Favorite Oktoberfest beers

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by geodonnokepyo, Aug 12, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jcos

    jcos Aspirant (212) Nov 23, 2009 Maryland

    Ayinger(import) and Great Lakes(domestic).

    I do want to try the Sierra Nevada this year.

    But not until September 19th.
    twb0392 likes this.
  2. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Poo-Bah (3,329) Nov 28, 2008 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Staghorn gets my vote as the best Octoberfest out there!
  3. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (275) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Not too many out here around our way just yet.

    I did do this a couple years back
    Shiner, Flying Fish, and a couple of others notably missing. I'll admit it has gotten harder as the years go on to do this knowing there is a true divide in what a oktoberfest beer is, and what it should taste like. The lighter ones, Weihenstephaner and Hofbrau easily stood out in color and malt profile. Many of the others, both American and German kind of intermixed. My consensus was to stay local. The true lagers are nice crisp drinkers.

    This year, we're looking at a 6 beer sampling thus far. Weihenstephaner Festbier, Sam Adams , Goose Island, Santa Fe Brewing, Ballast Point, and Sierra Nevada. It seems like there won't be too many outside of the norm coming here to NM. You don't often here of beer trades for it, But I may be down for some. GL comes to mind.

    Last year I seemed to pick Sam Adams as my favorite among the larger sampling. This year, I felt it to be quite heavy, and I almost exclusively preferred the middle ground that Sierra Nevada is doing. I heard some complaints about Santa Fe's not being malty or biscuity enough. This year (maybe its because its still 90 degrees out), I am liking these lighter styles. This style is taking on a IPA/DIPA type dilemma.

    I agree about La Cumbre. Their BEER won a GABF medal and no one seems to be rushing down there for it. Their VMOs release at various times through the year it seems. People are too drawn in to drinking this style only near October. I do love the sales that come with these beers that are "expired". Their Helles Yeah beer is a munich helles lager. That bone dry finish, they have on elevated, plus their lagers is quite a work of art.
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  4. hunninghake

    hunninghake Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2005 Colorado

    Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen. Pretty much sweat this stuff during Oktoberfest I drink so much of it.
    bowzer4birdie likes this.
  5. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,571) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    How many have you found that were top-fermented? I know there are a couple that fly under the radar and attempt to sound like Oktoberfests in their names, but aren't if you take the time to check the label(s). But I don't see too many.
    It's even deeper than that, in that U.S. breweries seem to have a different interpretation of what the style should be (deep dark, roasted malt and nutty characters, some even being quite estery and overly sweet/caramelly-toffeeish). Whereas even the Amber Märzens and Wies'n Fests (the lighter of the two) from Germany still carry similar malt flavor profiles from the barley, yeast, and processes being used.

    Personally, I think the new SN has done a great job of matching the style to those from its country of origin. Great results from collaborating with a brewery with experience.
    #85 steveh, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  6. Stignacious

    Stignacious Crusader (777) Aug 24, 2011 New York

    For Americans: Add another for Great Lakes, I also really like Left Hand, Jack's Abby (Copper Legend), Great Divide (Hoss), and Harpoon. Saranac (regular and Dark-toberfest, my go-to at $14/12pk) and Sam Adams are solid as well; and I'll be trying the new SN tonight.

    German: Spaten and Paulaner are the only two I've had.

    SABERG Poo-Bah (3,185) Sep 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    Enjoy Ayinger, Berkshire Brewing, and Sam Adams.
    Cheers all
    twb0392 likes this.
  8. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (275) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Shiner is a Festival Style ALE. They may play around with fermentation temps, and yeast strains. But in the truest sense, they deceived me for years. It did win a GABF medal in the Marzen category. Maybe its one of those categories overlooked like so many others. Does that style guidelines dictate it to be a lager to qualify to be in that category?

    Flying Fish Oktoberfish is another ALE. It's a German Style Ale. That one also won some awards.

    I tend to look everywhere on a label these days so I can properly taste test and give insights on beers. I can't find any others that seem to try and deceive the consumer.

