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Penn Oktoberfest | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

very good
149 Reviews
For Trade:
Penn OktoberfestPenn Oktoberfest

Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 273
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.51/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Strong aroma is crisp and malty with a fruity undertone, mainly apple plus some pear. Pours a clear, bubbly amber with a thick, fluffy ivory head. Malty flavor has hoppy and fruity hints, typical but still pleasing. Smooth texture has a fair amount of tingle and firmness. Prost!

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Photo of metter98
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short beige colored head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose along with some hints of cracker malts.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts out rather malty with lots of flavors of toasted malts with an ever so slight amount of sweetness but this is mostly balanced off by the underlying hops, which contribute a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer had a good balance between the malts and hops but seemed to be a little lighter in body compared to other Oktoberfest biers.

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Photo of IronLover
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden yellow with an amber and a touch of chill haze at the onset. Poured with a short white foam that slowly reduced to a soapy cap. Toasted malt and bread aromas with herbal and light citrus hop notes at the back end. Tangy, assertive up front followed by a smooth, delicate feel through the middle and a crisp, super-clean finish. Toasted and bready malt flavors up front that turn a bit grainy into the middle as a quick bitter hop bite takes hold. The bitterness quickly fades leaving toasted and caramel malt flavors at the finish. Nice hop character and crispness.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.04/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served an amber color with a little bit of an orange hue. Upon serving there is a one finger white head. The head persists for quite some time, eventually fading away to leave a decent level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is very malty and grainy smelling overall with just some lighter hints of sweetness. A lightly roasted malt aroma creates the base of the aroma with some smells of biscuit and a grainy bready smell mixed within. A light caramel and spice aroma are there as well, giving it a slightly drier Oktoberfest aroma overall.

Taste –The taste, as one may expect from the nose, is a bit on the drier and maltier side. It begins with a little bit of caramel sweetness mixed with a nice roasted malt and crackery flavored base. As the flavor advances, the caramel fades while some spice flavors of some nutmeg coming to the tongue. The roasted flavors increase to some extent with a little bit of some other lightly sweetened fruit flavors of apple and pear mixing in. In the end, a grassy and herbal hop flavor develop giving it just the right hint of bitterness to create an overall roasty and still moderately drier malty flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is average in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average. Both are appropriate for the style and make for a rather easy drinking Oktoberfest.

Overall – A rather decent Oktoberfest overall. A little more on the maltier side with a decent balance of spice and roast to create an enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of Omnium
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a golden amber color, massive head, poured out almost all head, had to wait for it to settle, big marshmallow texture to it, thick lacing too.
S - Lager yeast, barley, bread and biscuit malt, no hops.
T - Taste is very much on the lager side, with a ton of biscuity malt flavor, tastes like im eating pilsbury crescent rolls. A weird soapy bitterness comes in at the end.
M - I cant get that soap taste out of my mouth, very clingy.
O - Over the years I thought this was a stellar octoberfest, but coming pack to it after having a substantial palate shift in the last year or so, its definitely not the best.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This brew pours a brown/orange color with a small white head which dissipates quickly and virtually no lacing.

The smell is sweet malts and grains. Roasted toffee and bread, maybe some spices such as nutmeg and cloves. The smell reminds me of pumpkin pie.

The taste is sweet malts with a light hop backbone. Fall spices and toffee are also present. In spite of the apparent complexity this beer does not really "pop".

The mouthfeel is smooth; a little bready. Goes down easily, no aftertaste.

Overall this is a decent Oktoberfest style but I have had better. I would not turn it down if offered but I would not buy it again.

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Photo of jifigz
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Poured this beer rather aggressively to generate a nice head. The head lingers for a short time and is a nice barely off white color. The beer is a little paler than most other Oktoberfests that I have seen. It is a light brown amber color with tiny hints of orange shining through the color when held up to the light. The aroma is slightly biscuit-y aroma with hints of sweetness that shine through. This beer was pulled out of a cooler so it is a little cold and kills the aroma a bit. There are some caramel sweet notes coming through as well. The flavor is light yet very rich. It is a spot on Oktoberfest flavor, but not quite as heavy on the toasted roasted flavors as some I have had. The initial flavor is smooth and slightly metallic, but that quickly gives way to that "traditional Oktoberfest flavor" and ends with a hint of bitterness from the hops that balance out the beer perfectly. The "traditional" flavors I'm referring to are malty graininess with rich flavors of toffee, biscuits, and caramel. THE MF is lighter in body that other Oktoberfests I have had and finishes medium dry, but certainly not a dry beer.

