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!

Berkshire Oktoberfest Lager - Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Not Rated.
Berkshire Oktoberfest LagerBerkshire Oktoberfest Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

325 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 325
Reviews: 198
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 13.64%
Wants: 46
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 09-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Berkshire Oktoberfest Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 325 | Reviews: 198 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy, fuzzy, dark orange coloration, slim fizziness above.
Herbal, vegetal nose, malty, some caramel tones showing, as well, though ultimately, it's on the mild side.
Big, juicy fruit blasts the tongue on first swallow, then softly slips away. Bit over-carbonated. Bold, sparkling, and a small bit sour. Very unusual mouthfeel. Nowhere near as smooth as we'd prefer. Bracing puckeration at first sip, then it fizzes against the tongue undcomfortably.
I had every hope in the world for this, but it's not a pleasant drinking experience, a regular chore to finish. It's like a Jolly Rancher dropped in a bottle of Mike's Hard Cranberry...or something like that. Needs more malt, less fizz...as I near the end of the bomber, I find that I'm not liking it any better, and I yearn for a more satisfying brew. Up the malt, tone down the carbonation, maybe a touch less alcohol, but if they do the first two, it won't be necessary...perhaps...perhaps then, it will be a better brew. Just my 2/5 of a nickel...

feloniousmonk, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a beautiful amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, pilsner and Munich malt scent along with a fruity lager yeast aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a very nice malt profile that boasts of pilsner, crystal, and Munich malts. It has a light sweetness along with a dry bready character. It goes down easy with a dry, malty finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a well brewed Marzen. It's tasty and easy drinking; a damn fine seasonal.

WesWes, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 10/31/11 notes. Shared a bottle of this with my girlfriend, poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a hazy amber-orange color with one and a half fingers of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some nice head retention and light lacing left on the glass, looks great.

s - Smells of bready malts, toasted malts, caramel malts, light spice, and light fruity. Heavy on the malts but very nice.

t - Tastes of toasted malts, caramel malts, bready malts, roasted malts, light spices, and a hint of fruit. Again, very malty and enjoyable.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy and pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good lager and a really enjoyable marzen. Lots of malts and could have drank the whoel bomber by myself. Would certainly have it again.

mdfb79, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +1%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours on the dark side of amber with a touch of orange; slight cloudiness, which I admire. Excellent head with a touch of lace on the glass.

Dark malt aromas (for some reason, it reminds me of split pea soup).

This brew tastes darker than the color would suggest. Nice full body with an equally full malty flavor. The hop is mild as would be expected from an Oktoberfest. The carbonation is low. The taste is sweeter than some; still, the finish is dry.

This is an interesting beer with a lot of complexity. I'm going to enjoy this one slowly.

smcolw, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of woodychandler
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, two fingers' worth of bone-white head with decent retention. Nose had a beautiful sweet, malty cast. Color was a bright, deep amber. Mouthfeel was medium with a perfect sweetness on the tongue. Finish was wonderfully Oktoberfest-like. This was great and for the price?!? Yow!

woodychandler, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

wrightst, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of Billolick
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BBC bomber bottle, with freshness dating notched onto the label. Pours a rich almond shade, off white head and just leaves a minor amount of fine lacing. Nose of light rum, raisins and malt. This a rich, strong, full flavor O'fest brew. Full of malty layers of creamy smoothness. Vanilla, oak, caramel all picked up. I had a chance to sample this brew on tap as well. It was wonderfully creamy and smooth. Fine creation, well worth seeking out and enjoying this fall season

Billolick, Sep 01, 2005
Photo of tempest
2.95/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had the same problem as Jwaks (see below). The diacetyl is out of control for an Oktoberfest Lager. This tastes like a sweet Ringwood ale from Middle Ages or Shipyard. Still, behind that is a big dry toffee and cherry malt character that I really wish stood out more. This seems like a case of good beer gone bad.

UPDATE: This batch was recalled. Next time I get a bottle, I'll have to re-review.

tempest, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of mothman
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pils glass.

Pours over 1 finger of creamy beige head. Fades to a thinner layer but decent retention. Not a lot of lace. Color is a copper brown.

