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Schell's Oktoberfest - August Schell Brewing Company

Schell's OktoberfestSchell's Oktoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

243 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 243
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.69%

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
The Oktoberfest or Marzen (March) type of beer was originally brewed in March, and laid down in caves before the summer weather rendered brewing impossible. Stocks would be drawn upon heavily during the summer, and exhausted by October.

In Germany, this tradition has come to be associated with one specific style, Oktoberfest Bier. In keeping with true German tradition, August Schell Oktoberfest beer is brewed just once a year. Brewed with the perfect balance of Pale, Munich, and Cara Pils malt with Liberty and Perle hops to create a rich, smooth taste.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2002)
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Ratings: 243 | Reviews: 151 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cyclonece09


3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours orange red with a small white head. Smells of nice darker roasted malts, typical for oktoberfest beers, a little weak, but nice. Tastes of caramel, little molasses, dark roasted grain, very slight fruit. Beer is sessionable, light bodied, nicely carbonated. Overall, a pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 04:01:57 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of savaship


2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Upon opening this beer I poured it into a clear tulip glass to maximize the aroma. The beer appeared fairly red, and mostly transparent but with a little bit of haze.

The aroma was full, lots of beta acids gave off esters over the malty mixture. The odor was that of hops and malts more weight on the hops.

When I tasted the beer the flavor was overwhelmingly unbalanced towards bitter. The signature Schell's high alpha acid hops took the entire beer and masked the wonderful malts under a veritable shower of the foulest tasting bitterness I've ever layed tongue to. There was great potential in the malt, it was just so covered, I couldn't pull it out.

Despite my aversion to the overall flavor, this had a fantastic mouthfeel! Carbonation, weight, movement was all signature of my ideal beer.

Overall there was a lot to love, and some things that could have been better about this beer, all tastebuds are different, so I suggest giving this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 15:24:30 | More by savaship
Photo of steveh


3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 updated review.

A -- Pours a clear orange-amber with a dense, creamy, long-lasting off-white head.

S -- Balance of yeasty, bready malts and spicy hops. Vaguest hint of caramel.

T -- Light, spicy hops hit the palate first, blending into bready sweet malts that finish dry. Light bread character and spicy hops in the aftertaste.

M -- Soft mouthfeel with a light-medium body.

O -- This is a very clean, malty, well-made lager, but I seem to find it a little light in body for a Märzen, maybe closer to a Vienna. But it's a delicious, smooth drinker without any nuttiness, roastiness, or esters that seem so strong in many American takes on the style.

09-02-2009 Review

2009 Bottling. My first time trying this one from the venerable regional.

A -- Clear, bright orange color with a substantial off-white head.

S -- Bready malts, some vague DMS and vague spicy hops back.

T -- Toasted bread character out of the shoot, starts sweet and fades to a savory biscuit character. Some vague sourness that doesn't last and a very bready finish. Pretty nice, all around.

M -- Light-medium bodied with a soft and smooth mouthfeel.

D -- Quite nice. Third best Oktoberfest Märzen I've had this season. A very nice example.

Serving type: bottle

4, 3, 4, 4, 4 = 3.8

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 20:43:47 | More by steveh
Photo of BryanCarey


3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

August Schell Oktoberfest is an orange/golden colored beer with a sweet, malty nose. The foam on this beer is decent in the beginning, but it falls apart rather quickly and leaves no lacing.

This Oktoberfest beer emphasizes the flavors of sweet malt. The malty component is one of bread, biscuits, caramel, toasted notes and a touch of honey. There is a dash of hop bitterness to close out the tasting experience but the flavor quickly switches back to that of sweet malt.

This is a very malt- forward, easy going Oktoberfest that most anyone will like. It is exceptionally clean, sweeter than most beers, and very likeable. The sweeter taste might be a little much for some, but it makes a good choice for those who don’t prefer an emphasis of hops. It isn’t over the top in any way, but is still more than pleasing and most party guests will find it to their liking.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2013 04:22:30 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of Jparker37


4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Seidel.

