5@5 - Chefs Wolfgang Ban and Eduard Frauneder
September 3rd, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Wolfgang Ban and Eduard Frauneder are co-owners and executive chefs of Seäsonal Restaurant & Weinbar in New York City. Their modern interpretations of classic Austrian and Germain cuisine earned the restaurant a Michelin star.

With the kick-off of Oktoberfest quickly approaching on September 18, it's never too early to grab your beer mug and start tapping into those fall brews.

Five Beers for an Authentic Oktoberfest: Wolfgang Ban and Eduard Frauneder

1. Altenmünster
"One of the most beautiful regions in Germany is the Allgäu, home of Altenmünster Brewer’s Beer. The Allgäu is a land of lush, green meadows, hills and lakes that give way to a majestic mountain backdrop. Altenmünster is made from rediscovered recipes and uses long-forgotten ingredients to create a full-flavored and timeless beer. With a sweet and smooth malt body, Altenmünster is the ideal companion for spicy Gulasch, Kässpatzen, ox roast, German dumplings and hearty boar dishes."

2. Clausthaler
"Clausthaler has been the undisputed champion among non-alcoholic brews in Germany since its inception. Clausthaler is among Germany's leading export beverage brands and is regarded the world's best non-alcoholic brew. A major reason for this outstanding product quality is the unique (and patented) Clausthaler brewing process, which allows the brewmaster to prevent the formation of alcohol, rather than removing the alcohol after the brewing process. How does Clausthaler do it? Top secret … but it pairs well with white meats and fresh seafood."

3. Schlösser
"Brewed in the unmistakable Düsseldorf style, Schlösser has a distinctive fresh and spicy taste. A standard everyday drink in the Lower Rhine region, the strong malty ale finishes with a fine bitter taste of hops. The amber and copper color and spicy freshness pairs perfectly with hearty foods such as roasted pork, smoked sausage or potato pancakes with applesauce and cherry crepes."

4. Hövels
"Hövels is Hövels: it’s completely unique and cannot be categorized as any one type of beer. Brewed in Dortmund, one of Germany’s most traditional brewing regions, Hövels has been a great success since 1893. The beer uses four different fine malts and a traditional mashing process to make an amber-colored beer that has undertones of caramel, bread and dark raisin-y fruits. The caramel notes and mellow taste are ideal for meat dishes as well as starters, like wild mushrooms, and even goes well with sweet desserts."

5. Schöfferhofer
"Fankfurt am Main, commonly known as Frankfurt, is the home of the fine Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen. A top-fermented, full-bodied beer with a distinctive and slightly sweet, floral aroma, Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen is one of Germany’s most well-known wheat beers. The cloudy wheat beer has a smooth malt background and rich yeast flavor with a zesty lemon crispness. This tangy, dry beer is best paired with lighter foods such as sushi, salads, seafoods and, of course, the classic Weisswurst."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Beer • Oktoberfest • Sip • Think

soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Gary Wolf

    I was as in Bavaria last month for 9 days. Oktoberfest is not a "German" festival. It is strictly Bavarian. The article does not name one beer from Bavaria. I do not understand this. I think this is a shame. My vote goes to Paulaner dunkles and Andechs dopplebock. The editor responsible for this article needs to be let go. Pathetic.

    September 25, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  2. rachael

    I can't believe this worthless article can still be found on the homepage after 5 days! CNN, how about a redo with REAL Oktoberfest beers???

    September 8, 2010 at 6:06 am |
  3. captgg

    It's been quite a while, but I really enjoyed Dinkelacker while in bavaria

    September 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  4. Erik

    I hope anyone reading this ridiculous article will ignore these moronic suggestions. If you live in the US and you want a REAL Oktoberfest suggestion, here you go:

    1. Ayinger Oktoberfest - Bavarian beer from Aying, Bayern. Excellent brew, but hard to find and a little expensive.

    2. Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Highly under rated American beer that is well worth drinking and easily found.

    3. Paulaner Oktoberfest - Excellent Oktoberfest beer, not terribly hard to find, actually served in Munich.

    4. Kostritzer - This is a Schwarzbier from eastern Germany. It wouldn't make it into Oktoberfest either, but it is an excellent German beer. Although its body is completely black it has the soul of a better German pilsner with just the ever-so-slightest taste of smoke. (An American copy of this beer is Samuel Adams Black Lager–it's a distant second though.)

    5. Victory Prima Pils - Another American beer, this time from the craft Victory brewery in Pennsylvania. This is one of the most excellent German pilsners on the market today. This beer would be difficult to find outside of the northeastern US, but if you live there it is well worth trying. This is one of my favorite beers. (A substitute here could be Pilsner Urquell.)

