Oktoberfest Lagers are German lagers brewed to celebrate Oktoberfest, an annual beer festival originating in Munich. Oktoberfest beers are usually amber in colour, and slightly stronger than German pilsners at around 6% ABV. The flavour is rich and malty, with a crisp, dry finish, making it very drinkable. Wondering where you can buy Oktoberfest beer in the UK? Beers of Europe stocks a wide range of Oktoberfest lagers from the best German beer brands.
Is Oktoberfest an ale or lager? Oktoberfest beers are German lagers, and there are two different styles: Märzen and Festbier.
Märzen beers were traditionally brewed in March and left to mature over the summer, when brewing activity was paused due to the lack of refrigeration. That meant it was ready to drink in late September, making it the ideal beer for Oktoberfest. Märzen is the more traditional style that was originally served at Oktoberfest in Munich, and it’s an amber coloured, medium-bodied lager. Märzens tend to be around 6% ABV and have a malty flavour and crisp, dry bitterness.
Festbier is a more modern Oktoberfest favourite, with a yellow-golden colour, and crisp bready/toasty flavours. It is generally around the same ABV as traditional Märzen lagers, but slightly lighter in flavour, without the caramel/roasted characteristics of a Märzen.
The annual celebration in Munich still passionately celebrates local beer. Only six Munich-based breweries are allowed to provide beer for the festival: Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, Hofbräu, Spaten and Paulaner. Only these breweries can call their beers ‘Oktoberfest’ beer – though Oktoberfest is celebrated in many other countries around the world.