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OktoberFish - Flying Fish Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

131 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 131
Hads: 344
Avg: 3.54
pDev: 22.32%
Wants: 2
Gots: 54 | 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:
Beer added by: GeoffFromSJ on 09-13-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 131 | Hads: 344
Photo of JAXSON
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 rate.

On draft. My memories of this are a little hazy. Chestnut brown, somewhat spicy aroma and flavor. Toasty, bready malt, some chocolate, kind of sweet, very mellow. Biscuit, I suppose? Nice mild hop bitterness. I was pleasantly surprised here.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.12/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(This review stems from an Oktoberfestbier tasting on Nov 6, 2010, that included 13 examples of the style, of German and US origin. The variations brew to brew fascinated and surprised)

First off, I'm told this isn't a true Marzen because it's top-fermented and very much un-lagered. Sure, it's appropriately malty, but, then again, most of Flying Fish's beers are over-compensating in the malt department. I've heard the opinion that this could be considered an altbier, however, at best, I feel the taste falls somewhere in between each style.

Getting down to brass tacks, it shows a hazy, coppery tawny color. The head is short, thin, fizzy, boasting on average some noticeably medium-sized bubbles. Any lace with each sip slips swiftly and easily down the glass. Malts ooze thick, sweet, and dank in what's a shallow (lacking depth), muddled aroma. There's something "unripe" about the scent, but the smell is most appealing element here. Sweetness is just about cloying in the taste, the malt also exhibiting sugar cookie qualities. Starting in the middle and finishing through the aftertaste, the most characteristic O-Fest flavors come out. Once again, definite malt presence, but without any toasted aspects and coming across underdeveloped. A tangy, puckering, but not quite sour sense/feel accompanies the entire sip sequence. As you can guess, the body is fairly full and filling, but some generous residual carbonation helps attenuate some of the sticky sugars left behind.

I can imagine that, with more time given to the beer's conditioning, the flavors and nuances of what each malt has to offer would be allowed to come to the fore, improving what is more or less a wort bomb.

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Photo of taigor
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into mug glass.

A - Poured hazy amber color with medium head that quickly dissipated leaving average amount of lacing around the glass.

S - Slight malts, caramel and toffee but nothing much else.

T - Sweet malts and caramel upfront. Slightly bready and fruity with slight hoppy bitter finish.

M - Light bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Pretty good, average oktoberfest beer from Flying Fish. Not bad overall but wouldn't go out of the way to get it.

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Photo of BarleyThere
3.49/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This drinks better than most Oct(or Okt)toberfests I've had.

I poured it from a bottle into a Chimay glass, which may account for the lack of head retention. The head receded after about 30 or 40 seconds.

It has a nice color, medium amber, I'd say.

The nose gives a burst of bright fruit flavors. At first I wanted to say apples, but there's some cherry in there as well. At any rate the smell is much fruitier and more interesting than others of the style. There is, of course, the beer smell following that.

Tastes malty, with a semi-sweet fruitiness. At the risk of repeating myself, I'll say cherries again. Very tart, beer soaked cherries.

Overall, it's much more enjoyable than many Octoberfests. It's a bit watery, but this style usually produces beers that are watery and this isn't as watery. The lager quality is tempered by the fruit and the heavy malt, making it stand out a bit as more complex beer.

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Photo of Kooz
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a beer garden and scribbled notes, so notes are sparse (since I don't want to add to them after the fact).

Nice-looking beer--light mid-brownish. Sweet smell to it, but not sickly sweet, only really a hint of sweetness. Tasted hopw it smelled--nice and robust with a hint of sweetness. Was a bit watery, but overall a very nice beer. This is something I'd buy and be comfortable drinking for an entire Oktoberfest.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/23/2010 at The Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, lager yeast, some hops and some fruit.

T: The taste is very bready with flavors of a hearty malt character and lager yeast up front. Then some caramel and fruit sweetness comes in. The hops presence is good for the style and brings a nice balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer that is worth drinking of a long time if you're the mood for an Oktoberfest beer.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
2.47/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not sure if I got an old bottle, but a freshness date would have resolved that.

