In 2015, Sierra Nevada released an Oktoberfest ahead of the fall season. Instead of simply brewing the beer in the German tradition (releasing it for their on-site fest parties), Sierra Nevada took it a step further. They began collaborating with some of the best German breweries in the world.
The first edition was quite a masterpiece- combining Sierra Nevada’s hardcore brewing quality with Brauhaus Riegele’s 600+ years of brewing experience. A different kind of festbier and you could certainly taste it.
For the 2019 release, Sierra Nevada has selected Bitburger Brewery. Based in Bitburg, Germany, Bitburger lays claim to one of the top breweries in sales volume in their home country. Founded in 1817 by Johann Wallenborn, the brewery’s pilsner sells over 1 million U.S. barrels annually.
This year’s Oktoberfest edition is brewed with Bitburger’s Siegelhopfen (meaning “sealed hops”)—a classified hop blend that has never been shared outside the German brewery walls, according to Sierra Nevada. Additionally, Bitburger offered their signature house yeast, also never shared outside of their own brewing operations.
“We are thrilled to be brewing together with our friends from the iconic Sierra Nevada Brewery. Not only are we united by our passion for exceptional beer and truly unique hop flavors, we also share a long history of transatlantic exchange, leading to this exciting collaboration.” – Jan Niewodniczanski, Managing Director of Bitburger
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2019 will be available just once in 12-ounce bottles and draft starting in late July 2019.
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. One-Time Release.
Debut: Late July 2019
Wild Heaven Fest Beer sees daylight for the first time in the brewery’s taproom on September 22nd.
A few years ago, brewery co-founder Eric Johnson debuted Autumn Defense, his rendition of the fall transitive beer. Defense was an ale, with a pronounced bright citrus flavor and brewed heavy-handedly with Munich malt.
Wild Heaven Fest Beer is much more traditional when compared to Autumn Defense. This release is a true Marzen lager, which features the Grungeist hop. “That hop is amazing,” Johnson says. ” I believe it has Hallertauer parentage and has a rose water flavor like Tettnanger that works so well with the lightly toasted malt.”
Wild Heaven Fest Beer will be available on draft and 12-ounces cans when the brewery opens on Saturday.
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft.
Saint Arnold Oktoberfest is back in action to start August.
This malt-forward beer first debuted in 1997. Brewed with Hallertau and Czech Saaz hops, plus three different types of Munich-style malt.
A full bodied, malty, slightly sweet beer celebrating the Autumn harvest. This rich beer has a round malt flavor and an above average alcohol content perfect for a cool fall evening.
Saint Arnold Oktoberfest is available in 12-ounce cans and draft from August through October.
Hops: Hallertau, Czech Saaz
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Seasonal Release.
Latest Return: August 2018
6.6% ABV, 14 IBUs
Image: Saint Arnold
Great Divide Hoss Oktoberfest is back in the Denver, Colorado brewery’s as July comes to a close.
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 and 12-ounce cans.
Availability: 12oz Cans. Draft.
Latest Return: Late July 2018
PIC: Beer Street Journal
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.
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2017