By Team Goldmine
The German Tradition of Oktoberfest started in Munich Germany in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of the Crown Prince of Bavaria. An Oktoberfest beer, or Marzen style lager is brewed in March and stored cold through the spring and summer, and finally tapped in October. Compared to a regular German style lager, the Oktoberfest bier is brewed with more malts and higher alcohol content in order to survive the long spring/summer storage. One of our favorite styles, the Oktoberfest Marzen Lager is usually darker, full bodied, with more flavor than a traditional lager. Below is a list of the Top 10 Oktoberfest beers of 2011!
Crisp, well balanced, excellent head, natural amber color, balance is subtle in rich malts & bitters. Crisp pleasant finish. Our 2011 Oktoberfest Champion!
2. Hacker Pschorr Original Oktoberfest—Germany. 5.80% ABV
Golden Brown color, great wheat aroma, smooth but crisp, excellent mouthfeel interesting malt tones, tastes of malts and notes of honey. Finish is slightly flat.
Pours a rich copper color, perfect carbonation settles to rich head. Bitter, malty, complex and dry. Achieves perfect balance of maltiness & bitterness.
4. Slyfox Oktoberfest Lager—Pennsylvania. 5.80% ABV
Great for being out of a can! Settles to a cloudy light orange/amber color with a rich head that sticks to glass. Out of the American Oktoberfest brews, this is the quintessential German Oktoberfest style.
Malty, Crisp, Dry with Light Hops. Hints of Coffee and very well balanced. Our 2010 Oktoberfest champion.
6. Stoudts Oktoberfest—Pennsylvania. 5.00% ABV
Pours a dark copper cloudy cover with light head and toffee malt notes. Sweet, citrusy and malty. More noticeable hoppiness than others, smooth finish & balance.
Made with Harrington 2 Row Malts and Hallertau U.S. German style Hops, here is another flat out stud from Great Lakes. This brewery has the lock on lagers.
8. Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier—Germany. 6.30% ABV
Robust, crisp, sweet and dry. Made with ale yeasts and ours an unusually light golden color. Frothy head, light on the malt characteristics, but the wheat bitter balance is nice.
Made with German Perle and Hallertau Malts, and brewed with 100% German ingredients. A medium and solid crisp lager.
10. Flying Fish Oktoberfish—New Jersey 5.50% ABV
Pours an orange to light copper with thin carbonation. Malty, crips, with a sour aftertaste. Flavor dissapates rather quickly. Hints of coffee in the malts. Finishes crisp.
11. Victory Festbier—Pennsylvania. 5.60% ABV
12. Becks Oktoberfest—Germany. 5.00% ABV
13. Sam Adams Oktoberfest—Massachusetts. 5.30% ABV
14. Saranac Oktoberfest—New York. 5.40% ABV
15. Brooklyn Oktoberfest–New York. 5.50% ABV.
Oktoberfest officially begins on September 18 and goes through the first weekend of October. This year the traditional German brewers did what they due best, taking 4 of the top 5 spots in our 2011 rankings. Our esteemed panel consisted of 5 judges, one being a craft beer sommelier. Please note: these rankings are based upon the beers available in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area. We searched 7-8 locations and tasted every Oktoberfest beer available.
The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment
Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils
The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…
The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss
The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten
The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…
The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…
Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…