Starting September 16 until October 3, more than 6 million litres of beer will be consumed at Oktoberfest 2017 in Munich…
But it’s not just any old beer, there are a plethora of brews to choose from, unless you’re gluten-free! In that case you’ll have to steer clear of all beer because there are strict regulations from the German Brewers Federation that say all beer must contain only malted barley (contains gluten), hops, yeast and water.
So how do you know which beer to choose?
Here’s our Oktoberfest beer guide and quiz to make sure you get the best out of your brew this year…
Six traditional Bavarian brands are served at Oktoberfest: Augustiner, Paulaner, Hofbräu, Spaten-Franziskaner, Hacker-Pschorr and Löwenbräu.
For the festival, these brands produce their own version of Märzen beer – named after March, or ‘März’; where they’re produced.
This beer is a stronger than your ordinary beer. In fact, in the seventeenth century, Bavarian brewers actually invented a system to produce beer without losing its original flavour and alcohol content during the summer months – it was then ready for September and October.
This brand’s most famous beers are Augustiner Helles (5.2%), light and blonde, and Edelstoff (5.6%), which is stronger and sweeter. They also produce the traditional Oktoberfest Augustiner Weissbier. They’re the only beers that are served in wooden barrels.
Where to get it: Augustiner Festhalle and Fischer-Vroni tents
This brand’s Oktoberfest beer is called Paulaner Amber (5.8%). It is the lightest beer served at the festival, and perhaps the most famous. It’s dark amber coloured, and has a milder flavour than the other beers.
Where to get it: Armbrustschützenzelt, Winzerer Fähndl and Käfer Wies’n-Schänke tents
This brew won the gold medal at the World Beer Championship in 2008. Who could resist the urge to try one of the best beers in the world? Like Spaten-Franziskaner, Hofbräu’s Märzen beer is light and created specifically to satisfy the variety of international palates at Oktoberfest.
Where to get it: Hofbrau Festzelt
This brand’s two most famous beers are Pils (0.5%), which was the first beer to be brewed in Munich, and Oktoberfestbier (5.7%), which is a little stronger but lighter in colour. Their specialty is Diät Pils (4.9%) – containing only 32 calories, it’s suitable for diabetics. So you can’t use Oktoberfest as an excuse for straying from your diet…
Where to get it: the Hipodrom, Schottenhammel, and Ochsenbraterei/Spatenbräu tents
This beer is fermented three times longer than a normal one. The result is an Oktoberfest Märzen (5.8%) with a full and slightly bitter flavour that goes well with the food served in the tents.
Where to get it: Hacker-Festzelt, Bräurosl tent
Their festival specialty is Wiesenbier (6.1%). Named after the field or ‘Wiesn’ where Oktoberfest is held, it literally means ‘beer of the field’. This beer is light, bright coloured and boasts for having higher alcohol content than your average beers.
Where to drink it (but perhaps not too much): in the Schützen-Festzelt and Lowenbrau tents