1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  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!

OktoberFish - Flying Fish Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

278 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 278
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.2%
Wants: 1
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Fish Brewing Company visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GeoffFromSJ on 09-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 278 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours fairly nicely, not a giant head but a nice brown color with a hint of orange fits in perfectly with the time of the year which this brew is available.

A nice smell, but not that of a typical Octoberfest. Caramel, cherry, and lots of ash and cedar. Fits in nicely with a mid-fall day with the leaves coming off of the trees and the wind whipping around.

The taste and moutfeel are also atypical, but warm up easily after a few sips. Not very hoppy, a lot up front, but the aftertaste lingers beautifully and the flavors meld very well together. One of the few ways I know to bring the feeling of a autumn afternoon indoors and have it last past sunset.

This isn't a beer to be chugged down, but it stands out from the other Octoberfests I've had. Warms ya up inside, has nice tarty notes to it, and is wonderful to swish around and build the head up sip by sip. Worth the money and slowing down to appreciate all of it's notes.

JerzDevl2000, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a slightly hazy, medium copper with modest off-white head. Smell is nice and malty, with some toasty and caramely notes presemnt. Taste is a very sweetish malt. Initially there was a mega hops presence, but this seemed to diminish with subsequent sips. Finish is somewhat dry ( a little too dry for my taste). This is an OK beer, nothing fantastic. A nice easy drinker.

tgbljb, Nov 01, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear, nice orange-amber color and is topped by a frothy pale tan colored head. The aroma is pretty clean; I get subtle notes of cherry, caramel, a dry toasted malt character and a hint of biscuits in the finish. The aroma is fairly subtle on this one. The taste is quite dry except in the finish where there is a bit of sweetness, and the palate is fairly light. There is a malty mix of cherry and caramel in the finish as well as a bit of bitterness. There is a light hop spiciness that runs through this beer and it is in line with the overall subtle character of this beer.

This is a nice easy drinking beer, it is not chock-full of flavor, yet it is quite satisfying; definitely a beer to be quaffed in great quantities. It does not have nearly the hop character that I like to see in an Alt, but it does have that nice fruity finish that I find typical of the style.

Gueuzedude, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled into a tulip glass from a bottle.

Slight hazy copper color w/ 1/2" of eggshell color head that quickly turns into an oily surface layer.

Aroma reminds me of crisp sour apples along with some slight sweet caramel and roastiness, along with some earthen hops. Decent.

Flavor is slightly tart/sour citus flavors along with some apple flavor (apple peel actually) along with a bit of pine hops on the finish. Very tasty IMO and enjoyable.

Feel is nice. Well balanced between the smoothness and crispness along with the carbonation. No alcohol detected. Nice all around IMO.

I dropped the drinkability off a bit here, because I found this one to be rather sweet to which I enjoyed. However, I know not all people enjoy sweet brews, so I decided that I doubt I could drink a growler of it, so hence, a lower score here. However, I liked it for the most part.

Fish113d, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of Foxman
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a brownish amber, clear and carbonated. A plentiful quantity of off white head springs up and lingers shortly. Lacing is generous and frilly.

The aroma is sweetly malty, but indistinct, and the hops seem to come across a little dull, but nonethless present and accounted for.

Upon tasting, the malt sweetness delivered more fully than in the aroma, with notes of caramel and toffee bouncing around with a fruity halo. A dry hoppy bitterness cleared the middle ground to allow a continuance of the malt bittersweetness to carry to the finish. It is mostly simple and mostly quite nice.

A bit north of light bodied, it flows and coats enough to leave a dry hop oil glow on the palate.

This is a good, dutiful rendition of the style, in my eyes at least, and is a joy to drink. While nothing here will leap out and grab you, it will pat you gently and allow you to enjoy one after the other, though responsibly of course. For being brewed in my backyard, I think it's one of the more faithful Oktoberfest beers whose label isn't printed at least partially in German. Smooth and easy to like, it makes more than one a pleasant task to undertake.

Foxman, Oct 22, 2005
Photo of ski271
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a medium brown-amber with a medium-sized, foamy, off-white head that doesn’t stick around too long. Malts are dominant in the nose, of course, with aromas of caramel, butterscotch, nuts and hints of fruit. It has a very nice malty flavor with a light lemony bitterness to back it up. Pear and white wine notes in there as well. The finish is dry with a lingering light sweetness late. It has a medium body and moderate carbonation. I really enjoyed this one, one of the more impressive Oktoberfest seasonals I’ve had this year. Enough character and body to keep me interested, but still highly sessionable. I’d buy it again if I could get it in this area.

ski271, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of Citadel82
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured clear copper with a very generous white head. A very nice pouring beer if I may say so. The head was relatively long lasting and left a nice bit of lacing on the glass as it withdrew. Aroma was malty and sweet though not heavily so, a touch of smoke. Taste was balanced over all - starting with sweet caramel malts and fading into a short dry finish. Pleasant brew that paired nicely with sausage, spaetzel, cabbage and crusty bread.

