I ended my September with a journey to Munich for Oktoberfest. I spent two days at the festival and had a blast meeting people from other countries and talking beer. Of course, while enjoying a few liters of Oktoberfest Bier, I studied the German's version in comparison to our own and other American versions of the Oktoberfest style of beer. Here are some of my thoughts and observations:
- Oktoberfest Beer is a style of beer just like a porter, stout or IPA. The style is determined by parameters that generally include certain malts, hops, and yeast in differing amounts. How each brewer alters those combinations makes each beer different.
- German Oktoberfest is golden in color with a light to medium body.
- American Oktoberfest tend to be orange in color with light to medium body.
- The alcohol percentages tend to be comparable, ranging from 5%-6.5%, roughly.
- German Oktoberfest are lager beers, generally made in March (Marzen style) and cellared until they're tapped by the mayor of Munich signaling the start of the festival.
- American Oktoberfest tend to be ales made one to two months before they're released (this is definitely not always true and depends on the brewery).
- American Oktoberfest tend to be slightly to much sweeter depending on the brewery.
- In Germany, it is rude to chug an Oktoberfest bier.
- Augustiner, the brewery that made the beer I am drinking in the picture has been brewing since 1328 and is still family owned (according to a Munich local, I didn't actually fact check that). Seguin Brewing Company has been brewing beer since November of 2014 and we are still friend and family owned (according to me and I did fact check that).
- Some of the tents require reservations to enter and sit at a table. Make friends with the locals and you'll have a great time. If you can't get into a tent, there are plenty of biergartens outside of the tents to get some beer.
Oktoberfest is an absolute blast, and I learned that Wurstfest, in New Braunfels, while being much smaller in size, feels much like the real thing. Oktoberfest beer has always been one of my favorite styles of beer. Get out there and enjoy a Texas take on the old world style Oktoberfest by grabbing a Seguin Brewing Co Oktoberfest. Prost! Zum Wohl!