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Penn Oktoberfest - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Penn OktoberfestPenn Oktoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

229 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 229
Reviews: 147
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.66%


Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.60% ABV

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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 229 | Reviews: 147 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One smooth pour generated a single finger of putty colored foam atop a crystal clear beer the color of ripe pumpkins. Too bad the head melts to a barely covering film at the several minute mark, leaving a short collar of lace as it does so. Not bad, not good.

Those words could also be used to describe the aroma. The beer isn't quite as toasted or earthy as most versions, which allows a coarse, grainy huskiness to be appreciated. It smells better once it warms, with toasted peanuts coming to the forefront.

Oktoberfest tastes pretty much like it smells, although it comes off a little better in liquid form. If you like full-flavored O-fests that feature toasted cereal grains, not much malty sweetness and a wee shot of alcohol, dive right in. Refined is not a word that comes to mind. Then again, this stuff would probably hold its own with most foods.

The beer is beginning to grow on me over the course of twelve fluid ounces. I'm still not tempted to give it a 'good' score, however. The German hops (a guess) stay neck and neck with the malts for most of the mouthful, then pull ahead on the crisp, drying finish. This is a unique take on the style that would be a good change of pace if one becomes tired of the same old, same old.

Although the mouthfeel is a mite thin and spritzy, it works in the grand scheme of things. Lush and laid back would not fit the flavor profile at all. Just be prepared for some tongue tingle and a whole lotta burps.

Penn Pilsner is good and the St. Nikolaus Bock Biers are exceptional. Penn Oktoberfest doesn't meet that high standard, but it's a worthwhile effort all the same. Nice label too.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 13:56:20 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to Ben for sending me this fine Northeast fest bier. I have been trying as many as possible this year, and I was thrilled to get a hold of a few bottles of this one. Served cold, right out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass. This one was consumed on 10/18/2008.

The pour was very nice. Medium amber in color with a really nice amount of clarity to it. Nice carbonation could be seen coming through the bottom of the glass all the way up to the top and converging into a nice tight head of white foam that sat on top for a good few moments before falling back down, leaving nice, tight side glass lacing.

The aroma was full, nice bready malts leading the way on this one. Light and airy at the same time though as some nice touches of earthy hops, fresh grass, and a nice grainy profile all started to take hold rather nicely after a while. More of the same on the flavor. Crisp and clean, with a good helping of grain thrown in. Nice dose of caramel and biscuit like malts thrown in for good measure now as the flavor just pops on the tongue. Nice follow through and a bit of a sly bitterness as the grassy hops melt down and allow that nice bready malt profile to really shine. Nice medium body with a n great carbonation profile fits the style wonderfully, and every melds together to form a very nice, and very session able light lager.

Overall I thought this one was very solid. In the upper end of the fest biers I have tried this year for sure. I would have no issue at all with getting this one again any day.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2008 10:45:24 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a frothy head that leaves some lacing behind

Smell: Subtle wafts of toasted malt, caramel and a touch of hops

Taste: Starts out with a mouth full of caramel malt flavor; after the swallow, the modest hoppy flavors kick in followed by a disconcerting lemony but metallic finish

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly full bodied with good carbonation

Drinkability: One of the better Oktoberfests out there and certainly shows off some of the elements of the style

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2006 00:55:03 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 21:42:07 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2010 01:45:28 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2002 12:24:53 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 19:48:08 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 23:16:03 | More by jlindros
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.55/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours orangish bronze with a white head that soon becomes a patch. Minimal amount of lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is grainy - carmelish - malty - slightly grassy.

The taste is of rich, fresh, caramelish malt. Slightly nutty and bready. A spicy Hallertau hop bitterness balances out the sweetness of the malt to give it a refreshingly dry finish.

Medium to full bodied, it has a wonderfully smooth texture with just the right amount of malty sweetness lingering on the palate.

This is a wonderful, highly drinkable, interpretation of the style. This is what an O-fest is all about! A rich, carmelized malt-accented, Hallertau hopped (though hops play an appropriately supportive role), incredibly smooth, This is one that I would definately love to stock up on for the O-fest season!

