Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada OktoberfestSierra Nevada Oktoberfest

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very good

123 Reviews
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Reviews: 123
Hads: 571
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 21
Gots: 52 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Boilermaker88 on 10-13-2003

Germany’s Oktoberfest celebrated a royal marriage and the health of the fall harvest—which in Bavaria, means brewers, barley and hops! Today, Oktoberfest is considered one of the world’s greatest parties, and in honor of that rollicking bash we bring you our version of the classic festival beer. Oktoberfest is medium-bodied and rich with bready and toffee-like malt flavor but maintains a crisp finish marked by floral and spicy hops.

Before 2014, known as Octoberfest and ABV 5.80%

2014 - Only available in Fall Variety Pack
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 123 | Hads: 571
Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brauhaus Riegele version

Pours light golden brown with a white head that dissipates to a thin cap. Aroma of bran cereal, subtle noble hop character and honey. Taste of steely noble hops, creal malt, subtle hint of apple and banana. Medium bodied, tingle on whole tongue. Very tasty, smooth, easy drinking and flavorful. (325 characters)

Photo of McStagger
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. Slightly darker than your standard macro, bordering somewhere between copper and straw. Vigorous carbonation forms a finger of off white head.

S: Hay, slightly honeyed malt, crisp almost apple like quality. Green grape, slightly herbal.

T: Good size surge of malt up front. Very bready, like a loaf of something fresh out of the overn. Mid palate takes on a slightly sweeter characteristic of heather honey, where the hops splash a dollop of bitterness on the palate. Bitterness is herbal and slightly woody. FInishes with the slightly sweetened grain, almost like sorghum that fades to milled grain on the finish.

M: Very pleasant. The vigorous carbonation in the glass is more subdued on the tongue. Just a slight pop of sharpness in the mid palate before body reasserts itself. Slightly full bodied than its paler counterparts, it is still in no way heavy or unctuous. Exceptionally balanced.

O: A killer of a marzen, which is a style I'm not overly fond of. This one is exceptionally balanced, with an absolutely amazing finish. Will buy again. (1,109 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, almost opaque, deep, dark, mahogany color, with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice aromas of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked pretzels, caramel, black pepper, and a touch of floral, slightly piney, slightly citrusy, hops.

Taste: Awesome! Strong, delicious flavors of bready, toasted malt, up front, followed by some caramel-like sweetness, black pepper, coriander, heather, and a touch of floral, slightly piney, slightly citrusy, hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, crisp and very effervescent as there is a lot of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.2%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an excellent, excellent American-version of a German fest beer! One of the best American-versions that I’ve had in fact. It hits all of the style’s profiles, as there is lots of strong, delicious flavors of bready, toasted malt, up front, followed by some caramel-like sweetness, black pepper, coriander, heather, and a touch of floral, slightly piney, slightly citrusy, hops. Delicious and extremely, highly recommended! (1,276 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Lightly hazed, copper-y brown color, slight beige head, leaving some lace.

Aroma: cereal, grains, rich, dark maltiness, a touch of brown sugar and caramel.

Taste: mild hop presence, classic marzen malt flavors. A modicum of malt sweetness, but expertly balanced. Just rich enough, with that brown sugar and molasses touch coming back with every new sip, staying clean and lean. Wonderfully crafted for the season.

I've said before that I am at a loss at times when describing Oktoberfests. They are what they are, and they don't have a lot of variations in the style. A good one has what it has to have, a bad one simply doesn't. This one, like all good ones, goes all the way, gives you just enough flavor to please you all the way through the pint, and not too much to keep you from getting another.

Here's what the label tells us: "Our take on the classic festival beer has a silky malt flavor with an initial sweetness that sets up the interplay of mild toffee-like notes and floral hops." Also, this: "Everyone loves a great party, and there are few quite as famous as Germany's Oktoberfest. Inspired by that rollicking celebration, we bring you our variation on that classic festival beer. Oktoberfest is medium-bodied and rich with malt flavor, but maintains a crisp finish marked by floral hops." (1,308 characters)

Photo of bgillespie
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear brown, very thin head once it fades.

Smell: Very strong roasted nut aroma with some caramel.

Taste: Similar to the smell, some toffee flavor and maybe a hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, well carbonated.

