Oktoberfest - Port City Brewing

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very good

75 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 5
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Port City Brewing visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Chaney on 08-27-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 26
Reviews by tlazaroff:
Photo of tlazaroff
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quick review cause I'm tired.

Smells like a traditional oktoberfest bier. Toffe and nuts all up in my nose!

In color, its a slightly hazy orange with a just-off-white head that provides generous lacing.

Nuts and biscuits, very malt-forward. It's very satisfying, light bodied with moderate carbonation. Its easy to drink, and pretty darn tasty. Glad I have a local Marzen as a go-to for the style.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured one and a half bottles into a half liter stein with a nice bright rich copper color and a large blooming head atop.German malts dominate the nose with just a hint of leafy hops.Mildly sweet bread dough at first on the palate with a decent dry dry finish,not quite as sweet as way to many of the style right now on the market in my opinion.A very good Fest beer,will go good with some of my homemade brats and sweet and sour braised bacon and onions.

Photo of ChadwickHines
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Good Octoberfest by regular standards

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, cloudy, golden/copper color, with a finger of white head that slowly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Big aroma of malt and freshly baked bread. Spice notes of black pepper, cilantro, clover, caramel and brown sugar.

Taste: Like the aroma, very malty and bready up front, which then competes with some assertive, but beautifully balanced hoppy bitterness. Finally, there’s some good caramel-like sweetness. Great taste!

Mouthfeel: Medium with some really good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.5%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Damn great beer! One of the best American versions of an Oktoberfest that I’ve had this year in fact. I really like the great balance between the malt and the hops. This is definitely going onto my Oktoberfest beer rotation!

Photo of kellyej
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

A- Nice head, golden orange color; Looks like fall in a glass!
S- Clean, malty, biscuit
M- Smooth, yet bubbly; Clean, dry finish
T- Balanced, clean; sweet/malty notes take precedence, hint of citrus and flowers

Photo of Rukasu
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into glass

A - Clear orangey tan, with a dense white two-finger head that settles by half

S - Toasted grain, grass, earthy

T - Nice dry beer, slight malty sweetness with fruit and smooth hop finish.

M - Smooth and creamy, full but mild flavor with significant carbonation

O - Nice, well rounded maerzen. Easy-drinking and fun to try for the season but a six pack is probably more than I needed.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
5.5% ABV, no date.

Thanks to Chaney for another brew from the monster box he sent!

A - Tight bubbles form a tall pillow off white head which doesn't hesitate to almost overflow. A few gobs of lace remain on the glass after the beer plateaus to a lop-sided pile above the clear golden amber-hued beer.

S - Port City's Oktoberfest has an inviting, crisp, clean aroma with up-front toasted Vienna malts and a trace of Munich sweetness. The beer is laced with a crisp snap of hops though; faint citrus and tight herbal notes almost mask this very dull yeast nose; the smell of straight-up yeast from a smack-pack with a touch of sulfur. Thankfully it's small enough it doesn't distract from the rest of the beer.

T - Like the aroma before it, the flavor is very plain and simple but don't consider that an insult. This beer sticks closely to the German classics with malt at the forefront; toast and sweetness the main two components. Hops finish with a trickle of herbal qualities and nice dryness. The doesn't appear to continue into flavor but a pinch of that sulfur (also common to German varieties) remains.

M - Crisp feeling and clean with a medium-light body, Port City's Oktoberfest has a great hop dryness that balances the malt very well on the palate. It's very drinkable indeed.

O - Another thirst-quenching Oktoberfest, Port City's close-to-classic brew puts drinkability above all with nice malt flavor that's balanced very well by European hops. Aside from a bit of yeastiness (evident with quite a bit of haze at the bottom of the bottle) this is a great seasonal offering.

Photo of smakawhat
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at H st festival dc. Plastic clear solo cup.

Golden amber body, with lots of visible rising white carbonation. Head is bit creamy pulls a little thin, off white and faint tan.

Nose is slight mix of toasty malt and classic toffee stickiness, but subdued.

Palate hits with a good feel, mix of good carbonation and faint creamy. Aftertaste is a bit hoppy for the style, strangely, very light caramel on finish.

A respectable Marzen, worth trying.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 64oz growler to nonic pint glass on 9/13/11
*From notes

A: Nice amber hue. Clean. A good pour yields a 1.75 finger head and really respectable lacing.

S: Malty grain and a touch of earth. A bit green.

T: This is a damn smooth and delicious O-Fest. Grainy and crisp without being too cloying or sweet. The finsih is a bit toasty and quite rich.

M: Über-creamy. The texture is right on, it's big and bold without being offputting. The carbonation is right where it should be.

