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Penn Oktoberfest - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn OktoberfestPenn Oktoberfest

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very good

255 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 255
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 20
Gots: 20 | 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: 255 | Reviews: 149
Photo of blakesell
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First Oktoberfest review for the season, but this is an aged bottle. Exactly one year old under perfect cellaring conditions. I'll see how it has held up.

Poured from the 12oz bottle into my favourite Belgian style goblet.

Appearance- Beer pours a rich goldenrod into the bowl portion, more of a light yellow into the stem with a finger of thin head that quickly fades to a swirling pattern on the top of the beverage. Lacing is thin and non substantial.

Smell- Near perfect scent for a marzen with just a small shade of hops. Rich malty goodness providing a sweet backbone. German malts really showing themselves in this American interpretation. Light toasting, slight fruity esters which I suspect is more from the hops than the yeast.

Taste- Creamy and rich with that German malt sweetness again, hops are well balanced and make the beer very smooth. A bit of the grassiness that I get from a lot of lagers. Drying on the finish with a slight metallic tone. Lightly fruity, but just on the upfront sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Clean, smooth, lightly creamy, medium light bodied, lightly carbonated, not cloying.

Drinkability- Very smooth and drinkable, I would be happy to session this one or find it on tap somewhere.

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a case over the weekend. Had a freshness date of Nov 30, 2008 on the case. The first Oktoberfest beer I have sampled this year.

A: A very golden color, with amber tints and hues.

S: Lots of bready malts. Some hints of spicy hops. Nothing overpowering however.

T: A good mixture of caramel, brown sugar, biscuits and bread. The hop flavor comes in at the end, leaves an ever so slight bitter flavor.

M: A dry and a tad bitter. A good balance.

D: A really nice Oktoberfest, a good sesson beer.

Photo of Lexluthor33
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange with a medium sized head that settles to a decent lace. The aroma is of grains and herbal hops. The taste was of caramel sweetness,veggies, hops and notes of malts.
The overall feel was medium carbonation,grains and a dry finish.

Notes: This beer was ok ,not complex,not exceptional but fine for sessions. I would buy it again,but I would not seek it out. Average at best,no disrespect. Average should not be considered an insult.
Decent brew.

Photo of number1bum
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was in a variety pack on sale at Stockertown Bev. It's April but it's still quite good.

Pours a slightly orangeish, deep golden color with great clarity and a very creamy light khaki colored head. Head retention is quite good and it leaves a good amount of stick.

Smells of lightly toasted grain, some caramel malt sweetness, and some herbal hops. Little bit of a veggie smell takes away a bit.

Tastes like it smells, but the flavors are more pronounced and full than the aromas were. Toasted malt, grain, caramel malt for some sweetness, and herbal hops with just enough bitterness to give some balance. No sign of any off flavors like the veggie smell. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very smooth, crisply carbonated.

Another very solid brew from Penn, which seems somewhat underrated imo.

Photo of Portertime
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I fine ode to Oktober fest from Penn Brewery. I enjoyed this quaff in my Duvel "chalice". Poured a pure honey color with a decent but fast fizzing ivory head. Smell of sweet malts and oat grains. Tastes of malty goodness with a faint caramel undertone. Hops sit firmlyat the back of the class making there fleeting presence at the finish. Mild carbonation makes this a sipping beer.

Photo of jackorain
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange straw color. A bit dull. 1-inch head fell quickly to a thin coating of lace over the beer witha few big bubbles in the middle.

S-Toasted grains, biscuity aroma, Some herbal and floral hops on the finish.

T-Very malty. Husky toasted grains. Sweetness in the middle, a little non-descript fruitiness, in fact. The finsih is complimented by some nce herbal and floral hops. It is alittle perfumy though. This is one of the hopier Oktoberfest, but by no means "hoppy". The hops that are here do a great job of balancing the intial maltiness. Not a bad examle of the style.

M-Very carbonated, belies the quick fall of the head. Very crisp, fizzy carbonation carrying the barely medium body to the palate.

D-Hey, I could easily drain a few of these, it is certainly not as offensive as some Oktoberfests I'v had this year, in fact, it is quite good.

Photo of Procrastinator
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle poured into Sam Adams pint glass. "Celebrating 20 years" on neck label.

Appearance: deep golden colored body with soft pillowy white head. Lots of aggressive carbonation replenishes head. After the head recedes, foamy lacing sticks to sides of glass.

Smell: roasted grains dominate with a sweet presence. Hop bitterness in the distant background.

Taste: grainy crusty bread, malty sweetness and mild hop bitterness. Slight alcohol at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth mouthfeel and gentle carbonation help to serve up this malty treat. The grains add a bit of dryness in texture.

Drinkability: All the qualities I look for in an Oktoberfest. A low hop profile in a malty toasty brew. Too many American versions seem to over hop this style.

Photo of arguemaniac
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not bad; decent caramel malt palate with mellow toasted grain. Just a bit of sweetness rounds out the overall flavor.

Drinkable, easy-going and well-crafted flavors. While it doesn’t do much to stand out among from all the other Octoberfests out this year, it was fairly enjoyable.


Photo of L4t3rg4t3r
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark gold with a thin white lacing that quickly subsides

Smell: Like an Octoberfest should, solid malt backbone with some grain undertones.

