1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  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!

Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier - Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Not Rated.
Weihenstephaner OktoberfestbierWeihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,114 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,114
Reviews: 523
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 33
Gots: 61 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan visit their website

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mzwolinski on 10-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,114 | Reviews: 523 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brad007
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's the season of marzens and this beer comes along at a far more appropriate time (as opposed to early August).

Pours a nice golden color with a two-finger head that's quick to recede, leaving behind lacing.

Aroma is sweet and grainy with just a hint of brown sugar. I don't see anything unusual here.

Taste is chock full of sweet, grainy malt with a slight chewiness to it. Easy to drink and enjoyable as it is.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering sweet and grainy malt It's what you'd expect.

The marzen is an excellent style for late summer-early fall crowd. It hints at colder weather to come without losing sight of what makes summer fun (the beer, of course!). This example is tasty and simple and just like it should be. I'd recommend it.

Brad007, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of r0nyn
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 15 oz bottle into my trusty Troegs pint glass.

Appearance is a pale, transparent yellow with a large, fat white head that leaves loose lacing and takes a while to recede. Lots of bubbles rise up from the bottom. It looks almost like a light lager or ginger ale and nothing like any other marzen I've had before. Smell is also very lager-like, which is very atypical and makes me wonder if this beer is in the wrong classification. I detect malts, malts and more malts, with just the slightest hint of clove at the end. Interesting, to say the least.

From the first sip, I'm convinced that this is definitely not a marzen. Clean malt sweetness starts it off and lingers over the palate, followed by a subtle breadiness and slight banana undertone. Finishes like it started, clean and smooth, with no lingering aftertaste to speak of. Definitely not what I was expecting, but a pleasing flavor experience nonetheless. Mouthfeel is creamy and slightly chewy, with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is great, thanks to the crisp, clean flavor and finish and lightweight ABV. Would definitely have another one of these, given the chance. But I wouldn't call it a marzen, because it most certainly isn't one. Another great beer from one of my favorite breweries.

r0nyn, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of milkbaby9
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Samuel Adams sensory glass produced a 3 finger head that settles down to 1/2 finger leaving great lacing. Color is unexpectedly light being straw to light gold, though it is stunningly clear.

Aroma of sweet malt plus a slight off aroma, kinda sour and metallic. Maybe first hint of something wrong with this bottle? Taste starts with a light maltiness into a bit of a tart astringency, then finishes with sweet malt and a bit of an oily piney hop bitterness lingering.

Carbonation is crisp and just peppy enough to be enjoyable. This is light-bodied and with a crisp finish. I would actually prefer more malt through the finish and aftertaste for this Oktoberfest.

Having enjoyed everything else I've tried by Weihenstephan in the past, this was a little disappointing for me from the light color through the taste. I'm shocked to say that I much prefer this year's Sam Adams Oktoberfest! I did take a sniff and sip of this beer from a friend's glass a day later and it didn't seem to be as disappointing as this bottle. Maybe I just got a bad one? I think this is too far off the traditional Oktoberfest/Marzen style. Will try again and update later...

milkbaby9, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - It pours a typical Pilsner-pale lager appearance except it has unusually huge white pillows of froth and is leaving huge swaths of lace.

S - Mineral and breadiness are the base aromatic, also herbal spiciness and vague green apple are there if you stretch your olfactory to the limit.

T - So it is a delicious beer... I was expecting a copper caramelized Oktoberfest-style brew, but one was not delivered. In this case, that suits me just fine. This beer deftly balances sweetness, breadiness, mineral astringency, vague green apple and herbal spicy continental hoppiness. I still feel that the flavor profile tends toward Pilsner or Munich Helles as opposed to Märzen.

M - Light-bodied and well-carbonated.