Aroma: Sweet and malty. Biscuit flavors with some grassy hops. has an odd sweet scent to it in the background. A touch of skunk.

Taste: Must have been the skunk flavors in the nose I was picking up, because they are here as well. Very malty. Bready and biscuity. Grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and skunky. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends dry with hints of alcohol.

Overall, not an octoberfest I want to much of. The skunk flavors through it off a bit. Could be worse, could be better. Average drinkability.

mothman, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

ejimhof, May 05, 2013
Photo of Wasatch
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

Pours a nice hazy golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slight yeast, very slight spice, with some caramel. The taste is big on caramel malts, slight yeast. Medium body. Drinkable, this is still a tasty brew. Thanks Wayne.

Wasatch, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22ozer bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a dense 1 1/2" tan head above a dark copper ale. Laces excellently. Aroma is lightly of caramel malts and hops, but wish it was a bit more intense. Taste is malty, with minimal hops presence, and a small kick of alcohol at the end. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is excellent. Seems they've satisfied both worlds here, a flavorful beer which lends itself to the Oktoberfest sessions. Search it out and decide yourself.

ppoitras, Sep 29, 2004
Photo of biegaman
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The brewers weren't kidding when they said its hue was reminiscent of fall foliage. Indeed, this is a blazing, multi-toned ensemble of orange-amber tones that burns quite brightly. Despite the bright colour, its body is too dense to permit transparency. Its head is essentially non-existent but little sudsy spatters manage to dot the glass somehow.

The aroma is rather dynamic and I think, although I could be wrong, more than a little bit of it can be attributed to the extra couple notches of alcohol. There is a spicy, ethanol-induced flare to the beer that normally isn't found in lagers of these types. For the most part, it seems to crowd out most of the sticky, fruity, sweet maltiness.

I wouldn't say Berkshire's Oktoberfest is hard to drink but it definitely doesn't have that same level of limitless quaffability that the bests of the style do. As already noted, the extra alcohol does not go unnoticed. Where as most of these lagers sooth the palate like a massage chair, this one throws you down the stairs.

And in large part this 'roughness' is perceived because of a lack of flavour. It does offer a worthy plate of plum pudding, over-ripened pear and apple, a splash of Gran Marnier liqueur, muscat grapes and some freshly made caramel syrup. But it certainly isn't sweet, which is typical of the style, and instead drinks thin with a cringing spike of alcohol.

What makes an Oktoberfest so different from other lagers is a full bodied, chewy, biscuity, intense maltiness. This simply does not have that. Lagers are typically plain and brainless - but that's what makes them drinkable. An Oktoberfest should have that quality as well as the added dimension of lively flavour. Again, this does not.

Whether it's the alcohol or simple displeasure, I am (literally) stumbling to the finish of this bomber. I have to admit I was anxious about a double-sized serving of an Oktoberfest but it turns out that this isn't exactly what I had in mind. Even the best breweries have occasional hiccups and we'll chalk this one up to an off batch. Thanks mcBrewsAlot!

biegaman, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +1%

rab53, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, coppery amber with a fine, off-white cap. Sticky lace. Malty aroma, a bit of biscuit and berry sweetness, floral, light citrusy lemon. Balanced bitterness, biscuity malt, toasty, with a bit of lemon and grassy hop flavour. There was a hint of buttery sweetness as well. Medium to light bodied, lowish carbonation, fine texture. Solid. Balanced and tasty.

DrJay, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of PEIhop
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

PEIhop, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of glid02
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra from ampzilla. Thank you good sir.

Pours a slightly hazy brown color with amber highlights and a two-finger off-white head. The head sticks around forever, there's still a half-finger left by the time I finish the beer as there are constant streams of bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells good. Toasted malt, sweet malt, and a combination of caramel and chocolate.

Tastes even better than it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front, followed shortly by a rugged chocolate flavor that segues nicely into mild caramel. The chocolate taste lingers for a bit.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness for an Oktoberfest and the carbonation is subtle. Very smooth.

