Penn Oktoberfest - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn OktoberfestPenn Oktoberfest

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very good

257 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 257
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 19
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2001

A rich, deep golden-colored lager fest bier that is exceptionally smooth and mellow. Uses two-row malted barley and a combination of roasted malts. Highly rated by the National Tasting Institute.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 257 | Reviews: 150
Reviews by AdamBear:
Photo of AdamBear
3.04/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A-reddish gold with a thin sticky cream colored head

S-very light scent of grains and honey. Very light. Somewhat adjunct.

T-comes in pretty much tasting like an adjunct lager with a touch of more grain flavor. Nothing off to this, but really nothing much to it at all. Just a really weak lager. Definitely has that lager yeast after-taste.

M-high carbonation. Very wet.

O-for a cheap beer at a sports bar, this is fine. Large amounts can be consumed if you're not concerned about flavor. It's not a good example of the style though, it's just too weak.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

one of the better american variety not to sweet.Liked its color(not as dark as some american varieties.)Nice and malty one of the better American styles liked it alot.Really good on tap.A good anice like finish really makes this quite quaffable and makes you want more.

Photo of RoyalT
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This Oktoberfest is light brown in color with a modest head that showed good retention and lacing.

Smell – The nose here is lightly-toasted malts . . . and that’s it.

Taste – The malts are a bit grainy at the taste and lack the complexity of a good Oktoberfest, but the flavor is good and satisfying.

Mouthfeel – This is just a hair bigger than light-bodied with some very modest carbonation.

Drinkability – This is really a session-Oktoberfest if there ever was one. It’s a bit lighter than I’m used to but a good drinker nevertheless.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.68/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tall, narrow Ayinger Marzen glass.

A - Pours a golden yellow, leaving a two-finger head of eggshell-white fluffy foam. Beer is a slightly opaque goldenrod color.

S - Bubblegum in the front of nose, followed by grassy straw, and then floral hops. Hints of a very subtle banana bread.

T - Sugars haven't quite fully caramelized, so the bubblegum in the nose is present in the taste. Light caramel-toffee with just enough bittering hops to not be cloying, as those take over at the very end of the finish.

M - Good carbonation gives is a slightly fizzy, foamy mouthfeel. On the thin side with a loose structure and soft, moderate finish.

O - On the lighter side of the divide of Oktoberfest Marzens. Reminds me of a wheat-based beer that's oriented toward caramel sugars. Not bad, but with all the Oktoberfest options out there, and my personal preference for well-defined caramels and malts, this isn't one I'll be seeking out in the future.

Photo of Jason
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dull orange straw color with a little haze hanging around, the head starts off big but then falls to a thin layer of lace. Both sweet and toasted grain in the nose, hint of spicy herbal hop in the aroma. Decent smoothness from a tightly bound crispness that has a refreshing quality to it. Medium body. Hint of cooked veggies (DMS) with a graininess from the start to finish. Grassy malt flavors point towards dry, hops are mild with a quick snap of bitterness and a spicy finish. Small fermentation twang in the middle. Finishes dry and grainy.

Not bad at all, comparable to the few good imported O-fest beers and certainly better than the new pale versions that have been coming over lately within the past several years. A good choice for a malty pick this fall.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capital Ale House.
Note: The tap list states that the ABV for this beer is 4.5%

Wonderful brightly-colored copper in appearance. Actively fizzy in the glass. Sticky lacing leaves distinct rings in the glass. A very "fall"-looking beer. Aromas remind me of the fall as well...spice and nutmeg. A spicy, hoppy flavor with hints of caramelized brown sugar poured over roasted nuts makes for a very different and very tasty flavor. Finish was slightly dry, with a dash of spice on the tongue to tease you, begging you to take another sip. Very smooth and extremely quaffable. I see myself drinking this all day while sitting outside watching a fall day go by. Everything with this beer is well-balanced, making it a seasonal I must find on tap next weekend when we head to Pennsylvania for the weekend.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 22oz.pilsner glass.A nice creamy white about an inch,clings to the side of the glass all the way down.A medium coppery color. tiny bubbles wisk to the top of the glass.A clear looking beer,very inviting.Has a bisquity,nutty,slighty fruity aroma.Has a little grainy,caramelly taste,a complex taste.It has a medium-light mouthfeel with a pleasinglly bitter finish.A well balanced beer,refreshing a quite drinkable. A very good Octoberfest.