S - Light biscuit and mild toasty malt. Clean profile.

A - Deep orange color has perfect clarity. Barely off-white head falls quick to a small ring. No lacing.

T - Solid lightly toasted malt backbone holds strong. Flashes of some warmer toasty malts midway. Mild sweetness goes from middle almost to the end before some bitterness cleans up. Some delicious lasting malt.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, balanced between early sweetness and dry finish.

O - A good show of balance, tipping towards malt early but that bitterness bringing it right back into focus. Clean fermentation, drinkable. This Oktoberfest lands smack dab in the middle of the Marzen spectrum. More robust that an import yet more modest than a American Oktoberfest.

Judgement - Must have in season

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2013 01:19:24 | More by Jparker37
Photo of TheSSG


3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a huge, dense, off-white head that has insane persistence and laces like a beast. Sweet malt with a touch of spicy hops in the nose. Brilliant orange-gold color. Starts with a spicy hoppiness, a flash of spicy malt which builds into a very nice maltiness as it merges with the spice. The finish is slightly bitter and quite spicy.

If you like a good MALTY Oktoberfest, you can't beat this one. There's enough hop bitterness, but malt definitely is doing the driving. I love this.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2013 03:02:21 | More by TheSSG
Photo of vette2006c5r


2.81/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Oktoberfest pours a goldenish color with a small lacing head. There is a sweet and malty aroma. The taste has a mellow crisp malty undertone, with strong sweet flavors. The body was very watery, overly sweet, and harder to drink. Overall a light and overly sweet oktoberfest, might make a good "My First Oktoberfest," other then that not much to get out of this one.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2013 03:18:43 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of jsisko01


2.78/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy copper color with a half-inch thick head that dissipates quickly, leaving a nice creamy lacing.

Smell - The aroma is very subtle. All I can really detect is toasted malts.

Taste - Pale and toasted malts, followed by caramel and floral hops. And that's about it.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with very high carbonation. The high carbonation actually gives me heartburn.

Overall - I wasn't impressed.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 04:22:59 | More by jsisko01
Photo of DrDemento456


3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A very light looking Oktoberfest. Color is a yellow copper with a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head that sticks around for a bit. Mild lacing.

S - Smells more lager like with skunky yeast and mild toasted notes. Hope it's sweet since I didn't get much caramel.

T - Ah thats more like it. It's a touch skunky but mostly sweet and malt forward. Little toasted malt and mostly sweet caramel make an OK Oktoberfest.

M - Light to medium. Session able.

Overall not something I would have again their is better tasting examples out there with a higher ABV even.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 00:41:22 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of RoamingGnome


3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nice glass beer mug. Served chilled...

A) Lightly polished copper with a finger of white foam. The head settled quickly to a dusting. No lacing...

S) A bit sweet, light caramel, bready/toasty. There is also a nice floral hops on the nose.

T) Follows the nose... Pale malt, grains, a little sweetness. This finishes up quite grassy and with a little white/green grape. Decent aftertaste...

M) Pretty straight forward... Medium body, moderate carbonation, crisp, easy on the palate, finishes a little dry.

O) Bumping up the overall, because I felt the drinkability on this one was pretty darn good. Not a top notch O-Fest here, but better than average in my humble opinion. Glad to recommend.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2012 02:32:09 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of jsprain1


3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark copper, bordering on brown. Head is one and a half finger off white head. Decent retention and some lacing.
S- Heavy on the caramel, with toasted malt. Quite sweet on the nose.
T- Dark bready, caramel, a good bit of honey, and tea and herbal hops.
M- The carbonation fell flat. The body is decent, albeit a bit sticky. Just not the body I want from a octoberfest.
O- It's a decent octoberfest. If the fixed the body, it would be great.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2012 04:41:51 | More by jsprain1
Photo of argock


3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. 122911 stamped in white on bottle neck. Received as a gift from brother Greg.

