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Bell's Octoberfest Beer - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's Octoberfest BeerBell's Octoberfest Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

665 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 665
Reviews: 428
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.85%

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: hoppymeal on 09-11-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 665 | Reviews: 428 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KYGunner


3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Typical Marzen dark copper but it was so clean that it looked artificial. The head was thick mounted stiffly and collared slowly.

The scent was simply too weak to rate particularly high. A sweet malt and grain tone was evident but it was not profound.

The flavors, too, were weak but what I did catch was a nice grain, bran and caramel malt. Some low-like sweetness there was a dry bready texture.

I feel like Bells products are typically more solid than this was. What I did get was awfully good but it simply did not assert itself as it should.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2013 00:57:55 | More by KYGunner
Photo of deebo


3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pint in tap at Lowry in MPLS

A-a nice amber color with ruby highlights. Completely clear served with a ringing of white head.

S-not a ton going on. Some caramel malt Marzen goodness with a fair amount of alcohol aroma and a bit of cooked corn-lager style

T-much better than the smell as the alcohol and DMS taste is much weaker than the aroma and the typical caramel toasted barley malt comes to the forefront. A bit of that taste is noted on the back end which hurts this beer

M-medium bodied with average carbonation and a adjunct lager finish

O-I'm afraid I've come to expect more from Bells but this is just an average attempt from an American brewer at the German Marzen. Many better options out there.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2013 03:59:36 | More by deebo
Photo of Kelsiemoeller


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: bright organge and amber that is clear when held up to light.

smell: not much there, some sweet malt but very faint

taste: nice sweetness up front and some breadiness is in there.

mouthfeel: easy fall drinking, full body, taste in every part of mouth

overall: pretty good oktoberfest beer, favorite so far.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2013 18:21:00 | More by Kelsiemoeller
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served an amber-orange colored brew with a small white head. The head had a moderate persistence fading over time to give a light level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is bready and toasted malt with some spice and caramel sweetness as well. Rounding out the aroma is a very light orange citrus smell.

Taste – The taste begins of a nice lightly toasted malt aroma mixed with some stronger flavors of caramel and spice. As the taste advances it dries some a small amount as some of the caramel dissipates in strength and the roasted bready malts increase. While the caramel fades some a light citrus sweetness comes to the tongue and rounds out the flavor. At the end some lighter hop flavors of a citrus and earthy nature arrive at the tongue to leave a roasted light bitter flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side with a carbonation level that is on par. Both good for the flavors and drinkability of the brew.

Overall – Rather sweet and malty with a great flavor profile and wonderful transitions. Drinkable and quite favorable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2012 00:23:32 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of WynnO


3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice view. A little too light for my eyes, but all in all, it's passable.

Smell was almost non-existent. Inhaling as if hyperventilating finally revealed some Caramel. No where near what it should be though.

Taste - a very nice front end, but it tapers off rapidly and becomes dry midway. Although...thinking...a half pint has increased the linger time :-) slightly more hops than other Marzens I have tried. Interesting.

It seems a little bright to me. Maybe Ayinger's version has tainted my palette too much??

Overall? I am increasing my scores a little now as this beer has gained respect as I have reached further down.

Try this one! YMMV but in my parts Marzens are a bit rare. I try every one I see. It's not world class, but Bells had done a decent job here.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2012 23:26:13 | More by WynnO
Photo of cagocubs


3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange that clarifies and retains a nice white head. Beer laces the glass and remains sticky in appearance.

S: Caramel malts, sweet nuances, some hop play, and good wheat characteristic.

T: Another solid style from a great brewery. Nice sweetness from malts all the way through. Good caramel tastes and impressive hop play from a marzen.

M: Wet and smooth flow. Good warming and aftertaste. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2012 03:18:44 | More by cagocubs
Photo of paulginva


3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured from a tap into a pint glass, produced a white 1" head that dissipated slowly leaving good head lacing. Carbonation was lively in a slightly hazy gold body.

