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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 Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Champagne Cellars. This was spot on the style but not all that drinkable. Sweet, fast disapearing foaming head on copper fruity coloured body. Malty pleasant aroma. Middling mouthfeel. Not unpleasant, just not something I could finish.Understated hops (nobel).

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 00:31:31 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


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

Sunset orange with melted butterscotch candy trim. The small-medium sized cap is beige in color and features hundreds of tiny, pearl-like bubbles on its upper surface. The foam isn't exactly feature-packed and ends up leaving nothing but a few small patches of sudsy lace.

The nose doesn't have the depth and power that many of the world's best versions have. It's primarily toasted malty, with a surprising shortage of caramel and hops. While it's still (slightly) above average, so far, this doesn't seem like a Bell's product at all.

Octoberfest Beer lives on the lighter end of the style spectrum. Maybe things will improve a bit as I get deeper into the bottle. Far be it from me to suggest changes when a brewing genius like Larry Bell is involved, but I think more malt and more hops would improve things mightily. Especially more malt.

Again, toasted grain assumes center stage. The remainder of the flavor profile consists of a light breadiness, an undercurrent of thin caramel, an ale yeast-like fruitiness and a meager leafy hoppiness. If you want to down a sixer while watching football and don't want to think too much about what you're drinking, this would be the way to go. However, I expect more from one of America's best breweries.

The mouthfeel favors medium over light, but doesn't quite get to full-on medium. A little bit of creaminess or any amount of expansiveness would have earned it the next highest score.

Given the taste bud saturating excellence that Bell's usually delivers, Octoberfest Beer is a disappointment. Maybe it's my big beer bias, but when it comes to this style, heartier (maltier) is almost always better. Two Heartier (hoppier) wouldn't be too bad either.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2007 14:04:45 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another one I was bound and determined to try this year as I started branching out looking for more and more of these seasonal. Twelve ounce bottle was served cold right out of the fridge and poured into a pilsner glass. Consumed on 10/05/2008.

The pour was fairly standard fair with a dark amber colored liquid coming through immediately. This was followed up closely by some nice carbonation that could be seen through the very clear liquid that was in the glass. No real substantial head on this one which was kind of surprising, and this led to not much in the way of side glass lace either.

The aroma was rather light and muted, some decent malts, and a ton of bready like flavors, but overall just a touch too light for me. Crisp, clean feel, which was nice and adequately carbonated, but again, just a touch too light to really be effective. Smooth flavor started with a light hint of caramel and a touch of earthy grains. This quickly floated away though and the only thing left was a nice touch of biscuit like flavor that linger for a moment. Very session able as it was light enough to be thoroughly and quickly enjoyed.

Overall not a bad beer by any aspect, just expected a little bit more out of Bell's to be honest. Still though I would not turn my nose up at this one, even though I cannot say it was much more then average.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2008 12:44:03 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect


3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice, straight-to-style type of beer, but a little ordinary in the whole scheme of Oktoberfests. Standard orange / copper color with terrific head retention and brilliant clarity. Aromas are malty, hopped for balance, and a touch of caramel malt -- all coming together quite well. Flavors are bready and rich, with hops off-setting the sweetness, and contributing a light grassy flavor. Textures are firm and creamy, providing a firm pillow for the mellow flavors and spices. Finishes with a mild dry, hop finish. Good beer, but likely gets lost in the shuffle.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2007 14:56:19 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light shade of copper with a two-finger off white head and a bit of spotty lacing. Nose brings caramel, bread, and a bit of earthiness. Taste adds in a bit of European hops but is comprised mainly of a general bread dough character with a hint of grain. Feel is light and moderately carbonated. Drinks alright, but is not one of my favorite offerings from them.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2010 10:41:19 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ChainGangGuy


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

16 ounce pint - $5.25 at Taco Mac in Decatur, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up a clear, amberish body with a ½ inch of bubbly, whitish foam. Light scattered lacing on the way down.

Smell: Toasted grains in the nose stirred up with some moderate notes of spicy, earthy hops and apple fruitiness.

Taste: Lightly toasty, crisply grainy German maltiness with a restrained amount of sweetness. Earthy, herbaceous Noble hop character with a medium-low amount of bitterness. Teeny hint of Red Delicious apple fruitiness. The drying, lightly effervescent finish contains a final hint of the hop spice and toasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: 'Tis the season! A pleasant, easily drinkable beer and a decent example of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2009 18:36:40 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor,poured into a standard pint a clear medium copper with a decent but quick to fade head,caramel and sweet dough mainly in the nose a bit toastiness not much detectable hop presence.Flavors are somewhat sweet upfront with some real caramel and sweet dough coming thru a firm toastiness held up well to the sweetness a bit of spicy hop dried it out a bit in the finish.A bit middle of the road not bad and its drinkable just not earth shattering.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2007 23:04:53 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to VDubb86 for this bottle!

