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!

Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Karl Strauss Oktoberfest BeerKarl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

78 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 16.08%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-06-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GClarkage
3.25/5  rDev -5%

GClarkage, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of barleywinefiend
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up on Vandenberg AFB today..
Poured a dark golden color with a quickly disappearing white head. There isn't much nose here, but I could detect a slightly malty smell
It was smooth and a bit malty. This beer is subtle, with no strong flavors. Its an average beer.

barleywinefiend, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of DoubleJ
2.93/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From Gordon to Karl, we start off the third leg of this, the American Oktoberfest Invitational, which will determine the king of four of the more well-known monikors of Americanized marzen. On to the beer:

Surprise! It's amber orange in color, lots of sparkling carboonation in the body. The head is on the fuzzier side in look and small in size. It has a rough smell. Husky chocolate malt, more husky malt, a light twang of "liquid bread". This is how I would expect an import to smell like.

The ABV lists this beer at 5%, but I would have guessed a little higher given the heavier malty feel. There's a snap of apple to the beer's taste, and there's a dry cocoa powder note coming from those malts. Otherwise, it's a straightforward mild malt beer that tastes like....well, liquid bread...crust. Fizzy carbonation initially doesn't help the cause either.

It sure has a lot in common with it's sister amber lager, but the amber lager is smoother overall. Not a bad beer overall, just one that's off the target. This will end the third leg of the American Oktoberfest Invitational, with the final segment tomorrow night.

DoubleJ, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Zorro
3.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper colored beer with a small white head that doesn't last.

Smells bready and malty with a strong floral hop scent. Little bit of tea and fig in the smell also. Very slight bread dough smell too.

Starts out malty with a strong tea soaked in toast flavor. Slight lemon flavor here, but mostly this is neural in flavor.

Mouthfeel is light.

Super easy to drink beer. Just like an Oktoberfest should be, easy to drink first then flavorful.

Zorro, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

GraduatedCashew, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of mhaugo
3/5  rDev -12.3%

mhaugo, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of hopdog
2.58/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap inside Disneyland.

Poured a medium to deeper amber color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of caramel and some toasted malts. Tastes of the same caramel and toasty. Both flavors and aromas on the subtle side and you really had to try to get anything outside of a 'generi' sense.

hopdog, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Carlsbad, CA

Copper orange with a thin white head. Spots of lacing left down the glass.

As with most Karl Strauss beers, this one smells of toasted malts with a touch of sweetness. Simple and bready, though I'm beginning to sound like a broken record after reviewing all these Karl Strauss beers. So many of them smell and taste so similarly!

More simple graininess in the flavor with a bit of toffee sweetness. Low bitterness.

Relatively full bodied and chewy for an Oktoberfest.

A simple, bready, and drinkable Oktoberfest.

ehammond1, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of notchucknorris
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper color with a very thin tan head. Not much visible carbonation.

S: Sweet maltiness and a slight breadiness. Other than that, not a whole lot going on.

T: Follows the smell with the sweet malts taking center stage. Some caramel and a slightly over-roasted malt flavor in the middle. The slightest hint of hops on the finish. Doesn't have that great crisp fall flavor that the best oktoberfests do.

notchucknorris, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of Offa
3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a simple but good oktoberfest.

Amber, bubly it has a medium, off-white head soon thinning to a foamy ring and wisps, with only a tiny bit of weak lace.

The aroma is toasty, fruity grain, dry bread crust, light mineral wisp of caramel.

Taste is light, crisp, mineral and toasty, faintly caramelly grain, light lemon, grass, hint of spiciness. The finish briefly leans faintly to the bitter side, with spiciness, and is mostly crips before a light toasty-caramelly aftertaste heavily dominated by the taste of cooked barley.

Offa, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of Fatehunter
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a finger and half of head on a hazy, medium straw colored body.
The aroma is caramel candy and wet grain. On the bold side.
The taste is caramel sweetness with mild pine bitterness. Nicely balanced.
The texture is chewy with crisp edges and moderate carbonation.
Enjoyable.

