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Octoberfest - Free State Brewing Co.

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Octoberfest
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BA SCORE
86
very good

23 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 23
Hads: 93
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 1
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co. visit their website
Kansas, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 10-13-2002

This is a smooth, malty lager fashioned after the famous Octoberfest beers in Munich. Each year around this time, the Germans celebrate the anniversary of the marriage, in 1810, of the Crown Prince of Bavaria. Huge crowds pile into Munich to imbibe the pride of the cities breweries by the stein full.

Free State's Octoberfest is made from Pilsen malt, caramunich malt, lots of Munich malt, caramel pils malt and aromatic malt. These combine to provide a light amber beer with a smooth, clean malt character that comes through clearly. The hops are Perle for bittering and Hersbrucker for a mild aroma.
(O.G. - 13.5P/1054. Hops - 20 IBUs)
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 23 | Hads: 93
Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.51/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is a clear deep mahogany copper color. A cream colored foamy head recedes to a chunky film as light lacing clings to the glass.

The aroma is rich. Sweet caramel all the way, with a hint of cinnamon and spices.

The taste is exceptional. Deep, rich melted caramel and malts encompass most of the profile, while a faint cinnamon spice coats the finish. Very clean, warm, and delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly dry.

Overall, this is always good. Great combination of spices and sweet malts. (550 characters)

Photo of Dansting
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the brewpub. Pours a clear copper color with a nice white head. Good lacing. Aroma is sweet and malty, with a strong caramel presence. Flavor is a nice blend of sweet malt and hops. A solid offering in the Oktoberfest style. No wonder this is considered by many to be the best of the style in the country. (318 characters)

Photo of JEdmund
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Attractive bronze color; smells light, but a bit sweet; taste has a lot of toasted grain flavor mixed with a honey sweet biscuityness; bitterness is low; mouthfeel is full (I would like it a little thinner to up the drinkability); overall this lager packs a bunch of flavor in a balanced and drinkable beer, making it very approachable (335 characters)

Photo of hwwty4
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was pretty stoked to hear that this was going to be bottled. One of my favorite seasonals from Free State.

Poured as 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint. This beer pours a caramelized sugar amber with a decent 2 inch head that quickly faded away into just a subtle ring of foam on the inside of the glass. Normally, the perfect pint allows for nice head retention but the nucleation point did nothing for this one. The aroma is nice and malty. Up front notes of toffee and toast followed by just a hint of caramel and roasted grains. The flavor is very similar. Toasted bread and toffee are the dominant flavors. Really the only difference is at the very tail of the flavor profile, just a hint of cocoa powder hits the palate. Perfectly simple. Nothing that bogs down the crispness and cleanness of a good lager. The mouthfeel is light and mildly carbonated, just a hint of dryness at the finish makes you want to take another sip. Overall, I think this is a fantastic Oktoberfest. One that I look forward to much more, now that I can take it home with me, without having to drive to Lawrence and grab a growler. (1,124 characters)

Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler into an Irish pint glass.

The appearence is a copper-orange hue - very clear. The aroma is a light bread, a little butter, and a slight earthy/grassy hop smell. The flavor is excellent. It starts out with a slightly sweet biscuit flavor with some roasted malt and butter/nut flavors coming out as it warms, it finishes with just the right amount of hop bitterness to give this beer a near perfect balance and a crisp clean finish. The mouth feel is medium light, maybe a little lighter than some.

Overall this a great octoberfest, I've sampled a few varieties the last 2 weeks (SA, Spaten, Saranac) and this is my favorite so far. I think I'll be making quite a few stops at Free State in the coming weeks. (730 characters)

Photo of acelin
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at the brewery.

Pours a deep caramel red, with a medium head that doesn't leave a huge amount of lacing. Not bad though. The color is really great. Very clear, but dark.

This is a great smelling beer. Delicious caramel malts, light noble hops, faint biscuit, some sugar.

This is an amazing Octoberfest. Might be the best tasting Octoberfest I've ever had. It has the same taste profile any other Octoberfest has, but it has a much more intense taste. I'm not sure I can put it into words, other than Free State expertly lagered this beer. It's very crisp, very clean, yet very sweet with a bitterness from the noble hops that perfectly counterbalances the sweet biscuity malt.

Despite being around 6% alcohol, and despite being a darker lager - it's perfectly sessionable. A very easy, very delicious beer you can pound with ease. (852 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBD of 2nd week of December...