Cloudy, no head, grainy smell, grainy taste. Thin body and not very drinkable. I'm reviewing because it's the only bottle I will ever have.

Please consider freshness dating your beer. It would keep people like me from having to experience it a year after you wanted me to.

Nothing redeeming about this beer at all. still, purchased in a very reputable shop and lack of date makes me wonder if it is old or not. Not recommended, this was going to be a drain pour as soon as I saw it in the glass.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug. Amber in color with a decent start of heading that fills the glass and immediately fizzes out in the matter of seconds.

Smell is mostly of munich malts.Dark and sweet with the slightest bit of fruity touch. A nice mix of bitter hops to finish it off.

Taste is the same as the nose. Heavy caramel malts which coats the tastebuds and finishes with a nice fruity and bitter hop finish.

Mouth if medium bodied and very malty which leaves some slight slick butteriness.Great carbonation overall for a Octoberfest brew but it dooesn't look it.

I prefer this one out of a keg then a bottle.

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Photo of tjd112
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is actually an Altbier, I can confirm that as I took the brewery tour.

I got this with a microbrew pack in the Manahawkin, New Jersey Spirits Unlimited. This beer pours a brown colour with half-finger white head with some lacing. The smell is fruity with a hint of caramel/toffee, a subtle citrus/apple taste with a hoppy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and its a very drinkable smooth beer, especially with fall seasonal food.

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Photo of drtth
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pilsner style glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a bright clear copper color with dozens of small streams of bubbles rising to the ½" thick white head that recedes some but persists for quite a while, leaving some nice rings and lacing. Even towards the end of the beer sipping leaves some small patches and speckles of foam and lacing.

Smell: The aroma is fresh and clean with some sweet light caramel and bisquity malt. The spicy herbal hops are content to remain in the background.

Taste: The rich light caramel malt and bisquity flavor has some light toffee sweetness that is balanced by a just hint of spicy, herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is light to medium-bodied with persistent gentle carbonation throughout most of the beer. The finish is medium in length and the malt sweetness just fades away to leave some moderately bitter dryness at the end.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable beer in that it goes down easily, is quite satisfying to drink and I'm always ready for another sip. I could easily drink a few of these back to back in an evening. I'm also pleasantly surprised at how well this beer goes with the various cheeses on this mixed cheese plate which I started nibbling on about halfway through the beer.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color, thin off-white head, minimal retention and lacing. Smell is of sweet carmel malts, butter and a lager like twang. Taste follows smell with a very sweet carmely and buttery mnalt structure, finished with a dank. lager-like bite. Body is on the thinner side of medium, slightly over carbonated. Average Octoberfest... just a sweetened lager essentially.

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Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good one.

Pours rich copper with a torrent of carbonation, which created a decent bubbly head and nice lacing. The smell is clean, crisp and malty, with a little toffee edge. the flavor is toffee-like, a little sugary with a pleasant malty burn on the finish. The mouthfeel is surprisingly rich with a big bite of carbonation.

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Photo of goblet
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured one out from a bottle into a pint glass and took a look.

a slightly cloudy copper golden color with a nice two finger high white frothy head, it thins out quick leaving some lace.also very little carbonation that can be detected .

the aroma is mild and refreshingly malty with citrus hops, grains and bite of bread like qualities.

a smooth mildly malty flavor with wheat grains, lemon citrus hops and sweet yeast that seem to dance on your taste buds and whisper oktoberfest is near.

a lite to medium body ,a malty and citrus bit in the after taste . it's got a nice flat feel due to the low carbonatin.

this brew is a very good oktoberfest brew ,extremely palatable. if i'm not drinking an original german brew i'll be drinking oktoberfish instead. cheers.

