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Oktoberfest - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

47 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 47
Hads: 156
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 23.12%
Wants: 5
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: canucklehead on 10-05-2010

Though it is not necessary to drink this beer out of a mug that is larger than your head while dancing to polka music and wearing your lederhosen, you will find this lager's unbridled festivity difficult to resist. This ode to Germany's classic fall lagers is as clean, clear, and quaffable as any that has ever weighed down the table of a German Beer garden. The crisp maltiness of classic Munich malt compounded with the delicious notes of Bavarian hops gives this clean-finishing beer just the right flavor for the end of the summer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 156
Photo of StonedTrippin
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

almost like a watered down oktoberfest beer. it was thin and unexciting in the mouth. taste was bland and entirely devoid of that big malt character that defines the genre. from their website it sounds like they were going for a lighter version for an "end of summer" feel. if that is the case, then well done, but this won't be coming home with me again, especially with the myriad of excellent oktobers to choose from.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can, simple label design - procured at a King Soopers in Denver last week.

This beer pours a clear, pale copper amber hue, with four flabby fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves some well-spaced runic script lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of crisp, crackery, and sort of biscuity caramel malt, a muddled oily nuttiness, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is more gritty, grainy, and lightly biscuity pale and caramel malt, an astringent and almost stale nuttiness, weedy, leafy, and slightly floral hops, and the suggestion of an uptick in alcohol presence.

The carbonation is active in a sort of baiting frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and generally smooth, a small lilting creaminess arising as things warm. It finishes off-dry, the bready, and still laudably biscuity caramel malt starting to trample over the lingering noble hops.

A decent enough rendering of the seasonal style, one of the few that I have yet come across in this (easily transportable) packaging format. Malty, understatedly hoppy, and a little sassy - good stuff!

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Photo of mactrail
3.29/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Attractive rich amber color with a modest head in the big chalice. Plenty of carbonation on the tongue but there's not much to look at in the glass. Has that gummy, grainy aromatic nose.

Warm and malty with a fairly substantial mouthfeel. Seems like the classic Marzen, though a little tired. Some resiny tang with just the slightest bitterness at the finish. Just a light caramel taste and slight lemony note. Hints of cardboard and honey with some lingering sweetness in the aftertaste.

This must be from last fall, but it's still plenty drinkable, though not one of my favorites. From the 12 oz can purchased at Special Brews in Lynnwood, Washington.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium or slightly bigger off white head settles into a pretty nice lacing above a clear pumpkin copper colored beer.

Light caramel malt aroma with some light spices and even lighter hops notes tagging along.

Light caramel malts, lighter spices and hops tastes coming from this lighter bodied Oktoberfest beer.

A light or rather a very light caramel and spices lingers in a not quite so dry aftertaste.

One of the lighter tasting Oktoberfest beers I've tried this year, maybe a good introduction to the style but not really for the Oktoberfest lovers, would be my option of this beer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Some breadyness & apples

T: Breadyness, , slight grainyness, & pears up front. Apple peels, slight metallic & woody hop bite as this warms. Finishes with orchard fruit & a touch of grassy hops

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, alright balance

Easy to drink but not one of the better beers of this style I've had this Fall. This is by far the weak little brother of Santa Fe's great canned beers on offer....

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Photo of woodychandler
4.21/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

There are about a dozen hardcore supporters of The CANQuest (TM) and indiapaleale is on of them! His trades/contributions are AbFab and I always try to help him when I CAN. On the verge of CAN # 400, I salute you for your invaluable assistance. CAN you dig it?

From the CAN: "Celebrate the season for no reason." I loved the blue and white diamond pattern with a wee, tiny pretzel in the center as this CAN's design. What a great homage to King Ludwig and the crossed-hands-over-heart tradition that the two represent! For those that are used to plastic-y pretzels made by big companies and extruded from steel pipes, let me know and I will turn you on to some fantastic pretzels, including some hand-fashioned by ladies wearing prayer caps. No boostin', yo! The PA Dutch (Deutch) and pretzels are damn near synonymous and I have easy access to any brand you could want to go with a beer.

Crack & Glug time: As is the wont of most beers, my pour style allows for two-plus fingers of head as well as the release of aromas into the surrounding air. The head was an off-white, thick, foamy, with good retention. Color was an orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was really clean with a really lovely lager sweetness. Mouthfeel was slightly thin with a dryer taste than one might expect from the style, but as regular readers of my reviews know, I am not a sweet beer fan and so this was right up my alley. Finish was semi-sweet, unobtrusive and really ripe for a pretzel. I am now reaching into my bag of Hammond's Pretzels and contemplating that initial salty crunch to accompany a most excellent beer.