    Now that is truth.. prost!

    September 7, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Franz

      Erik, you are right on about Ayinger bier! I bought 3 cases of this brew in late August–I ordered it straight from the distributor in Milwaukee–and had it delivered to a store. What a wunderbaar bier!

      September 25, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  5. Erik

    Is this a joke?

    Oktoberfest is Bavarian, not German. Those of you thinking it's a German festival are mistaken. To suggest five beers and not a single one of them is from Munich or is a märzen is very disappointing. What is shocking and utterly appalling is the fact that the five suggestions these two men made included three Alt/ Kolsch beers from Northern Germany and a non-alcoholic beer!? The closest thing to a Bavarian beer on the list is the Schofferhofer and that's from bloody Frankfurt! There isn't a single lager on this list and I am shocked that these men have a Michelin star; that tells me the true value of the Michelin stars!

    September 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  6. J Man

    give me any one of these, as long as its in a tall glass with lots of ice

    September 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  7. Schmucker

    best beer ever – Miller Hohe Lebensdauer. Es lebt in meinem Herzen.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  8. Cheryl Kent

    I went to an Oktoberfest in Georgia a few years back and they served Hacker-Pschorr – the real thing. They shipped it over along with the wurst and crusty white rolls. German beer is not pasturized, thus the reason you don't get a hangover when over-indulging. The beer was fabulous, the band was authentic – very few of them spoke English – and it was a treat I'll never forget. I lived in Germany for about 9 years and the Fest in Stuttgart started a week after Munich, so there was three whole weeks of celebration! Just to go back to Munich again! Aufweidersein!

    September 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  9. Oho

    I wonder why nobody here has mentioned the one and only Helles beer that can actually beat Augustiner Helles: Tegernseer Hell!
    I know there are a bunch of Edel Versions like Augustiner Edelstoff or the Oktoberfest version of it, which might be considered better, but those can't be considered standard beers.
    I hang out with people from Munich all the time and go snowboarding in the area frequently every year and clearly everybody there that knows something about beer prefers Tegernseer over other beer, if it's available.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  10. Deuce

    Bier her, Bier her oder ich fall um, juche.

    I love Hofbräu Original with some Weißwürste an a pretzel. To this day I'm dying to go back to Munich for a bier and Pretzels. best beer and best pretzels ever.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  11. Don

    I was at the BIG Oktoberfest in Munich in 2000. I don't remember seeing any of those beers listed above in the article. I sat in the Spaten tent when I was there because that was the only tent in which I could get a seat. To my recollection, the beers featured were Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Lowenbrau, Warsteiner, and of course Spaten. I am sure I leaving a few out but it was my understanding that the Oktoberfest in Munich is put on by the beer makers in Munich. Anything coming from northern Germany would not be included.

    September 7, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  12. Joanne

    Sorry. Not one of those beers would be served in Munich at the big daddy of all Oktoberfests. Come on, beer from northern Germany in Bayern?? Not happening. Not when Munich has some of the best beer in the world. Lived there for a few yrs in the 80's and would go back in a heartbeat. I was telling my roommate about this article filled with scorn for the selections last night and he laughed at me and stated this article was likely written by folks who've never been to Oktoberfest and don't have a clue as to what it really is about. I'd have to agree with him. It's amazing to see how many people DO know.

    September 6, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  13. Robbie

    My vote is Tucher hefeweizen ....ummmmm

    September 6, 2010 at 12:39 am |
  14. bernd

    these dudes are obviously East German. unglaublich. last time in muenchen, went to a kloister w/ my father. i think it was called Andechs( sp? was long ago). chubby monks waddling about with red noses and happy, blissful smiles. black, hearty brew. i'll never forget it. anyting ausserhalb bayern : kein oktoberfest bier!

    September 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  15. Prost

    As far as I know, both of these chefs are Austrian – now I have nothing against Austrians, but as authorities on Oktoberfest bier?
    I'm surprised Stiegl didn't make their list.
    What editor approved this story?

    September 5, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  16. Rohit Rai

    Never came across these beers in Park City UT..liquor store or supermarkets...so how to find them and check if they really are the top5 beer.

    September 5, 2010 at 6:33 am |
    • how to find them?

      is alcohol legal in Utah?

      September 6, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  17. Dave

    If you want a genuine Oktoberfest, drink one of the following helles: Augustiner (probably the best), Spaten, Hacker-Pschor, Paulaner, Hofbrau Haus, Kaltenberg, Hassen brau. PS: you have to go to Bavaria and get the beer – the versions sold in the US are swill.

    September 5, 2010 at 6:19 am |
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