AROMA: Not as much aroma as I expected. I detected a very slight bit of malt and a little fruity hops. That's all.

TASTE: Taste is much better than expected, particularly given the aroma (or maybe my nose -- who knows?). A light cereal grain taste together with some caramel and a light taste of fruit.

MOUTHFEEL: This beer had a light to medium body with a smooth texture, moderate carbonation and good body lacing that dissipated slowly. The initial flavor was moderately sweet with a slightly dry bitter finish that lasted for a moderate length of time.

DRINKABILITY: Nice balance to this one. The firm flavor was quite welcome after the modest aroma. This beer was repeatable, easy to drink and priced right -- three important characteristics for a beer calling itself "Oktoberfest." It's definitely not in the upper ranks of Märzens -- more around the middle, I'd say, but for spending a nice fall afternoon watching baseball, football or whatever your fall sports weakness is, you could do a lot worse.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 13:46:25 | More by paulginva
Photo of spdyfire83


3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

178th Review
Served in a half pint
On-draft at the mothership itself in Kalamazoo!

From notes.

A: Looks a proper autumn color - bold orange-red-brown (it'd be like mixing water colors to achieve the tint of this beer). Half (slightly frothy, white) fingernail head.

S: Nuttiness and caramel sweetness come through at the front followed by hints of malt, hops, and spice.

T: Follows the smell bit by bit, but I mostly get roasted caramel malt from this. Hint of sweetness, but that's about it. Wish there was a bit more flavor here, but it is not all that bad.

M: Medium bodied and well carbonated.

O: This beer is good, but not great. Decent for the style and enjoyable all-around.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2012 13:14:54 | More by spdyfire83
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear amber/copper colored, nice initial head which quickly vanished to a few bubbles around the perimeter of the glass

S - sweet malts, a hint of orange/citrus

T - a sweet sort of smokey flavor, never tasted anything like this before.. followed by a sweet honey-like taste

M - very easy flowing, smooth, crisp, refreshing

O - this is a phenomenal beer in all aspects.. i'm having it a little late since it's january and it was bottled in august, but i think it allowed for some of the more complex flavors to kick in.. maybe? i don't know, if this is what it's like not fresh, then maybe that's how i want it!

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 21:31:59 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of FosterJM


3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1015th Review on BA
Bottle to Mug
12 oz

No date on this one.

Thanks to erikkoppin for this one.

App- A good hazy murky orange color with some faint gold/yellow towards the edges and bottom. A nice fluffy two finger slow receding head. A very faint amount of cling and lace.

Smell- A little bit malty, a little bit spiced, a little bit bready, a faint damp orange juice note.

Taste- A unique spin to me for an Octoberfest. Not as malt driven or spicy as some I have had. More doughy and citrus driven with a bit of orange juice keeping with the nose.

Mouth- A weird aftertaste is creeping in on this one, which is bringing down the mouth. A lighter medium body with a lighter medium carbonation. Can't place the residual flavors but not digging it all that much.

Drink- Thanks Erik for an Octoberfest I wouldve never had before. This was pretty flavorful with a very odd aftertaste. I would have this one again next year if I were in MI for fall.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 03:44:29 | More by FosterJM
Photo of ncketchum


3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in an imperial pint glass

A - Pours a dark orange/red, big light brown head initially, fades quickly to minimal head, some lacing, sight carbonation

S - sweet bread and malt, caramel

T - malty, more lager-ish with a hint of marzen than the aroma had led me to believe.

M - smooth, nice medium amount of carbonation, slight bite of alcohol in the end

D - good drinkability, not the top of the list for me as far as the style goes, but not bad overall. Another solid offering from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 03:39:40 | More by ncketchum
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very slightly hazy orange with three fingers of white head that recedes into a thin cap with a little lacing.

S: Munich and pilsner-like aromas up front followed by some light, sweet citrus notes. The finish smells of lightly sweet biscuits.

T: Similar to the aroma, malty flavors at first before a light, dry bitterness kicks in with some faint pine notes. Biscuit flavors follow, again with a lightly bitter dryness.