D - The definition of drinkable.

ktrillionaire, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of malloyca
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Frankfurt stein, this showed brilliant, clear yellow-golden color and a thick, foamy white head. Aromas were of clean hops, grains and dough, with some very faint herbal aspects. The mild hop and grain aromas carried through to the flavor, which was perfectly balanced by plentiful carbonation. A delicious, fresh, refined and very drinkable beer that I can't wait to have again.

malloyca, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of BlackBearForge
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Weihenstephaner Festbier is a beer in the modern tradition of Festbiers, more closely resembling a traditional Munich Helles Lager than a Marzen, there is nothing amber about this bier! The crystal clear golden yellow body is topped by a creamy thick bone white head which leave thick swathes of lacing.

The aroma breathes like pilsner malts with a fresh grassy hoppiness reeking of European hops (Saaz perhaps among others).

While not a traditional Marzen I have no complaints in the taste department. Lovely fresh bready malts swarm the senses with a lightly sweet nuttiness while a mild lemony, slightlly spicy hoppiness balances things out perfectly.

The mouthfeel manages to be firm and light at the same time while the carbonation keeps things lively but is moderate enough to not get in the way.

Fresh, mild, tasty, only a dedicated and fervent hophead could have any complaints with this beer. I've often wondered why they switched to a lighter colored lager at the modern Oktoberfest but if they are all as drinkable as this bier I can understand why, this glass is dissappearing rapidly. I may not forsake my beloved amber Marzens but I sure won't turn my nose up at these lightre colored Festbiers anymore!

BlackBearForge, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of jpro
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice, clear gold with an impressive snow white head. There are a few specks of lace that stick to the glass as the head dissipates to the slightest layer of foam. Smell is pretty up front and clean: light bready malts and floral / spicy hops. Taste is clean, too: grains, a touch doughy and a light touch of pepper from the hops. Mouthfeel is light and refreshing. A very drinkable brew... kind of lighter than I was expecting, but good stuff. I'd bust it out during an Oktoberfest party.

jpro, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of procha1970
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a decent head that disipated quickly and left no lacing.

The aroma is light , bready malts and floral hops.

The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma.

Overall a very good beer that I usually drink once or twice a year.

procha1970, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of generallee
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1 pint 0.9oz bottle into a big mug. The abv is listed on the label at 5.8% and there is no freshness date. This is the first Oktoberfest I have seen this year so I'm sure it's very fresh.

Appearance: The body has a bright gold color with excellent clarity and some visible carbonation. On top it forms a tall bright white head of tightly packed foam. The head has good retention but makes very little lacing.

Smell: The aroma has equal parts bready and nutty malt with fresh floral hops.

Taste/Palate: Its medium body has balanced mix of bready malt with nutty and light honey like sweetness backed up buy floral/botanical, almost grassy hops. The finish is quick and refreshing. It just begs for another sip.

Notes: This is an outstanding, highly drinkable Fest bier. It's not very complex but what's there is very good!!!

generallee, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of SShelly
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy yellow with large poof of white head.

aroma is bready and sweet, barely there really.

Flavor is sweet and lightly malty, small amount of hop bitterness balances the bier decently on the backend, lightly mettalic.

A fairly drinkable, fairly mundane beer, capable of doing its job, getting drunk all day without wrecking someone.

SShelly, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of Hershdawg
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle into a stien

A: Golden yellow color with a good inch of head. a little lacing. i was expecting a darker color from something that claims to a be a Marzen.

S: Honey malts, slight hop citrusness. Not bad but not typical.

T: Lighter flavor then most Marzens. Malt sweetness not too much caramel. Much closer to their Helles then to a oktoberfest. Usual lager finish.

M: Light, good carbonation.

D: Easy to go through a ton.

Hershdawg, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of baos
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into uber tall glass dudes.

A: Nice giant head of white power that is four fingers high. Lacing is above par.

S: Nice grainy malty sweetness.

T: Nice malty euro flavor. Although it doesn't match the style. Its more like Landbier to me. With a bit more sweetness und body.

M: Not bad medium feel.

D: throw them toward

baos, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of CrazyDavros
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pale gold with a large fading head.
Nose shows grassy hops with faint spicy notes along with tempting bready malt.
Flavours show a little of the above hops with some bready, almost grainy, malt in the background.
Nice low carbonation and moderately-light body.

