Oktoberfest

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Oktoberfest

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!

Oktoberfest FAQs

  • When is Oktoberfest 2021?
    Oktoberfest begins on Saturday 18th September and ends on Sunday 3rd October. While the annual festival in Munich, Germany will not be taking place due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we still encourage you to celebrate from home with one of the exclusive Beer Hawk Oktoberfest Mixed Cases!
  • Why is Oktoberfest celebrated in September?
    Long story short: Oktoberfest originally started in October 1810, but the celebration quickly grew in popularity and length. The weather in September is usually nicer and the days are longer, so it made more sense to push Oktoberfest back into September and end it on the final Sunday of October. All that really matters is there is an entire festival dedicated to drinking crisp, clean Oktoberfest lagers with friends throughout the world. If you want to learn more, here's the full history of Oktoberfest.
  • What does Oktoberfest beer taste like?
    Oktoberfest beers, or “Festbier” are lagers (fermented at a colder temperature than ales) that are amber in color. According to the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines, the overall impression of Festbier is: “A smooth, clean, pale German lager with a moderately strong malty flavor and a light hop character. Deftly balances strength and drinkability, with a palate impression and finish that encourages drinking. Showcases elegant German malt flavors without becoming too heavy or filling.” Encourages drinking, you say? It's all starting to make sense...
  • What's the best German Oktoberfest beer?
    Wow, thats a tough one! There are so many strong contenders, it's like asking us what the best film ever is (It's rocky III, BTW). If we had to pick one, we would have to say the one that's closest to us in the fridge.
  • What foods are traditionally eaten at Oktoberfest?
    • At the top of the list is, of course, massive Bavarian soft pretzels- best served with a German mustard for dipping.
    • Next is the infamous currywurst. Cut a grilled bratwurst into pieces, top with German curry ketchup, dust some curry powder over the top and serve with a bread roll. You really can't go wrong when eating a bratwurst to celebrate Oktoberfest.
    • Some other authentic German Oktoberfest snacks include: schnitzel, German sauerkraut, roast chicken, kartoffelpuffer (German potato pancakes traditionally served with applesauce), marinated limburger cheese, strudel, and so much more.
  • How many liters of beer are consumed at Oktoberfest?
    Approximately 6 million liters of beer are consumed at Oktoberfest. That's enough German beer to fill 2 and a half Olympic swimming pools, but we prefer to fill a stein. It's much easier to drink!
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