Meet the lager family: Oktoberfestbier

Adrian Tierney-Jones

Adrian Tierney-Jones

11 October 2019

The epitome of lad culture, lager is sometimes seen as a one-dimensional beer style. But there are more characters and personalities in the world of lager than you and your customers might think. Adrian Tierney-Jones introduces us to them in this six-part series


Oktoberfestbier

Family Member: The party animal cousin

Appears once a year, in late summer and early autumn, a party animal of a beer drunk from one-litre mugs at Munich’s Oktoberfest. The six largest breweries in the city are the only ones invited to the Oktoberfest, but elsewhere in the beer world, the festival is brought to life by lusty, lifeloving breweries, who are just like that party animal cousin who turns up once a year to liven things up.

Some of cousin's friends

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen
Ruby red in colour, bready sweetness and bitter finish.
5.8% abv, POA, Cave Direct

West Beer Oktoberfest
Authentic Oktoberfest-style beer brewed in Glasgow and released just in time for the lederhosen season.
5.3% abv, POA, West Beer

Keeping it in the family

Until the start of the 1990s, an Oktoberfestbier was reddish-brown in colour. Now, it is light gold, between 5%-6.3% abv, and usually blessed with a full mouthfeel, various degrees of caramel sweetness, hints of citrus fruit and a satisfying dry, bittersweet finish.

Favourite story

The first Oktoberfest was in 1810, celebrating a royal wedding, thus kicking off an annual tradition. It is suggested by beer historians that some Oktoberfestbiers would have been up to 8% abv in strength, but since the end of World War II they have settled down. They still pack a punch, though, as anyone who has visited Oktoberfest can testify.

Gets on well with

You will find the party loving cousin drinking and singing along to oompah bands playing classics such as ‘The Sound of Silence’, accompanied by friends who like to stand on tables and sway to the music. More sedately, an Oktoberfestbier is a dream with fried chicken.

Related content

News |  Beer & Cider

Meet the lager family: Helles

Lager is a diverse family of beer styles and just like a family, these beers are varied. Time to meet some of the lager family members to see how they can fit in at your bar.

News |  Beer & Cider

Meet the lager family: Bock

Lager is a diverse family of beer styles and just like a family, these beers are varied. Time to meet some of the lager family members to see how they can fit in at your bar.

News |  Beer & Cider

Meet the lager family: Rauchbier

There are more characters and personalities in the world of lager than you and your customers might think. Time to meet them.

News |  Beer & Cider

Meet the lager family: Hoppy pils

There are more characters and personalities in the world of lager than you and your customers might think. Time to meet them.