Citadel82, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear brownish amber pour with a nice finger or two of head that lingered pretty well in my mug.

Smell is a big caramel malt character with a slight sweetness and a little bit of hop bitterness sliding in on the back end.

Flavor is fairly sweet in its own right, with a nice mix of caramel and raisin flavors on top of light baked-bread tastes on top of a very light, barely-there hop bite. It's not cloyingly sweet, but it's definitely sweeter than most O-fests.

Overall: Fairly nice local example of a domestic O-fest, one of the better ones I've tried this year.

whartontallboy, Sep 24, 2005
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Strangely, while this one is brewed in state about 45 minutes away, it is quite difficult to find in my area each year, although other Flying Fish brews are readily available just about everywhere. Weird.

Anyway, it pours a surprisingly nice crisp amber colour with a creamy off-white head that leaves a nice amout of residue on the glass.

The smell is primarily malty with some hop oils seeped through into the aroma. There is a pinch of fruitiness thrown into the mix as well.

The flavour is more of the same, although theres a bit more of a juicy hope kick in the taste as well as some sweet caramel notes. There's a nice bit of alcohol warmth as well throughout this one. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and just right for the style.

Overall, I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I found it to be a nice sessional brew and a nice take on the style. This is one of my favourites from the folks at Flying Fish.

SixpointJMH, Sep 19, 2005
Photo of weeare138
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Standard Tap...
Appears a copper amber with a small white head that slowly fades.
Small amounts of lacing are left in the glass.
Smell is of a syrupy maltiness, mild sour dough, and a pinch of hoppiness.
Taste is of nice amounts of malts with caramel and sour dough being a standout.
Mouthfeel is good. This one always surprisingly gets better for some reason. I much prefer the draft to the bottle though.

weeare138, Sep 18, 2005
Photo of IrishRedRock
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium bodied tawny chestnut brown. Toasted grain and malt nose, hops are only lightly detectable. Not as full bodied or complex as some German examples, though has a solid malt character with wheat, grain and dried fruit characteristics. Hops barely bite in the finish and could use more bitterness for balance the sweetness. Still a nice local session beer as the seasons change, for that in-between period of Philadelphia weather, not quite cool yet but thankfully the blistering humidity is gone. The mates and I bought a case and it didn't last but a day or two. Not too shabby.

IrishRedRock, Sep 17, 2005
Photo of lord2464
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a fine "fest" or is it? The bottle says that this is an ale. Wait Marzen is suppose to be Lager. Searched the web site - they are using a kolsche yeast to produce this. No wonder it's more complex then most "fest" beer.

Usually I am a purist and I must say if I could rate this on style I would have to knock it down a few steps for not following guidlines. Fortunatly that isn't part of the rating system! I love the flavor and I will make an exception based on pure taste.

I recomend buying soon as it is very limited. Something different - a real treat!

lord2464, Sep 11, 2005
Photo of pezoids
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured clear, bright with an orange-copper color. A thin head of off white foam topped off this one. The aroma is interesting and a bit strange. Light toffee and caramel malt but also has some perfume like notes, that I guess are coming from the hops. Taste has a grainy sour quality that just doesn’t some to meld properly with the rest of the beer. I guess this can be called an eclectic oktoberfest, rather than an authentic one. Lightly sweet and malty in the finish. Not bad, with points for originality.

pezoids, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of Jarod
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle not dated

This beer poured a crystal clear well-carbonated liquid that was orange/brown/amber in color. The head that was created off white to light toupe in color, fairly thick and creamy to the taste ant touch, some stickiness was noticed. There was some spotty lace throughout the glass, not like a true lace but more left over spots that drug to the bottom. The aromas that came from the glass were on the light side, but roasted malts and nuts were noticeable, some dry leafs, earthy ash, light fruit in the later aromas and finished off with a yeasty appeal to it. The flavors from this beer seemed to be bolder and more pronounced then the aromas. Tastes of cocoa, nuts, dark roasted malts, some leafs and ash were present all through each sip. Some sweet fruits were noticeable as it warmed in the middle of the sip, as well as some light herbal hops and dirt. But one thing was consistent was the all end sips were of yeast and yeasty nut bread. The aftertaste that was left was of bread yeast and a dry feeling on the tongue. The body was on the light to medium side. Interesting beer seemed to have lots of malt and earthy flavors that were pronounced and consistent all through each sip. An enjoyable beer and real easy to drink.

Jarod, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of Dithyramb
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright, blue and white packaging for this beer catches your eye. Pours deep amber with a bit of light tan foam. Filtered, it is very clear and with swirls of carbonation.

The fish is pure malty goodness on the nose. Fresh bread was accented with floral hops in the background.

The taste has a good malty start. Some were lighter, while others had an almost dark chocolate quality. Like all good O’fests, it has hops to balance. The spiciness tingles in your mouth with the light carbonation

A definite session brew, I enjoyed them through two straight football games this weekend.

Dithyramb, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured crystal clear medium amber with a low white head which laced the glass.

The aroma was malty with caramel and some roasty chocolate.