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Photo of bonkers
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a shaker pint. It pours a deep, clear copper with a moderate white head. The aroma is full of sweet malt, and a bit bready. The taste follows, the finish is slightly sweet and lingers for a bit. The beer is medium bodied, and lightly carbonated. A solid fest beer that is very sessionable.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a deep amber color with no visible carbonation. Body is clean and bright with a foamy two finger beige cap. The head took some time to dissipate to a thin coating with some delicate lace.

Toasted, bready malt, very clean in nature. Some delicate caramel and dominant dry hopping. Earthy and soft, not as hearty as some.

The flavor profile is very similar to the nose. Clean, toasted caramel with a touch of brown sugar and some sturdy bready notes. The hops lend an earthy, slightly spicy overtone that is very pleasing. Mildly complex with a lingering bitterness.

Medium body with a smooth, almost luscious body. I also get a hint of chocolate in the finish.

This is a highly drinkable marzen for sure. The flavors blend well together and hide the booze very well. I could session these all night.

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Photo of bbeane
2.97/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Poured into a 16oz tumbler... reddish amber colored beer with light head that recedes quickly. Leaves no lacing and looks completely inactive

S- Not much to smell. Light smell of malt and hops...bready

T- Not bursting with flavor. Bit of malt and maybe a little caramel flavor... pretty bland

M- Pretty watery and very little carbonation

D- Easy to drink though I would have very little desire to drink more if there were more choices


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Photo of donniecuffs
2.8/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured rich brown into an American pint glass, with a thin head, and little visible carbonation. The aroma was a little overpoweringly sweet and malty, with a hint of caramel apple and honey; no evidence of hop bitterness. The flavor was a slightly more subtle version of the nose, but since I have grown to appreciate fuller-bodied maerzens, I found the mouth to be a little on the thin side. Granted the latter makes for a nice session beer, but I'll pick something else to pair with my wurst plate.

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Photo of tzieser
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice deep amber/copper color with a decent head that settled into a nice covering. not very carbonated (as it should be).

Smelled great. lots and lots of sweet and biscuity malts up front...i can barely pickup the note of hops in the background. i can tell i'm probably going to love this, because the smells of all the toasted malts is making my mouth water

tastes as good as i was hoping. lots of sweet malts cover the palate. the malts are very rich and are used perfectly. a tad bit of hops at the end give this beer great balance. has a nice, subtly sweet malt aftertaste. outstanding.

mouthfeel is good-- not too carbonated, but still has enough to remind you that you're drinking beer.

drinkability is incredible. i could drink these all night long

overall-- marzens are probably my favorite style of beer, so I was surprised that I enjoyed this as much as I did-- especially for a US marzen. Sam Adam's Octoberfest is usually my go-to for US made Marzens-- but now I'd have to go with the OktoberFish if they were sitting side by side. However-- this wouldn't keep me from getting a German made (i.e Paulaner) Marzen.

I love this beer. Buy it if you can.

PS- I love the Bavarian flag background on the label!

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Photo of mynie
4.21/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Something oddly cute about this bottle. Maybe I'm just a little loopy after reading Foucault for the past 4 hours. I dunno. Little weird fishbone airplane thing made me giggle like it was a kitten.

Pours is sorta meh for a marzen. Darkish foggy amber, small white head that dies away quickly.

Smells a lot better than meh, I'll tell you what. Big east coast malt smell. (What the hell is that? That super mellow, sweet earthiness that I only come across in session-strength beers from back east? Geary's and Magic Hat and Brooklyn all have it. It's the malt, right? Or is the water just different? It's a malty smell, nonetheless. I think it's the malt. I make an ass out of you and me thinking it's the malt, but I still think it's the malt). That's blended with lightly zippy, very chocolately and caramely bock yeast and a light, spicy hops. Very nice.

Doesn't taste quite as good as it smells. Full malt profile, like ten different kinds of bread at once. Light hints of milk chocolate, butterless biscuits, that damn, delicious east coast mystery flavor, and then some lightly spicy hops finishing it off. Nice and complex with a lingering bitterness.

