High on Hops: New Brews for Oktoberfest


It’s late September, the crisp bite of fall is in the air and amber-colored beers are filling up hoisted steins around the world.

The annual approach into autumn means that märzens, Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers adorn store shelves. While there are many excellent options returning from seasons past to expertly ward off the evening chill, these are some of the best new fall beers to try in 2015.

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. partnered with stalwart German brewery Brauhaus Riegele to craft a brand new Oktoberfest beer based on classic style guidelines. While American craft beer aficionados applaud Sierra Nevada for being an early leader in the industry, Sierra Nevada’s impressive 35 years of operation seems quaint compared to Brauhaus Riegele’s astounding 629. Those additional years of experience can be tasted in the perfectly balanced hop bitterness and sweet Steffi barley malt.

Service Brewing Teufel Hunden

A tribute to the Marine Corps, Service Brewing Co.’s  “Devil Dog” of a märzen features a deliciously warm malt aroma, spicy underpinnings and a beautiful, unfiltered reddish hue. The creamy mouthfeel and charismatic carbonation showcase a lightly toasted sugary grain flavor that finishes dry, crisp and clean.

Wicked Weed Xibalba

Asheville’s Wicked Weed produces some of the most creative beers on the market. Through their Funkatorium project, they’re perfecting the art of aging and souring ales, and in the process producing magical results. Xibalba is its latest bottled offering and is described by the brewery as a pumpkin beer “brewed with cacao nibs, ancho, serrano, and habanero chilies with fall spices,” perfect for the drinkers looking for some extra punch in their pumpkin.

Related Post: A Visit to Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium

NoDa Gordgeous Pumpkin Ale

While not necessarily a new beer, 2015 marks the first time that NoDa’s Gordgeous is available in packaged format. The bright orange, pint-sized cans contain an explosion of rich organic sugar, the expected burn of seasonal spices and meaty pumpkin. The clove and cinnamon additions make it a perfect dessert option, akin to drinking pie from a glass.

Whether you’re searching out one of this year’s fantastic new October inspired brews or going back to an old favorite, the autumnal season is an ideal time to slow down and savor a perfect pint. The flavorful bursts of toasted malts, ripe fruits and baking spices combined into a copper-colored pour is the true signifier that summer has passed and stout season is on its way.