Oktoberfest Beers 2018

Summer is over! Well... not yet, but we’re close! This recent extended warm spell certainly makes it hard to believe fall beers are here. This of course includes the always popular Oktoberfest beers. The 2018 Oktoberfest (the official German festival) starts this Saturday September 22nd. And we’re ready to help you celebrate!

Oktoberfest started in 1810 to celebrate the royal wedding of King Ludwig I.  

The festivities were held on the grounds in front of the city gates. The party concluded with horse races, which subsequently continued happening in years following. Oktoberfest evolved to become a showcase of Bavarian agriculture, and though the horse races don’t continue today - the festival is going stronger than ever! Today the celebration in Munich is the largest in the world, with millions of liters of beer being consumed.   

The Oktoberfest beers you know and love got their start as part of the fest in 1818. Referred to as Marzens, they were traditionally brewed in March, and fermented throughout the spring and summer. They historically started off as darker lagers, but have tended to move towards lighter color with time. “Oktoberfestbier” is trademarked and protected by the big brewing players of Munich, but as you know many American breweries are producing their own versions today, albeit minus the full Oktoberfestbier name in reverence to tradition.

Mike’s carries a multitude of offerings, both tradition and domestic-tributes to the style.  Paulaner, Warsteiner, Ayinger, and Hofbrau are a few of the actual German offerings available at our stores.   

Local and regional breweries have plenty of options available. From just down the street at KC Bier Co. we have the popular Festbier. Last year this was only available on draft/growlers, but we’re pleased to have six packs this year!  Local powerhouse Boulevard has released their yearly 6pks of Bob’s 47 on shelves. From down the road in Lawrence we have Free State Brewing’s Oktoberfest, which is consistently rated among the best in the style among American produced examples.   

St. Louis’ Urban Chestnut is a brewery of which to take note. Their brewery is German-inspired, and they now even have a physical brewery in Germany itself! Their O-Katz Oktoberfest lager comes in 16oz cans. This is a great regional example brewed by people focused on paying homage to German tradition for their entire brewery’s output. Down the road from U.C. is Schlafly.  6pks of their Oktoberfest are in stock. A few other breweries from around the country with examples stocked at Mike’s include Walnut River, COOP, Goose Island, Bell’s, Left Hand, Sierra Nevada, Old Bakery, Sam Adams and Leinenkugel.   

There are sure to be more, and surely some I’ve missed. Come on down and find something tasty! Be sure to check out our Mix-A-Six coolers at each of the stores. We always try to keep a good selection of seasonal releases stocked in these so you can try a bunch of different beers.  

And yes, the pumpkin beers are starting to show up, aaaand….WHO CARES!??  

I kid, I kid. But seriously… it’s not Halloween yet, so come grab some Oktoberfest!


Jeremy Morton

Beer Manager | Mike’s Wine & Spirits

Andy Doohan