Bartenders Tell Us Their Favorite Oktoberfest Beers

best oktoberfest beers

Oktoberfest in Munich began over the weekend. The common misconception is that the celebration lasts all October long, but in actuality, the dates change every year. This year, Oktoberfest began on September 22nd and lasts until October 7th. Still, if you’re planning a party at home we’re willing to give you an extension. Take all the time you need to grill up some sausages, bake fresh pretzels, and imbibe giant beer steins full of Oktoberfest-style beer with your friends and family.

Beer-wise, you can go the classic route and buy some Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr-Bräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, or Spatenbräu. But there’s also a whole world of craft brews made to celebrate this autumnal festival. The choices are nearly endless. That’s why we asked some of our favorite bartenders to do the picking for us.

Check out their favorite Oktoberfest-style beers below.

Aventinus Schneider Weisse

Paul Kolbe, Partner & Mixologist at MIDNIGHTS in Brooklyn

“What’s my favorite Oktoberfest beer? Aventinus, Schneider Weisse. Sometimes it’s best to go straight to the source.”

Solemn Oath Oktoberface

Paul Williams, bartender at Old Town Pour House in Naperville, Illinois

“There is no better way to celebrate the fall and football than with an Oktoberfest-style beer. TheseGerman-style lagers naturally pair well with a brat or any meat off the grill. Some of our local favorites are Solemn Oath’s Oktoberfest which has rich caramel and toasted malt flavors as well as 2 Brothers Atom Smasher which is an Oktoberfest style full bodied lager.”

Paulener Oktoberfest Märzen

Dave Gray, bar manager at Independence Brewing Co. in Austin, Texas

“Paulaner’s Oktoberfest Märzen. It’s not overly done like so many modern ones I’ve tried. It’s a solid, timeless beer that is the only thing I picture when I think of Oktoberfest, stein in one hand and sausage in the other.”

Spaten Oktoberfestbier

Camilo Tavera, lead bartender at Hakkasan located inside Fontainebleau Miami Beach

“What’s my favorite Oktoberfest beer? Spaten Oktoberfestbier as it provides a sweet aroma with a light aftertaste and easy spice.”

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

Kaitlyn Chiletti, beverage director at Public School on Tap

“Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest that is brewed in collaboration with Weihenstephan, the world’s oldest brewery. Sierra NV’s Oktoberfest is a America take on this classic German beer. Malty with subtle hops. Crisp, clean and refreshing.”

Alstadt’s Oktoberfest

Zach Sasser, head bartender at Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar in Austin, Texas

“I’m a big fan of Altstadt’s Oktoberfest. It’s a bit less malty and sweet than most other variations, but still has all the backbone of an Oktoberfest. Another favorite, Live Oak’s Smoaktoberfest. I love just about anything smokey.”

Samuel Adams Oktoberfest

Corey Wilson, Brewmaster at Crazy Uncle Mike’s in Boca Raton, Florida

“Sam Adam’s Oktoberfest. I used to get a keg of it every year when it came out. It’s a bit hoppier than other Oktoberfest brews, but still has that great deep malt flavor. If I can’t find that, I opt for Lefthand’s Oktoberfest.”

Yazoo Brewing Gerst

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Yazoo Brewing Company (@yazoobrew) on

Will Benedetto, cocktail curator at In Good Company Hospitality in New York City

“In the States, we don’t have anywhere near the Oktoberfest celebration that you find in Munich. I would argue that our version of Oktoberfest is football! A fall sport that rings in the flavors, clothing, and spirit for fall. So my choice for an Oktoberfest season beer would be Gerst from the Yazoo brewery in Nashville, Tennessee. Gerst to me tastes like fall.”

Cigar City Oktoberfest

Michael Przybyl, beverage manager at Hilton Orlando

“Tampa’s Cigar City Oktoberfest craft beer is my favorite for this time of year. Combining six different German malt varieties with the rich aroma of barley and a hint of sweet caramel, this beer is like Germany meets Florida.”

3 Nations Cozy Bavarian

Jason Miller, general manager of Little Red Wasp Kitchen + Bar in Fort Worth, Texas

“My current favorite Oktoberfest beer and one that is extremely popular in our restaurant right now is Cozy Bavarian by 3 Nations Brewing Co. It is slightly sweet, malty and very smooth.”

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen

Dusty Grable, Beverage Director of Merriman’s Hawaii

“Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen – True German Märzen… Everything Privatbrauerei / Brauerei Aying does is spectacular.”