Overall: One of the better Sierra Oaks beers, very good. (313 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from the Fall pack to my SN Balloon glass
Notes taken on 10/06/14

A: Pours a dark amber brown body with some nice clarity to it given the darker color. A thick craggy khaki froth forms over top bubbling out for a few minutes before settling down to a chunky crown. Leaves behind large swaths of lace sticking to the glass after every sip.

S: Malty rich with a sugary spice and roast nuttiness to it. Has a more caramelized malt presence rather than say breads. However all together it does come together like a sweet bread with some light citrus peel and spiced floral notes coming through there. Very nice and pleasant.

T: Warm, rich, and toasted nutty malt goodness with a hint of toffee and some fallen orchard fruit presence close behind. Earthy and rustic with a low perceived bitterness to it. The beer is bready and full but remains light on the palate with a frothy dry finish. Very solid balance with the toasted bread flavors pronounced and some light nuanced hop spices.

M: The mouth feel is moderately full yet maintains a light and lush texture on the palate. Light to moderate bitterness with a nice drying finish. Very clean and crisp on the retreat.

D: Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest is an enjoyable quaff. Rich and malty while still crushable. Seems to have much more depth of flavor than most other Fest beers. Slightly authentic and yet unique at the same time. (1,415 characters)

Photo of chefhatt
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Pours a dark red body with a small head
Aroma has a malt aroma to it.
taste has the normal malt and carmel flavor
Mouthfeel is ok and overall is a good marzan (158 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, deep copper with a very thick two finger tan head. Outstanding head retention and lacing that surprised me.

The aroma is a little bit metallic but other than that, is really full of caramel sweetness, toast, maple syrup, and a whiff of light pine.

The flavor is where this beer really stands out. Light caramel and toast is perfectly balanced with grassy hops with a touch of maple and wood notes. Bitterness is moderate but nicely contrasts with the sweetness from the malt.

Overall, for a first crack at an Oktoberfest by Sierra Nevada this one does not disappoint. Would love to see this in sixers. (653 characters)

Photo of goochpunch
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours out a deep orange-amber with a thin head. Smells malty, grainy, and with a hint of noble hop. Taste is huge on caramel, bread, honey, brown sugar, piloncillo, raisin, and Grape Nuts. Grassy and herbal noble hop comes out strong in the finish. A bit sweet for me. Mouthfeel leans towards thick and is sticky. The flavor profile on this is solid, but it's a tad too sweet overall. (390 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Crystal clear, a deep reddish amber, topped by four fingers of white foam. Stretchy lace.

Strong, inviting aroma of fresh bread with real depth to it.

Semi-sweet malt, again serious depth displayed. Floral noble hop. Good balance. Tasty secondary burst of sweetness in the crisp finish.

Medium, smooth mouthfeel.

What Oktoberfests can and should be. (354 characters)

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%

Review taken September 2014. I grabbed a couple Sierra Nevada Fall variety packs the day they arrived.

12 oz brown bottle with traditional short bottle shape SN is known for. Label is more of the classic Sierra Nevada art that I really do love. Fit with good O - fest colors and a fall display. Poured into a standard 12 Oz beer mug.

A - much darker than the typical Oktoberfest. A deep dark copper leaning toward brown with the bright side of copper gleaming through in the light. An almost khaki off white colored head sits very nice upon the pour leaving a sticky ring of lace throughout the experience.

S - slightly sweet and brown malt aroma with buttery, toasted bread undertones. A hint of fruitiness with notes of sweet syrup and caramel toward the back.

T - this much darker than the oktoberfest I've become accustomed to. Rich brown malts, toasted bread, sweet caramel and even a touch of sweet chocolate. Mild hop fruitiness balances the darker malts nicely. Delicious

M - medium bodied and we'll textured with bold flavors. This as Sierra Nevada as it gets.

O - this is like the brown ale of oktoberfest marzens. Stunning, bold and simply delicious. It's malt forward aroma pops and it's luscious flavor delivers a wonderful experience. Unique and one of my new favorite Oktoberfests. But it's not only about it suiting me as the quality is there as well. Let's hope this is a new bottled tradition from the great Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (1,463 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Eureka Burger

A: Pours deep amber with an off white head that laces well.

S: A bit fruity with some roasted malt sweetness and a touch of earthiness.