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Photo of Tone
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of hops, hint of pine, sweet malt, slight pale malt, yeast, and a hint of banana. Fits the style of an Oktoberfest. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, sweet malt, yeast, and slight hops. Overall, a simple and pure representation of the style.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Can. What a can. Looks great. Very bold. Checkers to the face. Pours a light, clear brown. Aroma is sweet amd more basic than some Marzens. It alsmost smells like an ale instead of its normal denomination. Flavor is of sweet caramel, faint bread and the like. Not the most complex of the style. Lighter bodied. Reasonably drinkable. Pretty basic. Training wheels. I wish it tasted as good as the can looked.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can pours a crystal clear medium gold color with a standard off-white head. Average retention and lace.

Nose is honeyed grains and lagery yeast. Not a whole lot going on in the nose...smells like it is somewhere in between a marzen and a festbier.

Malts have a nice 'fresh-crushed' flavor to them and stay light...touch of toast and honey, not unlike eating some Golden Grahams. It is not as dark and richly malted as most American Oktoberfests, this one goes for more balance as a slight grassy bitterness creeps up after a few gulps. It is a highly drinkable offering and I am really digging it. I could drink a ton of these, it is very clean and refreshing. I can see multiple repeat purchases in my future.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I actually like Santa Fe's canned offerings more than the bottles. Clear orange color. Smells like bread and a bit of alcohol. Tastes like a good marzen, some alcohol, some bread and a distinctive lager yeast flavor. I've gone through a couple sixers of this already and I might grab another before the season is over, not too shabby.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a Weyerbacher tulip. Thanks to JAHMUR for sharing.

A: Clear medium amber body beneath minimal head. Pretty uninspiring.

S: Meh. Generic nutty + caramel maltiness as well as some stone fruit. Not bad, just average.

T: Maltiness dominates throughout, happily leaving the weird fruitiness by the wayside in favor of sweet nuttiness. Tasty enough.

M: Soft medium body with moderate carbonation. Nice.

O: Decent beer, and I'm always happy to see craft in cans. I preferred this brewery's IPA by a good margin, though.


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Photo of canucklehead
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack at the brewery in Santa Fe. It has a cool chequered can with a small pretzel on the side. This is a pale version of the style with enough malt to differniate it from the free style Pils. The hops come out after a few sips but in general this is a pretty average OK fest beer. 2nd street brewery makes a darker more full bodied version and I have to say that it is superior to this one

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Santa Fe Octoberfest has a thick, off-white head, a hazy, orange-gold appearance, lots of bubble streams, and minimal lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sour-dough bread crust, grain husk, and even soap (but, that can’t be right). Taste is of fairly sweet, sough-dough bread crust, a mild hop presence, syrup, and nut shell. Mouthfeel is medium, and Santa Fe Octoberfest finishes crisp and refreshing.


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Photo of arizcards
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in mid-September for $1.99. No freshness date.

Beer poured a honey brown with a nice white head upon the initial pour.

Nose is faint of toasted grains.

Taste is pretty true to the style, toasted bready malt balanced nicely with some euro hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and kind of refreshing and smooth.

Overall a nice beer that represents the style well.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stopped by Argonaut to pick up a six pack of Happy Camper IPA, saw this one and grabbed it instead. Pours a brilliant amber color, with a smallish ecru head. This is what a glass of beer should look like. A little spicy on the nose, with a bit of caramel. On the palate, sweet, crisp and a little bit bitter. A nice fall refresher.

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Photo of beergoot
3.54/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Light copper body with a thin but foamy and sticky white head. Sweet, malty nose with a touch of nuts and caramel. Dark malt flavors; toffee. Medium body; smooth, clean finish.

A respectable, tasty, malt-forward beer. Hits the style profile. Nothing new or groundbreaking here, just a good, delicious Fall season beer...

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can poured into a can-shaped glass.

Good lacing, bright copper-colored brew with pristine clarity.

Biscuity aroma with light touches of floral hops. Caramel notes creep in.

Light caramel initially, then biscuity and crackery, and then floral hop notes work their way in. Caramelly flavors linger with a nib of bitterness.

A bit burlier than desirable and thick with caramel, but still a bit bitter and drinkable.

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Photo of Rayek
3.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug, in the Oktoberfest spirit. Santa Fe's offering emerges a straight amber hue with great clarity and vigorous carbonation. A small eggshell cap quickly falls to a ring at the beer's edge. Leaves no lace.

Bittersweet toffee and toasted sweetbread are the primary theme here. Hops are mild and carry a lemon and cut grass theme. Toffee returns for the finish. The beer's light body makes it go down easy. Carbonation is right on.

Overall, this is a nice Oktoberfest. I'm glad I picked it up.

