1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

241 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 241
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 18
Gots: 8 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Penn Oktoberfest Alström Bros
Ratings: 241 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of asabreed
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

asabreed, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of lackenhauser
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

lackenhauser, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of Foxman
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Foxman, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of Deconstructionis
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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.


Deconstructionis, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of mjc410
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

mjc410, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of Drew966
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Drew966, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Phatz, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of psinderson
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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....

psinderson, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of Illinick
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Illinick, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of Fishingforbeer
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Octoberfest is lighter than the Octoberfests I have tried in the past. The color would be medium-light bodied with a slightly malty taste that doesn't really jump out at you. I actually compared it to Spaten Octoberfest and Hackor P. Octoberfest while tasting. I thought it was better than Hacker but I liked Spaten better than both the others due to it smoothness and better flavor. It a drinkable beer though and I would like to try it on tap to get a true test.

Fishingforbeer, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
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

brentk56, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copperish-amber color with a decent head that disappates quickly. Smells of caramel fruit, light bodied with a sweet caramel malty goodness. A top ten Oktoberfest, for sure, and is very easy to drink. Not heavy in ABV and a nice fall drinking beer. Extremely crisp and malty. Can be consumed in the summer, as it is not heavy at all. Finishes with a whiskey-like dryness.

bigdeuce, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange body, little hazy, topped by a snowcone of white fluff. Decent lacing.

Inviting bignose of hay and grass.

Strong caramel malt start, with a subtle rising tide of earthy hops which bite with a clean snap at the finish. Aftertaste a pleasing merger of the now balanced caramel and hops.

Light to medium mouthfeel. Good drinkability.

Nice traditional take by an American brewery that beats a lot of german ones at their own game.

RonfromJersey, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of eze153
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oktoberfest, the best time of year...

When poured it was a hazy orange color, like browing leaves on the trees, it had a good head but dissapeared rather fast. The smell was that of malts and hops like a ture German beer. The taste was excellent, one of the best Oktoberfest beers I have ever had, as it was going down it was very textured and pleasing to the mouth. It is a great beer but it can fill you fast, I could only ever drink 3 of them in a sitting, otherwise I felt like I was going to explode.

Overall an excellent beer for the season! Though it sold out early this year making it hard to come by after its release.

eze153, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of AltBock
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle that I got in the Penn Brewery's variety pack. Again the bottle had no date notched on the side and the label was off again.

Appearance: Poured a hazy gold color with a 1in head of white foam. The foam itself dissipated fast, but left some rigs around the mug.

Smell: It had an aroma of mostly malts, some hops, and with some juicy fruits in the background.

Taste: This was my first Oktoberfest, so I had nothing to compare it with. It was all sweet malts and with a dry hop bitterness at the very end. It made for a nice balance of malts and hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, little carbonation that all goes smooth. That dry hop bitterness lingers around for a while in the back of your mouth.

Drinkability: Although my first Oktoberfest, I was satisfied with this beer style from Penn Brewery. This could make for an affordable Oktoberfest session beer.

AltBock, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of ski271
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Mad Mex in State College. Pours a clear, dark amber with a very small, off-white head that quickly diminishes to a very thin partial film. The smell is typical of the style by being heavily malty with some very light fruit backing it up. The taste is again malt-dominant and sweet and rather one-dimensional. It has a pleasant mouthfeel and is wickedly sessionable though. Boy could I plow through some of these, but then maybe that’s because it’s a bit lighter than the average Oktoberfest. An enjoyable beer, just not a great representation of the style.

ski271, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a hazy, medium copper color with tannish head that quickly fell to a thin coating. Smell is minimal with a slight toasted sweet maltiness noted. Taste is smooth and creamy with toasted malt predominating. Finish is more maltiness with a slight bite present. This is a very easy to drink, refreshing beer.

tgbljb, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of beermanbrian
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden/light brown color with thin white head and nice lacing. Smell is all malt, nothing else really sticks out. Taste is also all malt, lots of it. Nothing spectacular but a good chewy malty beer. Little bit of bitter cloying on the tongue at the end of the swallow. Another decent offering from Penn who seems to make a lot of better than average beers.

beermanbrian, Sep 18, 2005
Photo of RoyalT
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

RoyalT, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of tomthumbsblues
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A light tan head sits atop this copper colored beer. This head reamined on top as I finished the beer off. The smell was of malt, and contained floral and lemon hints. The taste was sweet malt which yielded to slight bitterness. The mouthfeel was bready, but there was a metallic aftertaste which I found a little off putting. Overall, a fairly good beer for its style.

tomthumbsblues, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of Boto
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle: This one appeared pretty much a clear amber color. There was a strong head on it, but it went away rather quickly. The aroma was a bit light, but it was malty sweet with a hint of spiciness. A decent malt body with a touch of spices to the taste. Goes down smooth. Very drinkable, but nothing special.

Boto, Nov 07, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the Penn Brewing Company.

Appearance: Served in a plastic cup (ouch!). Looks copper red with a nice, filmy white head.

Smell: Served too cold so it's hard to pick up much. Some malt sweetness and a yeasty background slowly woft out of the glass.

Taste: Bread-like and wheaty with a solid malt backbone.
There is a spicy, bitter finish to it. A little on the dry side. Some clove flavors peek through as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crispy.

Drinkability and overall: Highly! A very good and festive brew.
Even better served on-tap in the excellent atmosphere of the Penn Brewing Company.

mattcrill, Sep 26, 2004
Photo of santoslhalper
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very impressive beer indeed. Pours a nice, light copper tone with a fluffy, beautiful white two-finger head that lingers for quite a while. NIce lacing on the glass as well. The smell is nothing special, but has hints of bread and malt.

The taste of this beer is exquisite. Very full mouthfeel, with an absolutly delicious flavor. Nice amount of complexity with hints of bread and caramel and lots of hoppy goodness. Finishes very well and smooth, a tad dry but not syrupy in the least bit.

I could definitly drink this beer all day and all night. All in all an amazing beer. It's not perfect, but nothing is. I'd definitly tell everyone to try this beer. It may not be your cup tea, but I personally love it - and maybe you will too.

santoslhalper, Sep 14, 2004
Photo of heidelbeerg
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WOW ! This is great beer. Pours an amber tone with a rich pillow like head. Smell is nothing special. Staightforward, slighly sweet smelling malts. The taste is absolutuley delicious. Mostly a full bodied malt flavor balanced nicely by the hops. The mouthfeel and drinkability is where this beer really excels. Very rich, smooth creamy mouthfeel without being syrupy or sticky. Exceptionally smooth drinking beer. This could be pounded all day and night !

heidelbeerg, Sep 09, 2004
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a very nice, appropriate head for the style. I can just see my self in Bavaria swinging around a liter of this stuff with the frothy white pillow of head just barely spilling over the sides of my stein with two attractive young German barmaids following...oh...sorry.

Really solid Munich malt in the nose.

Great tasting beer. Very smooth and refreshing while still being rich enough to satisfy my cravings for malty goodness. I get a substantial dose of hop bitterness in this beer (substantial for a fest that is). While its certainly not 'wrong', I prefer a slightly less upfront bitterness in a fest.

The mouth feel of this beer is really incredible. One of the smoothest, silkiest beers I've tried in a while. Not even a tad syrupy, this beer still manages to have a healthy body. The way the bubbles move around in the beer also hints at the viscosity of the beer.

Really quite drinkable. I wish I had another case.

cerevisiaephilus, Sep 03, 2004
Penn Oktoberfest from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.