T: Roasted malt up front, some earthy bready and toffee notes with some fruitiness, backed with light floral hops, and a little coffee like bitterness.

M: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

O: Not my favorite Oktoberfest brew, but not bad by any means. (431 characters)

Photo of HoppyBastard
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, packaged date 7-7-14.

APPEARANCE: pours a clear copper color with one-finger tan colored head that dissipated quickly leaving a thin broken layer of bubbles, medium carbonation, there was very little lacing on the glass.

SMELL: roasted malt, toffee, bread, very understated.

TASTE: initially sweet then a roasted toffee taste with a mild hop profile and some spicy notes as well, the tastes are subtle and not overpowering, the 6.2% alcohol is dangerously imperceptible.

PALATE: creamy, medium carbonation.

OVERALL: this is a very drinkable beer, I'm not a huge fan of the Marzen style but enjoy it during the season, I would buy this again no problem. Sierra Nevada is one of the best brewers around, I've enjoyed every beer I've tried from them. (814 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a crystal clear copper color with an ample tan head. Decent retention and good lace.

Nose is toffee and caramel with a little bit of candied grapes. Interesting malt combo and is certainly fruity for a lager yeast.

Taste is more lager-esque as a nice malt backbone strikes with burnt caramel and toasted grains. Fruitiness disappears and is replaced by a mild floral hop bite on the back end. This is a damn good Oktoberfest and SN would do the US a favor by releasing this in 6 and/or 12 packs. It reminds me a bit of Paulaner's marzen with a bit more toast and rough edges. Quite good. (608 characters)

Photo of curasowa
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, dark copper color with one finger of head that fades quickly to a thin cap.

Aroma: Toasted malt, a little earthy, a little cooked veggies, some bready malt.

Taste: Nutty, earthy malt with good body up front and without a ton of sweetness, then prickly carbonation and some earthy hop bitterness in the middle. Bready, nutty malt comes back in the finish which is lingering with some mild bitterness.

The Rest: Another solid offering from SN. A Clean, classic representative of the style. (513 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

This pours with a bubbly character and a lighter barley brown color. Airy barley malt aroma with a tinge of nutty biscuit. Taste has a bit of chocolate, barley grain, nutty pecan, toasted biscuit malt and a touch of caramel. Nothing about this is assertive but it does the job of relaying good complex flavor in a relatively inexpensive package. (345 characters)

Photo of corywalston
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A. Easy poor ¼ yellow/orange head. Very little carbonation. Color is amber/orange. 3.75
S. Alcohol and malt liquor. It smells like Old English 800. 2.75
T. Slight bite of hops, sweet, deep floral notes, some type of spice I can’t put my tongue to. 3.75
M. Crisp, very little syrup, little heat from the alcohol. 3.75
O. It’s ok. To be blunt, it taste like a mixture of Old English (which I like) and SN’s Flipside (which is amazing by the way). Good buzz for 6.2%. 3.5 (475 characters)

Photo of BubbleChamber
4/5  rDev +4.2%

From bottles dated 07/18/14, part of 'Fall Pack Seasonal Sampler' 12-pack: A toffee presence as described on label, on top of a fairly sweet and toasty malt base; slight hop presence. I perceive a considerably salty finish that is mildly drying, with perhaps a note of black currants or nearly burnt sugar, some spiciness with a hint of rye, and mild alcohol warmth. —Reviewed 26 October 2014 (396 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, clean amber with a huge head of tan bubbles. Nice and detailed layer of lace.

Nose is malty caramel and toffee, plain and simple. Pretty well spot-on for the Marzen style.

Taste is rich, heavy, and malty, with an almost sweet character. I get plenty of toffee, caramel, some fruit underneath, and even some nuttiness in there. Complex and faithful, this is a totally solid brew. (394 characters)

Photo of BWED
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into craft pint tumbler

A- Clear chestnut. Light tan head. One finger. Foamy and dense.

S- Some caramel. Noble hops. Earthy. Sweet and toasted malt.

T- Malt forward. Sweet and toast, caramel. Hops aren't too strong, but they add some bitterness.

M- Slight bitterness. Body is medium-full. Semisweet finish.

O- Not bad. Sweetness is really up there. Wish there was a bit more hop flavor. (413 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a stein. Liquid comes out a nice amber red color. Clarity is pretty good, slightest of slight haze. Glows sort of a dark orange color when held to the light. Nice creamcicle colored head, decent lacing to it.

