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Schell's Oktoberfest - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Schell's OktoberfestSchell's Oktoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

160 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 160
Hads: 319
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 18.61%
Wants: 6
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2002

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.
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Reviews: 160 | Hads: 319
Photo of Rawwie
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This is what you would expect in a Oktoberfest beer. Close out at the liquor store by my house $7.99 for a 12 pack. Picked up a case to share with family on turkey day. Solid beer, cheers!

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Photo of Ri0
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a 12oz bottle into a stein glass. A amber orange color with a nice 2 finger creamy eggshell head. Leaved behind nice lacing. Nice aromas of bready yeast and malt along with hints of caramel. Starts off with the sweet caramel drizzled bread and finishes with some light noble hops. A lighter feel, with soft carbonation and a creamy finish. A clean and easy drinking Okto with plenty of fall flavor.

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Photo of Boto
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ Liberty’s. This one pours a clear fairly amber color. There was some off-white head that left a little lacing. Decent aroma. Malty, with some breadiness, earthiness and spices. Minimal sweetness. The taste is good. Malts, some spices, very smooth. A decent Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Bluegrass49
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank from the bottle. Would have preferred a glass. Very smooth and refreshing. Easy to down 2 or 3 during the game. Had this before trying a Reisdorf Kolsh. No comparison...Schell's won hands down.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

from a single (from a sixer enjoyed over the course of a beautiful midwestern fall) into a nonic, tasted side-by-side with Paulaner's marzen. Strange, but my opinion of this one seems to wax and wane depending on context. It pours a lovely glowing amber with a nice off-white head, has a spicy and bready nose...on this particular day, I'm getting a little hung up on a kind of pumpkiny flavor that doesn't show up big in the nose but really becomes distracting in the taste. It isn't bad, but next to the Paulaner, it suffers. Strange because I didn't get that as much with the earlier bottles. The feel is really great, with a little more hoppy bite and a more substantial body than is typical for the style.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.21/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, dark amber with a creamy, slightly off-white head and a fair amount of lacing.
The aroma is bread and caramel with a hint of spice.
Taste is bready and spicy with a bit of caramel and a nicely crisp and bitter finish that leaves a bit of lingering spice on the tongue.
Mouthfeel is medium and almost creamy.
An outstanding American example of a Marzen. Well-crafted, flavorful and refreshing.

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Photo of TyFluth
4.81/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Probably the best, most true Oktoberfest out there. Love the malt-forward nature of this Oktoberfest. This offering by Schell's, and their FireBrick are exeptional!

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Brilliant amber with a light garnet tint under a thin white foam collar that produces splotchy lace.
S: Light bread aromas.
T: Rich bready malt flavors – not toasty, roasty or carmelly. Malt forward, initially sweet but dries on the finish with a lingering hop note.
F: Medium light body and medium to medium high carbonation.
O: Refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%

Oktoberfest, here we come! Even though it's the dead of summer heat and I just finished mowing my overgrown lawn, I feel like a fall beer. I've been dying to try this one. So here we go :

Serving style : 12 oz glass bottle, miller fortune glass for appearance

Appearance (3.5) : The color of autumn leaves! Extra points for the festive color. Golden copper color with a touch of light amber. Nice sticky head that laces and stays.

Smell (3.5) : You know that smell when you carve out the inside of a pumpkin? Yeah...that one. And earth. Caramel notes. A little bit of apple and spice. Man this smells great. So festive!

Taste (3.25) : Oh yes! Smooth, with earthy flavors and spice, leaving a slight carbon-flavored finish. Some honey, moist earth, smoked wood. Distant hints of pumpkin seed and sap, and then strong pine cone. Ends piney and honey-bitter.

Mouthfeel (3.5) : Underbelly of carbonation with a slick finish. Jabs of prickliness make it lively and exciting.

Overall (3.29) : This is a nice beer for a one-off or to share with friends to tell them you care. A great storytelling around the fire pit beer and a nice crisp refresher on a crisp night (I imagine - nights are still hot here). Not a whole lot wrong to say about this beer, other than it finishes a little more piney-bitter than I'd like. It's definitely captured the essence of harvest and brings in that seasonal flavor! Would I buy it again? For a special event. I'm convinced there are some smoother pumpkin beers out there, so I'm still looking for "that one". Don't think I'd personally grab a sixer unless I was having company.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of savaship
2.77/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

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Photo of steveh
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
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

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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Photo of Jparker37
4.11/5  rDev +14.2%
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

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Photo of TheSSG
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

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Photo of jsisko01
2.79/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.6/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of argock
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of warnerry
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of gatornation
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
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

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Schell's Oktoberfest from August Schell Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.