently and immediately, upon tasting it, regretted doing so (as I did last time, five years ago). It's extremely light-bodied, with a basic caramel taste. It's too damned simple. I'll never try it again unless Stella, Bud, et cetera, are the only other options.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Kenji

                  Yeah, to me Sam often tries to do too much. I wouldn't go out of my way for most of their beers.

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    I love Sam Adams. Not their beers per se, but that they are there. While probably too large to produce the complexity of a FFF, or a Bell's product, they have put some flavor into a beer I can find ANYWHERE. Taste a glass of Bud, then take a drink of Boston Lager.
                    Sam Adams means I never have to drink a macro if I don't want to. I can get it at a 7-11.
                    But I will say I loved the the 2005 Octoberfest. Last years didn't thrill me. Might be because I became a hophead.
                    I would also note that Jim Koch is an incredible beer advocate.

                  2. re: Kenji

                    I haven't had the Sam Adams but you raise an interesting point.

                    I met a fellow this weekend who has worked in breweries in several European countries and he made the point that Octoberfest beers are supposed to be lighter in style. He said that the original intent was to brew a beer that would enable revelers enjoy a two week celebration of the marriage of some royal dignitary (King Ludwig, maybe) and that a lighter style beer was necessary to satisfy the requirements of the celebration.

                    Since those beers don't travel well, demand for the Octoberfest style in the US required a re-formulation of the recipe into the maltier beverage we see on these shores.

                    Does anybody have any knowledge about the history of Octoberfest beers?

                    Perhaps the Sam Adams beer is truer to the original intent.

                    1. re: brentk

                      The first question that comes to my mind is: "Oktoberfests are allegedly supposed to be *lighter than what*?" Eisbocks? Doppelbocks? Weiss?

                      I'm pretty sure Jackson has written (in his World Guide to Beer) that Oktoberfests should be at least 5.5% ABV or so. But Jackson also noted in one of his more recent books that some (not all) traditional German Oktoberfests are dying out even in Germany; they're being replaced with lighter, blander things. (See the case of the once-mighty Salvator for an analogous case of the dumbing down of a doppelbock.)

                      Even so, the SA Octoberfest just doesn't *taste* remotely like any Bavarian beer I've ever known. (It tastes more like the lager world's answer to Newcastle Brown.) Further, I remember very clearly that, in its earliest incarnations, in the late 80s or early 90s, the SA Octoberfest was a much more robust brew. No; the Boston Beer Company isn't striving for tradition here; they're seeking to create something that's a notch above Bud, Coors, and Stella, but that doesn't challenge the palate (of the novice beer drinker) in the way that the real thing does.

                    2. re: Kenji

                      Maybe thats why I like the sam adams oktoberfest, because it is more run of the mill than other fest beers. As I said, I despise Sam Adams beers and Oktoberfests for the most part, but oddly like this one. that says something.

                      The Victory festbeer is quite good as well.