6 Breweries That Make The Best Oktoberfest Beer

When it comes to , the annual celebration of Oktoberfest is a beloved time of year for many. The traditional Bavarian festival features an abundance of delicious and authentic beers from some of the most renowned breweries in the world. Those looking to sample the best that Oktoberfest has to offer will find a wide array of beers from both established and up-and-coming brewers.

Oktoberfest Beer: An Overview

Oktoberfest beer is brewed according to strict guidelines set by the Bavarian Purity Law, or Reinheitsgebot, meaning that it must contain only three ingredients: , , and malted barley. This law ensures that each beer produced has a consistent taste and quality across all breweries.

Typically, Oktoberfest beers are full-bodied and malty lagers with low hop bitterness. They are usually deep copper in hue with a smooth texture and medium carbonation. Their flavor profile is dominated by sweet maltiness with hints of biscuit and caramel, as well as balanced hop bitterness on the finish.

The Best Oktoberfest Beers

When it comes to selecting an ideal Oktoberfest beer, there really is no one-size-fits-all approach since taste preferences vary from person to person. However, there are plenty of great options available from some well-established breweries worth considering when making your selection.

  • Paulaner: Established in 1634 in Munich, Paulaner produces some of the finest lagers around – including their iconic Festbier Marzenbier for Oktoberfest season. It's a classic example of this style with sweet malts balanced out by subtle yet assertive hop bitterness on the backend.
  • Hofbrau: Hofbrau's Original Marzen is another excellent choice when it comes to traditional Oktoberfest beers. It offers up plenty of bready maltiness along with just enough hop bitterness for balance – plus lots of pleasant aromas as well!
  • Spatenbrau: Spatenbrau has been making exceptional lagers since 1397 – so they know what they're doing! Their Marzenbier offers up intense maltiness along with a crisp finish that makes it an especially refreshing choice for those seeking something light yet flavorful at the same time.
  • Lowenbrau: Lowenbrau's Original Oktoberfestbier is another classic incarnation of this style – bursting with rich caramel notes alongside just enough mild hop bitterness for balance. It's one that you won't want to miss if you're looking for something truly unique!
  • Hacker Pschorr: Hacker Pschorr's Original Oktoberfestbier is a medium-bodied boasting lots of sweet character along with subtle hints of floral hops on the finish – making it an incredibly drinkable choice for any occasion!
  • Augustiner: Augustiner's Edelstoff stands out as one of the most popular choices at any given Oktoberfest celebration – offering up deliciously smooth flavors along with plenty of smooth carbonation as well!

The 6 Oktoberfest official beer style breweries

Six breweries can legally claim to make authentic Oktoberfest beer: Paulaner, Hofbrau, Spatenbrau, Lowenbrau, Hacker Pschorr and Augustiner. These beers offer different tastes for all drinkers.


Paulaner is a Munich-based brewery that was founded in 1634. They are best known for their Helles, Weissbier, and Oktoberfest beers. Paulaner German amber lagers are typically considered the best Oktoberfest beers by many people.


The Hofbrau brewery was founded in 1589 by Wilhelm V, the Duke of Bavaria. It is best known for its Helles and its great Oktoberfest beer.


Founded in 1363, Spatenbrau, the second oldest Munich brewery, is best known for its Helles and Oktoberfest beers.


Lowenbrau was founded in 1383, making it the third-oldest brewery in Munich. It is best kown for its darker Bavarian Dunkel-dominated lagers.

Hacker Pschorr

This brewery was founded in 1417, making it the fourth oldest in Munich. Hacker Pschorr is best known for its Weissbier, Dunkel, and Oktoberfest beers.


This brewery founded in 1328 is Munich's oldest brewery. Augustiner brewery is best known for its Helles, Dunkles, and Oktoberfest beers.

Oktoberfest style beers

Bavarian Dunkel

Bavarian Dunkel is one of the german Oktoberfest styles of beer. The name “Dunkel” refers to a dark, slightly sweet beer produced all across Bavaria. The alcohol content ranges from 4.5% to 6%.


The Oktoberfest Märzen is a toasty märzen lager or ale. It was first produced in the 16th century as a bottom-fermented . The best examples of this style are amber-colored. The Märzen lager has a rich Munich malts aroma. The alcohol content is usually between four and six percent.

What does Märzen mean?

Märzen is German for March when this beer style is brewed. It is brewed in the spring and then stored in cold cellars to be served at Oktoberfest in the fall.


Festbier is a type of Märzen beer brewed from Munich malts specifically for Oktoberfest. It is golden in color, has a malty taste, and contains beween five and six percent alcohol. Its toasted malt flavors and noble hops make it a very drinkable Oktoberfest beer.

What is the Oktoberfest festival?