Smell is good. Sweat toasted crusty bread smells, lots of toffee and caramel. Slight earthy and spicy notes. Sort of an apple skin aroma with a spicy and earthy tickle of the nose, a little yeasty. Some mild hops that complement everything else, very sort of a subtle spicy/earthy smell.

Taste is equally as good. Plenty of caramel and toffee again. Lots of pale roasted grain, hearty grainy biscuity flavors come out that's toasted and slightly drizzled with honey butter. Some spicy and slightly earthy hops come out, really good.

Probably the best part is the mouthfeel. It's full flavored but feels like a lighter body on the tongue. Great carbonation level that's adequate, nowhere near fizzy but I wouldn't call it modest either. A nice sweet start then it moves to a spicy, earthy (yet clean), dry finish. Crazy drinkable, this is the perfect Octoberfest for when the weather hasn't gotten to cold yet. Perfect beer for the type of weather when you're in the back yard in jeans and a tshirt and think to yourself, "I might need to put on a sweatshirt pretty soon" type weather. Great beer from a great brewery, solid representation of the style. I'd expect nothing less. (1,435 characters)

Photo of timontheroad
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color, very clear, with nice carbonation bubbles continually floating upward. One finger thick beige head. Smell is sweet maltiness, with just a hint of caramel. Taste is bready malt, with some caramel sweetness, and slight peppery notes. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied, not all that great feeling on the palate, kind of meh. Overall not a bad beer, but there's a lot of better Oktoberfest Marzens out there. (417 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%

A-Clear amber ruby in the glass and not much carbonation or head.

S-Caramel and toffee, a little bit of grass.

T-Starts with caramel and toffee. Little bit of grass. The floral hops are there but do not mesh well with the rest of the beer.

M-Lighter, not much carbonation and a tad watery.

O-A style I don't care for and another boring example of it. (356 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"Everyone loves a great party, and there are few quite as famous as Germany's Oktoberfest Inspired by that rollicking celebration, we bring you out version of this classic festival beer. Oktoberfest is medium bodied and rich with malt flavor, but maintains a crisp finish marked by floral hops." Brewed in the style of a German Oktoberfest beer. Previously a small-scale release, this beer was packaged amongst the 2014 Fall Pack. Available in limited run 12 oz. bottles.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a caramel-white head of a frothy foam consistency over a maple-amber body with high clarity and plentiful carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 4

(Smell) Malt aromas of lightly toasted biscuit, thin bready malts and a pinch of subtle roast. The hop profile is equally potent with suggestions of floral, peppery and earthy hops giving this beer ambitious balance on the hop front. Potency is mild/medium. 3.75

(Taste) Toasted malts with a bit of roasty body, peppery and zesty hops with a modest bitterness, finishing with a mellow sweetness of sweet bread and chocolate accented by some soft floral hop notes. It may fall in line with the texture and body of the style but there is a significant bit more flavor to enjoy here. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, light and moderately dry. Carbonation generates a subtle frothiness for a silky, soft mouthfeel. The body is medium+ for the style, medium overall. Balance is slightly roasty and hoppy over sweet. Alcohol presence is low and there are no off characters to note. 4.25

(Overall) This is certainly not the textbook Oktoberfest when looking for prime examples that define the style, but I hope that more Oktoberfests venture in this beer's direction. Expecting none less from Sierra Nevada is that this brewery takes a well-known and perfected German style known for its quaffability and tweaks the flavor enough to generate new-found interest in the style while maintaining its moderate body, smooth textures and highly drinkable nature. Certainly it doesn't come off as light and thin as its authentic German counterparts, but in America's consistent climb for the peak of flavor potential, it's always refreshing to stray from the most road most travelled from time to time. Expect surprising things from this beer. 4

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s
3.98/5.00 (2,430 characters)

Photo of Foyle
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: pours a thick cream colored head that slowly falls with some lacing left behind. Color is a deep amber with moderate streaming carbonation.

Aroma: caramel and toffee, bready malts, and some earthy hop presence.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a dry finish.

Flavor: echoes the aroma with pleasant caramel and toffee blending with the rich bready malt and earthy hops.

Overall: outstanding and well done to the style. (477 characters)

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Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.