I was surprised by the flavors of this beer and the ease of drinkability. With the lighter color and smell I was expecting a lighter brew, which this was in a way, but it was also spot on and perfectly balanced for an Oktoberfest. This is a damn good Oktoberfest. I'm glad I picked up a case of this. Good work Pennsylvania Brewery.

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Photo of paulhargus
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: light orange, almost goldish in appearance. lighter than what i've seen in most other Marzens

S: floral/earthy smell with a faint caramel aroma

T: very similar to the smell. not as malty as other Marzens I've had and a touch on the hoppy side for the style. there is also a tinge of citrus at the end.

M: medium and well carbonated

O: although not as malty or caramel-heavy as I like in my Marzens, this was a very well crafted brew. well balanced and an easy drinker. would like to have this on draft. a nice offering from a brewery I hadn't heard of until today.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.68/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

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Photo of troysoy2
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Lagunitas Mason Jar. Half finger of off-white head over a light copper body. Not much lacing or retention to speak of.

Smells of esters and nondescript bready malt. Slightly metallic.

Banana, apple, and crisp breadiness on the taste. The aftertaste is a little sweet. The mouthfeel is a little overcarbonated for the style, in my opinion.

Not my favorite Oktoberfest, but decent. I mainly think the malt could be featured more prominently and have a more pronounced flavor to it.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very clear copper with a bit of a hazy orange tint. Small 1 finger, bright white head.

S - Good amount of bready malt, a tinge of caramel. Light spice notes in the background.

T - A bit spicier than most Octoberfests I've tried. Starts with a hint of ester and zest before fading into that rich breadiness. Finish is slightly "lager"-y.

M - Full mouthfeel, moderate to high carbonation. Clean and crisp.

Overall - Pretty good beer here. A little bit of a twist on the traditional Octoberfest, but perfect for the season. Well done.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A clear bright orange with a brown hue. Head is small and only gets a small lace ring.

S - Light biscuit malts, touch of toffee and bread and caramel.

T - Mild bit of hops mixed with sweet malts of caramel and toffee and some bread in the finish. Has a mild metallic twang but it's easily ignored.

M - Light to medium an easy going Oktoberfest.

Overall I might have to pick this one up again. Sweet, balanced and not very much skunked malts its a winner in my book.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 Penn Oktoberfest. 12oz bottle. Look forward to this brew every year.

Beautifully clear copper body with an eggshell white head of a quarter-inch height. Retaining very well atop the beer.

Sweet and toasty caramelly malt with a sprite hop aroma. Definitely beefy with grain. Nice Oktoberfest aroma.

Classic toasty flavor with some toffee malts, earthy notes, and Noble hops. Slight metallic character works well here. A good strong gritty bitterness follows the palate into the finish. Clean outro with some lingering crisp grain. Lovely sweet Oktoberfest beer.

A very easy drink. Bristly carbonation, specifically in the finsh. Light-to-medium body. Very smooth.

One of my favorite Oktoberfests. Gonna enjoy this six-pack in these dog days of summer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good starting head that settles to a thin layer of bubbles. Some ring lace. Darker gold color with a touch of haze.

Deep semi-sweet caramel smell. No notable hop nose.

Tastes like a cross between an Marzen and a heavily unmalted pilsner. Lightly sweet with an above-average body. Light on the carbonation.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium orange with a slight off-white skim of a head. No lace.

Some malt, a little caramel, some slight woodiness. Wanted alot more here.

Nice lager. Good depth of flavor for the malt, with hints of caramel and even a little nuttiness. The sugars are present at first but disappear. But this beer dries out fast and leads to some toasted grain and light bitterness. The brew finishes with a very nice malt profile and light lingering bitterness.

Medium bodied. Nice carbonation.

I'm sorry, but all in this style pale to their german counterparts. A very good domestic version -- one of the better ones.

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Photo of Tschnab
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a dark orange pour with a creamy head that quickly shrinks to a film.

S- very grainy, slightly vegetal, and has a very pleasant spicy and floral hop aroma.

T- definetly a malty beer, but has enough balance from the hops too. Biscuity malts pair with herbal spice, almonds, and hops.

O- Good session beer, very clean and drinkable.

