Best American-brewed Oktoberfest beers in 2019

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by defunksta, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. defunksta

    defunksta Zealot (577) Jan 18, 2019 Illinois
    Trader

    Which brewery has the best American-brewed Oktoberfest this year? I know there has been a thread involving some of the German breweries. With the popularity of the style, I'm curious if there is a consensus on the best Oktoberfest-style beers (Marzen and festbier) brewed in the US this year. There seem to be so many. Is there a clear winner?
     
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  2. GOBLIN

    GOBLIN Meyvn (1,131) Mar 3, 2013 Ohio
    Trader

    I'm not familiar with any clear winners but but these are must haves for me ...
    Columbus's Festbier
    Great Lakes Oktoberfest
    Revolution's Oktoberfest
     
  3. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Aspirant (222) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    I didn't come with a clear winner last year. And I might not come up with one this year.
    Nothing stands up head and shoulders above the rest it appears.
     
  4. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    Mecktoberfest from Old Mecklenburg in Charlotte is one that is really good. Local market only at this time, but it is bottled.
     
  5. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,118) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    Haven't had this years but that is the best domestic I've ever had... gosh that stuff is tasty...
     
  6. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    Hopefully with N.C. increasing the barrel limits on self distribution, it’ll again spread outside of the greater Charlotte area.
     
  7. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,647) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I'm having my first Zero Gravity tonight, but right away it's clear that this one can hang with the big boys. It's a beautiful dark copper color, big beefy Vienna frame with some deep melanoidin flourishes, and a nice dry finish. Just the right amount of pop from the hops, too. An absolute pleasure!
     
  8. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,270) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    So far, I haven't had one that compares with the usual lineup of imports. Sorry.

    Not saying there isn't one out there, but it's just not in my area.
     
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  9. beergorrilla

    beergorrilla Meyvn (1,295) Feb 21, 2012 Michigan
    Trader

    one of my favorites is left hand okto always great
     
  10. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,363) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Fat heads Octoberfest, Slyfox Octoberfest.

    I have a bunch more to drink but these two standout as contenders.
     
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  11. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (311) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    So far I like Yuengling's Oktoberfest and Mother's Oktoberfest.
     
  12. invertalon

    invertalon Crusader (777) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Columbus Festbier for me. And Thirsty Dog.
     
  13. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Aspirant (222) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    It all depends on ones style and flavor profile preference more than anything. I notice in my case this changes from day to day or even hour to hour
     
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  14. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,065) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    This year’s Copper Legend (Jack’s Abby) has been my favorite thus far. Probably the best batch of this beer I’ve had in years (and I’ve enjoyed this since the bottles days)


    Looking forward to: Carton festbier, Trillium festbier, Suarez festbier (I thought I read somewhere in the forums this is happening...might be confused with other brewery)
     
  15. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Aspirant (222) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    I have made my decision: Broegel Bock takes the gold medal. it's the best Oktoberfest beer brewed.
     
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  16. beardown2489

    beardown2489 Disciple (384) Oct 5, 2012 Illinois

    New Glarus Staghorn
     
  17. alucard6679

    alucard6679 Aspirant (225) Jul 29, 2012 Arizona

    Left Hand Oktoberfest has never disappointed and this year's is no different

    Sierra Nevada was good but not liking this collab quite as much as last year's (to be fair, this could be psychological because I went into it knowing that it was from Bitburger and I'm not a fan, I'll freely admit that but I don't know, I feel like last year's was just a better beer)
     
  18. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Savant (919) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Ever Sierra Nevada started brewing it's collab Oktoberfests I have found them to be the best American brewed ones.
     
  19. scootercrabb

    scootercrabb Disciple (399) May 2, 2007 Illinois

    I was going to say the same thing, great beer.
     
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  20. eppCOS

    eppCOS Savant (996) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
    Society

    Largely a question of distribution, depending on where you live.
    Here, I think it's Cumbre's effort in Oktoberfest 2019 version. That shiznit is SOLID.
    Perfect but not overly carbonated, rich bronze malt/bread taste, so much flavor for 5.9%
    Awesome. Cheers.
     
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  21. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    Your not alone there.
     
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  22. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (74) Mar 16, 2018 District of Columbia

    No, it’s not psychosocial. I enjoy Bitburger, having drank it both here and in Europe. I don’t think it has the same malt character of past years, or in general what makes O’fest enjoyable for me.
     
  23. defunksta

    defunksta Zealot (577) Jan 18, 2019 Illinois
    Trader

    Yes, it is very regional. Now that nearly every brewery produces their own Oktoberfest and most of them are locally distributed limited series. It's hard to compare.
    I will say that Revolution's Oktoberfest from Chicago still stands as my favorite. Not perfectly to original festbier style, but a fantastic complex flavor profile with the addition of some roasted caramel.
    I haven't tried Sierra Nevada's yet, but looking forward to it based on the feedback.
     
  24. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Meyvn (1,017) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    From what I've had so far this year SN is my top fav. But do they really count as an American Oktoberfest being it a collab with a German brewery?
     
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  25. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,359) Sep 5, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Just had Cape May Ofest, really good beer.
     