Oktoberfest event is a beer festival held annually in Munich, Germany. It is the world's largest Volksfest (beer fest and traveling funfair). More than six million people from aound the world attend the event every year. 

The Oktoberfest celebrations tradition began on October 12, 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. 

The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities, which included a horse race on the fields in front of the city gates. 

In honor of the royal couple, beer was served from wooden barrels. The Oktoberfest tradition has continued every year since then, ecept during World War II.

oktoberfest beers

How to get into a beer tent at Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is a popular event, and the tents tend to fill up quickly. So if you want to get into one of the beer tents, your best bet is to arrive early—especially if it's a weekend. 

You can also try to reserve a table in advance. Another option is to go laer in the evening when the crowds have died down a bit. 

Finally, don't forget to dress the part! Men should wear Lederhosen (leather shorts), and women should wear a Dirndl (a traditional Bavarian dress).

How much beer is served at Oktoberfest?

A total of about seven million liters of beer is served each year at Oktoberfest. That's a lot of beer!

What to eat with your Oktoberfest beer?

The best food to pair with an Oktoberfest beer is traditional German fare like Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle), Würstl (sausages), and of coure Brezn (pretzels). So, get your lederhosen or dirndl on and head to one of the best Oktoberfest beer celebrations near you!

What is a real Oktoberfest beer?

If you are looking to celebrate an Oktoberfest, there are six breweries in Munich that legally claim to make authentic Oktoberfest beer: Paulaner, Hofbrau, Spatenbrau, Lowenbrau, Hacker Pschorr, and Augustiner. These beers offer different tastes for all drinkers!

best oktoberfest beers

What defines an Oktoberfest beer?

For one, it has to be brewed in Munich for the Oktoberfest festival.

That said, there are a few thngs that all good Oktoberfest beers have in common. They tend to be malty, with a slight sweetness and hints of caramel malts or toffee. The sweet hop aroma should be minimal, used only for balance, and the color should be deep copper or amber.

While many of these beers are available across Germany and throughout America or Europe at oher times of the year, they're not considered authentic Oktoberfest beers unless they're brewed by one of the 6 Oktoberfest breweries.

Oktoberfest beers are best drank betwen September and April because they don't age well during warmer temperatures.

What makes Oktoberfest beers unique?

Oktoberfest-style beer is a type of Märzenbier, whih is a German lager. The beer must conform to the Reinheitsgebot (purity law) first enacted in 1516. This law states that only water, barley, and german hops can be used in the process. However, was later added as an ingredient, and it is still a part of the process.

These beers were historically brewed in March (März), so that's where they get their name from! The best way to serve these beers is in a Masskrug with a traditional Bavarian meal.

Where is Oktoberfest-style beer brewed?

Oktoberfest beers are brewed in many countries, but the best examples come from Germany. The six breweries mentioned earlier all brew their Oktoberfest-style beer. In the United States, a few craft brewers produce authentic versions of this style.

Is there an American version of Oktoberfest beer?

Yes, many American brewers make their version of an Oktoberfest beer. These beers are typically maltier with a sweet taste.

Which American brewers are brewing Oktoberfest beers?

Many breweries in the US make Oktoberfest beers, manly as a seasonal lager. Some of the best American Oktoberfest season beers are:

  • Wallenpaupack Brewing Co.
  • Market Garden Brewery Old Zahm Oktoberfest
  • Karbach Brewing Company Karbachtoberfest
  • Highland Brewing Clawhammer Oktoberfest Märzen

Which is the best Oktoberfest beer?

The best Oktoberfest beer is one that fits the personal taste of each drinker. For example, many people prefer Paulaner Oktoberfest beer, a traditional brew. However, if you prefer somthing more hoppy and high in alcohol content, then Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest might be best for your tastes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Oktoberfest beer lagers?

Most Oktoberfest beers are lagers, but there are a few exceptions. The traditional Marzen style that is the precursor to Oktoberfest beer is a lager, but some breweries also make an ale version.

How much is a stein of beer at Oktoberfest?

If you're at Oktoberfest, a stein of will cost you aout €11 ($12.50). However, if you're buying it from a store or brewery, the price might be different.

What is the best way to drink an Oktoberfest-style beer?

The best way to drink an Oktoberfest-style beer is in a Masskrug with traditional German food like Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle), Würstl (sausages), and Brezn (pretzels).

What are the most famous beer festivals?

The biggest beer festival in the world is the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. It attracts more than six million visitors each year. Other popular beer festivals include the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, Colorado, and the Bierfestival Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany.


The best Oktoberfest beers are always a hotly debated topic. Everyone has their own opinion, and the most suitable answer to this question will vary depending on personal taste! However, some of the best Oktoberfest beers come from Germany and are brewed in the traditional Marzen style. Many American brewers make their version, so there is definitely no shortage of choice when it comes to finding an Oktoberfest beer that's perfect for you!

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.