O: Port City's Octoberfest is hands down their best brew yet. It's exactly what I expect out of a top shelf Märzen and then some. If nothing else, this proves without a doubt that the Port City crew can lager with the best of them.

Keep 'em coming, Bill!

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery this evening. Served in a four-ounce taster glass.

Pours a nice light caramel color with a good off-white head and plenty of sticky lacing on the way down. Completely transparent with some visible carbonation.

Nose brings forward some nice herbal and floral hops. They're background, but their nobleness is is quite discernible. Great notes of bread and crust in the background as well as a touch of caramel.

Flavor is quite bready with some continental hops really serving to balance things out. Great malt and hop balance, which is quite refreshing to have in a style where it's appropriate. (Dear most East-Coast brewers: malt isn't supposed to balance hops in an AIPA. End rant.) Good chewy bread body upfront with a mild -- yet lingering -- hop bitterness toward the finish.

Light-medium body with crisp carbonation. Chewy yet fairly-thin. Smooth and incredibly well done for the style.

Photo of jak3676
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Port City - Oktoberfest

Another local brew bottled in Alexandria, VA.

It's a nice golden-amber color, but quite hazy - no where near as clear as most. Slightly hoppy and malty, they got the flavor right, and it's a nice and smooth 5.5% ABV. I'd put it in the top half of those I've tried so far, but nothing really that stood out.

It's another beer that I'd happily have again, but probably not good enough that I'll remember to look for it again at the store. No sign of a bottling date anywhere.

Photo of dhartogs
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at the brewery. Nice orange tint, not a big head. Had a nice but not overpowering smell. The mouthfeel was nice and pleasant, not overly carbonated but not quite silky smooth. It tasted great, most of the Oktober Fests I've had have a bitterness I don't quite enjoy but this one had none, excellent sessionable oktober fest, all I need is a brat and kraut to make it complete. I bought a growler to go.

Photo of mpyle
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pale amber color, slightly cloudy (not filtered? respect). Nice tight white head, moderate in size with good retention.

Drinking fairly cold, so the aroma is muted. Very clean with a hint of malt.

A hint of maltiness in the flavor, but well attenuated and hopped, making it crisp and slightly bitter. Gentle bitterness carries into the finish.

Medium body, medium-high carbonation. No astringency or warming

The hops (variety) don't seem quite right, and could use a bit more of an initial malty hit, but overall a super drinkable and balanced lager, and probably a heck of a lot fresher than something that made the journey from Germany.

Photo of delta490
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12 oz bottle into Sam Adams glass. Has a bright copper color with a big foamy white head which lasts well into the beer. Aroma is simple has nice notes of spice and caramel. The taste mirrors it with a little hop bitterness on the finish. It is moderately carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel. A great American take on a classic German style.

Photo of localone703
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber color off-white head.

Aromas of caramel malts and a whiff of earthy hops.

Earthy hop flavor swims upstream against a sweet malt character that I found a bit amateurish - fruity off notes not right for a lager. I wanted the refined toffee notes to an otherwise barely off-dry maltiness, but this one was too sweet with the flavors a bit too loose.

Medium body that finishes on a fruity sweet maltiness I found a bit cloying for the style.

You can take an Old Dominion brewer, give him some Old Dominion equipment, but he just can't hit the same mark. This stuff aint doing Virginia any favors - kinda like Old Dominion in their later years.

Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 09/30/11 notes. Been meaning to try this one and finally picked up a 32 oz. growler of it at the Whole Foods in Clarendon, VA. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark hazy copper orange color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of fruity malts and bready malts, light hops, and some nutiness.

t - Tastes of bready malts, caramel malts, fruit, light puts, and light citrus hops.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good Oktoberfest beer. Very glad to see Port City starting to do some seasonals and this is up there with their porter as their best beer. Girlfriend loved it too, would definitely buy it again.

Photo of drabmuh
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Take this Chaney. Growler poured into a Port City shaker pint glass because I can. Shared with the other Matt at his place last night.

Beer is copper / amber with a mild haze, huge head (rough pour) of offwhite bubbles that leaves a little lacing on the glass, head has some retention to it and the carbonation is steady and nice. Looks good.

Aroma is a little weak, mildly sweet, some lager yeast character in there, mild nuttiness, could be more pronounced.

Beer is medium to light in body, easy drinking, nice lead off sweetness. Very nice lager right here, mildly bitter but not overly so on the finish, a really great beer. I kept drinking and drinking, basically killing half the growler alone. I would have more of this if offered. Make more lagers Port City, this is the best beer you've made so far by a lot.

