Men’s Journal: 10 Creative Interpretations of the Classic German Oktoberfest Lager

“Oaktoberfest – Legion Brewing

Disclaimer: trees were harmed in the making of this beer. While Legion Brewing doesn’t typically stray far from classic styles, often adhering to the time-honored standards of Reiheitsgebot, head brewer Alexa Long did stray slighting from tradition with Oaktoberfest, aging the juice with charred American oak cubes. The addition of oak adds hints of wood and vanilla to the beer’s caramel and toffee notes. It’s the märzen you’ll want to sip on as the party hits the evening hours and the campfire starts roaring.

Great Divide Brewing Company — Hoss

While the grain bill for most märzens consists of either Munich, Vienna, or Pilsner malts, Great Divide Brewing adds rye to their interpretation of the style. Rye brings an extra level of complexity to the hints of cherry and dark fruits by adding an earthy, spicy character. Hoss has been a crowd pleaser since Great Divide introduced the beer in 2009, racking up medals from both the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.

49 Parallel Brewing’s Schadenfreude Pumpkin Spiced Oktoberfest

The final beer on the list comes from our friends up north at Canada’s Parallel 49 Brewing. Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest breaks all Reiheitsgebot rules by adding cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice to what is mostly a traditional märzen. We say mostly because they do add pumpkin to the mash of Munich and Pilsner malts, which would definitely break German beer purity laws. Expect a beer that is one-part pumpkin, one-part Oktoberfest, and totally unique.”

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