1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Penn Oktoberfest - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn OktoberfestPenn Oktoberfest

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

232 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 232
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 15
Gots: 5 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Penn Oktoberfest Alström Bros
Ratings: 232 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluegrassbrew


3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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. :)

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2007 23:30:30 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of quasimoto


4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2007 00:47:54 | More by quasimoto
Photo of kingjames1

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2006 23:46:43 | More by kingjames1
Photo of Alkey


3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle a dark golden color. A thin head of foam that dissipates quickly with little to no lacing. Smells of sweet fruit malts. Taste of caramel malts with a slight grassy hop bitterness. Crisp and refreshing with a dry finish. A very easy to drink tasty brew if in the area during release.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2006 09:28:57 | More by Alkey
Photo of guinnessfan


3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into Das Festhaus pint glass.

A: Clear amber color, fluffy bone-colored head. Lacing is apparent.

S: Mild but clean, crisp, grainy, sweet and malty.

T: Malty, sweet and bread-like with a slight hop bitterness.

M: Medium, perhaps a little lighter than expected. Good carbonation. Dry ending.

D: Very drinkable yet nothing special IMO. Better than the Michelob Marzen.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2006 14:48:24 | More by guinnessfan
Photo of HugoGrim


3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2006 21:41:58 | More by HugoGrim
Photo of SwillBilly


4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich copper hue into the seidel with a fluffy, thick, tightly foamed white head that fades to a wisper of sheer lacing topping the lager.

Smell: Hints of brown sugar, molasses and sweet potatoes as the malts dominate the aroma. Somewhat fruity as well with ripe apricots.

Taste: Sweet malts dominate, with hints of brown sugar, ripe apricots and caramel. Nice and smooth with a finish that has just a bit of hoppiness added to the flavor profile. Leaves an aftertaste that is somewhat dry like iced tea.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and velvety with a nice bit of carbonation to keep things lively.

Drinkability/Notes: Penn O-fest is a very drinkable. Super smooth with caramel malt and overtones of brown sugar, sweet potatoes as well as the fruitiness of ripe apricots. Hops are present in the finish as they leave the mouth somewhat dry and wanting more. A sessionable beer to say the least, not overpowering but very flavorful. One of the better Oktoberfest beers I've had this year. Seek and enjoy. Definitely recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2006 00:26:05 | More by SwillBilly
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2006 22:12:43 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of 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 akorsak


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 weeare138


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 cjgator3


3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2006 02:09:38 | More by cjgator3
Photo of memory


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out the bottle a nice head that left a thin lace on side of pint glass.
Appeared medium gold.
Smell: malt, slight trace of bubblegum
Taste:easy going down, nice round balance between hop and malt.
Mouthfeel:did I say smooth?
Drinkability:this would be a nice year round session beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2006 02:16:38 | More by memory
Photo of treehugger02010


3/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2006 15:28:24 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2006 02:45:00 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of techdiver


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

Nice appearance, and for a change, a nice head for an Oktoberfest. A bit lighter in color than others, but all in all a very drinkable brew. Nicely balanced, head retention is quite good. There are some really good beers in this style and this is one of them.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2006 21:40:19 | More by techdiver
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.15/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2006 01:17:34 | More by asabreed
Photo of lackenhauser


3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat golden in color-soapy looking white head. Mellow aroma-some malt but more of a metallic bitterness to it. Good malty flavor. A tad more bitter then some Oktoberfest beers i have had. Minor sweetness to finish. Decent mouthfeel. Fairly enjoyable beer. Maybe just a bit too bitter for my liking overall but a decent effort.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2006 00:45:51 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a coppery deep amber, clear and quite carbonated. A finger of fluffy white head settles soon to cirrus swirls of surface froth. Arcs of lacing flare the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers the expected, with biscuit malt carrying caramel and a general dark fruitiness. A grassy, peppery hop spice paired with a note of cinnamon, and a light bready yeast touch twists briefly.