M: Fairly light body with mid-high carbonation, this beer is crisp, dry, and clean.

O: A good Marzen with nice, elegant simplicity. Not extremely complex, but no Marzens are.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 01:27:15 | More by n2185
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Oktoberfest has an orangish-brown body with a soapy, off-white head. Retention is OK, and scattered lacing remains on my glass as I drink.

The aroma has lightly toasted malt with some sweetness. A hint of grassy hops are in the background.

Bell's Oktoberfest isn't especially powerful in any department, but it does have a good balance of yeast, hops and malt (must be beer?). Up front is lightly toasted malt with a lot of bread flavors, and a little bit of sweet caramel in the background. Next comes a small dose of grassy hops and a modicum of bitterness. Somewhere in the between there is a lot of generically fruity yeast flavors also.

The mouthfeel is good for the style, landing in the middle in both body and carbonation.

Bell's Oktoberfest is definitely a beer that you can drink a few of, but it doesn't really distinguish itself in any way. Good, but not great.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2011 00:11:22 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of shand


3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Average looking for the style, a red-orange with a tiny head. Aroma is sweet, nutty caramel malts and grains. Solid. The taste is also good - props go out to Bells for a domestic Oktoberfest that's not too sweet. Instead, it goes down not tasting too much like anything at first, a bit of graininess but not too much else. Some toastiness comes in for the finish too. Drinkability and mouthfeel are both about what you'd expect for the style, a bit more carbonation wouldn't hurt though. Overall, it could be better, but kicks the pants off of most of the domestic O-Fests I've had this year. I probably like the Heavy Seas Marzen a bit more, but this is still good.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 02:23:02 | More by shand
Photo of Knapp85


3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured out with a nice look golden orange color with a fizzy white head on top that doesn't lace too much. The smell of the beer has some nice aromas of grains and hints of autumn spice. The taste of the beer was pretty good, it had some decent caramel notes and some decent autumn flavors in there. The mouthfeel of the beer was typical, it got to be a little flat by the end though. Overall it's not my favorite Fest beer but it's not a bad one to try.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 02:17:42 | More by Knapp85
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Batch 10543
Bottle Date 8.17.2011

A - Pours a darker orange, slightly hazy, with a thin cream-colored head that fades quickly.

S - Very malty, roasted, spices.

T - Bready, roasted malts, nuts.

D - Smoot and creamy, lower carbonation, average body.

O - A little to be desired. Average all around.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2011 03:49:38 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler shaker pint. Poured yellow-orange with a two finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, grain, floral, subtle spice, and nutmeg. The flavor was of sweet malt, floral, spice, wheat, and grain. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Nothing on this one really 'popped' for me in the nose nor the flavor. The flavors I did get were blended quite nicely, but this would have been much better with some added complexity going on. Worth trying though for the curious and fan a-like.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2011 14:37:42 | More by thagr81us
Photo of Brenden


3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is just a bit darker than gold, not quite but very nearly amber. A light tan head is one finger high off the pour and retains itself well, leaving a sturdy foam behind that drops a good amount of pretty thick lacing.
The aroma is toasted, a bit malty but mostly giving up notes of grains and some fruits. It doesn't seem up to par for Bell's, and could use more depth.
The same could be said of the flavor. Toasted malts that one expects from the style are here, but otherwise it's more grainy than anything with a yeasty note that gives flavor of wood and earth. Hops are here, and not weak, but it seems something in here actually clashes just a little. Overall, it's above average, but I wouldn't give it much more.
The mouthfeel has a bit of crispness that goes spritzy and a smoothness is here but seems to act as cover for a body that's weaker than it should be.
Overall not a bad Octoberfest, in actuality pretty good. Two thing, though:
1: Bell's is better and
2: There are many better to try out there

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 17:01:19 | More by Brenden
Photo of WoodBrew


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

During an Oktoberfest party I was able to try the Bells Oktoberfest. The beer poured light amber kind of hazy. Decent carbonation that created a thin white head that laced. The smell was big on sweet/caramel malt and some grain. Taste was better than the scent would lead. The malt and grain is prsent, but there are hints of fruit. The mouthfeel was good....definite session beer. Overall it is probably one of the better Marzen beers that I have had. Certainly worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 20:44:59 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of tsauce2


3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: 12 fl oz bottle into a tulip glass

A: SRM is amber/copper. Head is white, dissipates to thin lining. Light lacing.

