Oktoberfest style beers, just like the majority of beer styles, are pushed to the limit by American craft brewers.  Oktoberfest brews have a long and storied tradition, sharing characteristics such as their deep copper color, rich maltiness, subdued hops, and 5-6% ABV.  Two popular craft breweries, including one right here in the Chicago area, have taken Oktoberfest beers to the extreme.


Avery Brewing Company - Denver, Colorado
Averys imperial Oktoberfest offering, The Kaiser, is like a traditional Oktoberfest beer on steroids.  It is oozing with sweet caramel and toasted malts while hints of brown sugar, molasses, toffee, and biscuits round things out.  It has everything we would expect from an Oktoberfest, only much more pronounced.   Dont be fooled by The Kaisers drinkabilityit surpasses 10% ABV.


Two Brothers Brewing Company Warrenville, Illinois
Atom Smasher made its debut at Binnys last week unlike the abovementioned Kaiser, which Avery is now offering for the 7th consecutive fall season.  The two beers share many flavor similarities, although Atom Smasher is a bit toned down when contrasted to Kaiser, mostly due to it being 7.7% ABV.  The uniqueness in Atom Smasher comes from it being aged in Two Brothers massive oak foudres, giving the beer a conspicuous oak flavor that is pleasant but doesnt dominate.


Whether or not you are a fan of Oktoberfest brews, the abovementioned beers are worth a shot.  They are close enough to the original style for the Oktoberfest lovers, yet different enough for the extremists.  What fits your fancy when it comes to Oktoberfest beers?