It is finally my favorite time of year: Fall! The weather is (slightly) cooler (maybe?), Halloween is around the corner, and fun activities are starting to pop up every weekend! One of my favorite parts about Fall is Oktoberfest brews and festivals. The only (first-world) problem is, there are soooo many from which to choose. My friends and I did a little homework for you (wink) and found some stellar brews and festivals near Austin that you have to try! It is hard work, but someone has to do it!
Here are some Oktoberfest brews and festivals near Austin you have to try:
We sampled six different Oktoberfest and/or German style beers, and used a rubric to help us keep track of each one to determine which we liked best. We also indulged in a little German fare, with soft pretzels, mustard, German pickles, and pierogi.
Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen, 3.2%
This is the most beautiful looking beer I’ve ever seen; it looks like an orange popsicle! This Hef and Grapefruit (not an Oktoberfest brew) blend is rather sweet and fruity, but the grapefruit bitterness helps keep it from tasting like a wine cooler. It is highly drinkable on its own, although not the perfect pairing with just any food; think savory like a honey mustard with a pretzel. Would make a fabulous topper on say, a tropical, frozen cocktail. Overall, this one got 100% from all of us!
Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest, 5.1%
I am a fan of most of Leinenkugel’s brews that I’ve tried, especially the Summer Shandy; these are just great, traditional German beers, and this one is a perfect go-to for Oktoberfest gatherings. This one is also very crisp and drinkable, although a bit more on the hoppy side (bitter).
Ayinger Oktoberfest-Marzen, 5.8%
This was a lighter color than the Leinenkugel, which is more traditional for a German-style Marzen, and the flavor was spot-on perfect for an Oktoberfest beer. I loved it, but my friends were split on this one. Paired perfectly with our soft pretzels and pierogi!
Opa’s Lederhosen Oktoberfest, Whitestone Brewery (Cedar Park)
I love trying local brews and this one was not bad; some friends were turned off by the stronger aroma of this beer; for me, it was drinkable but the flavor seemed watered down. Maybe because this was the 4th sample and it came right after a fantastic one! Hahaha!
Mondlift Oktoberfest, Wild Acre Brewing Company, Dallas, Tx, 5.7%
Leave it to Dallas (eye roll) to make a great Oktoberfest brew; this one was a crowd-pleaser as well, although for me, a close second to the Ayinger. Very easy to drink, crisp, not too bitter but flavorful.
Great White Buffalo, Buffalo Brewing Co., Houston, Tx, 5.8%
Okay, so this is a Belgian style witbier, which doesn’t fit into our criteria really at all, but our hostess had some and we wanted to try it! Very different from the Oktoberfest; lighter, sweeter, and citrusy-er? This is a great summertime or really anytime beer. Plus, it comes from a Texas Brewery, so we have to show it some love!
Walburg German Restaurant & Biergarten Sept 25-Nov 7 (closed Mondays & Tuesdays)
This iconic spot on the outskirts of Austin will give you all the feels of what a German Oktoberfest might be really like. With live music, all you can eat German food buffet…think jagerschnitzel, wienerschnitzel, bratwurst and more. Bring the fam!
Austin Oktoberfest, Oct. 9
Grab your lederhosen and your dirndl and be ready for yodeling and the polka!
Bluebonnet Beer Company Oktoberfest, Oct. 10
Located at Centennial Plaza in Round Rock, come out for food, music, beer, local vendors, contests and prizes.
Wolf Ranch Town Center Boo & Brew, Oct. 23
New Braunfels Wurstfest, Nov. 5-14
Now that every weekend in October is probably booked with fun Fall activities, we can start filling November too! Wurstfest is a blast and New Braunfels is beautiful.
Much more kid-centric with games and crafts, but also a beer tent for 21 and up.
If crowds are not your style, I highly recommend creating your own backyard Oktoberfest sampling like we did. Always enjoy responsibly and don’t forget to PROST!