Photo of Godot
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler from the brewery after trying it fresh on tap. Reviewing from the growler. Pours a beautiful crystal clear copper color with a white head that drops fairly quickly to thin film. I get very little aroma off of it. It smells good, nice toasty malt, but its so faint that it is barely there. Taste is light malt and refreshing hop. Definitely more of a hop presence than a traditional German Octoberfest, but this is not a bad thing. The malt still dominates but it is balanced by a fresh hoppiness that keeps the sweetness at bay and makes this beer ridiculously drinkable. My wife and I finished this growler without any trouble; a testament to its drinkability and what I assume is a fairly low ABV. Not a traditional Octoberfest, nor the best Octoberfest I have had, but definitely a great stab at the style by a new brewery with a lot of promise.

Photo of Chaney
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm just stoked that I reviewed something before local peeps Thorpe429, Huhzubendah, and drabmuh. I know that will never happen again....

A: Very cloudy, peppery orange, with a ridiculously ridiculous 1.5 finger or so head.

S: Liquid bread and then some. A bit of sweet quality that made this one sour-dough like. Mildly aromatic, but not in-your-face.

T: Yeast bomb for sure, with no drying agent whatsoever, sweetbread-like and very malty... sweet malt even.

M: Perfectly carbonated for this style and lays on the palate quite well. The lacing was car wash stuff. No alcohol detected.

O: Very nice O-fest from my local brewery. I dug it and am looking forward to the next seasonal during the Christmas holiday!

Photo of Dave1999
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy orange with a white foamy head.

The smell was malty and sweet, with caramel and some hop earthiness.

The taste was sweet and malty but had a good level of hop bitterness to it. Very well balanced.

The mouth feel was quite chewy, medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall an easy drinking excellent Oktoberfest. This example was more bitter than other Oktoberfests I have tried and it worked very well. The Port City Oktoberfest tasted almost like an English IPA.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

The beer has a fabulous appearance. Clear and orange with a towering head after an aggressive pour. Head retention is lasting and there's plenty of lacing to be found on the pint glass. The aroma is subtle, bordering on weak. Non-offensive, but quite mild. The taste is superb. I consumed half of the 64 oz. growler, and could've easily had more. Really smooth and easy drinking, with a simple and delicious malt presence. Hints of nuts, and just ever so slightly sweet. A fabulous example of an Oktoberfest, I definitely recommend this.

Photo of rhartogsq
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this brew at the brewery tasting room which is the perfect place to have this kind of beer, as I believe the more fresh the beer, the better.

Nice color, mouth feel, easily drinkable with a nice flavor. I would love to use this as a session beer while it lasted. Some Octoberfest beers can be gimmicky and hit or miss. This is a straight forward German style beer and is on point.

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Mad Fox glass. Bright amber in color with a thin white head barely covering the top of it. Very nice clarity and color.

The aroma mixes crisp fruits with toasted malts. There is some notes of apple with a little grape in it. There is a little bit of a caramel sweetness in it as well. The toasted malts are very nice. Good balance to it.

The taste follows through with more of the crisp, slightly tart fruits coming through up front. The finish is where more of the toasty, bready malts show. The sweet, crisp and tart flavors are all well balanced, and the toasted malts are well done.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with moderate carbonation. Overall, I thought it was a very good beer of the style. Well balanced, nicely flavored and easy drinking. Very solid beer overall, easily my favorite Port City seasonal so far.

Photo of WMEugene
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served into a Port City pint glass from a growler fill bought on Aug. 26, the debut of the Oktoberfest.

A - Nice, hazy orange color...an attractive fall beer

S - Relatively mild, a slight yeast-esque smell but nothing too distracting.

T - Crisp, malted taste. There's a little bit of hops, but it's definitely more of a malted taste. Right where it should be in terms of style. A slightly nuttish aftertaste.

M - Fantastic, crisp with a perfect level of carbonation

Overall, Port City has made a delightful fall seasonal. They nailed the style and this may be their best beer yet (though I have noticed that their regular offerings have gotten stronger since they first opened). It's a shame that this is limited to 100 kegs, because this would be a great addition to the regular line-up in terms of taste and commercially . I'm excited to see what they do next, but I'll make sure to enjoy the Oktoberfest while I can get it.

Photo of HopsandPots
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12oz bottle brought up from the brewery. Bottling code is 2432 A1 1231, whatever that means.... Poured into a pint glass

A- Copper with plenty of carbonation inside the beer. Not much of a head at all.

S- Smells of lightly toasted malt and a bit of caramel sweetness

T- A mild hop bitterness upfront, overtaken by the sweet and biscuit.

M- Probably a bit overly carbonated, but washes away quick for a dry finish.

Overall- It's a fine Oktoberfest. It doesn't blow me away, but I won't turn the next one down.... Isn't that the point?

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Oktoberfest from Port City Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.