CrazyDavros, May 27, 2010
Photo of kegger22
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weihenstephaner Festbier was a golden color with a one inch, white head that showed pretty good retention. The aroma was malty sweet and grainy. The taste was sweet and grainy, like the aroma. A buttery flavor was also prominent. Other than the butter it was similar to a common lager, I liked it though. The mouth feel was medium bodied, oily and moderately carbonated. Drinkability was good, reasonable price, taste and ABV.

kegger22, May 23, 2010
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This review is from a possible bad bottle...

A - Pours a hazy super pale brown/orange color with a 1/2 inch head that fades to nothing. No lacing.

S - Smells of sweet malts and metal. Almost a smell of rust.

T - Slightly bitter hop taste to start followed up by a very subdued malty bread flavor. There is a metallic aftertaste on this beer.

M - Low carbonation (not quite flat) with a sticky quality in the mouth.

D - So this may be a bad bottle of this beer, but who knows? There was only 1 bottle left on the shelf at a small liquor store where I live and I haven't seen this one anywhere else. If this is the normal quality the drinkability isn't too good and I wouldn't get it again. However, if I see another bottle someday I might pick it up out of curiousity to rereview.

UCLABrewN84, May 14, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a slightly cloudy, yellow pour with a short lived white head.

S: The nose is bready and biscuity with a slight spiciness and some lightly floral and citrusy hops.

T: There's plenty of spicy and sweet orange hop flavor. The malt provides a bit of bready flavor and substance, though the beer is fairly light.

M: The body is quite light on the tongue with a bubbly carbonation.

D: I don't think Weihenstephaner makes a bad beer, and this one follows that trend. A nice light beer with some pleasant flavor.

womencantsail, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of AlFromBayShore
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - I usually drink a beer twice when reviewing. The first time I sit, drink, and think about it. The second time I log in to BA, pour the beer, and review. The first time I had this I poured aggressively and that yielded a huge foamy white head. The second time I intentionally poured in a much less aggressive fashion. I ended up with a 1/2 finger head that quickly dissapated. The color is straw/ blonde.

S - Sweet smelling honey with a malty background. Very faint hops?

T & M - Honey on the front end and in the finish, framed by a thin bitterness. Getting a malty backbone through it all. Medium body, full flavored and rich. Nothing thin here.

D -

AlFromBayShore, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of FishGetter
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellow color with loads of carbination. Thick bubbly head.
Brilliant earthy malt nose. Some pear aroma too.
Mostly base malt blended nicley with a mild pear flavor. Some lemon peel hops alomg with mild bitterness.
For the most part on the thin side for mouthfeel. Semi-dry in the mouth. Reminence of a white wine.
Non-traditional for a Marzen style brew. Don't know if this is what we in America have come to expect out of one, or if its a true European Marzen. Neverless, a decent brew.

FishGetter, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of keithmurray
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pale golden colour, no head

Bought a six pack last weekend, just cracked opened one of the beers. I gotta agree with Geeman on this. To me, from the different types of Octoberfest biers I've had, this is totally in left field and seemingly not representative of the style. None of the colors, aromas or tastes of a traditional octoberfest (deep malt, carmel flavors that make me think "octoberfest flavor) This tastes almost like a Euro lager. I love Weihenstephaner, in the past I'v eenjoyed all of their offerings, but this is the only style from them that I would not buy from them again. Considering all of the tasty treats I have sampled from them recently, they get a pass from me for this particular style that just seems to have missed the mark.

keithmurray, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of hustlesworth
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- very light pale golden, moderately clear, with a nicely bubbled white hat. Lace is sticky and plentiful and the foam has a wrinkly pock-marked hoppy look to it.

S- loads of hops in the nose, noble saaz I presume, with merely a hint of toasted malt sweetness in the background. Lemony, grassy, and floral, this one smells more like a helles or a pils than an Oktoberfest. Or at least the ones I'm used to.

T- finely balanced, more hop flavor than bitterness thanks to plentiful malty sweetness and a nice clean metallic edge. Herbal hops, sweet bread, apple skin and white grape with a bit of a vinous flavor. Definitely hoppier that many other examples, especially as it finishes, spicy, peppery, and bitter with a light bready flavor.