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Photo of bump8628
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty standard American craft oktoberfest in a pretty sweet can. Clear copper-orange, thin white head that leaves a few spiderwebs of lace on the glass. Classic toasted, biscuity malt layered with a mild herbal, spicy noble hop flavor. A light caramel sweetness finishes things off. Good oktoberfest, but nothing that stands out against the mob of others that hit shelves every year. The can could be a nice option since I can't think of any other beers in this style that are canned.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear pale amber body with a a sudsy off-white head that slowly vanishes while leaving random patterns of lacing behind.

S - Toasted grains, caramel malt, sweet puffed cereal, light yeast in the background.

T - Sweet caramel malts that seem faintly toasted, clean biscuity profile, hints of dried fruit and honey, subtle grassy and floral hops create light bitterness. Finishes crisp and clean.

M - Light body, sudsy carbonation.

Not very complex but this goes down easy for sure. Very simple but good clean flavors make this beer highly quaffable indeed.

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Photo of UnionMade
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stopped at my favorite local shop today and was surprised to see this in the cooler. Something new, which I always like. Santa Fe's can packaging is terrific in its minimalism. The bold simplicity jumps out at you in the sea of color.
Pours a brilliant orange gold color, perfectly clear, pretty spot on for one of the lighter Munich versions of Oktoberfest lager. A big poof of white head forms with the pour, but dies out very quickly. Just a dusting after a few minutes, and nothing left halfway through the glass. The head is a little disappointing, but that could be my only complaint with this beer.
Smells pretty damn good. Caramel malt and a touch of noble hops. That's it. More in line with real Munich Oktoberfest lager than most american craft versions, which are way heavy on the malt. Clean and surprisingly authentic.
The flavor opens up baby sweet and stays that way. Big bodied and malty, but stays well shy of overbearing. Lots of caramel, doughy and full of grain goodness. A bit of grassy esters, but well lagered and surprisingly authentic. Mild bitterness, in the lighter, hoppier Munich style. Think Spaten or Hofbrau's Oktoberfest. Sweet and gentle overall, with floral, bavarian hops finishing things out. Clean and dry, without much aftertaste. Good stuff!
For the style, this is something I would seek out. I've only had a handful of Santa Fe's beers, but all have been well above average. This one really blew me away, as it's a style that easily gets overbearing. Elegant and understated, while maintaining heaps of flavor. Well done.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a dimpled mug.

Look: Slightly hazy copper color with a white head that recedes way too fast. Only a collar and slight wisp remain. No lacing.

Aroma: Bready malts with a slightly sour hop component -- smells like tomato soup.

Taste: Spicy hops dominate and overtake any sweet malts. It's a very spicy brew and the tomato soup thing is in the taste as well.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, carbonated.

Overall: I'm afraid this was a huge disappointment. It was sharp, sour ... did't even taste like a marzen really.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Copper brown in color with a half inch of off white head. Light Brussels lacing. Sourdough bread is exactly how I would did robe the aroma. The flavor closely mimics the aroma with the sourdough bread flavor with a hint of saltiness. The mouth is lightly carbonated and with a salty crispness.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - dark golden in color with some nice little bubbles streaming upwards making a thin white head. This settles pretty quickly with a ring of white and some lacy webbing.

Aroma - brown bread, bread dough, malt, caramel and hints of dark fruit.

Taste - very crisp and quite refreshing on the palate. The sweet maltiness that you can expect from this style is nicely balanced by the dry finish and the carbonation. Brown sugar and caramel are left on the tongue but fade quickly which makes your brain tell your hand to quickly replenish your mouth with more beer!

Overall - not an easy style to work with and yet Santa Fe has pulled it off nicely. Great flavor and very easy drinking. A six-pack of these would get you through a few sing-a-longs in good fashion that is for sure. Prosit!

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. A very drinkable dark lager with plenty of character but not too heavy. I'd love to have easier access to this brewery's canned beers.

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Photo of Domingo
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There aren't too many Oktoberfest beers in cans, so this is a welcome sight.
Pours a deep golden color with a big fluffy white head. The look of this one definitely appears to be along the lines of the more modern Märzen beers served at the Wies'n these days.
The flavor profile matches that as well. Rich and malty, but definitely more of a pale malt. Earthy hops are there to keep that bready sweetness under control, but that's still the primary flavor profile. Lager-based honey flavor shows up here and there, too. It reminds me a little bit of the Hofbräu version of the style, and that's certainly a compliment for a US brewer. There's just a tiny sulfuric note on the (fairly muted) nose, which would really be the only thing off about it.
I admittedly prefer the darker malt versions of the style, but these versions have grown on me a bit. Plus, because of how the fest beers are at the moment, this version is actually extremely authentic.
Good take on the style, and I love the cans, too.
Not my favorite or anything, but still one I'll keep buying.

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Oktoberfest from Santa Fe Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.