Ask Mr. Wizard

Irish Red Ales vs Oktoberfest


Robert Bonetti • Leonard, Michigan asks,

On a trip to Germany, I recently tried a Kilkenny red ale and really liked it (I know it’s an Irish beer). Since then, I have been trying different Irish style red ales. Recently, I was in a brewpub and ordered one, but they didn’t have any red ales. Instead, the bartender recommended an Oktoberfest. I thought that was odd, but tried one anyway and it reminded me of the Irish red. Today I purchased a Sam Adams Oktoberfest and it too reminded me of the red ale. Are my taste buds wrong or are there similarities between these two styles?


I wish I could travel to a different place in time when beer styles were truly tied to geographical regions, a time before globalization of brewing techniques and brewing ingredients. Based on
Response by Ashton Lewis.