Drinkability is good. This isn't exactly a classic Oktoberfest, but it goes down very easily. I had no problem polishing off a bomber of this.

Overall this is a very good beer with some excellent flavors not normally associated with the style. Definitely worth a shot.

glid02, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of Brad007
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-copper color with a one-finger head and minimal carbonation.

Aroma is of sweet malt with a bit of smokiness and breadiness in the nose.

Taste is very sweet upfront with some smokiness from the malt. Bready in the middle. Mild hop bitterness but otherwise, a smooth lager.

Mouthfeel is sweet and smoky with hop bitterness at the far back of the mouth.

Easy to drink and enjoy. If you want a decent beer for Oktoberfest, this wouldn't be a bad choice. I'd probably choose it over an imported German version based on freshness alone.

Brad007, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, thanks for the trade brewfan, enjoyed in my hotel room in Lake Geneva

appearance: pours a hazy amber-copper into a pint glass...thick creamy beige head with pretty solid retention

smell: aromas are faint...light caramel sweetness, toasted grain/malt, faint hopping

taste: big and flavourful...rich and thick caramel malt, creamy body, nice light booze comes through which is extraordinarily complimentary, buttery biscuit, toffee, light hopping...one of the more interesting oktoberfests i have had this year

mouthfeel: very creamy and rich, smooth

drinkability: high

dirtylou, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of vfgccp
2.75/5  rDev -30.6%

vfgccp, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of Durge
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This chilled bomber yields a medium amber colored brew with a quick dying, off-white head and decent spotty lacing. The aroma is a pleasant maple and cider with a little tangy bite. The first swig offers an unusual sort of light whiskey alcohol and nutty pumpkin wheat. It has a medium feel for the style with lots of peppery carbonation. Not much special but an OK Octoberfest that is definitely worth a try. I would welcome a glass anytime, especially in October!

Update September 2010 - A deep orange-ish brown color with a fair off-white head and modest lacing. The aroma is big time caramel apple and cinnamon malt. A tad sour and very deserving of the October sensibilities. The flavor is in keeping with the aroma. A bold tart allspice apple with tons of caramel malt. I even get an odd licorice edge. Very woodsy, swampy malt. I think it's neat, something that truly fits the season. It's medium plus bodied with pleasant carbonation. A substantial somewhat cidery feel. A good mouthful and one of the more enjoyable and interesting Octoberfests I've had. Now I hear they're taking it off the shelves because they're not pleased with the results. I don't get that.

Durge, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of puboflyons
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on September 20, 2012.

Poured into a tall German stein. It has a decent looking medium amber, copper-orange tone with a significant, long lasting fluffy head and slow moving carbonation.

The nose is full of traditional Oktoberfest aromas including sweet caramel malts, yeast, toffee, and biscuit.

The body is creamy and smooth and falls into just under the medium range.

The taste starts out sweet and malty like a good Oktoberfest/Marzen should but then an unexpected earthy bitterness flies in from out of left field and takes it all over. That bitterness lingers. Overall, the beer is quite drinkable.

puboflyons, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of Jwale73
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint. Poured the color of unpasteurized apple cider; brownish red and a bit hazy. Nose was very malty sweet with a hint of spice. Taste consistent with nose - is there such a thing as an imperial marzen? Mouthfeel fell between light-and medium-bodied with a consistent background effervescence. One of the more drinkable Oktoberfest beers in my opinion. Fairly decent complexity for the style, but a bit sweeter than one would anticipate.

Jwale73, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of rudzud
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split with JLindros. Reviewed from notes.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear light copper hue with a good one finger off white head that faded to leave a light creamy blanket.

S - Aroma is fairly typical for an oktoberfest. A bit on the malty/bready side for me.

T - Taste is more of the same, caramel (lots of it), sweeter malts, biscuits, slight toffee. Again, a bit too sweet for my tastes.

M - Mouthfeel was fairly solid. Nicer carbonation here little sharp on the tongue.

O - Overall, slightly unimpressed by this one. Its a decent Oktoberfest, but just a bit too sweet for my tastes.

rudzud, Nov 05, 2012
Berkshire Oktoberfest Lager from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.