The Best German Lagers To Drink For This Year’s Oktoberfest


Oktoberfest is raging in Munich right now. It’s a beer and pretzel bacchanal that’s well worth the flight, if you ask us. But if you can’t make it this year and you still want to enjoy some great German beer, then we’ve got your back.

Lagers are what makes Oktoberfest hum — Märzen to be specific. That’s a beer which is brewed in the cool spring months, around March, and then again in the cool fall months, around September. This was to avoid bacterial infections plaguing the beer during the heat of summer. Although we have refrigerators now, the tradition has remained and Märzen lagers are the king of Oktoberfest. However, you won’t only find Märzen beers among the Oktoberfest tents. There are plenty of classic lagers, dark lagers, and hefeweizens to be had.

Below are some of our favorite lagers from Germany to celebrate the harvest festivities. So crack open a bag of pretzels, warm up some cheese sauce, and wash it all down with one of these great beers.

10. BRŁO Helles

Craft beer is a bit of an oxymoron in Germany. A lot of the breweries are still small and family run. So let’s keep the “craft” in the classic sense to a minimum, with this Berlin beer. Brło’s Helles is a Munich style lager with notes of grassy goodness, toasty malts, corn husks, and floral hops that lean towards honey and apple. This a great place to start if you’re interested in Munich lagers and want something that leans more towards modern craft than old-school tradition.

9. Paulaner Original Münchner

Paulaner is an old-school institution in Bavaria. Their Munich lager is the perfect place to get a foundation for the style. There’s a mild balance of slightly acidic toasted malts with a tart brightness and whispers of bitter hops in the background, alongside a waft of a distant, grassy vegetable garden. This beer goes down easy by not challenging the drinker too much.

8. Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur-Märzen

Spaten’s Oktoberfest is a deep amber mug of beer that hits all the notes of an easy drinking lager. There’s a distinctly toasted malt breadiness up front, which is balanced with a light touch of hop bitterness that gives way to a dry crisp finish. Overall, if you’re into American lagers, this will be a small but noticable step up.

7. Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Hell

The Hacker-Pschorr brewhouse is a great spot to hit in Munich all year round. Their Munich lager is a testament to the style. There are buttered toast notes of malt up front, which are balanced wonderfully with a floral hop bitterness that feels like you’re standing in an apple orchard around harvest time. It’s refreshing and very quaffable.

View this post on Instagram

Miss it

A post shared by //katie💓🥂🌸🍉🦋✨ (@katie.lees) on

6. Löwenbräu Oktoberfestbier

Löwenbräu’s classic Oktoberfestbier hits all the right marks without over-blowing any one element. There’s a sweet — almost honey — maltiness up front. That’s followed by herbal bitter hops in the backend that’s well balanced and lends to the dry and crisp finish. If you dig Löwenbräu’s lagers, you’ll dig this special release.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jasmin Scherrer (@jasmin.scherrer) on

5. Hofbräu Original

Hofbräu Original is a where Munich lagers start to find a little more refinement. There’s a crisp, golden grain malt that whispers apple orchards followed by an almost spicy hop bitterness. The grainy, sweet, and spicy notes make this a beer that hooks beer lovers and doesn’t let go.

4. Rothaus Pils Tannen Zäpfle

View this post on Instagram

German pils time.

A post shared by Jakob Nilsson (@jaaakobnilsson) on

Let’s leave Bavaria for a moment. Any list of German lagers would be incomplete without Rothaus Pils Tannen Zäpfle. This is just a stellar beer that sets a high bar for lagers worldwide — one of the cleanest and best-balanced beers out there. There’s an ever so slightly sour doughy bread, up from the malted grain which is followed by a wonderful hit of grassy hop bitterness that never overpowers.

There’s nowhere to hide imperfections in a lager, and this beer is damn near perfect on every count.

3. Weihenstephaner Original

Back in Bavaria Weihenstephaner Original hits it out of the park every time. This is another almost perfect beer. There’s a sweet biscuit maltiness up front that’s balanced with a spicy hop bitter on the backend, all leading towards a refreshingly crisp finish. There are hints of lemon rind, sourdough, and late summer field of wild grasses. This is a lager for the ages and goes down very easily.

View this post on Instagram

No.2 in a beirekeller none the less

A post shared by Duncan Cathie (@duncancathie) on

View this post on Instagram

Sausage and beer. #ichbineinberliner

A post shared by Jonathan Toler (@jonathanatoler) on

2. Schönramer Pils

Deep in the Bavarian Alps, you’ll find the brewhouse making many a beer aficionado’s favorite beer right now — Schönramer Pils. This German heavy-hitting beer gives off a rush of sweet, buttery biscuit malt with whispers of lemon followed by a good hit of grassy hop bitterness that’s balanced and refreshing.

This beer is going to make it big very soon, so keep an eye out.

1. Augustiner Bräu Lagerbier Hell

View this post on Instagram

Prost of course

A post shared by julia nicole (@juulianicole) on

There’s no other beer that deserves this spot. Augustiner is one of the best lagers being brewed worldwide, full stop. The little family brewery consistently makes a great lager that’s a little bit complex, supremely satisfying, and a killer beer every time. There’s a heavy hitting — almost sourdough bread — maltiness up front that’s underpinned with a hefty hop bitterness that’s reminiscent of a barn full of bales of hay on a sunny Fall day.

This is the lager that all others lagers should be held up against. It’s that good.