Taste: Solid malt flavor with with a nice light bite.

Mouthfeel: Medium weight with good moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very good American O-fest. I could session quite a few of these. Penn can always be depended upon to make very good examples of the style.

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

If you like German style lagers, the Pennsylvania Brewery in Pittsburgh provides you with several good domestic German style lagers. The Penn Oktoberfest is one of these beers. It poured a bright, clear light amber with a creamy beige head that left a nice lace pattern on my beer glass. I detected a fresh bread aroma. This beer was medium bodied and had a sweet malt flavor followed up with a light hoppy finish.

Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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 JDK
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
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

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 PittBeerGirl
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Transparent medium brown/orange amber body that pours with about a 2 finger creamy off-white head. Head fades rather quickly to less than 1/2 finger but retains this very well. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Subtle nose of caramel malt is about all this brew offers. Pleasing, yet simple.

T- Upfront is subtle caramel malt and hops so subtle there is almost an absence of them. The finish is all caramel malt-but much stronger than the initial flavor. Lots of sweet caramel malt lingers.

M- Medium carbonation and thin mouthfeel that is a little on the watery side. Goes down smooth and easy.

D- This brew is simple but pretty tasty. A nice German O-fest with high drinkability and sweet taste. I'm glad I have Penn so close to me!

Photo of fascistfaction
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent Oktoberfest beer. You can not go wrong with any of Penn Brewery's beers and this along with the Munich style helles are my favorites. As a bonus, the place is less than five miles from my home (still too far to stumble druken home though).
Poured into a boot shaped J/R's (the place for ribs) now in its eight year in service mug:
A = Lots of head (aggesive pourer) that tapered off leaving a nice two finger white head with very liitle bubbles of carbonation.
S = like a beer should smell like...GOOD
M = malty with a few hints of citrus
D = well, I have a case of it and if my liver does not give up before my Zocor kicks in...very drinkable.

Photo of jkrich
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date; purchased at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, OH.
A deep, clear, golden to light amber color with minimal head or lacing with a plethora of bubbles - very attractive in a stein.

Beers smells of spicy hops and bready aromas. There is almost a slight wine odor.

The taste is of sweet, tangy malts with some hops in the background; this is a well balanced beer has the flavor never becomes cloying. Almost silky smooth on the palate with minimal carbonation.

Oktoberfest beers seem to have become lighter in color over the past few years. This beer, among others, proves that lighter color does not mean less taste. This is an extremely drinkable and balanced version of an oktoberfest - after all, you want to drink several at the festivals.

Photo of jwc215
4.54/5  rDev +19.5%
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!

Photo of joekfsu
1.72/5  rDev -54.7%
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.

Photo of mcallister
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A typical o-fest here by way of appearance. Copper colored with a small tight knit white head yet lacking much in the way of bubbles. Very few make sporadic journeys up the sides of the glass.

Sweet bready aromas with toffee and caramel swirls. A floral hopping helps round out the nose a bit. Crisp and fresh.

Very nice. Great balance and crisp carbonation with a nice acidic backbone. Not the most complex but afterall it is a lager. Bread grains with a toffee finish that is helped with a nice hop bitterness.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Light golden color, with just a slight tint of amber. Thick white head that holds for a few minutes. A few spots of lace are left on the glass.

Slightly toasty and bready in the nose. Soft floral hop notes as well. Pretty simple.

Good amount of toasty malt. A bit of caramel, and some slightly spicy hop notes.

Decent body and carbonation. Pretty well balanced. This is pretty tasty and goes down very well.

Photo of timtim
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice light amber color with a white head that goes away and leaves a little lace. smells of sweet malt and pretty hops - maybe a little fruit (banana) and clove. taste is balanced sweet, roasty malt and hops, but lacks the toffee taste of my favorite festbeers. love the hop character, but i can't put my finger on what it is lacking. a little sour - i like. good medium body and a very nice drink.

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

Purchased a sixer in Laurel, MD. No "best before" markings.

A- Pours a deep gold, lighter than most Märzen beers, with a nice white head of foam.

S- Very malty, with a subtle hop aroma.

T- Sweet and malty, buttery, balanced with hallertauer hops.

M- Very smooth, but not flat, medium body, nicely done.

D- This beer is dangerously drinkable, not as good as previous years.

Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark shade of gold. A vigorous pour produced a 1 finger white head, but there is no retention.

Smell is very subtle bready malt.

Taste is buttery with just a touch of sweetness.

Overall, a good easy drinking lager. Nothing special, but goes down like butta. :)

Photo of quasimoto
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its a crystal clear light copper color that has a nice little stream of carbination bubbles that constantly rise from the bottom. There was a faint white fluffy head that left no lace around the glass. It might be the glass has some junk on it, but Im not sure. The aroma is of deep sweet malty bready notes that that really dominate. There is a little bit of hop, but it only lends a ever so slight spicy character. There aroma reminds me of what a caramel orange would taste like. Maybe a slight chocolate note as it warms. This is a really sweet bready beer. The flavor is a wallop of of malts that really come through. The hops are also a little bit more apparent in the taste. Very nice touch. The body is spot on with the light mouthfeel, but the flavor is so strong that it makes it seem bigger. I really enjoy this beer. It is now atop my list of instant classics.

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Penn Oktoberfest from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.