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Photo of BirdFlu
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

the only things I really picked out of this were a sort of fruity, apple-like flavor and aftertaste. Reminiscient of a hard cider or such. Not much of this is present in the smell though. Moth is clean and crisp with noticeable carbonation. It's easy to drink and is refreshing, but didn't offer much to take note on that was too special about it. Appearance was just normal I guess is all there is to say about it. It's not bad, but I wouldn't go outof my way to have it again. Look for the apples, though.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a moderate marzen color with no detectable head. Very soft carbonation.

S: A very nice sweet munich malt aroma captures the nose with some light brown sugar notes.

T: For flavor there is some soft creamy caramel, and a very dominant earthy hopping. The flavor is very smooth with a slight creaminess on the back of the tongue going down. The bittering was nice with an earthy dryness at the end that lingered in the back of the throat for a brief while along with a slight alcohol presence.

M: at first seemed a tad watery but once it warmed up the palate was just fine.

D: Overall a decent example and perhaps one of their better beers making for a good session marzen.

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Photo of AltBock
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. undated bottle with a blue and white checkerboard patterened label that has their symbol of fish skeleton with 2 propellers on each end in the middle.

When poured into a Flying Fish pint glass, this Oktoberfest was a clear and pale golden amber. On top of this amber brew was a 1/2 an ich head of white foam. This head of foam had decent retention that left behind a small white film and one single blot of white lace. The aroma was plain and simple with toasted malts with a splash of juicy fruits backing it up. The taste was lightly crispy with toasted malts, a tiny touch of juicy fruits, and a subtle hint of crispy floral hops at the finish line. The mouthfeel was light bodied with a crispy aftertaste of toasted malts and a hint of floral hops. In the end, it was stanadrd drinkable session German style Oktoberfest beer. You can easily drink 2 of these in a sitting.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a couple of pints of this brew at The Old Bay in New Brunswick.

Each pint came with a scant ½ finger thick head that was wispy and white. What was there quickly faded back into the brew. The beer was a mahogany reddish brown and rather clear. There was really no carbonation that was visible. Some spotty lacing, but not really that much.

Aroma was sweet, of toasted malt, some caramel and a touch of nuttiness.

Toasted malt flavor really came through along with a lot of caramel, or molasses notes. (light) Pretty nicely balanced front to back. Very smooth tasting and any hop bitterness plays a background role. A bit of a nice bread like aftertaste.

Mouth feel was fairly light, but also a bit sticky.. Rather drinkable.

A nice effort. Not very complex, but overall a nice Octoberfest/Marzen.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.56/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice caramel-brown tone with slowly rising bubbles in a rather clear body; head is creamy white with a thick tracing that does not slide in time--a good start... somewhat sprucy (!)--or skunked (!!)--and caramel-sweet to the nose... the bouquet is big for an octoberfest, and more perfume than malttoo--intriguing... medium-bodied, with a bit of effervescence in the tongue and tocuhes at the throat--a rather swift rush overall... strangely stiff on the malt, almost making me doubt its freshness (the second bottle was a carbon copy)... pulls at the mouth and has a malty, woody pulp in its finish--the strength of its taste is to be commended, but its maltiness is a bit overstated, almost like it wandered through the winter into bock season.... I'm hoping the beer's skunked, and if it is, I will rewrite the review--if not, this is not an enjoyable brew for its style, with its caramelized sugary bluntness dragging down the more mellow characteristics of the beer... and Flying Fish is usually on point...

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Photo of BWH3
3.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep amber, fair head retention. A bit red.

S: Roasted malts predominate. Smells a lot like an American amber. Little sweetness in the nose. Hops smell earthy, not very noble or musty.

T: Again roasted/toasted flavors blast the mouth. Just the slightest amount of sweetness. The bittering hops are a bit too bold for style. There flavor is not bad though. Finishes dry but not tart. Tastes more like an American Amber than the Octoberfests I have been enjoying.

M: Decent density. Head retention not too bad. Carbonation is adequate.

D: I would recommend giving it a try. Not the best American version of the Octoberfest that I have tried.

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OktoberFish from Flying Fish Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.