O’zapft is! It’s that special time of the year again: Oktoberfest! Today, September 16, the mayor of Munich ceremonially tapped the first keg of the largest beer festival in the world and uttered those magic words: “It’s tapped!” The beer will flow like rivers for over two weeks, until October 3.
Our own beloved team Bayern Munich (and usually one or two of our opponents!) will pay a visit to the Wiesn soon, arriving in full traditional costume (Tracht) for one of the most entertaining events of the year. The pictures from the Oktoberfest visits are always among the best.
To celebrate Oktoberfest, we asked all our contributors to name their favorite beer and tell us something about it:
Tom Adams: Weihenstephaner Hefe-Weißbier
Scintillating aroma right from uncapping and incredibly rich in flavor. Lovely hint if banana and cloves - reminds me of being in a real bier garden. I first tried it in summer 2016. Someone I know (boss) was back in Hannover at a bier garden watching Germany-Slovakia in the Euros and sent me pictures holding a glass of it. Then I found out it's easy to find here and learned how to properly pour and drink Weißbier. I now have nice, Polish-made wheat bier glasses.
Ryan Cowper: Chuckanut Kölsch
Whats not to like about a fantastic, well balanced Kölsch?
John Dillon: Kloster Andechs Weißbier hell
Choosing a favorite is incredibly difficult, because I love so many Bavarian and other German beers. But Andechs to me is the epitome of Bavarian Weißbier and so must be the epitome of beer itself. I always think of the hike I made up to the Andechs monastery ten years ago after a freakish March snowstorm. There's a path in Herrsching (south of Munich) that takes you through the woods to get there. It was about 60 degrees with a foot of snow melting on the ground. I slid down a hill on my jacket. Nothing beats sitting under the blue-white Bavarian sky at the monastery with a Weißbier and a giant pretzel.
grudnik (Onkel Schorsch): Schneider Weisse
My favorite beer is Schneider Weisse, but that's not something you can find at the Oktoberfest. I discovered it sometime in high school, based on a recommendation from a Bavarian friend, after drinking the usual Paulaner, Franzikaner, and all the multitude of other Weizen. I've always been more of a Weissbier guy, as opposed to Helles or Bock; it's just smoother and more refreshing. But don't get me wrong, I like almost all Bavarian beers, a good Oktoberfest Märzen is always good, just not all the time.
Ineednoname: Paulaner Beer Shower
Well I don't drink. The main thing I think about when I think "beer" is the beer showers at the end of the season! My main Oktoberfest-related activity is watching FC Bayern.
Brian Kellogg: Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale
I don't drink alcohol anymore, but I seem to remember enjoying Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale. Also liked the Belgian beers, such as Chimay (would have been bad timing before the Anderlecht match). As for German beer, Spaten and Spaten Dark.
Valentin King: Eichbaum Ureich Pils
Other than it tasting the best to me, it's what my soccer team drinks after games. After a very long 90 minutes out on the pitch, a cold beer just puts a nice touch on a fun afternoon aimlessly chasing a ball.
Jesmary Lorenzo: Delirium Tremens
My favorite beer is Delirium Tremens, a Belgian Strong Ale. 3 years ago I moved from Puerto Rico to the US. The first bar I went to downtown had a huge beer tap of this beer, and the logo and color were weird/cool so I decided to try it. It's been my favorite ever since.
Mike Lynch: Deschuttes Brewing Black Butte Porter
God, it's like picking my favorite kid... When I was in college, all anyone would drink was whatever was cheapest, which was usually a 40 of Mickey's or a warm six pack of Icehouse tall boys. Despite my dad constantly getting on my case about upping my beer standards, I just figured that "taste" was for other people. Well, one weekend me and some buddies went to Bend, Oregon, for a little ski/hiking retreat and decided to get a keg. Dechuttes, being based in Bend, had nearly-expired kegs for cheap so we went with their Black Butte Porter. It was like when Luke discovered The Force, or when Harry got his Hogwarts letter. I never knew beer didn't have to taste like goat piss. There are better porters out there on the market, and even Deschuttes as a brewery has gotten a little corporate, but every time I crack open a Black Butte Porter, it still takes me back to a time before mortgages, student loans and newborns. Back when the possibilities of what beer could be were endless.
Philip Quinn: Boulevard Brewing Frequent Flier (for now)
I spent a lot of my early beer drinking days slamming back cheap beers in bars in order to get... let's be honest... as drunk as I possibly could get. At the time, my main cheap beer of choice was a Yuengling; however, I can't even drink it now that I've become "more sophisticated." I usually don't have a go-to beer. I try to mix it up often, and try as much new stuff as possible. Currently, the closest to a go-to for me is Boulevard Brewing's Frequent Flier. It's a nice IPA that goes down pretty smooth for me and isn't too hoppy. I recommend it if you can find it.
Joshua Sampson: Guinness
Personally, as a ripe 21-year old, I love a good Guiness. It's a good dark stout beer, great for a long late-night talk at the bar, or for having over the course of a soccer match. They may not be the best at soccer, but the Irish make a good beer.
Joshua Sutter: ist mir Wurst!
I don't like beer, but I'll grab a bratwurst any day of the week!
Jason York: Bitburger
Favorite beer is kind of subjective. I have had good times with bad beer and vice versa. As for Oktoberfest and my German beer of choice, it's Bitburger because it immediately puts me in a soccer frame of mind. I miss the can that used to have a soccer player celebrating with a slide on his knees. I see the billboards when I watch a lot of Bundesliga matches and Die Mannschaft as well. My fridge always has Bitburger in it, and the local store that carries it tells me I am the only person who buys it. Feels good to know that.