A: Soft light brown with 1-finger light beige head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Caramel and pale malt aromas with some mild tea-like herbal hopping. Some fudgy chocolate aromas come with warming.

T: The flavor is easy-going and not too challenging but enjoyable. The caramel/toffee maltiness is pretty sweet and could be more subtle. There isn't enough bready maltiness. The hops provide light bitterness and a tea-like finish.

M: The carbonation is a bit too prickly and lightens the body a bit too much. Body is light-medium at most.

O: A decent Oktoberfest beer but pretty one-dimensional and needs a little bit less sweetness and more maltiness and breadiness.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 03:29:15 | More by argock
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

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

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

T: The taste starts out with mildly sweet flavors of caramel and honey that are quickly followed by bready flavors of lager yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are several others in the style that I would choose first.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 01:05:18 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WastingFreetime


3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Transcribed from my notebook.

Reddish amber with good clarity, but poor head retention and lacing, light bodied and lightly carbonated, smells mostly of hay and grass with a side of corn malts as though it were trying to be an adjunct lager, but when it warms up some the bready toffee malt aroma appears out of nowhere...so don't serve this one too cold or you'll regret it I suppose. Taste follows the nose at whatever temp profile it happens to be at... tempered with a faint earthen hop finish. Mostly a good even malt profile marred by an out of control corn adjunct element. 20% less corn and this brew would have been in good balance for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 01:26:56 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of warnerry


3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best by 1/5/12 (If I read it right)

A - Pours a clear amber with one and a half fingers of white head. Head fades pretty quickly, but does leave scant lacing behind. A small amount of carbonation rising through the glass.

S - Some lightly sweet malts and faint aromas of grass and corn.

T - Similar to smell, light sweet caramel malt, but definitely not too sweet. Also a decent amount of bready malts. Caramel malts is quickly matched by a faint hop bite.

M - Medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. The light carbonation does give this a bit of creaminess.

O - A decent Oktoberfest, but not one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2011 01:38:19 | More by warnerry
Photo of gatornation


3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from 12 oz bottle

A-pours a clear amber color with an off- white head a bit of lacing

S-baked bread malts with spice and fruit hop/grass smell

T- was toasted malts with sweet caramel baked bread a citrus hop taste lingers with grassy notes

M- was a tad watered down and thin

O- a good o-fest at a great price,just a tad thin overall for me

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 21:24:42 | More by gatornation
Photo of womencantsail


3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for this one, Jeff.

A: The beer pours a clear light amber color with a finger of white head.

S: Smells of grassy and lightly floral hops. Some straw is also there. Toasted bread and toffee malt aromas with a little bit of yeast. Smells fairly corny as well.

T: Heavy on the corn and light malt flavors. Toffee and toasted bread flavors, a little bit of yeast, too. Some floral hops and maybe a few earthy hop notes, too.

M: Light bodied with medium carbonation.

O: The corn character really wasn't very pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 23:22:40 | More by womencantsail
Photo of dhannes


3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

After reading that Schell Oktoberfest won a Silver Medal at the 2010 GABF for American-Style Amber Lager; and seeing it at Hy-Vee for $6.99 for a 6-pack, I had to go for it. Poured into a Perfect Pint:

A=Awesome...perfect dark reddish golden hue, with a finger of foam.

S=Sweet, with bread-like aromas...a whiff of skunkiness at one point.

T=Tastes like a good adjunct lager at first, with the märzen presence on the back of the tongue at the end. The flavor is comparable to a "half and half" of lager and märzen...it improved as it warmed up, but too close to a decent lager to be called an "Oktoberfest."

M=Watery, almost slippery...no body whatsoever.

