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Oktoberfest Beers to Get Your Oompah-pah Started

Here are some Oktoberfest beers that you may want to try this fall – or use for your Beer Tasting Party.

spaten bier at oktoberfest in munich

spaten oktoberfest beer

Spaten Beer

What They Say:
Spaten has been a leading exporter of German beer for more than a century. Their Oktoberfest bier is the beer of Munich’s famous Oktoberfest: aromatic, savoury, gold-colored.

Original gravity 13.7%
Alcohol 5.9% vol.
Calories: 180

See the Independent Taste Test Results from


samuel adams Oktoberfest beer

Samuel Adams Oktoberfest Beer

What They Say:
Brewed with five varieties of malted barley for a big, rich flavor. The first thing you notice when pouring a glass of this seasonal beer is the color. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest has a rich, deep reddish amber hue which itself is reflective of the season. Samuel Adams Octoberfest masterfully blends together five roasts of malt to create a delicious harmony of sweet flavors including caramel and toffee. The malt is complimented by the elegant bitterness imparted by the Bavarian Noble hops. Samuel Adams Octoberfest provides a wonderful transition from the lighter beers of summer to the heartier brews of winter.

Original Gravity: 13.6° Plato
Alcohol by Vol/Wt: 5.3%ABV – 4.1%ABW
Calories/12 oz.: 187

See the Independent Taste Test Results from

paulner oktoberfest bier

Paulaner Oktoberfest Beer

What They Say:
This beer is an institution: the Oktoberfest Bier® from Paulaner, with its full-bodied, pleasant taste definitely pairs beautifully with the hearty delicacies along with Hendln or Schweinshaxen. Its alcohol content of 6 % volume makes it somewhat stronger than the usual lager beer. The original gravity of the Oktoberfest Beer is also slightly higher, starting at 13.5 %. With a hint of malty sweetness the Oktoberfest Beer possesses the perfect balance.

Original gravity 13.7 %
Alcohol 6 % vol.
Calories 50 Kcal/100ml

See the Independent Taste Test Results from

Ultimate Guide to German Beer

german beer

Do you know how to navigate the different German beer that’s available on Oktoberfest? Have no fear, here is a quick guide to the differences and some German beer lingo to help you know what to order.

Differences Between Types of German Beer

By guest blogger Christopher W. Smith

oktoberfest party

There are more than fourteen different styles or types of German beer. The differences between the ales include the means of production and the final product. German beer styles include lagers, ales, beers made from wheat and flavored beers like fruit beers and spiced beers.

Differences in the types of brews also lie in the light and dark qualities of the beer. Flavor is another factor contributing to the differences in the types of bier produced in Germany. Bavarian ales allow for the most taste because the Bavarian purity laws only allow the four basic beer ingredients of hops, yeast, grain and water. Pilsner beers have a less malty, but bitterer taste than other beers and are very foamy compared to other brews. Dark ales contain darkened or toasted malts with much less alcohol than light beers. Bock ales are the strongest beers, created by monks who were seeking a way to endure periods of fasting. Bock ales, unlike most other beers, must be brewed in certain months in order to produce the best results.

Of all the many types of German brews produced in the more than 1200 breweries in the country of Germany, the most popular is the famous lager originally served at Oktoberfest. The Oktoberfest beer, called Marzen, translates in English to the March, the month in which this type or style had to finish brewing in the days before refrigeration. After March, the beer was stored in icy caves until the autumn Oktoberfest celebration, when it was ready for drinking.

German Beer Lingo

By guest blogger Garret Wong

oktoberfest beerMost German beers are popular, because they are vegan (no animal products are used). Bavarian purity laws require them to use four ingredients only: water, grain, hops and yeast. Real German beer is also not pasteurized as many American beers are, which allows the beers real flavor to flourish.

Listed below is some of the different types of German beers typically found in Bavaria and what you can expect if you order one of these types.

“Helles” ( A lite beer)

The standard light beer, when you order a “Helles” in a pub or restaurant you will usually get a pint. Depending on the brewer it can be quite refreshing. Some beer gardens have responded to the public’s outcry for smaller quantities and now also offer them outdoors, the “real” beer garden only serves the “Maß” (one quart). By the way, this precise nation has laws governing the quantity of liquids served to the public, that is why you will find level markers on each glass. If your Maß looks like it is not quite 1 liter after the foam settles, just go back and say “bitte nachschenken”. The man at the keg will be impressed that you know your way around.

“Pils” (Pilsener)

If you like a more bitter and less malty taste try the pils which is also called pilsener. You can order them in restaurants and special pils bars. Take a closer look at the time consuming process of serving a foam crowned pils with perfection. You will see dozens of glasses filled with foam only, waiting to settle. It can take a good quarter of an hour for the foam refills to turn into the golden liquid. This particular beer is arguably the closest to American beer you will find in Germany.

“Dunkeles” (A dark beer)

Against popular beliefs it is not the most powerful in alcohol contents. It is basically a lager bottom brewed beer containing “toasted” malt. Many enjoy mixing this with cola.