MF- heavier than light bodied and brightly carbonated, with a Chardonnay type dryness. Some powdery feel as well.

D- a different type of marzen than I usually go for, it's light like hofbrau, heavier and well hopped, still rather sweet, and easily drinkable. Not my favorite, but respectable nonetheless.

hustlesworth, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light, straw colored beer with good clarity and a small white head. The aroma is spicy and fruity with a firm presence of noble hops. The flavor is crisp, clean and spicy with a touch of sweetness. I expected a thinner consistency but it's more in the moderate range and the carbonation was low. This is a very easy drinking yet flavorful beer.

GJ40, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of Walken
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weihenstephaner: Festbier
16.9 oz. bottle, poured into a dimple mug.

Appearance: Brilliantly clear golden colored liquid fills the glass, topped by a diverse head, bubbly & foamy on the bottom, meringue on top, big and badass. Retention is stellar as it fades down into a half-inch cap, leaving large chunks of lace.
Odor: Fresh toasted white bread, rich melanoidin character and a big kiss of spicy, slightly citrusy hop aroma. Hints of wheat tang maybe?
Consistency: On the full end of medium bodied. Not mouth-coating or anywhere nearing heavy, but there's a richness, a perception of girth that's quite pleasing. Medium carbonation lends a solid smoothness, broken up by some surprisingly assertive bitterness.
Flavor: Taste is similar to the aroma, very much like a cranked up version of their helles. Rich white bread, the kind of melanoidiny flavors that can come from decoction mashing. Oh hey, another surprise, serious spicy/citrus hop character, likely saaz, only slightly bitter. Flavors go grainier into the finish, hops linger, relatively clean when all is said and done.

This was interesting. I've seen quite a bit of variation within this style, from the pilsner-like marzens consumed at the festival, to the fat, bock-ish versions that seem to be the favorite among American craft drinkers. This is somewhat of an oddity, walking the line between the two with a spicy/citrus hop punch to boot. I dig it, even if it's a bit off-kilter for the style.

Walken, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of HalfFull
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled upon a Festbier this day, and a fresh one at that, just a couple months old. Having seen this brew in the past, I've passed on it given its age.

I pour this Weihenstephaner offering into a wine glass knowing not to expect the 'typical' Oktoberfest. The beer pours a hazy orange/lemonade with a half inch of white foam. This settles to a thin cap and offers light lacing throughout. A light boil emanates from the bottom of the glass all the while.

Some noble hops on the nose combine with some lemony citric malts. Originally thinking that if my eyes were closed I couldn't differentiate this from any other festbier, I find that the hops take the forefront for the style, and balance with some pilsener flavors and help explain the relatively light color of the pour.

Flavor follows the nose. Light and smooth for the style, yet offering just enough malt base to justify its position thereof. But then it could be dubbed a Munich Helles as well. Oddly aside of its cohorts, this beer drinks easily for the style that I feel, like others, that it doesn't really belong in. A very worthy beer nonetheless, though more of a fall seasonal Pils/Helles than an Oktoberfest.

HalfFull, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of hippityhops85
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this in my beer club's octoberfest case, was expecting a dark marzen until I took a gander at the bottle, wow it's clear! The smell is basically non-existant to me. Light golden tones give it more of a spring (feel free to ? me) feel. The taste I can agree to an early fall feel. It still has a slight springy/freshly cut grass taste. All in all not a bad beer by any means. Exceptionally drinkable. Just not sure why it's a "fall" oriented beer.

hippityhops85, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of josefnewsong
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first thought was, "this is possibly the best pilsner I've ever had"...then my second thought was, "oh...wait..."
I find it funny that the oldest brewery in the world has trouble classifying their beers, however this is still thoroughly enjoyable and very drinkable...call it a pilsner and I'll give it an A+, call it a marzen and I'm confused.

josefnewsong, Nov 24, 2009
Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
84 out of 100 based on 1,114 ratings.