Upon tasting, it's sweet malt first, with caramel, black cherry, and baked bread. Again cinnamon pops in , as well as a less distinct pepperiness, but this time a very mild citrus element is notable. The finish sees a progression from a muted malt reappearance to a gentle, lingering bitterness. It's typical of the style, but nicely filled out by some fun pieces.

Light bodied, I was surprised that it flowed away as quickly as it did, especially with the carbonation providing a zippy backdrop, but wash away it did, and too soon.

It's a fine marzen, one that does its lineage justice, in spite of showing a hint of American inventiveness. It goes down wonderfully smooth and easy, and is a pleasure to drink, from one to however many I might see fit to imbibe. I will be looking for this the rest of the autumn, and for years to come.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2006 17:54:05 | More by Foxman
Photo of Deconstructionis

West Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is more what people think of as a traditional Oktoberfest than many offerings labeled as such.

It's a coppery medium dark beer with a creamy head. It smells heavily of malt and a little citrus and a little spice.The taste is full and malty, strong both in flavor and .alcohol (I'm surprised it's only 5.6% ABV-- I'd have guessed 7-8). It's a medium body with above average carbonation (for the style). I'd rate drinkability as very high; it's a beer with a lot of flavor and character but one well suited for drinking more than couple.


Serving type: bottle

09-13-2006 12:57:02 | More by Deconstructionis
Photo of mjc410


3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour into a shaker raises a fizzy, white soda head. The body is on the light side for an O-Fest, almost like a dark pils, but a bit tawny. The nose is strongly malty and lightly hoppy. Taste is rich and malty, fairly sweet throughout, with a bit of hop bitterness. Mouth is medium low, with good tingly carbonation. Overall, a good beer in a season where I'm drinking many O-Fests.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2006 21:18:44 | More by mjc410
Photo of Drew966


3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Penn Oktoberfest pours a light copper color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Mild, malty aroma. Taste is stronger on the hops than I anticipated, but still a decent balance with the malt. Not bad at all, definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2006 22:13:14 | More by Drew966
Photo of Phatz


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

This is a very typical Oktoberfest beer. I must admit I am a fan of the Märzen beers in general. While this is nothing special (with in the style) I love a typical Märzen so...

Appearance: served a dark amber copper color in typical form.

Smell & Taste: The taste and smell are both similarly laden with toasted caramel malts, bread, cinnamon, honey and hints of fruits. Clean and easy from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and malty.

Drinkability: Just buy a case. It's seasonal and you'll drink it!

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2006 07:31:26 | More by Phatz
Photo of psinderson


3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Nice dark copper color with a medium creamy-white head - some lacing.

Smell: Very malty with a roasted background. Little hop presence.

Taste: Biscuit sweet taste up front with some mild alcohol. Brief hint of wine-like character. Finishes with a subtle roasted bitterness. Nice complexity of tastes.

Mouthfeel: Full body satisfaction.

Drinkability: A very satisfying brew. Having a lineup of these could easily get out of control. In fact, a few years ago it did at Penn Brewery's annual Oktoberfest. But I digress....

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2006 22:42:37 | More by psinderson
Photo of Illinick


3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Darker amber golden in color with a nice sized slightly off white head that retains well. Good lacing.
S: Roasted malts, some sweet bread with some hop scents and a sort of cinnamon spice scent in there as well.
T: Smooth roasted flavors with plenty of sweet malts and sweet bread flavors and some crisp slightly dry hops to offset the sweet malts slightly. Again, there is a sort of slight cinnamon and spice flavor in there. It's hard to put my finger on. The flavors are smooth and matched well to provide depth to overcome the too often "all malt" oktoberfests.
MF: Medium and smooth!
Overall: A quality Oktoberfest with a nice flavor profile. Although I enjoyed this a bit early I'm looking forward to a Saturday afternoon in the Fall when I can sit down, watch college football and enjoy another one.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2006 01:06:31 | More by Illinick
Penn Oktoberfest from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 232 ratings.