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2007 22:16:52 | More by jwc215
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2003 23:29:11 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 01:28:52 | More by smcolw
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2009 03:33:22 | More by tempest
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 23:43:48 | More by akorsak
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2007 05:08:56 | More by Jason
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Hojaminbag for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight yeast, with some spices. The taste is sweet, malty, some yeast in there, and some spice. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, thanks Ben.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 02:10:12 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2008 16:45:10 | More by Kegatron
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by December of 2006...
Appears a copper toned amber with a fluffy, off-white head that slowly fades out. Scattered lacing is left behind.
Smell is malty with notes of caramel, toffee, candy, herbs, and fruits.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a sort of metallic, and bitter, herbal hoppiness that is found in the flavor. I can't say that I'm crazy about the latter statement but I'm on the fence with it and I keep drinking it so that tells me what I need to know.
Mouthfeel is crisp, sweet, mildly bitter, along with a mild acidic finish.
Overall, not too bad but not making me want to run out and buy any more cases.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2006 16:08:28 | More by weeare138
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a nice caramel aroma with a robust toasted grain element.

The taste consisted of a solid earthy grain with a nice hint of caramel sweetness. Some flowery hop flavors were detected as well.

The mouthfeel was full.

Overall a nice sessionable Octoberfest. A good interpretation of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2006 19:15:49 | More by plaid75
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured on tap into a pint glass. A decent white head forms but little to no lace. Copper body.

S. Malts and german hops. The malts are somewhat bready and bordering on sweet. The hops are herbal and earthy.

T. A wave of malts on the palate, more pronounced and smoother than the bottled version. The leafy herbal hops are very fresh tasting. Malt sweetness is balanced by the noble hop.

M. Smooth and fuller bodied than the bottled version.

D. At 5.6% this could be a staple session beer. Definately a much different animal on tap than in the bottle. I was able to drink more of this and enjoy it more. A win win situation.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2008 17:19:27 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One thing about being a “Beer Geek, is that all your friends and family while on vacation, instead of sending you postcards and bringing you back key chains and the like, not that I don’t appreciate those things more often than not bring me back beers, such is the case here.

The beer pours a dark amber to almost burnished copper color, the head is moderate in size, frothy in texture and a nice light tan color with the residual lace a fine sheet. Nose is sweet with hints of caramel, fresh and clean to the senses, start is lightly sweet and the top fair to middling in feel. Finish is perky in its acidity; the hops are mild and pleasant to the palate, a fine beer, and one of the better Oktoberfest beers.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2003 14:28:37 | More by Gusler
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle of this at Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, PA. Served cool in a 1/2 pint.
A - An amber that brings to mind an autumn sunset w/ an eggshell shade of white for a head.

S - Light spice w/ a medium amount of pilsner malt scents w/ a lightly creamy malt odor and a gentle yeasty scent.

M - Rich w/ malt in the feel, yet medium bodied for an American version, this is very nice w/ smooth and subtle sweetness and plenty of carbonation w/ a slightly dry noble hop character and finish.

T - I enjoy the way the malt has a relaxed yet insouciant quality. It says a lot about the care taken lagering this seasonal. The hjops are there, but don't outshine the flavor of malts which can make the overall taste of the fest beer.

D - Very much what a marzen should be - smooth and malty with a pleasant malt flavor, this was very drinkable for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2007 16:41:54 | More by Slatetank
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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 hops...in the end nothing too special, but a solid lager

mouthfeel: creamy and light

drinkability: good

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 19:55:43 | More by dirtylou
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, earthy and biscuit like. In the taste, earthy, and a hint of sweet fruit. A smooth and light bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry maltiness in the aftertaste. Nice earthy presence, quite nice.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2010 14:42:21 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

24 (I think) oz wine bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. "2008" on the label but I believe it's a 2009. No other info.

Thanks to NeroFiddled for this bottle!

A - It pours lightly hazy. The color is a rusty pumpkin orange with golden highlights. The vigorous pour creates a billowing white head with good retention. As it slowly lowers, clumps of lacing cling to the glass.

S - The aroma is low instantly but has a tiny touch at a caramel sweetness with toasty Vienna malts and delicious crisp noble hops.

T - The flavor mirrors the nose almost to a "T". It kicks into gear with a solid malt backbone and touch of caramel sweetness only to be finishes quickly by noble hops. A bit grassy but smooth and forgiving. A citrus splash is left lingering on the tongue.

M - The mouthfeel is smooth and soft with a dry finish. Light-medium in body.

D - Well crafted, it has great drinkability and a good flavor. The soft body really helps it go down smooth. Pouring the whole wine bottle into a liter mug wouldn't be a bad idea.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 22:31:36 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2005 01:53:48 | More by RoyalT
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Penn Oktoberfest from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 229 ratings.