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!

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.

757 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 757
Reviews: 430
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 30
Gots: 18 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 757 | Reviews: 430 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stewart124
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

An amber/orange color that pours clear with a white head that didn't stick around for long. It has now gone down to a small bubbly lace.

Smells of toasty malts and a slight grassy nose. I was expecting smells of some sweeter malts but not in this case. Nothing too impressive but just kind of average.

Tastes of bread and toasted malts. There is a slight hint of nut character that I am picking up. Hops are not overpowering and seem to blend in well. Clean finish but not sharp. Finishes kind of like an ale where coats the tongue and leaves a slightly fruity note.

Aftertaste is sweet and seems to be missing that strong maltiness. There is a toasted feel but I guess I was expecting more from a company that likes to push the envelope.

stewart124, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A very light pumpkin colored hue with an extremely clean complexity to it. Head is small yes visible, touch off white and simple.

S: Bready and toasted. Little bit of yellow apple, yam and caramel to boot.

T: Sublte flavors at work here, especially for an octoberfest. Begins with only a minimal sweetness to it, along the lines of apple pie, toasted grains and sunflower seeds. The next big thing is honey comb…and its really strong. One of the stronges honey tasting beers I’ve ever had and I don’t even know if there is honey in this beer. Finishes with cereal type flavors; honeycomb and corn pops being the primary ones I’m thinking of.

M: Medium body with a straight forward mouthfeel and some carbo sting.

D: Eh. Not too sure about this after taste. Its ok but not fitting the style well enough.

Westsidethreat, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of Pauly2X
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Half finger head, nice orange amber color.

S- Mellow sweet caramel aroma, quite plesant.

T- Great blend of malt sweetness and hop bitterness, neither one really stands out.

M- This what I expect from an oktoberfest.

D- I had quite a few of these on tap at a bar whoses name I can't remember.

One of the better american ofests, I recall it being even better on tap.

Pauly2X, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to hoppymeal for this one.

Served in a pint glass from the 12oz bottle adorned with an orange label. Light copper color with nice clarity. Filmy, white head.

Not much to this beer overall. Light aromas and flavors. Nothing too special here. Bready with slight spiciness. Mouthfeel was one of the redeeming qualities as it was a full medium body.

As a disclaimer, I am not much of an Ofest fan. I like the SA version and this one isnt bad, but this isnt a style I search out.

SaCkErZ9, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of scoobybrew
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pilsner flute.

A - clear light orange/amber color with a decent head that settles quickly and is retained in a fine lace

S - bready, lightly toasted malt aroma, not much in the way of hops

T - like the aroma, the taste is dominantly bready, lightly toasted malt with a slight hop finish to it

M - medium body, moderately high carbonation

D - overall a decent enough Marzen/Oktoberfest style beer, not exceptional, but well done though

scoobybrew, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of littleshamrocks
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness dating. Served in a mug.

Pours a bright copper, with sparkling clarity, and about an inch of foamy white head. The head quickly diminishes down to nothing and leaves no lace. Shows abundant carbonation. Smell is of biscuity malts, floral hops, caramel, and some spice. Taste is mainly of toasted grainy/bready malts, with some herbal hop bitterness to help with the balance. Also tasted some spiced flavors. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a somewhat dry texture, some lively carbonation, and a very clean finish.

This is one of my personal favorite Oktoberfest beers. It is very easy to drink, with it's full, malty flavor backed with a noticeable hop presence. It is well built and certainly fits the style. I could have a few of these at a time.

littleshamrocks, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Very clear, amber color. Medium, off-white, creamy head.

Smells malty & sweet -- caramel. Tough of herbal/floral notes. Bread dough.

Taste offered some roast notes, coupled with herbal bitterness. Taste was quite different from what aroma led me to expect. Malt/sweetness pick up considerably as it warms -- honeyed wheat bread. Alcohol at finish.

Medium, at best, body. Could be a bit thicker and it would improve. Medium carbonation. Dry in finish.

Overall, pretty tasty. I enjoyed this and felt it had good balance, nice flavor, and was easy to drink. It wasn't the most complex beer I've ever had, but I don't think that was what they were shooting for. Very sessionable.

, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of Dogbrick
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange/copper color with a medium off-white head that has decent retention. Spotty lacing throughout with a thin ring at the top. The aroma is mostly malty with touches of sweet spice and hops. Medium body with roasted malt, caramel and hops flavors. The finish is malty and nutty at first with a lightly peppered hops aftertaste. Pretty simple for a Bell’s beer quite honestly. Average overall.

Dogbrick, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of zdk9
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is not my favorite Ofest of this year. Having said that it is still quite good just a little too sweet.

A- Pours a light mahogany (or is it a rich copper?) a half finger of head dissapears quickly and doesn't leave much on the glass.

