October is here, and as I covered last time we’re seeing a huge amount of seasonal releases. When I say October is here, you know I also mean… “Oktober is here.” Oktoberfest beers have been in full swing, with the traditional Oktoberfest having started September 16th in Germany, and “traditionally” ending this past weekend. The festivities don’t end there though, and unless you’re reading this from Germany – keep drinking! (note: if you are reading this from Germany, I take that you are already probably several beers deep…)
Oktoberfest started in 1810 as a celebration for the royal wedding of King Ludwig I. The public was invited to a celebration on the grounds in front of the city gates. The celebration concluded with horse races, which turned into the festival in subsequent years. The festival grew to include showcasing of Bavarian agriculture, and though the horse races don’t continue today – the festival is going stronger than ever! Today the celebration in Munich ranks as the largest in the world, with literal millions of liters of beer being consumed.
The associated beers you know and love got their start as part of the fest in 1818. Called Marzens, they were traditionally brewed in March, and fermented through the spring and summer. They started off historically as darker lagers, but have tended to gravitate towards lighter color as the times roll on. “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 many German-produced and American-tributes of the style. From Germany, we have examples from Paulaner, Warsteiner, Spaten, Hofbrau and Weihenstephaner.
For our domestically produced versions we carry an even wider range. Locally, we have to start with the obvious choice of Kansas City German-inspired powerhaus Kansas City Bier Co. Their FestBier is draft only, but available for a limited time on our growler station in the Waldo store! The other local giants at Boulevard have their popular Bob’s 47 out on shelves currently as well.
Regional producers close to home have good options as well. Free State’s Oktoberfest is one their most popular beers and is currently in stock at all three Mike’s locations. Springfield’s Mother’s Oktoberfest is also currently in stock. St. Louis’ German-style brewery Urban Chestnut (who have a brewery IN Germany) are an obvious choice. Other offerings from other regions include selections from Left Hand Brewing, Two Brothers Brewing, Goose Island, COOP, Brickway, Sierra Nevada, North Peak, Bell’s, and the list goes on and on!
Don’t give into those pumpkin beers juuuust yet! Come see us and we’ll help you find a tasty Oktoberfest selection.
Jeremy Morton | Mike’s Wine & Spirits Beer Manager