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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 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 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 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 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 tykees88


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

A- Copper clear color. Orangish brown hints of color. One finger head. Very pretty.

S- Smells like all those sweet and roasty malts that you would expect. Caramely.

T- Taste is good. It's mostly about the caramel malt sweetness. There is an earthy hop profile and that is nice too.

M- A medium bodied brew. Takes away from drinkability for me.

O- It's solid. Just a normal beer that bell's brewed pretty well.

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2011 23:55:23 | More by tykees88
Photo of xnicknj


3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at varga in philly

Pours a clear leafy brown color with some brighter amber hues. Thin beige head dissolves, leaving a few spots of lacing and little filmy retention.

Slight hoppiness in the nose, bready and biscuity malts. Touches of toffee and caramel. Somewhat muted overall.

Bready and citric up front with a faint touch of leafy hops. Bread crust and caramel in the malt. Some toffee sweetness. Finishes a little bitter and sweet.

Medium body, well carbonated, sticky and chewy on the tongue. Drinks pretty well, although nothing too explosive here.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2011 15:46:51 | More by xnicknj
Photo of BeerCon5


4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear darker amber color with two fingers of fluffy off-white head that is well retained.

The scent is of dominant roasted caramel malt.

The taste is also of prominent roasted caramel malt, there is also a moderate hop bitterness.

Medium body, very smooth, low to moderate carbonation.

This was a good representation of this style, a well balanced flavorful beer. I would drink this again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2011 19:27:53 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Bilbo Baggins in Alexandria.

The beer is nearly clear, and appears light orange in color. The head is thick and frothy, measuring a little over an inch thick. The aroma is somewhat muted and weak, though I have yet to experience a really assertive, bold aroma from a beer of this ilk. The flavor is nice, with a strong malt and grain presence, followed by a light dose of pleasant spices. Great feel on the palate. I could throw back a few pints of this. I would have this again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2011 17:52:06 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of jsprain1


3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a standard octoberfest orange-brown. Head is one finger, though retention is subpar.
S- Smell is slightly grainy, with caramel, toffee, and a raw nuttiness coming through.
T- It's a bit mild compared to others in the style. Light caramel, a bit of general malty sweetness, and just a wee bit of a raw almond character.
M- Medium body, medium carbonation, sweet finish.
O-It's an ok octoberfest but I'm left with kind of a meh feeling. Compared to Great Lakes or some of the German examples, this one isn't all that great.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2011 04:00:32 | More by jsprain1
Photo of NeutroMan


3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Nevin's Pub in Evanston
Reviewed from notes dated 13 September 2011

Clear copper color. Virtually no head and no lacing. Malt aroma is grainy and metallic. Taste has similar bready/grainy malts, very clean. A hint of apple and caramel. Quite sweet. Minimal hop bitterness, although it becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. Medium-light bodied, carbonated and smooth. Definitely sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2011 19:31:16 | More by NeutroMan
Photo of drabmuh


3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounces served in a shaker pint on draft at a local bar. Beer is amber / reddish and clear with a soft big white head of small bubbles, nice lacing, steady but low carbonation, nice retention, looks fine.

Almost no aroma, mild malts, some yeast. Disappointing.

This beer is drinkable, not much in the way for flavors but it is mildy malty with a nice not dry finish. It is easy going the entire time, nothing wrong with it but they forgot the flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2011 02:33:50 | More by drabmuh
Photo of CuriousMonk


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

Tap from various bars and 12oz bottles into pint glass. Pours a clear light amber with a big three finger off white head and spotty lacing. Nose is yeasty biscuits, grass and caramel malt. Taste is sweet fruit, caramel malt and nuts with a dry grassy slightly bitter finish. Medium mouth feel. Not a favorite style, but a fairly decent brew. I prefer tap over bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2011 19:51:11 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

2.33/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap in a shaker pint. Golden orange body with a wispy white head and sparse sticky lacing. Color is unexpectedly light.

The oddly tame nose (modest sweet and toasty malts) provides no hint of the scorching bitterness to follow. Hopped almost to the level of a west coast IPA, with the malts firmly in the background. Longish bitter finish. Way out of style for an Oktoberfest.

What a strange beer. It tasted nothing like it smelled, and the taste was completely out of style. Possibly the tap handle didn't match what was in the keg? Something definitely seemed amiss here. I hope to try this again sometime to see if the experience is different.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2010 14:33:30 | More by PDXHops
Photo of Lillenk


3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was very nice dark tan into brown with a nice white head.