    I had a real hankering for FF for awhile, a couple years back. I may need to include it into a blind because I can't get over the fact that it's not a true lager. The taste deceived me in the right way. Now I can't get past that. Same with Shiner.
    For me, both Pyramid OFest and Left Hand OFest are a touch too high in abv (6.7% & 6.6%) to be considered that Festival style all day drinker. Even 6% is on my higher end. A lot of the recommendations and likes (GLBC and Staghorn are above 6% as well). Not that there is to be a limit. But I feel a lot of people who like the higherABV DIPAs and Stouts feel that 6.5% isn't too bad. Just some perspective on things.
  9. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,571) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Are you sure these beers aren't still labeled as such following the old Texas laws of ABV levels defining "Ale" and "Lager?'

    Not sure what the guidelines say about fermentation, but they do say the style of beer should be smooth and clean -- hard to get that in top-fermentation, even if you cold store it.
    Agreed -- let alone the very Ale-like characters in those beers.
  10. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,571) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Just checked their web site: "A deliciously festive seasonal Ale." Gotta really wonder, especially since A.) they brew a lot of lager-style beers, and B.) they're in Texas. Maybe they just can't let go of that old U.S. wife's tale about ales being stronger than "beer." Be interesting to find out.
  11. AlienSwineFlu

    AlienSwineFlu Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2012 Ohio

    Ayinger is my #1 by leaps and bounds.
    twb0392 likes this.
  12. AdmiralOzone

    AdmiralOzone Poo-Bah (2,374) Jun 26, 2014 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    Great Lakes would be my second choice, Left Hand a close third.
  13. HammsMeASAP

    HammsMeASAP Initiate (151) Jun 14, 2012 Minnesota

    Yeah, I hear ya. I don't always catch on to some things......:confused:
  14. HopBomb515

    HopBomb515 Initiate (0) Jun 15, 2013 New Jersey

    Ayinger by a lot.
    twb0392 likes this.
  15. Benish

    Benish Meyvn (1,316) Mar 13, 2013 Utah

    I have not tried many but so far Great Lakes is my favorite. So good!!!!
  16. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (384) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Wiehenstephaner, Ayinger, Hofbrau, and Paulaner are my longtime standards. In recent years I've found myself increasingly favoring the Wies'n style, which American brewers don't tend to do so far as I've seen, but I'll usually pick up some Victory Festbier and Jack's Abby Copper Legend nonetheless.

    And there are a lot of mentions here of Sierra Nevada's new collab. I was a bit leery since I didn't much like the Oktoberfest brew that appeared in the SN fall pack last year but wowee, this year's version is really, really good. I suspect I'll be picking up lots more before the season's passed.
    TongoRad and breadwinner like this.
  17. Mortarforker

    Mortarforker Champion (862) Oct 27, 2004 Texas

    Shiner makes a tasty one.Sam adams does too.......
    ChuckHardslab likes this.
  18. zappoman

    zappoman Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2014 Illinois

    I like Metropolitan's and Revolution's Oktoberfests. Sam Adams makes a great one. It is my favorite "seasonal" for the fall as the ones I like are really cheap and delicious. I need to find more German ones and go crazy this fall.
  19. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,571) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    8.5? Dry hopped? Definitely not a traditional Oktoberfest. I'm going to look for this one this year to try it. Not a big fan of Leinie's traditional Okto, so I have to wonder about this one.
  20. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Gotta love an Imperial Fest beer. The local stuff is a tad under 5 where it should be, so how do you get a Fest style beer to 8.5 without ruining it?
  21. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (535) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Spring Pack was nice. Their regular mixer is nice, but so nice to see a different/seasonal mixer bring 'em on every season like SN.
    My rank for the Spring pack; Truth, Justice, & the American Ale, Lawn Seat, Holy Moses & lastly High Striker. I'd switch the High Striker for the Wright Pils. Their Sharpshooter was better than I thought it was going to be...
  22. pro100

    pro100 Initiate (112) Oct 12, 2014 California

    Sam Adams Oktoberfest is my sh*t. Just got a 6 pack of SN Oktoberfest a couple of hours ago at Trader Joes.. about to see what the hype is about. I trust SN though
  23. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (535) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    These 3 are in the mix every year; Great Lakes, Paulaner & Yuengling. Love the fall...bring on the darkness
    Givemebeer likes this.
  24. 19etz55

