Sierra Nevada 2018 Oktoberfest

Review Date 8/20/2018 Last Updated 9/6/2018   By John Staradumsky

August has, historically, not been one of my favorite months. It’s dreadfully hot and humid. It has no holidays. And it really gets in the way of the start of football season. Yet, with all that, there is hope for August, and it comes from the legendary Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina. That hope is Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2018.

OK, some may think that August is too early to start seeing Ofest beers hit the shelves, and I might agree-to a degree. While I most enjoy these beers in the cooler fall weather, I do love them in August, too. After all, when September and October are over, we’re on to winter seasonals, and two months is too short to enjoy the maty delights that are Oktoberfest beers. Then too, some German brewers offer them year-round.

Each year, Sierra Nevada partners with a different German brewer to bring us a delightful Festbier. In 2015, the first year they collaborated with a German brewer, it was with Brauhaus Riegele. In 2016, it was with Mahr’s Brau. For 2017, Sierra Nevada worked with Brauhaus Miltenberger. This year, 2018, Sierra Nevada teams up with the one and only Weinstephaner brewery, alteste Brauerei der Welt!

That means oldest brewery in the world, of course, and they can trace their history back to the year 1040. Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2018 is the second beer these two classic brewers have produced together. Earlier in the year I very much enjoyed their Braupakt Weisse.

Sierra Nevada says:

We’ve partnered with Bavaria’s Weihenstephan, the world’s oldest brewery, for this American take on the classic German Oktoberfest. A malt backbone is balanced by subtle hop character in this crisp, clean, and drinkable crowd-pleaser. Nothing captures the spirit of celebration like a beer among friends.

Ingredients, from the website:

Yeast Lager yeast

Bittering Hops Sterling

Finishing Hops Sterling, Spalter, Record

Malts Two-row Pale, Steffi, Pilsner, Munich

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2018 has an alcohol content of 6% by volume with 20 IBUs. I paid $8.99 for a six-pack of bottles, a real deal these days. My bottles were packaged on 7/23/2018 and I bough them at Kroger on August 16th.

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2018 pours to a bright orange jello color with a thick creamy head and a very bready malty nose. The beer is soft and bready malty in the palate with the lightest bit of toasty nutty character from the Munich malt. It finishes balanced with a grassy herbal bitterness that makes it very quaffable, indeed. I could easily down a liter of this beauty, and I think at some point I will.

How does Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2018 compare to prior years releases? It’s a bit heartier, I think, than last year’s version. I still think of the 2015 release as the best ever, but this is near the top, too, and at such a bargain price a beer that simply must not be missed.

Update 9/6/2018: Sierra Nevada's 2018 Oktoberfest beer is so wonderful I kept my fingers crossed hoping that my local Taco Mac would get a keg. And they did! In point of fact, they got a bunch of them, because Sierra Nevada is the featured brewery here for September of 2018. For a rock bottom $5.37 I enjoyed 23 ounces of this beauty and got a beautiful Sierra Nevada Pale Ale glass at no extra charge! Life is good!

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.