The flavor was malty with caramel and chocolate and not very clean. There was also present a roastiness.

The finish was dry, make that bone dry. The body was medium.

12 ounce bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Nov 01, 2004
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.22/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear and deep dark amber-red body, alive with fine streams of carbonation. A couple fingers of level just-off-white foam. Looks very inviting. Decent circular lacing.

Nose has a few loaves of fresh bread and a hint of herbal hoppiness. Good depth.

Very good malty start. Sweet yes, but not cloying. Some dark chocolate notes, and the wonderful sense of depth that I seek in an Octoberfest. Enough of a hop bite to balance, and leave a bit of a spicy, tingly reminder of earthy goodiness as the beer slowly fades away.

Mouthfeel is dead on, nice and middle of the road. Suitable for all varieties of autumnal weather.

Easy drinking, good drinking.

A very pleasant surprise, and easily my favorite Flying Fish brew. Good stuff regardless of ale or lager. Don't geek, drink.

RonfromJersey, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of 99bottles
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I knew as soon as this came, there was something different about it. It didn't look like an Ocoberfest, it didn't smell or taste like one either. Didn't feel like one and didn't drink like one.

It's not one.

Anyways, this fall ale isn't bad. It looks nice; lighter than a true marzen. It has a surprising amount of fall spice in the smell and taste; nutmeg and ginger mostly. I was pleasantly surprised at the hop character and bitterness of this. That's what really made me think, hmmm...not a real marzen. The malts are there to lend a little sweetness, a little of that nutty sweetly esteric flavor, but only just a little. This stays easily drinkable and nicely even in its elements. Just don't call it an Octoberfest, call it a seasonal ale.

99bottles, Oct 04, 2004
Photo of goindownsouth
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very interesting spin on the traditional Oktoberfest done here by Flying Fish. This version, clearly appearing like an ale even without being told this, presented rather respectably, with a decent hear and copper tone. The aroma was dry and not as well-rounded as lager-style Oktoberfests generally are. A little bit more of a hop backbone to it. Went down smooth, by and large. Not a bad twist on an Oktoberfest.


goindownsouth, Oct 02, 2004
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Malt dominant aroma, smelled a bit musty but after a few sniffs it seems more like cocoa. Medium sized cream colored head is fairly dense and leaves a solid coat of lace as it fades to a dense film. Clear golden amber colored beer. Malt from the aroma hits first in the flavor, cocoa joins in after a second while a crisp hoppyness keeps the malt from going overboard. Body is on the light side while the mouthfeel is slightly slick. Cocoa flavor/aroma made the beer seem stale, just didn't dig it.

HappyHourHero, Sep 30, 2004
Photo of lackenhauser
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep coppery color-slight head and some nice lacing on the glass .Nice aroma-slightly nutty,toasted malt and a touch of caramel. Malty flavor upfront-subdued hop bitterness. Has a touch of caramel sweetness in the finish. Very nice body-not as thin as some "fests" though Im likening that to its being an ale versus a lager. A good beer-decent fall seasonal.

lackenhauser, Sep 17, 2004
Photo of sraimondi
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised at sampling this one, as the 2003 version reviews were mediocre. While I'm not sure this meets the usual "requirements" of an Oktoberfest; it is damn good. The mouthfeel is especially intriguing--I wasn't sure I liked it all that much, until I had sampled a couple. In taste, I think it rivals the O'fests from Germany, which are available in the USA? Unfortunately, I can't get this one in CT; but got a six in NJ visiting the in-laws this past weekend. Will ask them to get some more for me. This is definitely one to try, if you can find it. Good job to the folks in Cherry Hill, NJ.

sraimondi, Sep 14, 2004
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The 2004 version of this beer is an ale, not a lager. Hence, the new entry.

It has a beautiful amber color which pour with no head but a lace. The lace quickly goes down.

The smell is wonderfully malty, quite exceptional.

The beer has a very good malt taste with some bitterness at the end. But I can't tell if the bitterness is an alcohol taste or some hops.

There is a little bit of an astringent mouthfeel, probably due to the alcohol.

GeoffFromSJ, Sep 07, 2004
Photo of frank4sail
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark pinkish amber color. Nice fluffy white head. Sweet malt (caramel) nose with sharp hop notes. Initial stinging taste of hops is followed by a sweet malt coated tongue and throat. Medium slightly thickish mouth. Very hoppy and bitter for a marzen. Not a traditional tasting brew, the errors however lean to my taste preferences.

frank4sail, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber with a big fluffy off-white head out of the handpump. Some sweet malts in the nose, but mostly a nice floral hop aroma.

Silky smooth as you would imagine out of the cask. The body was medium, and not lacking a bit at all. I would definitely not call this your typical Oktoberfest bier, but it was enjoyable. Much more floral than its Deutsche counterparts, Flying Fish gave this brew an interesting little twist. Sweet malts balance the hops well to make for a simple, but good brew. It is definitely more along the lines of a cask ale than an Oktober.

ElGuapo, Sep 29, 2003
OktoberFish from Flying Fish Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.