O=Hopefully, I'll grow to like these more, or be able to pawn them off on my brothers. A tad more enjoyable than the Leinenkugel's offering, but I recall the Point offering to have more flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 23:18:56 | More by dhannes
Photo of dbossman


3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper hue with a large sudsy cream-colored head and decent lacing

S: Very bready malts like fresh baked breads with just a touch of lemon and herbal hops

T: Bready malts: toast and biscuits with a touch of caramel sweetness but a subtle herbal hop bitterness balances things out; some grainy and grassy undertones as well--a bit of a sour strangeness in the back end

F: Medium body with a pleasant crispness; a touch thin on back end

O: A nice oktoberfest--so bready with just a touch of sweetness; cool and crisp, just like this September evening

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 16:41:36 | More by dbossman
Photo of MattyG85


3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. 2011 Bottle.

Appearance: Bright and lively amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger off white head with good retention and a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Aroma is very forward with sweet pale and Pils malts. Very bready with lots of caramel and wheat grains. Hints of citrus hops with some orange. Smells pretty biscuity and sweet.

Taste: Starts with a burst of sweet pale and Pils malts with caramel that is lightly toasted. Hints of orange citrus come through towards the finish. A solid presence of hops adds some balancing bitterness in the finish. Very malty but nicely balanced overall.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth. Slightly chewy and dry.

Overall: A pretty good lager. Could of been a little bolder with the overall flavor and spice for a Marzen. Pretty well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 04:46:04 | More by MattyG85
Photo of falloutsnow


2.83/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased from Beertopia in Omaha, NE

Poured into a standard US pint glass.

Pours 2cm head of medium-sized bubbles, off-white in color, declines to thin ring around glass after a few minutes. Lacing apparent, but minimal: mostly small clumps that fade back into the ring after each sip. Body transparent, light copper in color, modest carbonation.

Aroma is of overly sweet malt, metallic notes (probably from the water), and mild bittering hops. Sweetness of malt sugars is kind of out-of-balance.

Taste opens with too high of bright sweetness, which then quickly, strangely dies down to a tolerable level. Muted spicy hops present in background. I get mostly malt sugars in this, fairly little caramel or bready flavors. Aftertaste is rather cloying, sweet to the border of candy apple flavor.

Medium-light in body with medium-heavy carbonation. Carbonation is acceptable, but perhaps just on the right side of too high. Finish is dry, but a bit sticky from excessive sweet malt sugars.

This was a bit of a disappointment, as Schell's usually produces an above-average product. Out of all the local Oktoberfests that I've tried this year, I'd say this is my least favorite. I don't think I'd sample this again.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 05:19:45 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of dave43


3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first thought is this beer is not in balance. The hops and malts are out of sync. the sweetness is a little off. Maybe the way they interpret the marzen style is just not my thing but I think this octoberfest is a step below my favorite domestic octoberfest which is Summit. My main gripe was an aftertaste that was not pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 00:11:13 | More by dave43
Photo of ChopperSmith


3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck brown bottle into a standard clear pint glass.

Appearance: Clear deep amber color with a one finger off-white head. Left a little sticky lacing behind.

Smell: Very malty with a little sweetness and an underlying citrus hops.

Taste: Sweet and malty and very smooth, enough hops to balance, but the hops are not at the front of the flavor. It's all about the bready and caramel malts.

Mouth Feel: Medium body and good carbonation.

Drinkability: Good and smooth with a lower ABV, very easy to drink and session with (as the Oktoberfest/Marzen style should be). A good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 18:53:06 | More by ChopperSmith
Photo of kittywamp


3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: orange with a tan head

S:smells like cooked applebread with no cinnoman

T:hints of caramel, ornage, and malt

M:crisp, light and tasteful

O:this is a great oktoberfest to start the year off with the best beer season of all. this beer is a fun beer to make beer bread with it gives it that must have more taste

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2011 17:44:14 | More by kittywamp
Photo of JackieTH


3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Darker shade of orange, light tan foam, slight lacing.

Smell: Faintly malty and slightly sweet. Not much more to it.

Taste: Very lightly toasted caramel malt, mild sweetness. Some light hop toward the end giving a light bitterness that is crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium/light, mild carbonation.

Overall: Not a great oktoberfest. Drinkable, but there are better examples.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 00:16:18 | More by JackieTH
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Schell's Oktoberfest from August Schell Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.