  26. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    Let me add I liked the last few collabs better, but this most certainly isn’t a bad beer. I’d just never guess it to be a Festbier, on one hand it doesn’t have that smooth malty mouthfeel, and imo it’s just not clean like pale fests, it’s a bit grainy and it’s a bit sharp on the finish. Very drinkable though.
     
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  27. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,541) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    I think @eppCOS is on to something.
     
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  28. alucard6679

    alucard6679 Aspirant (225) Jul 29, 2012 Arizona

    Yeah, definitely not a bad beer but I feel like they've set the bar fairly high for themselves since they started doing the collabs
     
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  29. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    I’d agree with that.
     
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  30. BlackBearForge

    BlackBearForge Zealot (575) Nov 7, 2007 Florida

    So far this year I have enjoyed Bell's Oktoberfest, Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest and from a local brewery here in Tallahassee, Proof's Prooftoberfest the most so far.

    I typically am a big fan of Left Hand Oktoberfest but it is only available in cans here this year and frankly I found it an undrinkable mess. I'm hoping that was just a fluke with the six-pack I bought.
     
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  31. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Defender (638) Dec 12, 2014 California

    Sam Adams Octoberfest for me, and it's not really close.
     
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  32. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,650) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Trader

    Here’s a contribution to the thread from two guys who like beer.
    [​IMG]
    These are the American Oktoberfests/Marzens that @SomethingClever and I acquired to sample. Obviously we would love to have added Old Mecklenburg (especially based on every beer I’ve had from them), New Glarus Staghorn, and @herrburgess ‘s Bierkeller based on feedback from the masses, but we aren’t that powerful.

    We marked everything on the bottom and poured and mixed them accordingly. Then we randomly started drinking them with water and pretzels in between and started assembling them from left to right in order of our overall preference for an Oktoberfest. We did take some notes along the way. Especially after our final lineup, but only what we thought were significant aspects, and tried to stick to what we basically decided was the one I would want to drink 6 of.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I will let @SomethingClever chime in, but I think the biggest takeaway for both of us was that the bottom 3 of the 8 were pretty solid bottom 3. In fact, neither of us finished those. Also, the top 3-4 were pretty interchangeable. I know I switched my top 3 around a few times before settling.

    Here were my top 2 and overall rankings:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Here were Dave’s:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So we definitely agreed on the top 2. And Sam Adams and Fat Heads were both in our bottom 3. In defense of Fat Heads, we both noted a distinct skunky aroma and taste which I didn’t experience on draft, nor did he in his bottles, so maybe a bad bottle. We would like to have another Goose Island to drink solo though based on our differences.
    In other interesting results, both of us were shocked to flip over a Bell’s cup, we both noted a distinct hop profile (he said “too hoppy”) in the Three Floyds, yet I liked it more than him, we both bet a 6 pack on the Sam Adams out of the pack and were both right, and I noted that the Sierra Nevada seemed liked a hybrid (Marzen/Festbier) and it fell in the middle for both of us.
    In closing, among the most intriguing observations was him saying (about the Sam Adams) “this has the best nose and the most flavor (right or wrong to style), but I don’t know if I would want an entire glass”. I agreed. Or this...
    [​IMG]

    Prost!
     
    #32 WesMantooth, Sep 16, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  33. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,065) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    I can get behind this. Von Trapp is awesome this year (as it was last year and probably the year before that....)
     
  34. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,650) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Trader

    I’ve really enjoyed their Helles, and Vienna too, and their Dunkel is probably my second favorite behind Ayinger, and ahead of Hofbrau.m
    Also, I saw you really liked Copper Legend. Based on everything I had tried from Jacks Abby I expected it to be great, but both @SomethingClever and I were disappointed with it. Do you think this year’s batch was better than past?
     
    #34 WesMantooth, Sep 16, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  35. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,085) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Ok good. I don’t feel as bad saying this might be better than the imported amber Oktoberfests.

    Although the Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest I had on draft today was delicious.
     
  36. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,824) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    Thanks for sharing. Nice taster there. Well done
     
  37. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,824) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    For what its worth I've struggled this year to find an elite American made ofest. I started today with Ayinger and it was all down hill from there with Beaver Isand and Summit. Neither are bad but that's a high bar with Ayinger
     
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  38. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,647) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I'm just hoping that I can get some more. This one wasn't too easy for me to track down. Then I can give it the real test and have a liter or two. :wink:

    I really do like the idea of starting with a Vienna malt base, and wish that there were more American brewers taking a similar approach. Sly Fox is another one doing that. Somehow these beers seem to straddle the amber and pale Oktoberfest styles perfectly.
     
  39. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    Red Oak Oktoberfest is coming out soon, it won’t be bottled I’m guessing, but it’ll be available in Growlers. I’m betting it’s a damn good beer too, but we’ll see. I want me some Mecktoberfest most Riki Tic.
     
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  40. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,650) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Trader

    Good call. We noticed that we were starting to move the paler ones toward the front and started to understand why they are leaning Festbier in the mainland now. That’s why I would like to have the version of Fat Heads that I had at the brew pub because it really straddled that line and was quite enjoyable.
     
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