    19etz55 Disciple (329) Aug 12, 2007 New Jersey

    Sam Adams.........
    twb0392 likes this.
  25. Neptunez77

    Neptunez77 Initiate (0) Jul 11, 2014 Minnesota

    If summit brewing was smart they would scrap the current oktoberfest recipe, and do the festbier recipe they did as part of the unchained series. Probably the best I've ever had. For ones I like ayinger, millstream, and staghorn.
    ZAP and aratcliffe like this.
  26. jds16

    jds16 Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2007 Ohio

    German: Ayinger, by a landslide.
    American: Great Lakes, by a landslide.
    Blueribbon666 and twb0392 like this.
  27. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (367) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Lass dir raten...
  28. LightnerLiquorKS

    LightnerLiquorKS Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2013 Kansas

    Free State (Lawrence, Kansas), has an unbelievable Oktoberfest!
    aratcliffe likes this.
  29. dutesanch

    dutesanch Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2014 California

    Gordon Beirsch Festbier and Epic Fest are my two favorites.

    Last year I went nuts trying every pumpkin beer I could get my hands on. Most I didn't like that much. This fall I plan to try more Oktoberfest beers. Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams fall beer pack are already on shelves. It's still 100 degrees here so I'm not feeling fall beers yet. I really want it to cool down and football season to start. No preseason NFL doesn't count.
  30. ChuckHardslab

    ChuckHardslab Disciple (353) Jan 25, 2012 Texas

    I was getting it on tap in a hotel bar last week and absolutely loved it.
    beersnobraven likes this.
  31. Tdizzle

    Tdizzle Devotee (445) Dec 19, 2006 California

    The new Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest collaboration beer is incredible.
    Mojo and aratcliffe like this.
  32. aratcliffe

    aratcliffe Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2015 Kansas

    I really like Boulevard's Bob's '47. The new SN collab is amazing--a damn near perfect Marzen, for me. I also enjoy Free State's Octoberfest and the one that Marshall, out of Tulsa, does.
  33. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (4,737) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    I just stumbled on ODell Ofest today...first time I have had it...sounds like they use all German malts and hops. I like it a lot. I was worried it would be kind of a hoptoberfest type but it is not.
    JMN44 and breadwinner like this.
  34. neenerzig

    neenerzig Poo-Bah (2,798) Feb 15, 2006 Ohio

    Spaten and Great Lakes.

  35. CanadaBoy

    CanadaBoy Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2015 California

    BRB (well, in a month), going to Munich's Oktoberfest this year. I'll report back.

    You know...field research and what not.
    Dravin, Givemebeer and Gutes_Bier like this.
  36. Lurchus

    Lurchus Initiate (191) Jan 19, 2014 Germany

    I prefer Annafestbiers to Oktoberfestbiers. Saying which is the best of them is very much like saying which of the Düsseldorfer Altstadt Alts is the best- it depends a lot on my mood, and they are all of excellent quality, def. better than the Munich Okotberfest Biere.
  37. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,571) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    You call it Eisbock and get it over with. :wink:
  38. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    They have a brew pub in Myrtle Beach hit it for lunch in July. I thought their Pils was excellent and fairly inexpensive too, I'd recommend them. Hoppy. pils on the order of Prima or Noble Pils.
  39. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,571) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    The GB brewpubs usually brew their own beers, but often have the California beers on tap -- be sure to ask which one you're getting. When the newest GB opened in the Chicago area a few years ago they brought their pub-brewed Oktoberfest to a local beer fest and it was nothing like the beer brewed at the main brewery. Read between the lines liberally. :wink:
  40. miwestcoaster

    miwestcoaster Poo-Bah (1,980) Jan 19, 2013 Michigan

    I have had Ofests from SN, GI, North Peak, and Short's in the past week. My winner so far this year is Goose Island.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.