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30 Best Oktoberfest Beers to Drink Now

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For those who get to enjoy the change of seasons, fall is spectacular. Football season is underway and nobody’s out of the playoffs yet. Crisp, clear mornings call for boots and flannels, and chilly nights are best enjoyed with a warming dram of whiskey. Lest we forget the greatest fall arrival of all time: malty, crisp Oktoberfest beers.

Oktoberfest beers, of course, originated in Germany to accompany the biggest beer-soaked festival in the world—a tradition held strong since 1810. There are very specific rules related to the beer served at Oktoberfest. Only six Munich breweries—including Spaten, Paulaner, and Löwenbräu—are allowed to produce what’s called Oktoberfestbier. That beer must be above 6% ABV and must be made with only water, barley, hops, yeast, wheat malt and/or sugar.

Until the 1970s, this Oktoberfestbier was märzen, a full-bodied amber lager that’s rich in malt and mildly bitter. Then it was replaced by festbier, which is basically a lighter, golden, more drinkable version of märzen.

In America, we’re a bit more lax about rules when it comes to Oktoberfest beers. American breweries make festbiers, märzens, and variations of the two in all colors of the amber-to-gold rainbow. They’re not around for long, though.

Break out the steins and pretzels, here are some of our favorite märzens and festbiers you can find across the country. Prost!


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