Smell was a little lacking. Not a whole lot going on at all.

Taste was good. Octoberfest not typically my favorite style but this had all the classic characterists done well.

Mouthfeel was good, but i wouldn't see myslef drinking very many of these.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2010 19:34:07 | More by Lillenk
Photo of wowbragger


3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured thin, with a minimal head. Had a distinct caramel color to it.

S - Very light malt scent, and not much else.

T - Had it served up a little colder than I think it should have been, slight hop taste but mostly a gentle malt flavor.

M - Very middle of the road, medium body. Not heavy, not too light.

D - Very easy to drink, goes down very nicely on it's own or with whatever you're having. Probably not something I'll seek out specifically in the future, as while there's nothing wrong with the drink there's nothing that particularly stood out in it either.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2010 21:58:06 | More by wowbragger
Photo of StoutHunter


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had a couple pitchers of this at the hamilton street pub, thanks to keith for sharing with me. Poured from a pitcher into a standard pint glass.

A- This one pours that signature marzen coppery caramel with a thin white head the dissipated fairly fast.

S- Not too much going on expect for some slightly roasted malts and a slight amount of hops.

T- This one starts off with caramel malts, some bread aromas come out once it warms up and the hops was hardly noticeable. On par with most in its style.

M- Just right for the style, very crisp and refreshing, with good carbonation.

D- This beer was very drinkable, only planed on having one pitcher of it but after the first one went down so fast, we had to get another one and one after that to end the night.This beer went down very easy and had enough flavor to keep me coming back for more.

Overall i believe Bell's did a good job on this beer, nothing too crazy or bold going on here, but its an October fest and its not meant to be bold, just tasty and drinkable and this beer succeeds at both. Having had many bottles of this beer it was nice to try it on tap and i thought i was slightly better. My go to local octoberfest.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 02:51:46 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of tempest


3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had a glass on-tap at Tap and Table in Emmaus. The clear amber lager looked nice enough, but there was an odd floral and plastic twist to the caramel malts I just couldn't get into. Yes, there was the light bread and caramel character, but it doesn't dominate the beer like it should. The body is drinkable, but the flavor isn't.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2010 03:16:57 | More by tempest
Photo of alleykatking


3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint yesterday with my meal. Review from phone notes.

A- Came to me clear light orange color with light amber highlights. Light white foam skims the top of the beer. No real big lacing but light skirts of it falling down the sides.

S- Light grain smell. Caramel malts come into play almost right off the bat. Light alcohol smell in the back of the nose. Everything is muted it seems like which I am kind of sad about. Also light bready malts come and go in waves.

T- Big bready caramel body on this. Light grassy earthy taste as well in the middle to front. Malts dominate the entire beer. Light alcohol taste on the tail end. Flavor is more crisp and pronounced than in the aroma.

M- Medium light mouthfeel on this one. Carbonation is good with the beer. Clean and crisp on the palate and in the aftertaste. Sweet malts left on the palate after the beer runs about.

D- Drinkability is good with this beer. Not my favorite style by far but Bell's makes it enjoyable. Will look for next year when it's fresh!

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2009 21:05:35 | More by alleykatking
Photo of Tone


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

Pours a clear, golden/copper color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of slight yeast, sweet malt, slight dry hop, hint of spice, and slight grain. Fits the style of a Marzen/Oktoberfest. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of yeast, grain, hint of citrus, pale malt, hint of butter, sweet malt, and slight hops. Overall, a decent blend, body, and appearance.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2009 02:25:49 | More by Tone
Photo of ClockworkOrange


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

I've only seen this beer on tap in PA, never bottles. I'm pretty sure Larry Bell won't send any of his lagers to PA in bottles. Why, I have no idea. Anyway, arrived in a standard shaker glass. Appears a hazed apricot color with about a finger of light rust colored head. Aromas and flavors consist of biscuit malt, sweet caramel, slightly fruity, somewhat spicy yeast, some peppery hops. Medium in both body and carbonation. Not really something I thought about the next day.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2009 04:42:02 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of chetripley


3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can usually expect some decent and reliable results from Bell's but I think I was turned off by the smell, spicier and more herb-y than most other Octoberfests. Good amber color and medium head, a lot of carbonation, but a little too spicy and bitter for an Octoberfest, mainly because I think lagers shouldn't have these characteristics.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2009 03:20:13 | More by chetripley
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Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 665 ratings.