6 unusual German beers to try for Oktoberfest – or any time
Spaten Beer Oktoberfest

Think you take your beer seriously? Pfft, you’ve got nothing on the Germans. They’ve had this beer thing on lock-down for over a thousand years.

With Oktoberfest season swinging into full stein-swigging gear – we’ve picked out some interesting beers that are worth seeking out for your Autumn boozing. Prost!

1. Köstritzer Schwarzbier

Founded in the 16th century, the Köstritzer brewery is one of the oldest producers of ‘schwarzbier’ or ‘black lager’ as it’s also known. The roasted malt base makes schwarzbiers similar in appearance to stouts, but they’re in fact a much lighter tasting beer with rich chocolate and coffee overtones.

Purchase from: www.beersofeurope.co.uk

2. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

Located in the picturesque Bavarian town of Bamburg, the Schlenkerla microbrewery is world famous for their ‘rauchbier’ – a beer that gains it distinctive ‘smoky bacon’ flavour from drying the malted barley over an open flame. Schlenkerla haven’t altered their process in over two centuries and are one of the only breweries still committed to this technique. If it ain’t broke…

Purchase from: www.beersofeurope.co.uk

3. Schneider Weisse Unser Aventinus

Having a beer that tastes like banana sounds like such a great idea that you’re wondering why everyone isn’t doing it. This particular blend is the oldest wheat doppelbock recipe in Bavaria, originally created by the widow of George Schneider III – the family behind wheat-beer brewing in the German region.

Purchase from: www.beersofeurope.co.uk

4. Spaten Oktoberfestbier

The Märzen lagers of Munich are intrinsically linked to the history of Oktoberfest itself. A Bavarian law decreed that beer may only be brewed between the end of September and April, meaning many were brewed in March and then left to ferment over the summer – before being opened at Oktoberfest. Each year, the Mayor of Munich will tap the first keg of Spaten beer to officially open the beer festivities. If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Oktoberfest, then you can’t get much closer than Spaten.

Purchase from: www.beersofeurope.co.uk

5. Reissdorf Kölsch

Moving away from Munich traditions to the northern city of Cologne, the Kölsch beer is a true taste of Germany that has survived near destruction after World War II. The pale golden beer is geographically protected, meaning that to be called a ‘kölsch’ it has to be brewed within a 50km of the Cologne region. Kölsch is traditionally served in a thin ‘strange’ glass, which makes it an interesting alternative to all those big heavy tankards.

Purchase from: www.beersofeurope.co.uk

6. Weihenstephan Tradition Bayrisch Dunkel

There’s plenty of beers steeped in tradition on this list, but the brewing miles on the clock of Weihenstephan makes the rest seem like fresh-faced newbies. With a history dating back to a Bavarian monastery in 1040 AD, Weihenstephan’s Bayrisch Dunkel is a dark lager with caramel flavours which harks back to the brewery’s (long) tradition.

Purchase from: www.weihenstephaner.de

Main image: Getty