With Fall just around the corner, I can’t help but think about Oktoberfest beer.

Oktoberfest is the world's largest beer festival, held annually in Munich, Germany. It is a 16- to 18-day folk festival running from mid- or late-September to the first Sunday in October, with more than six million people from around the world attending the event every year. Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. During the event, large quantities of Oktoberfest beer are consumed.

Oktoberfest styles

In the U.S., Oktoberfest beers are a dime a dozen, but the best beers are remarkably drinkable lagers that are amberish-copper in color with rich malt-driven flavors of bread crust and vaguely toasty notes with a nice, dry finish.

The Brewers Association classifies Oktoberfest into two distinct styles: German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesn and American-Style Maerzen/Oktoberfest. The German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesn is a straw to gold color with a clear appearance. It has a clean, sweet, bready malt profile that is low to medium-low with low sweet maltiness and a medium body. The American-Style Maerzen/Oktoberfest is pale to reddish brown. It has a sweet maltiness, expressed as a light toasted character. Some have a bready or biscuity malt aroma and flavor and a medium-low to medium bitterness. The American version of this classic German beer is distinguished by a more pronounced hop character.

Since the variety of Oktoberfest beer varies, here are a few recommendations you might consider trying, if they are available in your neck of the woods.

Mother’s Brewing Company | Oktoberfest Märzen Lager

Crafted for those who like an Oktoberfest beer that’s not too sweet, Mother’s Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest Märzen Lager is brewed with Munich malts and German Spalt hops. This brew has pleasant notes of biscuits that give way to a clean finish. With an ABV of 5.5%, this brew pairs well with brats and pretzels – perfect for Fall festivals!

Karben4 Brewing | Oaktober

Karben4 Brewing’s Oaktober is an ale fermented at near-lager temperatures. Soft toffee notes complement the flavors of fresh baked bread. This brew has a pleasant, yet subtle woodsy experience provided by a whiskey-soaked blend of French and American oak. With an ABV of 6.5%, this brew is available for a limited time in 6-packs of glass bottles.

Thirsty Dog Brewing | Barktoberfest

Thirsty Dog Brewing’s Barktoberfest is a malty, delicious, easy drinking, balanced traditional old-world Oktoberfest beer. Made with German yeast, hops and German style grains, this brew has an ABV of 6.16% and is available in 6-packs of glass bottles now through mid-October.

O’Connor Brewing Co. | Imperial O'Ctoberfest

O’Conner Brewing Co.’s Imperial O'Ctoberfest is a Märzen style lager. This brew is made with Pilsner, Vienna and Munich malts, and German Magnum hops. Boasting a hefty 8.0% ABV, this beer starts off big and malty with a toasted nut flavor and a sweet tasting bread character.

With so many Oktoberfest beers to choose from today, we raise our bottle to these great full-flavored beers! If you get a chance to try any of these beers, or if any of these are your current favorite fall beers, drop BOB a line and let him know your thoughts.