Oktoberfest Beer Not Actually Brewed in The Fall

Maurice AmonLabor Day has passed and it is officially the Fall season. The official sign for Fall is Oktöberfest beer and it’s coming through in full swing. What many don’t know is that Oktöberfest beer isn’t actually brewed in the Fall.

Let’s go back and look at the history behind Oktöberfest. Oktoberfest was first established in October of 1810 by Prince Ludwig of Bavaria in celebration of his marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. What was very unusual for the times was that the prince made the event public and accessible to the general public which generated around 40,000 Bavarians. This turned into an annual celebration and almost 200 years later, it is still celebrated around the world.

Authentic Oktoberfest beer is only brewed within the city limits of Munich. Additionally those are the only breweries that can participate in Munich Oktoberfest. Any other beer brewed outside of those city limits should be labeled as “Oktoberfest-style beer”. Traditionally, despite the famed name, Oktoberfest beers are not actually brewed in the Fall. The beers are actually an outgrowth of the traditional strong Spring brews called Märzen or “March beers” that were put aside in ice-filled cellars for summer consumption. However, the left-over Märzen was finished off in October when when the fresh beers were being made with the newly harvested grains and hops. This in turn made for well-aged beers, some three to four months old. Oktoberfest beers are usually deeper in color and have have a deep amber color. the alcohol content is usually between 5 and 6.2%.

(The German Beer Institute)