S- Smells of sweet bread and husky barley.

T- Quite sweet, with carmel flavor more reminiscent of an IPA instead of an Ofest. I wish I could get a better hops balance from this one, I enjoy the flavor but the sweetness is too much for my taste.

M- Quite thick like a milkshake. Actually I think I'd compare this whole beer to a milkshake.

D- Interesting, and great mouthfeel. I'll probably have it again when the season rolls around.

zdk9, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of cabsandking
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper/orange color with a white cap that fades pretty quickly. Complex nose of florals, soft to bright fruits, orange cream, vanilla, banana, and light caramel. Nutty earthy malty grains balanced well by hop flavors of orange citrus, slightly tangy, tea herbals and some spicy to bitter notes lay on the tongue just before it finishes. Mild to medium carbonation is just crisp enough, mouthfeel is thin but is a nice smoothness. The finish is dryer, grainy, and some tart that all hangs around long enough for the next sip. A very quaffable fall selection.

cabsandking, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of cdkrenz
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack down in Milwaukee while visiting my good friend, Michael J.

Appearance - The body has an orange and amber color that is very appealing. However, the head is weak and stands less than a 1/4 before quickly dissipating.

Smell - The scent doesn't offer anything very distinguishable. It has the classic hearty malt aroma.

Taste - The taste, as with so many brews, makes the beer. It has a full round flavor ranging from sweet malt to a hint of clove. An interesting taste to an autumn brew without a doubt.

Mouthfeel - The feel of this beer is unique. It hits the lips smooth but has a rough texture as soon as it contacts the tongue. It's odd how seemingly easy the beer goes down.

~ This is the last of my six pack and I am glad I made this purchase. I will certainly give this beer the thumbs up to any friend looking to try a quality Oktoberfest.

cdkrenz, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of mynie
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shimmery super bubbly dark rust with a small white head that quickly settles down into a stately white cap.

Strong nodes of whatever the yeast is that Bell's uses permeate the nose, backed up by light, bready marzen malt. Pretty nice, but also surprisingly tame.

Taste is a bit firmer than the odor. The yeast starts things off with a lightly fruity kick that surprisingly tangy for the style. This moves into a more traditional marzen flavor with the roasted biscuit, and chewy, lightly chocoately malt. Ends on a very light spice hop and a lingering maltiness. Well constructed.

A nice suppin' ale, that's for sure.

mynie, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of mpyle
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App - Nice amber color with brilliant clarity. Relatively small head without too much retention.

Aroma - subtle malt aroma, a bit of a copper penny smell. No hop - very clean.

Flavor - Nice malt flavors up front, but well attenuated and sufficiently bittered to not finish overly sweet. Finishes quite clean, with just a subtle reminder of the well-balanced beer. Actually maybe a little too bitter on the finish as it warms slightly.

MF - Medium body and carbonation. No astringency or warming - very gentle on the tongue.

O'all - A nicely balanced, malt oriented beer. The slightly bitter finish might annoy after a while, but it does keep it from becoming sickenly sweet.

mpyle, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of budgood1
2.65/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours out a clear orange copper colour. a thin fine head reduces to very little lacing. sweet fruity aroma, lightly malty with a hint of must. taste is a fairly simple caramel maltiness, a dry sweetness mixes with a fairly benign fruitiness...reminding me of apples and pears, but ever so slightly. a touch of bitter hops to round it all out. mouthfeel is a touch prickly, just about right for this particular beer. the body is on the lighter end for an o-fest, making it quite sessionable, or fest worthy. drinkability is ok due to the easy going nature of this o-fest. but as far as the "interest" level, it's actually not very "interesting". just bland and boring.

well, most everything bell's is usually a hit with me, but i'd say this one is a miss. the extra eight bucks a case over the other o-fests definitely isn't worth it. there are better offerings to be had. this one ranks with leinenkugel's o-fest and michelob marzen when it comes to being uninspired.

budgood1, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of dfried
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear, crisp orangish amber in color, thin off white head settles as a ring. Crisp malty aroma with some caramel, a little toffee, and some subtle fruity notes of apple and pear. The taste is quite sweet, almost to the point of cloying up front. Apple peels and caramel. Medium to light bodied.

Overall: a simple, quite drinkable beer. Not exactly packed with flavor, not some grandiose experience, but not much to turn you off about it. It went well with a piece of pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

dfried, Oct 19, 2007
Photo of getch
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a-very nice pour, has nice thick head, clear copper color with some shadow.
s-light malt smell
t-malt and oat taste, with a hint of fruit at the end, very good after taste

m-enjoyable, smooth

d-one of my favorite octoberfest beers, i will def have this again, will be looking for it on tap

getch, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of Winter
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bell's O'fest pours a clear copper in color with a khaki colored head. Aroma has hints of light caramel malt, some biscuit. I also get a hit of unexpected perfume that combines with a slight fruitiness... almost like apple. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and rather carbonated. The taste is malty on the forefront. Middle has a really odd seltzer like quality to it, which is unfortunate. The finish is harsher than expected for an Oktoberfest. Grainy and alcoholic, but mostly flavorless and dry.