Fatehunter, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of HalfFull
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served into a pint glass. Karl's Oktoberfest pours clear and somewhat light in color, a deep straw with a bit of an orange/caramel hue. A thin head dissipates quickly and not much is offered as for carbonation.

Smell is bready and slightly toasted with a bit of over roasted malts. Malt notes are light and biscuity. Hop notes are thin as well. Notably dry for the style.

Taste follows the nose with a light bready texture and a moderate sweetness. Light caramel in nature along with a return of the roasted biscuit flavor. Not bad but a bit too one dimensional in nature.

HalfFull, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of djaeon
3/5  rDev -12.3%

djaeon, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of magictrokini
2.78/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap downtown. Pours clear amber with a smallish white head. Crisp malt and oat aroma is promising. Sweet maltiness in the front, but very thin. Metallic as well, but the bread and spice take over. Taste doesn't follow through. Watery and plain. I'm beginning to dislike Oktoberfest as they rarely come through

magictrokini, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of IntriqKen
3.98/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear golden amber with a massively craggy off white head that slowly melted to some very sticky lacing.

Aromas of toasted amber malts, buttery caramel, and brown sugar.

Taste is not as sweet as it smells. Toasted amber malt, light caramel, light hops to dry the finish. Lots of smooth malt comes through especially as it warms.

Aftertaste seems clean with just a bit of the caramel and hops lingering.

I have a feeling this one grows on you and will enjoy the rest of my sixer.

IntriqKen, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of tbeq00
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

tbeq00, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of 2GOOFY
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

2GOOFY, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of beagle75
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a growler into a shaker pint.

A: Clear, light amber with a continuous film of off-white foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Biscuit and weak caramel, with a distinct charcoal snap in the background.

T: Dry, husky pale malt begins with an acidic accent. Flavors sweeten as biscuit and caramel emerge in the middle. The finish is slightly soapy with weak, grassy hops emerging late and providing minimal bitterness.

M: Medium viscosity with light carbonation holds up well on the palate, lending a certain comfort.

D: This beer drinks easily and is very food-friendly, but it loses any allure quickly. In fact, it hardly differs from Karl Strauss amber lager at all. It is probably a very useful cooking beer.

beagle75, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of rawfish
3.66/5  rDev +7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apricot and amber, good clarity. Pour nets a quickly forming two finger head that has no retention and leaves no lacing on the glass. Sits in the glass looking like iced tea after a while.

Huge malt aroma, toffee, honey, cereal grains, raw-husks and a backing of mineral, grassy and dry hops.

Moderate caramel graininess, toffee sweetness, good and nutty flavor. Balancing hops, grassy and earthy with a twinge of mineral flavors and drying.

Drinkable body and balanced. Carbonation somewhat interferes with the flavor in this brew. Malt is robust and sticky.

Flavorful beer, layered sweetness and drinkable. Rough around the edges, I would like more balance and less sweetness but it is good for what it is.

rawfish, Oct 02, 2013
Photo of dertyd
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

dertyd, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of BeerManDan
2.28/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a light amber, with foam that disapated in a very short time and no lace. The smell was really nothing but swill (just another word for nothing interesting.) The taste was of weak malts and hops and the flavor of dish water. What a dissapointment. I'm surprised that they bottled this ? Also very bitter with a dry finish.

BeerManDan, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of jmccraney
3/5  rDev -12.3%

jmccraney, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of Beerbuddy21
3.25/5  rDev -5%

Beerbuddy21, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of kmanjohnson
3.25/5  rDev -5%

kmanjohnson, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of mithrascruor
2.28/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a bit of visible carbonation. Thin, off-white, film-like head with decent retention.

Smell: Minimal aroma... a bit of malts, maybe slightly toasted?

Taste: It really tastes like something got burned while they were brewing this: not smoky, but burned caramel and malts. It doesn't obliterate the taste, but makes it less than enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied. A lot of carbonation feel, but not too intense.

Drinkability: Burned flavor = not so great to drink.

I'm hoping that I just got a bad batch of this, but no beer should have that in the flavor. Otherwise, this had the right elements to make it a decent (but my no means great) Oktoberfest beer.

mithrascruor, Nov 25, 2008
Karl Strauss Oktoberfest Beer from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.