An insider's guide to the special Oktoberfest biers available in Australia

Oktoberfest is a time to celebrate your German heritage and if you don’t have one, then the universal language of bier.

Australia’s Oktoberfest began last week, making it the biggest month-long celebration outside Munich.

Around one million visitors consumer over seven million litres of bier.

Dominic Dighton, “bier professor” at the Urban Purveyor Group, told Business Insider that in line with German tradition, five Oktoberfest biers are brewed for the festival and are therefore only available this time of the year.

“These limited edition biers are brewed within the confines of the Munich City district and are made by abiding to the ancient German Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot), which means that they can only contain four ingredients: water, hops, malt and yeast,” he says.

All 10 Bavarian Bier Cafés, the Lowenbrau Keller in Sydney’s The Rocks, Sydney, and Munich Brauhaus on Melbourne’s South Wharf have them exclusively.

Here’s everything you need to know about the biers, explained by Dighton.

LÖWENBRÄU OKTOBERFESTBIER, 6.2%

Can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest? Not to worry – this bright, sparkling brew provides an authentic taste of the world’s greatest festival. Served at the very first Oktoberfest celebrations back in 1810, Löwenbräu is a full-bodied and malty brew with a hint of spice and a yeasty tang.

    Style: Oktoberfest / Märzen
    Appearance: Bright and sparkling with a fluffy, creamy white head
    Aroma: Malty and grassy hops
    Palate: Full bodied, malty with a hint of spice, perfectly balanced hops and a yeasty tang.

SPATEN OKTOBERFESTBIER, 5.9%

Fancy a bier with the Lord Mayor of Munich? Then order up a Spaten – it’s the brew that kicks off Oktoberfest when Munich’s head-honcho knocks the tap into the Spaten keg and yells, “O’zapft is!” (“It’s tapped!”) A full-flavoured brew boasting a malty sweetness with hints of fruit and nuts, Spaten was first created in a small Munich ‘brew’ pub way back in 1397.

    Style: Oktoberfest / Märzen
    Appearance: Brilliant pale gold
    Aroma: Malt caramel and herbal hops
    Palate: Full flavoured malty sweetness supported by some nuttiness and fruit character. Perfectly balanced herbal hops finishing with mild bitterness.

PAULANER OKTOBERFESTBIER, 6.0%

Following the crowd? Then start here. Paulaner Oktoberfest bier dominates the Munich Oktoberfest – it’s so popular that over one million steins are served each year over the 16 days. It has so many fans that Paulaner is the only brewery to produce Oktoberfest bier all year round. Lagered for four weeks to bring out the rich flavour, it was originally conjured up in a Bavarian monastery by Pauline monks. Forced to fast on bread and water during Lent the clever monks reasoned that bier could be brewed as ‘liquid bread’. This allowed them to get sustenance without breaking their fast --
how’s that for a heavenly solution?

    Style: Oktoberfest / Märzen
    Appearance: Rich yellow-gold
    Aroma: Honey malt and flowery hops
    Palate: Highly satisfying and truly thirst quenching, it has a light honeyed malt character dominant and elegant flowery hops aftertaste.

HOFBRÄU OKTOBERFESTBIER, 6.3%

Think Oktoberfest is a hard-core tradition in Bavaria? Drinking Hofbräu is even more so. Back in 1589 Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria was counting his pennies when he realised that building his own brewery would be an economical way to keep the royal court quenched. In no time at all, Hofbräuhaus was born. You mightn’t be in the royal court, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this strong and regal bier that’s been keeping discerning bier lovers happy for over 400 years.

    Style: Oktoberfest / Märzen
    Appearance: Rich and inviting
    Aroma: Malts, yeast and spice
    Palate: Grainy malt character, subtle bready notes, slightly spicy with a deliciously bitter finish. Beautifully suited to traditional Bavarian cuisine being rich and full of character.

HACKER PSCHORR OKTOBERFESTBIER, 5.8%

You can’t get a party started without a celebratory brew. In October 1810 Crown Prince Ludwig was about to get hitched to the lovely Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Prince Lud asked Joseph Pschorr to create a special bier for the occasion and the Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest bier was born. It was such a hit that the wedding turned into a festival and 203 years later they’re still celebrating Oktoberfest on the land Joseph left behind.

    Style: Oktoberfest / Märzen
    Appearance: Captivating brilliant pale gold
    Aroma: : Malts, nuts and citrus hops
    Palate:Subtle malt caramels balanced with hints of nuts and citrus. Finishes with slight bitterness and restrained sweetness. Oh so easy drinking!

For more on Oktoberfest in Australia visit the official website.

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