I was disappointed in this offering. I've had plenty of great Bell's beers in the past and this was quite a letdown. Flavors were off and rather unenjoyable for an Oktoberfest beer. I kind of wish I didn't waste the money on a six pack of it.

Winter, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of neonbrown82
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent Oktoberfest. I've had better, but this one was definitely worth trying. The beer pours to a clear golden orange color. Decent carbonation. The head is fairly small and drops to a thin film in less than a minute. No lacing.

The smell is good. A good mix of biscuit and caramel malt aromas. A light bit of hops. Kind of an odd sweetness to it, accompanied by that distinct lagery aroma.

The taste is good as well. Biscuity up front followed by a gentle caramel sweetness in the early finish. Not quite as sweet as the nose suggests. The late finish shows the hops, albeit just a little. Just a touch of vegetal lager yeast flavors.

The mouthfeel is thin and crisp. Good balance between sweetness, toastiness, and bitter hops. Could stand to be just a tad bit more drinkable, but it was worth trying.

neonbrown82, Oct 12, 2007
Photo of Homerbag
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours darker red copper with a two finger thick foam head.

S- Some good malty, caramel arouma, not a strong smell like other O'fest

T- All around pretty good, subtle malt and caramel taste, nothing special.

M- Nice carbonation, leaves no after taste, invites more beer to be consumed

Overal a nice American O'fest, better than most of the US O'fest but still not up there with the originals from Munich.

Homerbag, Oct 11, 2007
Photo of GRPunk
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a mug.

A- It poured a good amber color with a solid 1-1/2 inch off-white head that turned into a good lace. It was light to medium in carbonation.

S- The aroma was very malty with mostly caramel and bread tones.

T- It tasted very rich and malty. Again the flavor was of caramel and bread that was hinted in the scent.

M- It had a smooth, but full, mouthfeel.

D- A really easy drinker. I could see putting a couple of these back in an evening.

Overall- I thought it was a very solid representation of the style. While it didn't do a lot to set its self apart from other versions, I'd rank it up there with my other favorites from both American and German brewers.

GRPunk, Oct 11, 2007
Photo of williamt
2.53/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer started out pretty good for me with a nice gold to amber color and 1" tanish foam head. Aroma was more of overdone toast not the bready melnoidans of better oktos. Aftertaste left an undesirable bitterness or flavor that shouldn't have been there either, and was more noticeable in the last quarter of the glass. I'd say mouthfeel was as it should be, just a little on the thick side. All in all Bells makes mostly great beers, this is just not one of them.

williamt, Oct 07, 2007
Photo of tavernjef
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber orange with a slim compact head of off-white foam residing for an few moments of foundation before fading to a tight collar. Minimal drippy lace in a few globs.

Aroma is nice with a good malt complexity of sweet toned caramel, some toasted edges, and a bit of doughy breadyness. Has a wholesome quality and is easy to wiff in. Gains more of whole grain take as it warms.

Taste is favorable in malt and biscuity toasted stuff. Nice well rounded tone of paled down caramel sweetness and doughy bread centers. Nice ascents of toasted malt and grains. Smooth and semi silky with a malt laden goodness thats easy to drink and enjoy.

Feel is about medium with a malty, easy going smoothness, middle area is the only missing element and the finish could use a boost of length. But it definately suits the O-fest nature.

At 5% this is an easy one to have a bunch of.

tavernjef, Oct 06, 2007
Photo of argock
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into clear pint glass

A: Pretty auburn color with thin off-white head with some sticky lace

S: Malty with a sharp grape and caramel smells, minimal hops contribution

T: Typical laid-back marzen flavor with deep fruity grape and raising flavors. Pleasantly, there is more hops presence that you'd expect from the aroma which leaves a sticky feel.

M: Smooth and nicely carbonated with sticky, dry finish.

D: Enjoyable fal offering from Bell's -- very smooth and builds some uniqueness into the classic marzen style.

argock, Oct 06, 2007
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.43/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a highly transparent autumn auburn color with little head retention. The nose is crisp and malty. Quite the common and expected for this style. The taste is great, maybe even excellent. Malty, bold, and rich, yet has an outstanding crispness and refreshment factor. Doesnt have the overpowering sweetness of some octoberfests. Nicely done.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and the adequate carbonation gives it an excellent crisp feel. An awesome drinker here. I dont know if it would ever get old before spring came around.

jasonpeckins32, Oct 04, 2007
Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 757 ratings.