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

Not Rated.
Bell's Octoberfest BeerBell's Octoberfest Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

671 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 671
Reviews: 428
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 30
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
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: 671 | Reviews: 428 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CharlieMopps


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

A: Pours a transparent, dead-on amber color with nearly two fingers of head that dissipates moderately.

S: Biscuity malt with a kind of musty aroma, perhaps from the yeast. Hops are at a minimum in the nose, only faintly making an appearance.

T: Mostly a bready kind of malt, not much hop character at all. Very much in the marzen style, just not enough of a flavor profile to keep it interesting, I feel.

M: Carbonation is at an agreeable level, mouthfeel is at an adequate crispness.

D: Even for a subtle style like a marzen, this beer seemed to lack a personality of its own, which is unexpected from a brewery like Bell's. Nevertheless, it could be a lot worse. This one is easily drinkable, but there's not enough excitement to keep you coming back.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2007 01:52:41 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of prototypic


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

Appearance: It's a clear copper color. Head is a very modest one finger deep. Slightly off-white in color. Very short retention and lacing was minimal.

Smell: It's light on the nose. Light scents of caramel and toasted malts give it a sweet scent. Those are the focal points. There's a very light hop aroma, but it's very faint. Tough to pick up. It has a slight yeasty aroma to it toward the end. Above average, but barely.

Taste: Primarily, it's malty and sweet. It's a mix of toasted and caramel malts. It has a prominent yeasty/breadlike taste. Hops are nearly non-existent. It has no punch whatsoever. There's some light fruit flavors that emerge toward the end. Again, it's okay, but pretty bland to be honest.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and features a decent, smooth feel. Carbonation is light and it goes down easy. Feel is easily this beer's best attribute. It's nice and drinkable for what it is. If it had more flavor to it, drinkability would be off the charts.

This is one of my least favorite releases from Bell's. It's just very ho-hum compared to their other releases. It could stand a little hop punch and more flavor overall. It's not a bad beer, but it is a letdown considering it is Bell's after all.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2007 01:35:27 | More by prototypic
Photo of OWSLEY069


3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean, pale orange-ish color with an off white head. Aromas that are earthy and somewhat fruity. In the taste, some of the same, earthy and hints of fruit, but not overbarring. A very smooth mouthfeel and a dry sweetness of an aftertaste. Not a typical Oktoberfest, but a nice twist, easy and tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2007 17:16:53 | More by OWSLEY069
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 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 Mdog


3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear amber with a head that fades out to nothing very quickly.

Smell: Toasted bread, a little caramel.

Taste: Similar to the smell, very bready, toast flavors are the main takeaway. Some sweetness but not as much as some other octoberfests I've had.

Drinkability: Somewhat blah, not bad but nothing that really stands out to make me want to come back for more.

Tried a "normal" non-German octoberfest to give me a reference point for Surlyfest. This wasn't as sweet as I remember most other octoberfest beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 17:32:10 | More by Mdog
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 becktone


3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eye: Lively looking carbonation in a clear light colored copper give this beer a pretty good appearance. Head is a creamy white with good retention and good lacing qualities as well. Highlights are a light gold yellow.

Nose: Not to strong on the aroma here, kinda weak. Some sweet malt aroma in there as well as a bit of spicy hop aroma, and overall a higher aroma of diacetyl.

Tongue: This brew's flavor profile consists of a sweet maltiness, a little bit of diacetyl, and an overall graininess. Not much more than that that I'm picking up in this brew. Not rich or toasty as I expected it to be. I think that overall Bell's could've done better, below standard for what Bell's usually produces in my opinion.

edit: as it warms there is a bit more toasty and rich flavors, still though...not quite as impressive as I'd hoped.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This brew is full bodied with lower carbonation as befits the style. It drinks easy and is a good session beer, though there are better brews that depict the style better, also better brews out there that not only depict the style but add their own flair to it as well.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2007 00:51:51 | More by becktone
Photo of NCBeernut

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Definitely my favorite O-Fest this year.

A - Fizzy head that quickly dissipated into a thin ring around the glass. Deep coppery orange.

S - Carmel, bready notes. Malts come through like an O-fest should. A touch of german hoppiness

T - Follows smell. Carmel, bready malt profile. Well balanced by a little hoppiness.

