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Penn Oktoberfest - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn OktoberfestPenn Oktoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

149 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 149
Hads: 270
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 17.02%
Wants: 21
Gots: 28 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Penn Oktoberfest Alström Bros
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Reviews: 149 | Hads: 270
Photo of joekfsu
1.72/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a rusty orange color with little head that is gone almost immediately. Aroma is disappointing. It kind of smells like skunked light beer with a hidden sweet note. Flavor is very bland, malty, nothing distictive and no hops. It is very light bodied for a Oktoberfest and has a dirty, stale aftertaste. The aftertaste is almost sour and stays in your mouth for way, way too long. Penn is 0 for 4 by my count, yet another disappointment. They yet again test my "no drain pour" rule.

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Photo of righthereisay
2.48/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Since I love Penn Dark, St Nikolaus Bock, really enjoyed Penn Pilsner and Penn Kaiser, I went ahead and purchased a case of this stuff.

After 1 sip, I regretted it. Maybe I should have done my research. Not into the Märzen thing.

Not complex at all, too light, nothing special. However, it does have a nice body.

That's all. Guess I need to drink this quick so I can go purchase a different case.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%
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.

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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 cpetrone84
2.73/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Penn is back, lets see how the Oktoberfest ranks up.

A-pours an orangish amber color with plenty of off white bubbly and creamy head.

S-stale grains, maybe some toasted bread in there as well. tons of steel aromas and notes of bad vegetables, some sugary caramel syrupy in the back.

T-much of the same but slightly better, lots of steel, stale vegetables and grains, lightly toasted bread and more sugary caramel syrupy with a light herbal hop presence in the back and hint of bitterness.

M-medium body, very grainy feel to it and highly carbonated with a prickly crisp finish that seems rather messy.

D-poor attempt here, there hefe and lager aren't bad, the dark is alright as well. this one falls short of their standard offerings and has issues.

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Photo of donteatpoop
2.87/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

[found a paper in an old pair of jeans with beer notes on it.]

Color is amber with a fleeting white head.

Smells hoppy and inviting, made my mouth water a bit.

Light hoppy taste, nothing really special about it; I'm not impressed but not entirely disappointed either.

Very watery in the mouth, virtually no carbonation.

This was far from the best Oktoberfest I had this year, closer to one of the poorer ones.

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Photo of Clydesdale
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a perfectly clear pale bronze color. The head has a similar pale bronze tint and is moderately large, dense, and frothy. Retention is average, with some foamy lacing.

S: Graininess is big here, but in a rough, husky fashion. There's a light caramel sweetness as well. A bit nutty and spicy. A moderate metallic twang is also present.

T: Roughly grainy for the most part. A bit more caramel sweetness than the nose suggested, at least at first. It's quickly swallowed, however, by a nondescript herbal/spicy hop bite. Metallic into the finish. Also a vague flavor of cooked vegetables.

M: Medium bodied. Quite crisp and dry - rather astringent, but not in a particularly effective way.

D: This is a pretty rough Oktoberfest. Rather macro lager-esque in some ways: astringent grain with vegetal and metallic notes. I've been trying as many marzens recently as I can find, but this one is near the bottom of the list, unfortunately.

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Photo of Jredner
3/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was a little confused by this brew. It could not have been more smack dab in the middle. Not good and yet it was not bad. To be honest I was expecting something more from a seasonal, let alone a fall seasonal. There was nothing that let Penn Brew's Oktoberfest stand out and I was a little dissapointed.

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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 ZAP
3.04/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Slightly old...freshness date marked for Feb (it's May)...maybe that explains the cloudy appearance to this...bronze colored but the cloudiness is a turnoff...also not a bit of head, lace, or anything on this...smells a lot like the Marzen minus the hop presence...all malt...caramel...and like the marzen a fruity, apple note...Mouthfeel is about right...medium and sweet but not oversweet....taste featured a nice maltiness..leans on the caramel malts, but the fruitness is there too....to me this tastes like an ale...on the long finish some german hopping makes itself known...
Maybe it's the age of this beer, but it really doesn't taste bad...just not up to par compared to a lot of the other 'fests I've had...