S: Light malt and hop notes, crisp and clean nose.

T: German malts, light hop, well balanced, holds true to the style. A little light, but still flavorful.

M: Crisp, light initial malt blooms in to a creamy malt taste. Dry finish.

O: Good beer, not great, but a solid overall. Very refreshing, good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 22:53:46 | More by tsauce2
Photo of stercomm


3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A - Light amber in color, slight haziness, single finger off white head, hangs around for a bit, lots of glass lacing.

S - Sweet malty and bread scents, doing this with a bit of a cold, so scents are getting blocked by my plugged head ( sharing too much)

T - Toasted 7 grain bread with a some nice malts, and a nice sweetness on the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a nice creaminess, mild carbonation

B - A very nice brew, one you can drink multiple bottles of on a crisp fall afternoon, good balance, good depth.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 22:32:40 | More by stercomm
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up in secret halloween 2011, thanks Michael. The pour is light amber, small white head, light lacing. The aroma is pretty typical fot the style, light toasted notes, some caramel sweetness. The flavor is toasted malt, some bready sweetness, light sweet finish. The body is full, good carbonation. Overall, a nice easy drinking fest beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 17:10:26 | More by bonkers
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at International Beverage in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Pours a rich amber hue with one finger of cream coloured head and several strands of lacing on the lager glass.

Smell is deep doughy and bready malts (pumpernickel), toasted grains, earthy-leafy hops, brown sugar, wheat crackers, and a vinous, grape-like fruitiness with hints of apple and pear. Enticing aromas.

Flavour is light bready malts, mild caramel sweetness, touch of grape skin, grassy, leafy and earthy hop bitterness transitions to a fleeting aftertaste. Much tamer than the nose, though enjoyable nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, medium bodied, soft carbonation, modest Noble bitterness precedes an off-dry finish.

Overall, this aromatic märzen is an ideal fall-time quaffer. Not the craziest most robust example of the style but still a very solid rendition and one that I would purchase again. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 01:11:25 | More by cratez
Photo of ONUMello


3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Bell's pint glass
A: Orange color; one-finger head that quickly dissipated
S: Faint toasted grain, maybe a hint of toffee.
T: Rich toasted malt/grain. Almost tastes like the smell of sticking your nose in a mash tun, which I like. Just a hint of hops comes through on the end.
M: Medium-bodied, a hint of carbonation.
O: Crisp, not bad; In general I like Bells, this just isn't impressing me as much as their beers normally do.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 03:48:19 | More by ONUMello
Photo of Siegmund


3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a Sam perfect pint

A - Mostly clear amber with a very slight haze in the thickest part of the glass. A 1cm bright white head formed, and died down to about a .5cm and stuck for a while. Constant rising bubbles from the etched ring on the bottom of the glass. Basically, this is what I picture "A beer" looking like.

S - Simple, malt forward aroma. Smells like fall. (I'm just the slightest bit stuffy today so if I ever get this beer again I'll give it another smell)

T - Very crisp. Again, malt forward with a solid sweetness to it. A little bitter from hops, but not much. Tastes bready on the finish.

M - Much thicker than I was expecting. Most Oktoberfests that I've had (Granted, a limit scope) have been on the thinner side. This had almost a creamy quality to it. Great beer on the tongue.

O - I haven't found an oktoberfest that blew me away, but Bell's comes the closest. I want to take this beer and sit on my dock in Maine and go through a six pack. This is a very good beer

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 01:18:03 | More by Siegmund
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Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 665 ratings.