M - A tiny bit too much carbonation for me, but a nice clean finish.

D - I could drink this all day. Solid O-fest.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2007 04:46:56 | More by NCBeernut
Photo of CortexBomb


3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour, clear and coperry. Not a lot of head but decent carbonation. Smell is primarily malty...a bit of apple in the background.

Taste caramel, malts, light fruits, a touch of spice from the hops, and more malts. A slight hop nibble on the swallow, but not much. Straight-forward. Decent.

Mouth is ok, some carbonation, a touch of bitters. Drinkability is fine, but what else would you expect?

The bottom line: An ok take on the Oktoberfest style by Bell's. I didn't think that this beer did anything particularly memorable though.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2007 19:00:34 | More by CortexBomb
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 malty


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

Ultra fresh 12 oz. bottle (strangely no batch # though).

Pours brilliantly clear bright amber with an ultra fluffy loose light beige head. Carbonation is bountiful with visible tiny bubbles rising north to support the settled 1/2" head. Healthy lacework.

A few swirls of my HB Munchen .3L 'tumbler' glass evokes a yummy sweet, toasted and fresh grain bill. Caramel apples galore, then bright notes of freshly cracked almonds and straight from the oven crusty sourdough bread. Marvelous scents for sure.

Clean flavors sprout all around my mouth of toasted caramel malts with spritzy, dry and somewhat (bitter?) notes fresh walnuts. Flavor diminishes quickly though.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied that's very clean and has an interesting and inviting dry finish. Carbonation is very nice, though I was hoping for a bit more depth or 'traction' regarding the mouthfeel.

Drinkability is superb. Where's my 2L boot? I'd imagine this might Bell's #2 introduction to 'better beer' selections (with Oberon being #1). I really dig the dry finish.

Overall a fantastic take on the style. Not too sweet, not lacking in flavor...just wished it held-on a bit longer when it comes to the flavor/mouthfeel experience. I like to savor my O'Fests, while this one begs gulp after to gulp to savor IMHO. But then again, if that's what most people thought (and I was the brewer), I would be very happy, as the sales would be steady. Great O'Fest that I'll put on my 'to buy' list every year. Good job Larry & Co. !

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2007 19:36:23 | More by malty
Photo of Tballz420


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

Dark gold into orange color, small white head disappears fairly quickly. Sweet, grainy scent. Slightly fruity, caramel malt with strong grain overtones on the taste. Some slight bitter hop taste in the backround. Touch of alcohol. Creamy mouth. I could drink these until I forget my name.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2007 03:48:48 | More by Tballz420
Photo of peabody


1.68/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Pours out a clear reddish amber with hardly any suds. Mabey the growler doesn't have as much carbonation?
Smell is dirty water and soap suds. A hint of sour apple and some caramel sugars way in the back.
Taste is of dirty water and nothingness.
This is where this one goes very very bad. This is the worst beer I have had in a long time. I tried cleansing my palate but to no avail.

Serving type: growler

09-09-2007 02:14:56 | More by peabody
Photo of danielocean03


3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Appearance is a clear caramel-hued golden light brown, with an off white fizzy head that quickly dissipated to a whitish film with moderate lacing that clings to the glass. Aroma is light, sweet caramel/toffee notes, roasted malts make up the body of this brew. Taste is also light, sweet maltiness, caramel and toffee again, light grassy hoppiness also present. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, light bodied, lower levels of carbonation. Drinkability is good, but mainly due in fact to the beer's lighter characteristics and it's 5% ABV. Overall a solid session O'fest, but a little sweeter and not malty enough in my opinion. Would consider purchasing again, wouldn't necessarily seek out.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2007 23:04:17 | More by danielocean03
Photo of bradley194


3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Burnt orange/Reddish in color with a thin head that did not last for very long.

Smell- Carmel, sweet smell. Nothing particularly impressive.

Taste- A bit bland for me. Tastes a little bit on the more bitter side rather than sweet. Honestly just tastes a lot like carbonated water. Not quite the kind of flavor I hope for from an Oktoberfest beer.

Overall- Not quite as flavorful as I had hoped. I am a bit disappointed. I think it would be good for someone who is just starting out with trying more "craft" beers.

* If you want an all around amazing Oktoberfest try the Great Lakes!