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Photo of HugoGrim
3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle in a standard pint.

Body is semi transparent and amber/orangish in color. No head or lace to speak of.

Not much to speak of in the nose. Some sweet fruits and malts with a faint hop profile.

Flavor has a tangy, bitter edge. Dark fruits accent biscuity malt. Subtle hops and a slightly smokey element round it out.

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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 kshankar
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amber copper with a smaller head with little retention.

Aroma is a sweetish caramel malt, some bready undertones.

Taste is above average, it starts out sweet and has a nice taste of the caramel malts coming through

Mouthfeel...eh. I'm disappointed. Its thin. Carbonation is okay, but I wish it was thicker

Drinkable? I don't know, it tastes fine,but the mouthfeel makes it bland and thin. Kind of watery.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.17/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Hazy, light amber with a tint of orange. Less than 1/2 inch of head rises and falls rather quickly to a miniscule collar. No lacing.

S - Big assertive spicy hops are first on the nose. Pepper, chive, garlic, dirt, and some strange cheesy aromas come to mind. The malt is hiding in the background, but it's detectable. Some toasted grains and nuttiness with a hint of caramel and darkish bread.

T - A little strange, bland, and a bit unbalanced for the style. A mild toasted sweetness enters early palate with notes of nuts and dark bread. Some caramel as well. Not bad, but unfortunately this flavor is short lived and devolves into a seltzer like flavor before a quick burst of hops takes hold late palate. The hops provide a fleeting spiciness with notes from the aroma, notably pepper and chive. Some earthiness and metallic flavor round up the finish with a small bitterness. A little bit of graininess prevails as well.

M - Light bodied with a fairly high carbonation. The body is almost watery and doesn't really hold up to the flavors. High carbonation with the thinness gives the impression of seltzer water and does little to help the flavors stick around.

D - Well, Penn's Oktoberfest is certainly an easy beer to drink due in no small part to it's blandness. Much of the problem lies in the mouthfeel which is great affecting the taste. Lots of better marzens out there; this one doesn't have any serious off-flavors but it also lacks in flavor.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

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

Again, a pretty ordinary beer from Penn. Though their Oktoberfest is tasty enough, it misses the marks on the details that make German Oktoberfests so great.

A bright orange/copper hue shows aggressive carbonation, bright clarity, and allows a dainty white head to form before rapidly disipating.

Very sweet with caramel and barley malt. Light grain scent and sulfur provide the few distractions. Still, pretty simplistic nose.

Flavors are very sweet with straight-forward caramel taste. Light apple flavor is a bit odd. Malty but not with the soft, elegant, and complex maltiness that rounds out good Marzens. Hops struggle to offset the bold sweetness and with no herbal flavor. Sulfur notes remind me of match-sticks.

Sweet up front but with a fleeting maltiness, leaving the beer feeling a bit weak and scrubbed because of the carbonation-sulfur mix.

The Oktoberfest is a fine beer especially for the sweet-tooths out there.

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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 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 JDK
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a cloudy honey color with a 1/2" head.
Minimal lacing but it did hang around for quite a while.
Couldn't really pull any single item in the smell, not bad, just not pronounced
Taste is definately not your typical Oktoberfest. As the label states, Pure Barley Malt Lager Beer, and this is what it is.
Not a favorite, could be more seasonal

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Penn Oktoberfest pours a clear orange toned body under a white head that dissipates and leaves slight lacing. The aromas are earthy hallertaur hops along with toasted bread. There is also a slight funk. The flavors are well balanced between the sweetness of the malt (which has a good toast character) and the spice of the hops. This beer is pretty flavorful without being assertive. The body is light with decent carbonation. The website says 4.5 abv, but its listed as 5.6 here. I imagine their website is the correct one.

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

Pours a golden color with a modest sticky, soapy white head. Aromas of German malt and gentle noble hops...lightly sweet and clean. Hints of caramel and berries add a pleasant but mild richness. Toasted dry malt flavor. Spicy, herbal hop biterness accentuates the graininess a bit. The lingering aftertaste in my mouth suggests this could be just a notch away from DMS hell. Thankfully, it doesn't get in the way during consumption. Dry, medium-body. Solid.

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