Many countries hold their own versions of Oktoberfest making it the most well-known beer celebration across the globe. The original and official Oktoberfest though is held in Munich, Bavaria and it’s no surprise that there’s a few rules governing what makes an official Oktoberfest beer.
It must be produced within Munich itself, brewed to just under 6% abv and conform to the Reinheitsgebot law. In practice this means that very few breweries can brew the official Oktoberfest beer, namely Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, Hofbräu, Spatenbräu and Paulaner. This limited number of producers combined with the fact that an eye watering 9 million litres of beer is consumed over the 16 days of the festival makes sourcing them outside of the event pretty tricky.
We do our best though and do tend to squirrel away a few across September and October every year. If we’ve got them, here they are!
Typical German Beer Styles:
German beer distinguishes itself by styles but commonly also differentiate according to region as well:
- Wheat Beer –Known as Weizenbier and Weißbier, (Wheat meaning Weizen and Weiß meaning White). Far and away the most common style is the HefeWeizen which is an unfiltered wheat beer, although different varieties are available e.g. Kristallweizen ( a filtered Hefe) and Roggenbier (a darker beer made with rye)
- Kolsch – Only brewed in Cologne, clear, light and straw coloured
- Pilsener – Everyone knows pilsener, it’s lager in another name! The most common type of beer consumed on the planet!
- Bock – Darker than your average German beer, it’s malty too and was first produced in Einbeck, which was distorted by other Germans to Ein Bock, hence the name Bock beer. Randomly Bock also means goat so you often find a goat hidden amomgst the labelling too.
- Altbier – These are dark lager, top fermented beers and are brewed by a handful of brewers in Düsseldorf. The name literally means old beer