Photo of kingjames1
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours with an attractive, golden honey hue, but with almost zero head...and no trace of lacing. smells great! bready malts, sweet honey, a hint of grassy hops. taste is sweet breads, caramel, woody bitterness, and a hint of apricots. a very fine example of the style. crisp and refreshing in finish. very drinkable - one of my favorite oktoberfests so far.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a tinted ruby copper tone and forms a nice full cream colored two finger sized head leaves scattered thickets of lace. Aroma has a nutty warming malt sweetness with some flowing hallertau hops nice floral and distinct. Flavor profile consists mainly of toasted nuts over a trickle of brown sugar sweetness all created by German malts this is one nice beer, one of the better Oktoberfests I have tried so clean and crisp with body a rare combonation for most American O-fests. Smooth creamy mouthfeel what a nice sipper this is a great beer, courtesy of an authentic German style brewery medium body a few notches below robust. Drinkability is definitely where this beer holds supreme just an awesome beer perfect for the turn of the season it has my approval.

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Penn- Oktoberfest

A- Light golden orange, clear, small filmy head.
S- Weak caramel malt and buttery bread grains.
T- Sweet caramel malt with earthy grassy hops.
M- Very watery and sweet sugary malt with a fizzled out hop ending.

Overall- Blah. Not impressed with this one. Just too simple and lifeless. I'll pass next time.

Photo of tastybeer
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good looking oktoberfest. Coppery brown beer, white head, and a few patches of lace. Smells nice also. Good toasty maltiness and a nice sprinkling of hops. Nothing fancy, just right where it should be. Taste is pleasant. I like the way the maltiness comes in mini-waves around the light bitternes and carbonation. Creamy texture and solid medium-full body add a nice chewy malt effect.

One of the better versions of this style I think I've had.

Photo of QXSTER1
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange with a wisp of a white head that falls but laces nicely down the glass. Clean, concise, sharp malt with a balance of German hops that goes down easily. Medium bodied with no heaviness which puts it on the light side of most Octoberfests. No faults with beer, but no jaw dropping highlights either. Another of the line of clean German lagers from this Pittsburgh brewery.

Photo of asabreed
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Maybe the best of the style I've ever seen in a glass. Huge and round and gorgeous looking white thick rings of lacing I keep having to stare at, for one. The head refuses to go beyond about 1/4" and the brew's almost 3/4 of the way consumed. I don't know if I poured this miraculously or what, but damn. Not to mention the nice copper color and the myriad bubbles still cascading around in the glass.

Smell: Nice slightly toasted malt sweetness, some grain and bread aromas, some faint banana, and a nice hop bite.

Taste: A good balance between the sweet and slightly fruity malt notes and the curbing hop bite at the end, which ends up working very well together. Banana really comes through here, oddly enough, along with some maple honey.

Mouthfeel: Fairly full without and slickness or astringency, and good carbonation levels that make it extremely easy to swig.

Drinkability: Very impressed with this brew and this is certainly becoming one of my favorites. I think this can hold a candle to some of the better imports in some ways too. Penn doesn't make a lot of beers, which means usually WHEN they're on, they're on.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

{Thanks a million to melbatoast93 for the trade!}

My German wife is pretty critical of American Marzens, saying they're usually too dark in color and overly sweet. This one should fit in her idea of a "real" Marzen, though I can't personally claim to be an expert on this style. Pours a clear burnt sunburst color, with a thin head and very mellow bubbles.

Aroma brings a clean malt/hops mixture, earthy and light, not all that up-front, a little bit bready which is nice.

Bready, toasty, biscuit-like flavors dominate, with a good bitter hops snap in the finish. Even has a lightly spicy element in the background, like nutmeg or allspice, and a touch of caramel sweetness. Nice roundness in the mouth and perfect carbonation, not too much or too little. Dry and crisp in the finish, leaving a pleasant malt-dominated aftertaste.

No doubt this is a very easy-drinking, enjoyable beer, with no undesirable characteristics. It would suffice year 'round, not just for Oktoberfest. I'd gladly hoist this in my mug any day.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle. The label reads "2008" but it's really 2009.
A: Slightly hazy orange amber body. Creamy antique-white head.

S: Malty, as might be expected, with a hint of toasted malt, and a suggestion of caramel. Some delicate floral hops are present as well, as is a hint of fruitiness.

T: The flavor delivers more of everything than the nose suggests, but it's still not overly malty like many examples of the style. On the other hand, I do think it could have used a touch more malt. The caramel comes out nicely, and some spicy hops appear along with the floral characteristics. A solid bitterness balances it, and it finishes dry as the hop flavors slowly flitter away.

M: Medium bodied and gently crisp. There's just enough carbonation to cut through the maltiness and gently bristle the tongue.

D: Personally I'd prefer a little more balance towards maltiness, but I can't fault it. Nicely done!

Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, shipped to me by a man of darkness

appearance: nice authentic feeling label...poured into an ale asylum pint glass, copper body with a beige cream head

smell: not overly potent, rustic malt nose, apple and caramel

taste: Pretty good oktoberfest...rustic caramel malt base, traces of some nice euro the end nothing too special, but a solid lager

mouthfeel: creamy and light

drinkability: good

Photo of cjgator3
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light copper color with light tan head that does a decent job sticking to the glass. Aroma is very clean with some toasted grain and a bit of a floral hop aroma as well. Taste is much like the aroma with some toasted grain that finishes with a mildly spicey hop presence in the finish. Overall, this is really just an average O-Fest that really is not worth drinking again for me when Paulaner just blows this one away for the same price.

Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Ortino's Northside for $5 a pint. This beer is a fest beer, like Weihenstephaner's and the beers they actually pour at Oktoberfast. It appears a brilliant gold with a short white head. The beer really tastes a lot like a dry export lager. The aroma is fruity with a mild cherry note, but the flavor is centered around dried white bread with a little crust. Meh, this is not the best I've had, but still not bad.

Photo of DerekP
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Penn Brewery Oktoberfest, as part of the brewery's Gourmet Selection (variety-pack). Slightly hazy appearance marked by an amber-copper brown color. Head slims to a nice rim with leftovers on top.

Grassy hops in the nose up front, with a sweet honey and malt backbone. Candy caramel w/ sweet brown bread.

First sip--since I took the bottle out of the fridge twenty minutes ago--is marked by a hoppy-graininess that is hard to describe. Alcohol in the taste. Toasted barley? Toasted brown bread? Definitely some caramel. Hoppy up front with a medium body. Sweeter in the finish with a bit of a syrupy feel on the tongue.

I like it, although I'm having trouble describing its characteristics. A good Oktoberfest that doesn't ask you to think about it too much, while remaining interesting enough to imbibe. I can see myself drinking this in the cold.

As for the other beers that one is encouraged to drink in the cold (read: Winter Warmers), give me a few weeks. I'm not ready yet.

Photo of MiScusi
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- dark gold with some orange. Big bright white head that fades really fast.

S- smells a bit metallic, but not in a real bad way.

T- Toasted malt but there's also a real juicy aspect to it too that's kinda weird. There seems to be a bit of fruitiness as well which is unexpected.

M/D- Carbonation is about medium but real thin in feel, nice.

Overall, pretty nice beer. Good for fall... light but flavorful.

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a mug.

Pours a medium coppery orange with almost 2 fingers of of foamy brite-white head. Retains solidly with some decent looking lacing. The aroma is a pretty nice smelling mix of lightly toasted bready malts, spice, and floral hop character.

The taste is toasted bread and caramel sweetness with a tingle of Noble hops for balance. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a clean & crisp feel and easy drinkibility.

All around solid Oktoberfest from Penn that stays true to style and drinks extremely well. I'd except nothing less from Penn. Prost!

Photo of trafordboy
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle and poured into my favorite beer mug. Color is amber, with a good head. The smell is a slightly cereal malt. The taste has a decent malt sweetness, but provides a nice hop bitterness to balance it out. Mouthfeel is very smooth. As for drinkability, could drink these all day!

Well, maybe I'm a bit biased being from Da 'Burgh, but Penn certainly makes one of the top Oktoberfests of the year. I'll certainly have as many of these as I can, and I'll certainly look for this next year.

Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The fest is an amber color with is more golden orange than red. There is a small ring of head that seems to retain nicely.

S: The beer has a malty biscuity flavor that borders on sweetness.

T: The beer has a very light, malty flavor. The malts are biscuity and concentrated to the point of sweetness. There are no hops, but the beer does not need them to shine.

M: The malts are pleasing and add a good amount of sweetness.

D: Very drinkable, a good oktoberfestbier.

Photo of Jredner
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Grassy, stale hay and hop aroma that lacks the typical malt sweetness I expect. The body is a light amber/orange and holds a finger sized white head. The malt comes through int he flavor, but is very watered down. Grassy hops and a sweet malt/caramel and hint of toast, but generally watery feel.

Photo of philbe311
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Thin fizzy white head quickly fades... Slight lacing... Orangish caramel color... Slow carbonation throughout...

S - Wheat... Bread... Grains... Malts... Gentle spiciness... Subtle, yet mildly comples...

T - Biscuit... Crust... Malt... Spices... Minor hops... Grains...

M - Crisp... Dry... Moderate carbonation on the tongue... Clean and refreshing...

D - Solid... Highly respectable, but not memorable or inspired...

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Penn Oktoberfest from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.