Beer Town: Celebrate Oktoberfest around Atlanta

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Oktoberfest is back in Munich, Germany. And judging by the number of Oktoberfest beers now on offer at Atlanta bars, restaurants and package stores this year, it appears we’re celebrating, too.

Festbeir is the classic Bavarian lager, traditionally served in sturdy, dimpled glass mugs during the September-October days of Oktoberfest. The six Munich breweries at Oktoberfest are Augustiner-Braü, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, and Spaten. But Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen and Weihenstephaner Festbier are great, if somewhat different, examples of the style.

What’s somewhat surprising is how many American craft breweries have taken to making versions of Oktoberfest beer, whether they call it festbeir or maerzen or something more inventive.

Perennial favorites in wide distribution include Bell’s, Founders, Sam Adams, Shiner and Victory. Sadly, Sierra Nevada didn’t make a festbier this year.

When it comes to freshness, you can rely on local and regional examples of Oktoberfest. Highland Clawhammer, pitched as “Bavarian-inspired, Asheville-made,” is always a good bet. And Terrapin Oktoberfest is brewed in Athens with 100% German malts and hops.

Around metro Atlanta, look for Arches Märzenbier, Bold Monk Festbier, Elsewhere Oktoberfest, Ironshield Oktoberfest, Monday Night German-style Märzen, New Realm Bavarian Prince, Round Trip Oktoberfest Märzen, Six Bridges Feierabend, Three Taverns Oktoberfestbier, Twains World Oktoberfest and Wild Heaven Märzen.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Halfway Crooks in Summerhill. The brewery recently marked its third anniversary. Its full-on Oktoberfest 2022 celebration runs through Oct. 2.

Four core Oktoberfest brands will be on tap, along with a whole-cone hopped variant of Halfway Crooks Fest Märzen, a German-style seasonal lager. The other three include ALL CAPS German-style Export Helles, Shell German-style Schwarzbier and Kelvin German-style smoked Helles. What’s more, there will be Bavarian food and live music from Auf Gehts.

Halfway Crooks’ beer garden is still being renovated, so this year’s fest looks to be a more intimate affair.

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More Oktoberfest fun

Ironshield Oktoberfest, Sept. 17, with music, food and beer, plus pre-orders for a special Oktoberfest Ironshield 1-liter stein.

Oktoberfest at Arches, Sept. 17, with music by Edgewood Heavy in the biergarten and an Oktoberfest menu curated by chef Gary Caldwell.

Tucktoberfest at Tucker Brewing Co. Sept. 17-Oct. 2, with live music, games, Stein holding competition, decorations and German food.

Wild Heaven Oktoberfest Celebration, Sept. 23 to 25, with German food, music and Märzen at both the West End and Avondale locations.

Elsewhere Oktoberfest, Sept. 24 to Oct.1, with live polka music, German-style food and beer, games and a special stein release.

Round Trip Oktoberfest, Sept. 24 to Oct. 2, with nine days of autumnal celebrations, fun activities and beer drinking under the big tent.

Glover Park Brewery Oktoberfest, Sept. 25, Special beers, live music and German food from From the Earth Brewing.

Oktoberfest Atlanta 2022, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2., with German and craft beer, German food vendors and live music at Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark.

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