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Photo of jlindros
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very light fizzy 1/4 finger head that disappears semi quickly over clear darker toasted malt nectar almost copper orange colored beer.

Nose is unique, toasted malts as usual, light lager aromas with hints of fruit and sweetness, reddish sweet malts with hint of caramel, but then it changes a bit with some light reddish fruit aromas, hint of oxidation and almost estery aroma.

Taste has sweet malts, toasty malts, sweet caramel malts and toasty caramel, a bit syrupy and almost maple syrup, a bit overly syrupy, not very clean or crisp, slight tingly as well not sure what from as the booze is low. And there are some esters in the background which should def not be there for this beer, this seems more like a Belgian dubbel than Marzen. Finishes still sweet but slightly drier, sticky, touch of bitterness and lingering syrups.

Mouth is med bodied, syrupy, decent carb.

Overall not impressed at all. They didn't really hit the style well and tried to go overboard on everything (except the hops which were pretty much completely absent). Too sweet, very sryupy and caramel, not clean or crisp, very little toasted malts, little lager flavors, and no straw, etc. This was a poor excuse for an Oktoberfest/Marzen IMO.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Rivertowne Pub and Grille
Poured a clear light brownish amber color. Minimal head.
Smelled of light roasty malts and a whiff of bubblegum. Got a little spicy and fruity as it warmed up a bit.
Rich and malty, lightly toasted.
Moderate body, low alcohol burn, was a bit more crisp feeling than I'd like.
Good but not great, solid middle of the road marzen.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: light amber copper color with a healthy white head with good retention. Some

S: Medium spicey yeast notes, nice malt aroma . Nothing overly impressive but right where it seems that it should be.

T: Taste is mostly sourdough bread yeast mixing with a great mild malt body. I sense a bit of rye taste even though there very well may be none in the malt bill. Hop presence is a nice mild noble hopping of Hallertauer or the likes.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, great mouthfeel. I cannot think of a beer that is smoother really for the style.

O: This is a great Oktoberfest. Clearly glad to have tried this and would buy this over Spaten when purchased locally any day. Better body and less metallic tasting.

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Photo of StBoisterous
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours clear amber/bronze.

S: Slight hop and alcogol aroma, a slight sweet grape smell is present, similar to a Riesling wine, but not as potent. Very pleasant aroma.

T: A little bit hoppy with some spice flavoring, slight "toasted" malt taste.

M: Smooth and creamy, nice aftertaste.

D: Very drinkable, great aroma, well balanced, all around good ale. Great fall season ale!

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Photo of jwhancher
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light copperish amber with nice foamy white head that sticks around quite a bit. With around 2 to 3 fingers in width, it fades to a simple blanket. Poured an entire bottle into a standard pint glass. Towards the end of the pour, I noticed some dregs floating around in my glass that muddied the beer. A little surprising as I thought it would have been filtered a little better.

S: A nice clean aroma with some light pear notes. A little floral hops are there too.

T: A nice malt profile with hints of caramel, nuts, and light toasty notes. Reminds me of a fresh loaf of bread. A very good rendition of the style.

M: The texture is smooth & velvety. Nice carbonation with a slightly bitter end.

O: A very good beer worth checking out. Worth drinking anytime of year.

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Photo of DerekP
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of a white head. The nose is some very slight caramel and a bit of bread. Some toffee. The taste is really plain and actually brings in a tiny amount of light cardboard. Mouthfeel is medium with average carbonation. The flavor interferes with enjoyment here and this, all around, is not a terribly great beer.

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Photo of cooch69
4.6/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This Oktoberfest pours a brilliant golden amber that's as clear as can be. It pours with a one finger loose head, but the carbonation in this beer is vigorous and quite well spread. It's quite a beuty for the eyes.
This beer smells faintly of biscuity malts. Not much Hop's detected either. As far as aromas go this is very light but straight forward and simple.
The taste of the Oktoberfest is amazing. I'm loving how awesome the finish to this beer is. It comes in the mouth biscuity and slightly sweet. Really comparable to a hot cereal served cold. And in the finish I'm getting one of the best maltiness I've ever experienced in an Oktoberfest.
The mouthfeel is very light and a bit thiner than others in the style. This however makes it too easy to drink.
Thanks PBC for making yet another awesome beer. I've never been disapointed yet.

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Penn Oktoberfest from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.