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Oktoberfest Season



What is an Oktoberfest style beer? Well, the Marzenbier is a deep amber color with highlights of copper, a near brilliant clarity and full-bodied malt profile accented by a brisk hopping and crisp finish. Beyond the style description, the beer has a rich history. The legendary story behind the brew includes a German duke who initiated the Oktoberfest celebrations by serving the beer during his wedding. The actual name does not denote that the beer should to be drunk in October; rather the beer is traditionally enjoyed during the month of September, with an extended seasonal period due to its current popularity.  Traditionally, these beers are brewed in late winter and early spring with the remaining hops from the previous season. By September, or even a bit earlier, the beer is ready to be consumed and is done so with gusto while it lasts. Typically, peak condition for drinking Oktoberfest biers lasts until the end of October, when it would begin to mellow. To truly appreciate the Oktoberfest style, below are some options currently available in the Grand Rapids market.


Goose Island Oktoberfest

Toffee and burnt sugar ruminate throughout the aroma while mild and earthy bitterness mingles with toasted malt and dried apricot flavor. 6.4% ABV


Rochester Mills Oktoberfest

With moderate hop bitterness captured within a medium body, this copper-toned lager finishes on a crisp and satisfying note. 6.2% ABV


Samuel Adams Octoberfest

Pouring a a rich amber color, Octoberfest is supremely smooth and features a hearty malt flavor with a refreshing breathe of hop bitterness. 5.3% ABV


Spaten Oktoberfest

A classic German-style Oktoberfest that pours a deep copper with a thick, white head. Sweet malt flavor is accented by a bite of hop bitterness. 5.9% ABV


Shiner Oktoberfest

Raise a stein to this Oktoberfest! Brewed with German malts, this Marzen-style beer showcases full-on malt flavor that is perfectly balanced with a moderate backing of hops. 5.7% ABV


Summit Oktoberfest

The first sip lambasts the palate with toffee malt flavors, quickly followed by a clean, brisk hopping and a crisp and dry finish. 7.1% ABV

New Beer in the City



Our Grand Rapids warehouse is excited to begin distributing some new brands throughout the area. Last week we acquired the amazing, highly-regarded regional brewery, Goose Island Brewing Co. as well as some established imports with the acquisition of the Spaten, St. Pauli Girl and Franziskaner brands.



Goose Island Brewing Co.

Goose Island was established in 1988 by John Hall and soon extinguished itself as one of the leaders of the craft beer revolution from its brewery based in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago brewery utilizes 32 fermenters while brewing 24/7 on a 50 barrel system within their 143,000 square foot facility.


Then there is the beer. Throughout the years, 312 Wheat has become a liquid symbol of the Windy City, even resulting in the creation of its cousin beer, 312 Pale Ale. The brewery’s sought-after Bourbon County Series continues to showcase the Skillman-ship, creativity and expertise that form the foundation for their preeminent barrel-aging system. Then there are the classics such as IPA and Honkers Ale that are perfect to have on hand in conjunction with innovative releases from their Fulton and Wood series. West Side Beer is proud to include this world-class brewery in the Grand Rapids portfolio.



Imported from Munich, Spaten Premium Lager and Doppelbock bring traditional Germanic brewing tradition to Beer City, USA. First founded in 1397, the brewery first began exporting beer to America in 1909. The two styles are also complemented by the release of their Oktoberfest  seasonal offering.



Also based out of Munich and a part of the Spaten-Franziskaner company since the early 1920s, Franziskaner is a classic and refreshing Weissbier. This traditional hefeweizen style is flavorful and malty with a creamy white head and banana/clove spice aroma.



St. Pauli Girl

 Based out of Bremen, Germany then imported and now distributed through West Side Beer, St. Pauli Girl is brewed according to traditional Germanic purity brewing laws.  Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions are available of the classic lager style. 

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