It's gettin' to be that time o' year again, when O-Fests run the world. This one pours a lightly hazed orange amber topped by a half-finger of seemingly ecru foam. The nose comprises red apple, cinnamon, caramel, cashews, nutmeg, and a touch o' citrusy hops. The taste holds notes of orange peel, caramelized caramel (okay, I've been advised by VDubb that it'd be better to call it burnt caramel...either way, you get the picture), red apple skin, oak, and a slight bit o' lime. The body is a heavy light, with a moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a solid O-Fest, not one of the heavier hitters but pretty good nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 04:02:59 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly 4 years ago, I gave this one a poor review, and I've returned to redeem it. Maybe it's improved, or maybe I was in a bad situation. Either way, here's it's second chance.

Milky froth atop a clear, copper-y/ amber hue. Fits the part.

Aroma: cereal grains, vegetal, herbal nose. Subdued maltiness.

Taste: clean, but plump with malty flavor. Excellent balance, not too forward in any way, minor hops, just enough to give a bit o' bitterness. Grainy malt just below, but, again, not too sweet, not too sickly, just right.

Medium bodied, medium finish, plenty of flavor, restrained in every degree. Keeps delivering this great balance of malt and hop. They keep skirting around each other, showing their virtues, and holding excesses in.

Must remember to stop comparing perfectly fine examples of a style against those versions that skirt outside the boundaries.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2006 10:41:53 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of russpowell


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

Freshness date of 8/16/11, thanks Bells for including this with the batch date!

Pours amber with a finger of sand colored head. Great lacing & above average head retention

S: Bready & grainy, metallic hops

T: Follows the nose, hints of apple skin & herbal hop bitterness up front, plus a touch of white grape hiding behind caramel. Breadyness & a touch of grainyness asserts itself as this warms. Finishes slightly bready with some grainy & grassy notes, plus a moreish herbal hop twang with a a touch of granny smith apple as well

MF: Medium bodied with firm carbonation, great balance

So easy to drink, a super-solid take on the style

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 02:30:30 | More by russpowell
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 zeff80


3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a good deal of carbonation. It had a two-finger, ivory head of foam that left trails of soapy lace.

S - It smelled of caramel maltiness and some fall seasonal spices.

T - It had nice malt and caramel sweetness with a bitter grassy hop kick for balance.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied brew.

D - This is a nice Octoberfest. Yet another worthy brew from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 19:52:11 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beerhan for this one.

Pours a fizzy 1 finger head that fades semi quickly, no real lacing, crystal clear slight orange amber yellow color.

Nose almost smells like fruit juice, like apple juice, with a bit of sweet malts, hint of reddish malts and caramel, plenty of fruity lager aromas, light crisp lager aromas, maybe the slightest hint of herbal earthy hops.

Taste starts lighter, with light pilsner malts, slight reddish malt flavor, hint of caramel and some light toasty malts, doesn't really get straw flavor but nice toasty earthy malt flavors. Plenty of crisp lager flavors, lots of lager fruit again almost apple juice like flavor but not really bad apple flavor, the yeast may have been slightly stressed but it's not bad. Some light hops do come through, touch of herbal and slight earthy floral hops bringing a hint of bitterness and spicy taste. Finish is a bit sticky so not very clean, but somewhat crisp, more fruit juice and hint of light malt flavors.

Mouth is a bit lighter bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, surprisingly not loaded with caramel and reddish malts which is a nice change, nice light toasty malts, hops are barely there and nice additions so a bit more of those would have been better, and the other big thing is the tons of fruit juice, which comes from the yeast probably fermenting a bit to hot and stressed, but not too bad.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 02:08:36 | More by jlindros
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 WVbeergeek


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

Appearance is slightly clouded copper with a large off white head leaves a collar of lace dwindles down and leaves behind specks of lacing. Aroma has fruity caramel sweet bready mix from the malt profile with a slight spicy character with bitey, grassy noble hop presence, seems a bit muted even after warming the brew for a little in my hands. Taste has a light noticeable alcohol note with creamy light fruty subtle caramel malt flow light bitterness with a quality overal mix of flavors finishes like a light herbal tea. My excitement exceeded the actual experience of trying this brew, I'm a pretty much overall Bell's fan but this one left me wanting a bit more flavor. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation somewhat creamy textured with mild prickly bubbles hitting the palate. Drinkability is pretty good overall but due to the somewhat lack of flavor I'd much rather go with a Penn or Great Lakes Octoberfest brew. Nice to see a cloudy fest and I will drink it again, but I was under wowed by it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2006 22:20:46 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark orange in color with a one finger head that falls to surface foam pretty quickly. No lacing develops.

