A Guide to Oktoberfest Beers: Types, Styles, and Brands

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival and it’s no surprise why. With its lively atmosphere, delicious food, and of course, a wide selection of beer, it’s a beer lover’s paradise.

If you’re planning on attending Oktoberfest or just want to learn more about the different types, styles, and brands of beers served at the festival, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the most popular beers served at Oktoberfest and help you discover your next favorite brew.

Get ready to raise your steins and join us on a journey to explore the world of Oktoberfest beers.

Are there any non-alcoholic options for those who don’t drink beer at Oktoberfest?

Yes, there are non-alcoholic options available for those who don’t drink beer at Oktoberfest. While beer is certainly the main attraction, there are also a variety of non-alcoholic drinks and beverages to choose from.

One popular non-alcoholic drink is “Apfelschorle”, which is a mixture of apple juice and sparkling water. It’s a refreshing and slightly sweet drink that is perfect for quenching your thirst during the festivities.

Another non-alcoholic option is “Radler”, which is a mixture of beer and lemonade. It’s a lighter and more refreshing option for those who still want to enjoy the taste of beer without the alcohol content.

In addition to these drinks, there are also a variety of non-alcoholic sodas, juices, and other beverages available at the festival. So even if you don’t drink beer, you can still enjoy the lively atmosphere and delicious food of Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest Beers

Oktoberfest is known for its lively atmosphere, delicious foods, and most importantly, beer. In this part, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of beers served at Oktoberfest, explore popular styles and brands, and provide some recommendations for beer lovers attending the festival.

Types of Oktoberfest Beers

Märzen: This amber lager is the original beer served at Oktoberfest. It has a rich, malty flavor and is typically medium-bodied with a moderate hop bitterness.

Festbier: This is the modern version of Märzen and is lighter in color and body with a slightly lower ABV.

Helles: This light lager is crisp and refreshing, making it a popular choice for those looking for a lighter beer option.

Weißbier: This wheat beer is known for its cloudy appearance and fruity flavors, making it a refreshing option during the warm days of Oktoberfest.

Radler: A mix of beer and lemonade, this is a popular choice for those who want a lighter, fruitier option.

What is the difference between Märzen and Festbier?

Märzen and Festbier are two styles of beer that are commonly served during Oktoberfest. While they share some similarities, there are some distinct differences between the two.

Märzen is a traditional German beer that was historically brewed in March (März in German) and lagered in cold caves or cellars until September, when it was served at Oktoberfest. It is characterized by its amber color, rich malty flavor, and slight hop bitterness. Märzen has a medium to full body and a smooth, clean finish.

Festbier, on the other hand, is a newer style of beer that was introduced in the 1970s as a lighter and more drinkable alternative to Märzen. It is brewed specifically for Oktoberfest and has a golden color, lighter body, and slightly lower alcohol content than Märzen. Festbier has a clean, crisp flavor and a moderate hop bitterness.

In summary, the main differences between Märzen and Festbier are their color, body, alcohol content, and flavor profile. Märzen is darker, richer, and has a fuller body, while Festbier is lighter, crisper, and more refreshing.

What is the ABV of Oktoberfest beers?

The ABV (alcohol by volume) of Oktoberfest beers can vary depending on the specific style and brand.

Traditionally, Märzen beers have an ABV of around 5-6%, with some examples reaching up to 7%. This higher ABV was necessary in the past to preserve the beer during the summer months before refrigeration was widely available.

Festbier, on the other hand, has a lower ABV, usually around 4-5%. This makes it a more sessionable beer, perfect for drinking over a longer period of time during the festivities.

It’s important to note that there are many different brands and variations of Oktoberfest beers, and their alcohol content can vary. It’s always a good idea to check the label or ask your server if you’re not sure about the alcohol content of a particular beer.

Popular Brands of Oktoberfest Beers

Paulaner: One of the six breweries that provides beer for Oktoberfest, Paulaner is known for its strong, flavorful Märzen.

Hofbräuhaus: This brewery is known for its light, easy-drinking lagers and is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.

Augustiner: Augustiner is one of the oldest breweries in Munich and is known for its full-bodied, malty beers.

Hacker-Pschorr: This brewery is known for its traditional Märzen, which is brewed using the same recipe since 1417.

Spaten: This brewery produces a variety of beers, including a popular Festbier that is served at Oktoberfest.

Beer Recommendations for Oktoberfest

Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen: A classic choice for those who want to experience the traditional Oktoberfest beer.

Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier: This light, easy-drinking beer is a good option for those who want a refreshing beer that they can drink all day.

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen: This full-bodied beer is perfect for those who want a strong, malty flavor.

Spaten Oktoberfestbier: This Festbier is a good option for those who want a lighter, more modern take on the classic Oktoberfest beer.

Weihenstephaner Festbier: This beer is brewed using a traditional recipe and has a crisp, refreshing flavor that’s perfect for warm days.


Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just someone looking to experience the unique flavors and traditions of Oktoberfest, there is a beer out there for everyone.

From the rich, malty Märzen to the light and refreshing Festbier, each type of beer has its own unique taste and story to tell.

We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of the different types, styles, and brands of beers served at Oktoberfest and has inspired you to try something new.

So raise your stein, cheers to good times and great beer, and enjoy your Oktoberfest experience!