Bell’s Oktoberfest finally returned to bottles after a 5-year hiatus last fall. Thank the brewery’s much-needed brewhouse expansion for that malty glass of festbier you had been missing. The release streak is now two, was Oktoberfest hits shelves once again.
We’ve noticed that in the years Oktoberfest hit shelves, it was one of the first in that seasonal style to sell out. While you are splashing around in the pool, this beer has been lagering for six weeks, just waiting for fall.
With herbal hop aromas, this balanced amber lager focuses on lightly toasted malt that lends body without too much sweetness. Perfect for a week-long wedding celebration in Germany or the start of the Michigan autumn.
Bell’s Oktoberfest is now available in 12-ounce bottles, in both 6 & 12 packs and draft.
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Seasonal.
Latest Return: August 2017
Image: Beer Street Journal
Summer is winding down, and fest beers are arriving. Left Hand Oktoberfest marks the transition into cooler days.
If the brewery is continuing their brewing trend, Left Hand started work on this malty lager this past spring. It takes two months to perfect.
In the past thanks to the pains of brewery expansions, Oktoberfest wasn’t found in every market. Fans will be happy to know it’s in all the brewery’s markets these days. Fest follows this summer’s Good JuJu in the seasonal lineup.
Pouring a brilliant copper in color, the mÃ¤rzen lager entices the imbiber with notes of warm biscuit reminiscent of home and fall tradition. Oktoberfest begins with the toasty sweetness of the malt up front while the noble pedigree hops allow for a dry crisp finish at 6.6% ABV.
Left Hand Oktoberfest is available in 12-ounce bottles and draft, seasonally.
Hops: Magnum and Spalter Select
Malts: Munich and Pilsner
Availability: 12oz bottles, Draft
Fun Fact: Head Brewer Guenzel’s silhouette is blended in the left side of lion’s mane, a signature feature of many of Left Hand’s beer labels.
Great Divide Hoss Oktoberfest is back in the Denver, Colorado brewery’s again this month. This is the second time this beer has been canned.
It may seem a little early to be thinking Oktoberfest beers, but lagers really are perfect year round. Great Divide Hoss is among one of Beer Street Journal’s favorite festbier styles. Fans of a malty lager will very much enjoy this plaid laden beverage.
HOSS is based on the Märzen lagers of Germany. Rich, layered malt notes, with hints of cherry and dark fruits, dominate, while the unique addition of rye imparts a slightly earthy, spicy character. Hoss finishes crisp and dry, and its brilliant red-orange color is a toast to the sunsets that make the perfect backdrop for this beer.
Great Divide Hoss is a seasonal release on draft, 12-ounce bottles, and 12-ounce cans.
Availability: 12oz Cans, 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Latest Return: August 2017
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Lagunitas Tuberfest is now available. Part of the brewery’s “One-Hitter” series.
One thing you bank on with the Lagunitas One-Hitter Series – it’s random. Your year will go from hoppy, to sour, to something fest-y like Lagunitas Tuberfest.
Sierra Nevada takes the traditional route by collaborating for a second year with centuries old German breweries. Lagunitas went traditional too. At least until you get to the hop bill. This malt forward lager sets itself apart from other oktoberfest-style beers, thanks to the the ever-so-hot Idaho 7 hops. So many breweries are using them right now for some pretty amazing IPAs.
Why be like everyone else right?
What you’ll taste. Lagunitas Tuberfest is a head-on collision of a malty fest beer you’re chugging as fall rolls around, with the unique Idaho 7 hop. The result in your glass is perfectly put by the brewery… Zing-y. Plus a little bit boozy. 7.5% ABV if you’re asking. This is one fall lager that won’t be blending into the shelve anytime soon.
Lagunitas Tuberfest is available for a limited time in 12 ounce bottles and draft.
Hops: Idaho 7
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: September, 2016
Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest returns again this year after taking a “light” year in 2015.
Last year the brewery only brewed a single batch destined for draft accounts. The beer wasn’t packaged.
Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest aka “Paso Marzen Beer” honors the classic style, but throws in a touch of west coast hoppiness. The ingredients all come from Germany. This year it returns in 16 ounces cans.
“Malty sweetness and subtle honey-like aromas take the lead on this beer, but there’s also a subtext of noble hop spiciness…It’s mellow and rounded, and has a beautiful autumn orange hue.” – Firestone Walker brewmaster, Matt Brynildson
The name “Oaktoberfest” is a nod to the brewery’s hometown of Paso Robles, California, which means “Pass of the Oaks.”
Four packs of Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest are now shipping to the brewery’s entire distribution network.
Hops: Hallertau Tradition
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. Seasonal release.
Latest Return: Mid-August, 2016
Image: Firestone Walker
It’s oktoberfest season once again. Jekyll Brewing Seven Bridges is releasing now, the first time it has ever been bottled.
Two years ago, the Alpharetta, Geogia based brewery debuted the lager on draft, only to find a high demand for it. As the brewery has been growing over the past few years, the brewing team squeezed some room to bottle Seven Bridges finally.
“This is a challenging style for a brewer, as this beer requires more brew and tank time than others, and special attention needs to be paid to fluctuations in temperature levels and yeast management throughout the brew process…” – Josh Rachel, Jekyll Brewing co-owner & brewmaster.
Jekyll Brewing Seven Bridges features Munich malts, as well as Tettnanger hops following the old world recipes fairly closely. The name, however, is very southern.
Seven Bridges refers to the purportedly haunted CCC Road (Seven Bridges Road) in Rome, Georgia. Legend has it that if one travels East to West, he or she will count seven bridges on the way in. However, going west to east, there are only six…
Jekyll Brewing Seven Bridges is a 12 ounce bottle and draft offering, from mid-August until October.
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Seasonal.
Distribution: GA, TN, SC
Latest Return: August, 2016
In 2015, Sierra Nevada bottled their Oktoberfest for the first time. While the brewery has released editions of this style in the past, the bottled release was a collaboration with Brauhaus Riegele from Augsburg, Germany. Each year, Sierra will collaborate with a different German brewery.
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2016 is a collaboration brew with Bamberg, Germany’s Mahrs Brau. While Sierra Nevada has 35 years of commercial brewing under their belt, Mahrs Brau boasts a few more. The family-owned brewery was founded in 1670.
“We’re excited to be working together with Mahrs Bräu,” said Ken Grossman, “We have so much in common with them in the way we approach brewing, and the way we run our businesses. We’re both independent, family-owned breweries with a respect for tradition, yet we’re not handcuffed by it. We’re not afraid to innovate and to change things up. We both care deeply about the environment, and work to make our respective beers with a mindful eye on how that impacts the world around us.”
This year’s edition (if we recall correctly) is lighter in both body and color when compared to last year’s edition. Flavor is very malt forward, with a touch of straw and sweet malt. A very crisp, and very clean beer. Sierra Nevada’s attention to absolute quality meets hundreds of years of Mahrs Brau craft.
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2016 is hitting shelves in 12 ounce bottles and draft nationally. Reminder, this year is different from last year’s release.
Hops: German Magnum, Palisade, Saphir, Crystal, German Record
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Steffi Pilsner, Munich, Vienna
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft
Release: August, 2016