Top 5 local Oktoberfest beers

Sure, we're a state full of Scandinavians, but that doesn't mean we can't party like the beer-swigging Germans when October rolls around. Which beers should be filling your stein this time of year? Five local breweries offer the Oktoberfest experience for a limited time, and we're ready to weigh in.

1. Summit Oktoberfest Sweet is a word often used to describe this brew, which is created with Northern Brewer hops from Germany. The malty flavor and toffee aroma are pure fall, though the signature metallic taste is off-putting to some. We think it's the perfect build-up to Summit's Winter Ale.

2. Surlyfest Leave it to local powerhouse Surly to buck the naming trend and call their seasonal offering after themselves. This single-hop rye lager has the aroma and sweetness of an Oktoberfest, but with the distinctive slap of a Surly beer. Plus, it's the only one that comes in a can. Darkness and Wet might overshadow this seasonal offering this year.

3. Lake Superior Oktoberfest This brew from Duluth won gold at the 2009 World Beer Championships and claims to be the perfect accompaniment for the heartiest of bratwursts and schnitzels thanks to the strong caramel malt flavor and seductive grainy scent when you pop the cap.

4. Leinenkugel's Oktoberfest Sure, it's a stretch to call Leinie's local, but since they're just across the border we threw them into the mix. Their Oktoberfest is more entry-level than the Minnesota offerings, with a nutty flavor and none of the bitter bite or spiciness that says Oktoberfest to us. For those who like their Oktoberfests on the mellow (dare we say fauxtoberfest) side of things.

5. Schell's Oktoberfest Founded by the thoroughly German August Schell, Schell's has the street cred to serve up a traditional 'bier,' and true to form they drop this Oktoberfest creation once a year for those craving this specific recipe of three different malts and two kinds of hops.

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