Smell: caramel and fruit sweetness are pleasant and enjoyable.

Taste: mild malt profile that is not grainy at all. Caramel, sweet apples, and miniscule hints of nuts and earthiness rounds it out. Some mild bitterness balances this out.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start, light crispness at the finish. Medium bodied beer. Brief caramel aftertaste.

Drinkability: this would be a great session o'fest for a tailgate before a football game on a cool day. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2007 11:31:41 | More by Gavage
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 akorsak


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

A 12 oz bottle purchased at Chip's in Kill Devil Hills, NC.

A: The lagerbier is brilliantly orange, bright with no sign of haze. A small head is congregating atop the beer, afraid to disperse.

S: The aroma is clean, malty with a sweet underbelly that exudes caramel. Not much hop-wise but the malt aromas are robust.

T: The beer has a crisp taste, heavy on the malts up front with a noticeably bready finish. Toasty grains and caramel mix with a bit of hops. Lots of grain in the finish.

M: THe mouthfeel hits some high notes but generally stays behind the bready flavors.

D: A good but not great oktoberfestbier. The maltiness is a little too much.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2008 20:37:31 | More by akorsak
Photo of Kegatron


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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, medium copper with a finger of brite-white head that fizzles down pretty quickly, leaving behind a spotty retention that skims the surface and leaves some moderate looking lacing behind. The aroma is bready malts, caramel, citrus, floral notes, and a fairly prominent spicy hop character.

The taste is toasty caramel malts that glide underneath spicy Noble hop character. The overall flavor profile is mostly sweet and toasty though. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with creamy carbonation that moves easily along the feel. Probably could use a bit more crispness.

This was OK for the style but it was the little things lacking here and there that kept me from really liking this. Not bad but I expect a little more from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2008 16:44:11 | More by Kegatron
Photo of weeare138


3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's...
Appears a transparent copper with a small, off-white head that quickly fades into a film and collar. Small spots of lacing are left around the glass. Steady streams of CO2 rise to the top.
Smell is of sourdough, toffee, raisins, light dough, fresh grains, gentle fruity sweetness.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas but it seems to drop off slightly from the enticing scents.
Mouthfeel is sweet up front, medium bodied, doughy, and semi-dry.

Serving type: on-tap

08-30-2007 20:31:57 | More by weeare138
Photo of Bighuge


3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy blazing orange. (Of course it's not clear...it's Bell's!) Thin dirty white head. Little retention. Lace is sporadic. Really nice aroma. I like the emphasis on the toasted malt qualities on the nose. I also get some biscuit malt and a little caramel malt as well. The malts lay a pretty solid foundation. The toasted character isn't quite as prominent as it was on the nose, but it's there with the usual suspects (biscuit, caramel and yeasty doughiness). Carbonation lends a bit of a fizzy attribute to this medium bodied lager. Not a particularily bold Ofest, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2007 01:55:49 | More by Bighuge
Photo of glid02


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

On-tap at Trappeze in Athens, GA.

Pours a clear orange-amber color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of mild caramel malts with hints of bread and herbal hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors up front with hints of earthy hops that fade before a mildly sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a decent thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I finished my glass but I'm not sure about another.

Overall this was a lackluster attempt at the style from a brewery that doesn't usually miss hitting the nail on the head. The flavors don't pop enough and it just doesn't have enough body.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2009 03:14:53 | More by glid02
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 Slatetank


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

I had this draft at KClinger's in Hanover, PA.
Served cool in a standard pint.
A - A clear amber w/ gold highlights and a very thin cream head w/o lace.

S - Fruity and sweet like a clementine or tangerine w/ a nice toasted malt scent.

M - Light and smooth medium feel w/ moderated carbonation and a clean finish.

T - A mild taste of malt w/ a pleasant earthy hop taste. A slightly nutty/woody quality w/ a malt flavor that drops out mid taste. There is light spice tinges and a gentle lactic effect of malt.

D - A very quaffable lighter version of an Octoberfest. A crisp, clean finish makes it easy to have multiples, but not a very flavorful fest overall.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2007 14:28:14 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Georgiabeer


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

Pours dark golden with very little head. Smells malty, but with a larger hop presence than is usual for the style. not unpleasant, but a little different. the taste could have some more robust maltiness, but its not flabby at all, with a clean, firm edge to it from the hops. a little light, and a bit nutty in the finish. I enjoyed this to start, but I got a little tired of it by the time I was finished. not bad, but a little too far out of the style guidelines to work- its too soft for a hoppier beer and too hoppy for a Marzen. Okay.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2009 01:27:52 | More by Georgiabeer
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Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 665 ratings.