Best Oktoberfest Beers

As the leaves begin to change and the air turns crisp, beer enthusiasts around the world eagerly anticipate the arrival of Oktoberfest. Originating in Munich, Germany, in 1810, Oktoberfest is a traditional Bavarian festival that celebrates beer in all its glory. While the festival itself is a grand spectacle of parades, traditional music, and hearty food, the beers that accompany this celebration are the true stars of the show.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Oktoberfest experience, here are 15 of the best beers to try this fall:

Note: Having personally lived in Munich Germany for a year I truly believe that the best Oktoberfest beer you can buy will be one of the first 4 on the list but for those with a slightly more craft beer taste there are some very good ones made locally as well.

15 Best Beers to Drink for Oktoberfest

1. Weihenstephaner Festbier

Origin: Freising, Germany

Characteristics: Brewed by the world’s oldest brewery, Weihenstephaner Festbier is a testament to centuries of brewing tradition. It’s a clear, golden beer with a malty aroma complemented by a subtle hint of beer hops. It’s lighter than a traditional Märzen, making it highly drinkable, yet it retains a rich flavor profile that’s perfect for festive celebrations.

ABV: 5.8%

IBU: 26

2. Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen

  • Origin: Munich, Germany
  • Characteristics: A classic Märzen, it boasts a rich, toasty malt profile, complemented by a subtle, spicy hop character. The amber hue and smooth, balanced flavor make it a favorite among Oktoberfest enthusiasts.
  • ABV: 5.8%
  • IBU: 24

3. Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier

  • Origin: Munich, Germany
  • Characteristics: Lighter than a typical Märzen, Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier offers a clean, crisp profile with a mild hop bitterness, making it refreshingly drinkable.
  • ABV: 6.3%
  • IBU: 26

4. Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen

  • Origin: Aying, Germany
  • Characteristics: This Märzen is celebrated for its rich maltiness, with toasty and caramel notes. It’s well-balanced, with a slightly sweet and malty finish.
  • ABV: 5.8%
  • IBU: 21

5. Spaten Oktoberfest

  • Origin: Munich, Germany
  • Characteristics: A medium-bodied beer that carries a malt sweetness, a touch of herb, and a well-balanced hop bitterness.
  • ABV: 5.9%
  • IBU: 23

6. Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

  • Origin: Chico, California, USA
  • Characteristics: A collaboration with various German breweries, this beer often presents a balanced malt and hop character, with a clean, crisp finish.
  • ABV: Varies (typically around 6%)
  • IBU: Varies

7. Samuel Adams OctoberFest

  • Origin: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Characteristics: With a deep red amber hue, this beer offers a blend of rich malt complexity, roasty sweetness, and light hoppy bitterness.
  • ABV: 5.3%
  • IBU: 16

8. Bell’s Octoberfest Beer

  • Origin: Comstock, Michigan, USA
  • Characteristics: A light-bodied, highly drinkable beer with a toasty malt presence and a clean, crisp finish.
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBU: 24

9. Great Lakes Oktoberfest

  • Origin: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  • Characteristics: A vibrant amber color, with a harmonic blend of caramel, toffee notes, and a slightly hoppy finish.
  • ABV: 6.5%
  • IBU: 20

10. Left Hand Oktoberfest

  • Origin: Longmont, Colorado, USA
  • Characteristics: A delightful beer that showcases toasty malt flavors, complemented by hints of biscuit. It finishes dry, making it a perfect beer for festive occasions.
  • ABV: 6.6%
  • IBU: 24

11. Brooklyn Oktoberfest

  • Origin: Brooklyn, New York, USA
  • Characteristics: This beer stands out with its rich malt flavors, balanced by a slight bitterness. It finishes dry, capturing the essence of traditional Oktoberfest beers.
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBU: 21

12. Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest

  • Origin: Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, USA
  • Characteristics: A beer that exudes a toasty malt aroma, complemented by a hint of sweetness. It’s well-balanced and finishes clean, making it a popular choice among beer enthusiasts.
  • ABV: 5.1%
  • IBU: 20

13. Victory Festbier

  • Origin: Downingtown, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Characteristics: Medium-bodied with a pronounced malty backbone. It’s complemented by a crisp finish, making it a refreshing choice for Oktoberfest celebrations.
  • ABV: 5.6%
  • IBU: 20

14. Warsteiner Oktoberfest

  • Origin: Warstein, Germany
  • Characteristics: This beer shines with its clear amber color, malty sweetness, and light hop bitterness. It’s a well-rounded beer that captures the spirit of Oktoberfest.
  • ABV: 5.9%
  • IBU: 25

15. New Glarus Staghorn Octoberfest

  • Origin: New Glarus, Wisconsin, USA
  • Characteristics: A bright amber beer that offers a rich malt flavor, complemented by a hint of spice. It’s a beer that resonates with tradition and craftsmanship.
  • ABV: 6.25%
  • IBU: 18

What Are the Different Types of Oktoberfest Beer?

Oktoberfest beers, often referred to as “Märzen” or “Festbier,” have a rich history that dates back centuries. While many people use the term “Oktoberfest beer” broadly, there are specific beer styles associated with the Oktoberfest celebration.

Here are the primary types of Oktoberfest beers:


Characteristics: Märzen, which means “March” in German, is named for the month when it was traditionally brewed. This beer is amber to reddish-brown in color, with a malty aroma and flavor. It has a medium to full body and finishes with a touch of sweetness.

ABV (Alcohol By Volume): 5.2% – 6.0%

IBU (International Bitterness Units): 18 – 24


Characteristics: Festbier is a lighter version of the traditional Märzen and has become more popular at the Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich in recent years. It’s golden in color, with a malty sweetness balanced by a mild bitterness. It’s less robust than Märzen but still has a full-bodied taste.

ABV: 5.8% – 6.3%

IBU: 18 – 25

Vienna Lager

Characteristics: While not strictly an Oktoberfest beer, Vienna Lager shares many similarities with Märzen. It’s amber to reddish-brown, with a soft, elegant malt complexity. It’s slightly lighter than Märzen and has a toasty character.

ABV: 4.5% – 5.5%

IBU: 18 – 30

Traditional Oktoberfestbier

Characteristics: This is the beer that’s officially served at the Munich Oktoberfest. It’s a protected trademark in Germany and can only be produced by six breweries within the city limits of Munich. It’s similar to Festbier in its characteristics but might vary slightly between the breweries.

ABV: Varies, but typically around 6%

IBU: Varies


Oktoberfest is more than just a festival; it’s a celebration of beer craftsmanship, tradition, and community. Whether you’re attending the actual event in Munich or simply enjoying a pint at your local pub, these 15 beers offer a taste of the rich history and flavor profiles that define Oktoberfest. So, raise your stein, say “Prost!”, and immerse yourself in the world of Oktoberfest beers this fall.