“Weissbier” (A white beer)

A very good idea on a hot day when you prefer a lighter tasting beer. Weizen means wheat, often called a Weissbier (white), and is served in tall and elegant 1/2 liter glasses. But beware of its “light” character it is the strongest in alcohol content. While some will serve it with a slice of lemon, do not put one in your Hefe (yeast) Weissbier. The Hefeweissbier comes only in bottles. A professional will wet the glass and pour the bottle at a steep angle. With the foam that remains at the bottom of the bottle he will collect the yeast (swirling action) and add it to your beer.

Bock and Doppelbock (A Bock beer)

Bock is a term used for a stronger beer (doppel meaning double). Fasting monks found an ingenious way of compensating the lack of food – they started brewing very strong beers. March and October are the two most prominent seasons for brewing these special beers but you can find them year round.

Tour of a Hofbrauhous in Munich

Oktoberfest Lebkuchen Gingerbread Hearts

german gingerbread heartsLebkuchenherzen or Gingerbread Hearts are sold at Oktoberfest and German fairs for lovers to give to each other.

They are quite large and come with cute expressions and an attached ribbon so your girlfriend or boyfriend can wear it around their neck.

For your Okotberfest party you can write the traditional “I love you”, “I love Oktoberfest” or the name and date of your party. They make a great party favor for your guests.

There are so many different recipes for Luebkuchen, but this one is my favorite.

If you prefer it spicy to sweet, omit the maple syrup.

As a Canadian I love that maple syrup is in the recipe! My father was a Finlander, so this side of me loves the cardamom. They add it to everything – even a sprinkle in the ground coffee to add that spiciness.

Oktoberfest Lebkuchen Gingerbread Hearts Recipe
Author: Teresa McEachern
  • 3/4 c butter
  • 3/4 c molasses
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1/4 c maple syrup (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ribbon
  1. Melt butter, molasses, honey and maple syrup together over low heat. Let cool.
  2. Add eggs, flour, spices, salt & soda to mixture. Stir until you have a soft dough.
  3. Shape into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill overnight.
  4. Roll out to 1/3″ thickness. Cut into large heart shapes, about 7″ across. Punch two holes in the top of the heart with the end of a drinking straw to lace the ribbon through when completed.
  5. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 10 to 15 minutes. (Do not let the edges brown – the cookie will be too hard.) Cool.
  6. Use Royal Icing with an added teaspoon of almond extract to decorate. See photo for idea of traditional way to ice: a ribbon edging, with cute saying in center & flowers. Attach ribbon and hang as decoration or give to friends.

German Beer Can Chicken

german beer can chicken

This is one of the most succulent ways to cook a chicken.

Prepare a chicken for barbecuing as usual by removing the insides, wiping the skin with paper towel and season or add a rub to taste.

Open your choice of German beer in a can and place the chicken on the can so it is inside the ribcage. It is much easier to use a beer can chicken stand to balance the chicken on the grill, but its not absolutely necessary.

Put the chicken on the grill and cook on low until the meat is just falling off, usually about an hour.


Beer Can Chicken Racks Available at

There are several different kinds of chicken beer can racks available, making it possible to try a cheaper model on the grill just to see what all the fuss is about and then upgrading to a “pro” model if you discover this is your new BBQ grillmaster technique!

Bayou Classic Stainless Steel ChickCAN Rack* – only $6.49

the chickcan rack for beer can chicken1

  • Wire rack cooks a 3.5 – 4 pound chicken upright by beer can method
  • Stainless steel
  • Safe for charcoal grills, gas grills, and ovens
  • Circular wire base rests securely on wire grills
  • Uses any 12-ounce can of beer or soda for moisture
  • Measures 7 by 5 inches
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Instructions included.


Steven Raichlen Best of Barbecue Stainless Steel Beer Can Chicken Roaster*2 – $24.95

Steven Raichlen beer can chicken roaster
Steven Raichlen, host of The Primal Grill and Barbecue University on PBS and author of 28 cookbooks including The Barbecue Bible*3 with more than 4 million copies in print has a top-notch beer can chicken roaster that every grilling aficionado will want.


  • Stainless steel beer can chicken roaster with drip pan.
  • Safe for charcoal grills, gas grills and ovens
  • Metal rack will hold a beer can or the included stainless steel canister.
  • Can fill canister with wine, fruit juice or other flavorful liquid.
  • Stable square metal drip pan collects meat juices for sauces and prevents dripping fat from erupting into flare-ups.
  • Loop side handles on drip pan makes roaster easy to transport.
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Measures 5.08″ x 9.49″ x 7.28″.

Combine this with Steven Raichlen’s Beer Can Chicken and 74 Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill Cookbook*4 for a great gift!

Buffalo Tools Double Beer Can Chicken Stand*5 – $8.19

Buffalo Tools Double Beer Can Chicken Stand

  • Double beer can chicken stand for charcoal or gas grills
  • Metal rack holds 2 chickens as well as up to 4 potatoes or ears of corn on the side skewers
  • Cleans with a brush
  • Measures 13.5″ by 9″


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