What is the difference between Oktoberfest beer and festbier?


Beer drinkers prepare their steins for the annual Oktoberfest celebrations. But, what is the difference between Oktoberfest beer and festbier?

Fall is more than apples and pumpkin spice. For beer drinkers, fall brings Oktoberfest beer or festbier. What is the difference between the two types of beer?

For many beer drinkers, the annual Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany is a huge event. From the gigantic beer steins to the ample food, the annual, multi-day celebration is a huge event. While some people have had the opportunity to travel to Germany for this celebration, many of people celebrate at their local watering hole or at home. Oktoberfest beer can be found outside of Germany.

The special Oktoberfest beer is only served during the fall. During the annual Oktoberfest celebration is held for two weeks. The celebration is generally mid-September till early October. Any beer drunk during the celebration can be labeled Oktoberfest.

While people debate if this type of beer is a style, flavor or just the time of year, many people associate a marzen style beer with this annual celebration. This style of beer is generally a caramel/copper color, slightly hoppy with sweet notes. But, isn’t a festbier the same?
Dovetail Brewery, photo provided by Kurman PR
According to Chicago’s Dovetail Brewery, only beer that is brewed in Munich is technically Oktoberfest. While other beers may have a similar Oktoberfest style, they shouldn’t be use that particular name. Think of the term champagne. Only sparkling wines made in Champagne, France can be officially champagne. Everything else is a type of sparkling wine.

For Dovetail Brewery, they are calling their Oktoberfest celebratory beer a festbier. It is brewed in similar style as the Munich beers. But, out of respect, they will not label their beer Oktoberfestbier.

Their festbier is a traditional marzen style beer. The brewing process began in March (marzen). The beer has been lagered throughout the summer. The beer should have a depth of flavor and another exceptional beer from the highly acclaimed Dovetail Brewery.

Dovetail and Begyle Brewing will host its second annual Oktoberfestiversary event on September 23 and 24. It is a great time to try their festbier. But, act quickly, the special beer will only be available while supplies last.

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Whether you drink an Oktoberfest beer or a festbier, this weekend is a perfect time to raise a stein in this annual celebration. Prost!