Oktoberfest - ein Fest der Landeshauptstadt München
Photo: Anette Göttlicher

The Oktoberfest beer tasting 2019

Six Munich brewers present their Oktoberfest beers

Shortly before the "O'zapft is!" on 21 September 2019, the master brewers of the six Munich breweries that are allowed to supply the Oktoberfest presented their specially brewed beers. From Augustiner to Spaten: Each has its own character!

Oktoberfest tradition: Beer tasting in „Das Bad“

Before the first barrel of Wiesnbier is tapped on 21 September and the 186th Oktoberfest is opened, the beer has to be tested. The best to present Wiesnbier are the six master brewers of Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten themselves. This year the beer tasting took place in the restaurant "Das Bad" at Theresienwiese - the Wiesn directly in view, where the very last preparations for the big party are currently underway.

The Wiesnbier: Surprising, but always of high quality

The hosts of the Oktoberfest tents where the beer will be served showed up to try it personally. In contrast to the rest of the year, according to deputy speaker Christian Schottenhamel, Wiesnbier is "a surprise every year - the master brewers are allowed to play a bit!“ The six beers all have one thing in common: they must be brewed with Munich water from a deep well and have an original wort content of at least 13.6 percent, which makes them stronger than normal light beer. Natural raw materials according to the Munich Purity Law of 1487 are also mandatory.

The Wiesnbier never tastes exactly the same - why this?

Wiesnbier is Wiesnbier, you'd think. And yet not only does each of the six Oktoberfest beers taste a little different, from full-bodied to soft to malty-aromatic, hoppy, mildly bitter and slightly sweet in the finish. Neither Augustiner nor Paulaner or Hofbräu will taste the same like last year. This is due to the raw materials: Barley and hops are different every year. In 2019, the dry summer presented the brewers with a number of challenges that they mastered skillfully.

Facts and figures about Oktoberfest beer

  • Original wort content: Paulaner has the lowest wort with 13.6%, the highest Hofbräu with 13.8%
  • Alcohol content: Augustiner the highest with 6.4%, Spades the lowest with 5.9%
  • Bitterness: Augustiner is mildest with 19 EBU (European Bitterness Units), Löwenbräu bitterest with 26 EBU
  • One square meter of arable land is needed for the malting barley to produce three litres of Wiesnbier
  • The brand "Oktoberfestbier" is protected and since 1990 the Wiesn is officially known as the "Festival of Munich Beer"