Oktoberfest celebrations may be different in 2020, but that hasn’t dampened our love of beer.
So, while it will be on a smaller scale, let’s keep the German-Texan spirit alive by raising a beer stein (or two) to the season, while not forgetting to practice the appropriate social distancing.
For many Texas breweries, Oktoberfest is a celebration of Germany’s rich heritage, still flourishing in Hill Country towns such as New Braunfels, Boerne and Fredericksburg. Special Oktoberfest offerings are typically traditional German Märzen styles, which means the beer is medium to full-bodied, with malty flavors and a clean dry finish.
If traditional Oktoberfest beer is not your type of beer, then you still have a world of other options to suit your palate. Austin’s popular dedicated craft beer and bottle shop Whichcraft has provided a wide range of suggestions for seasonal beer styles for all to enjoy this fall.
Traditional Beer Palate
Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner
Shiner’s Oktoberfest brew is a traditional Märzen-style ale brewed with the highest-quality Two-Row Barley, Munich and Caramel malts, along with German grown Hallertau Tradition and Hersbrucker hops. In 2012, it was awarded the gold medal in the German Märzen-style category at the Great American Brewfest.
St. Arnold, Houston
From St Arnold, the oldest craft brewery in Texas, comes an Oktoberfest beer that is full-bodied, malty and slightly sweet. This rich beer has a round malt flavor and an above- average alcohol content, perfect for a cool fall evening.
Adelbert’s Brewery, Austin
Founded in 2011, Adelbert’s Brewery has quickly become an award-winning microbrewery. Their seasonal October Rust Märzen combines a nutty, caramel flavor (derived from the malt) with a crisp and hoppy finish. This beer is a winner for any Oktoberfest gathering.
Altstadt Brewery, Fredericksburg
Altstadt Brewery ranked as the fourth best brewery by the 2019 US Open Beer Championship, and many of their beers are gold medalists. Premium ingredients include hops, malt, and yeast imported from Germany, along with artesian spring water, to create an authentic German beer taste. Okt is their Oktoberfest beer, a classic German Märzen-style beer combining Vienna and Munich malts, with hops and pilsner.
IPA All The Way
Electric Jellyfish is a “Hazy IPA” available at Pinthouse Brewery locations (Austin and Round Rock). Hazy IPAs have become one of the fastest growing beer styles, due to the demand for beers with IPA flavor, but less of a bitter bite. According to Pinthouse, Electric Jellyfish “is filled with a bright tropical citrus character, along with notes of orange, mango, lychee and a floral backbone.”
Vista Brewing, Driftwood
Opened in 2018, Vista Brewing is a destination brewery in Driftwood where guests are treated to great beer as well as delicious locally sourced food. Middle Trinity is their Belgian beer. The strong golden ale, a tribute to those old Trappist monks and to Vista’s pure, limestone filtered water from the Middle Trinity aquifer, pours with a faint haze and a snow-white head.
Pegasus City Brewing, Dallas
Taking inspiration from the iconic Pegasus which has graced the Dallas skyline for years is Pegasus City Brewing.Their flagship beer is their Pilsner, High Point Porch Ale. Described by Whichcraft as “just good beer,” this is an extremely refreshing English Mild Ale with a toasted malt aroma.
A Final Note: Beer and Brats
What goes better with beer than German sausage, baked pretzels and oompah music? If you agree, and you’re in the Austin area September 30, head to Scholz Garten for their Scholztober Fest, where you’ll find all that and more. Advance reservations required.
Brian Maass is a native Austinite who has a passion for music, travel, good food and drink, and sharing his experiences through his camera lens. He lives in Round Rock, Texas with his wife Dana Maass and their faithful dog Chester.