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2007 05:54:44 | More by bradley194
Photo of KarlHungus


3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This brew pours a clear golden color with stunning amber hues. The head is large, fluffy, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of bready malts, and noble hops, but is somewhat faint and simple. The taste is like the aroma. It has a nice bready backbone, but the hops are very light and bitterness is low. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation, and a velvety smoothness. Overall, this is a pleasant beer to drink, but it lacks any sort of complexity. It is an odd thing for Bell's to make a beer that I don't love, but they did so here. I could drink it again, but I don't think I will.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2007 02:49:27 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of DaPeculierDane


3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Single bottle from Riley’s.

Appearance: Lighter then some, copper Marzen with a thin but lasting white to off-white head.

Aroma: Toast, caramel, toffee, and sweet german malts. On the light side.

Taste: All the key qualities of an octoberfest: toast, caramel, toffee, and hints of spicy german hops…just rather light.

Mouthfeel: Sweetish, light to medium bodied. Clean.

Drinkability: Easy to drink but not wowing and a touch sweet for not having much oomph.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2007 17:30:02 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of arguemaniac


3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The tasty but subdued caramel palate features a nice toffee hint, toasted malt character and a slightly sweet bready note in the finish.

Quite good: smooth, toasty and very drinkable. Too bad I was too cheap to spring for the six-pack, I could have gone through it with no problem.


Serving type: bottle

09-07-2007 02:18:33 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of Wildman


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

This beer poured a clear copper color and formed a foamy white head that left little lace as it subsided. An aroma of malt, hops, and caramel. The flavor was of malt, caramel with a hint of pepper. It has a slightly creamy medium light body and a hint of sweetness in a finish. Not bad for the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2007 01:17:26 | More by Wildman
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

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

Got this one cause I haven't had a Bell's beer yet that didn't impress. Pours a deep orange color with a finger of white head that dissolves to little puddles of white foam on top. Looks solid, although it's nothing to write home about. Nose is mostly light caramel malt and some fruity, drying hops as well. A little grainy. Taste is interesting, although maybe because I haven't had too many Octoberfests. Some dry, roasted malt, and some breadiness. Also a bit of spiciness, and maybe a touch of molasses or brown sugar. There's a light hint of hops at the tail end of this one, but it's definitely dominated by malt. Feel is medium bodied with solid carbonation. This one's okay; I'll need to try more of the style to see if it's better or worse than whatever else is out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2007 22:14:11 | More by soupyman10
Photo of Atlas1


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

T'is the season for more and more Oktoberfest beers. I didn't even know Bell's did one (is this the first season for this style at Bell's?) but couldn't wait to give her a go.

Pours a bright copper color with a nice thick white head of foam. No lace to speak of. The aroma is bready and rather dull. I would have expected maybe some sweeter malty, fruity scents here, but they are faint and not very descriptive. The taste is thick and bready too. A bit muted up front, with lots of yeasty, bready goodness following suit. Finishes slightly spicy/peppery and malty sweet. Mouthfeel is firm, and almost creamy at times.

Not my favorite example of the style out there, but this is not a bad beer by any means. A bit too bready at times, but on the whole an entirely drinkable beer. I love Bell's, and they do some excellent beers, so it's nice to see them trying out new seasonal stuff.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2007 20:04:55 | More by Atlas1
Photo of quasimoto


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

Its a nice light amber copper color with a two finger head that dissipated quickly. Crystal clear. The beer's aroma is exceedingly bready and slightly yeasty. The slight fruit aromas I get are of the German hops, but the aroma of them isn't strong. The taste starts off with the bready yeast flavor but turns into sweet malts, toasty and slightly solvently. The mouth feel is light and crisp up front. It smooths out as it moves along, and has a slight residual bitterness right all the way through to the finish. All in all, an Oktoberfest, a nice plate of light cheddar maybe, or some bavarian pretzels would be a nice compliment.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2007 21:20:49 | More by quasimoto
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 putnam


3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber/caramel clear with sheet of white on top. Easy, steamy pale malt aromas scented with moist vegetation and cereal. Workable, watery texture punctuated with fizz and oily bitterness that provide definition for apple, straw and green plum tartness. Overall, a drinker. I want just a little more texture and viscosity.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2007 16:26:18 | More by putnam
Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 671 ratings.