Pours an effervescent amber with a thumb of cream colored head. Superior head retention & lacing

S: Toasty, grainy, some perfumy hops

T: Toasty malt, grassyness, a touch of grainyness up front. Some pear fruityness as this warms, a touch of biscuitty malt. Finishes crisp, dry, fruitty & refreshing

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, nice balance

This is a well put together Marzen, easily one of the better ones I've had in a few years (474 characters)

Photo of DRtacoburger
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been a big fan of Free State for a few years, and I'm very glad to see they are starting to bottle some of their seasonal brews. For this tasting I poured the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: An amber appearance, not much of a head on this beer and after a few seconds it was reduced to a ring.

Smell: There is a spicy smell with a hint of orange and cinnamon

Taste: Simple, but good, not as spicy or sweet as a lot of Oktoberfests' but nice and malty with a roasted flavor towards the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer, very well balanced

Overall: I'm a big fan of Oktoberfests and Free State's is definately worth a try. Simple, malty, and not too busy It'd be great for a fall afternoon cookout. (714 characters)

Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Brewpub: This one poured a crystal clear amber color. There was a small off-white head on mine. It left some lacing. It has a nice aroma. There are some roasted malts, toffee and a hint of nuttiness. It has a bit of a dry taste. Nice maltiness and bitterness. The nutiness makes a slight appearance in the taste. Nice. (328 characters)

Photo of theruckus33
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ST Bottle in pint glass

A: Dark amber/orange color, not much head retention nor lacing

S: Toasted barley, grape nuts,

T: Nice, not too malty or sweet great roasted flavor

M: Slick - in a good way a very drinkable beer. You could easily down a sixpack on a nice cool night

O: Good beer, reminds me of SA Oktoberfest, not too malty or sweet, a good balance. (361 characters)

Photo of beernut7
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lighter orange color with a thin lace on the glass. The aroma is slightly bready. Nice bitter quality on top of a lightly biscuit malt flavor. This is one of the closest American representations I have tried compared to the German imports. (241 characters)

Photo of birchstick
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a nice nutty amber color with a good looking head that leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

S - smells of toasted bready malts

T - the taste is similar to the nose. Taste starts with bready malts that give way to a little toastiness. There is also some caramel malt and a little bit of nuttiness on the backend. Not uberly complex but very tasty nonetheless.

M - creamy and full goes down well

D - this wasn't the most Oktoberfest tasting Oktoberfest beer I have tried, but it was pretty delicious. This kind of tasted like a fat tire but more rounded off. Definitely worth a shot. (603 characters)

Photo of baldiegooner
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy appearance, I was impressed with the overall taste and balance. Typical marzen sweetness at first, followed by grapefruit and citrus notes soon after. Lacing round the glass, with thin head throughout. Not much bitterness, but a good lingering taste that is what you want from an octoberfest. Enjoyed with a pizza. (330 characters)

Photo of COBeerBuff
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler bottled yesterday evening at the brewery...

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a ½ finger of white head that recedes quickly leaving a ring and a film on the surface of the beer. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smell: The caramel malts and the bit of grains are the most prevalent on the front, but the nose doesn't provide a lot to go on. Smells a little bit sweet, but not cloyingly so.

Taste: This beer tastes great! The malts and the little bit of bitterness are very well balanced, and the flavors are clear enough to be enjoyed easily. There is not that general "What am I tasting?" that often happens with some generic Oktoberfest brews.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and smooth. Some stickiness on the back end, but overall, this is definitely a sessionable fall beer.

Drinkability: This is a very well put together Oktoberfest beer. The brewers over in Lawrence have achieved a very simple, yet strikingly complex fall seasonal beer. (957 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hops, hint of pale malt, hint of alcohol, and a hint caramel malt. Fits the style of a Marzen/Oktoberfest. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, slight yeast, slight hop, slight sweet malt, and slight caramel malt. Overall, good aroma, feel, body, and blend. (431 characters)

Photo of tronester
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange in color,with a medium tan head. Smells of solid Munich malt. Taste is bready, syrupy flavors, followed by a grassy, lemony hop bitterness. The aftertaste is a tiny bit tart, but nothing bad. Mouthfeel is rich, low carbonation. Overall a solid beer I would get again. (280 characters)

Photo of marc77
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pellucid dark bronze, covered by a lanky, but well retained cream white head. Sparse lace remains. The aroma is comprised of soft biscuit and nutty melanoidins. Subtle herbal hop undertone. Clean and tame aromawise. Gentle bready sweetness upfront leads into buttery, slightly sharper, toffeeish Caramunich and mild hop bitterness combination. Agreeably mellow, sweet (non diacetyl) butter tinge. Grassy, tracely minty, Hersbrucker hop flavor. Soft on the palate, but pleasantly dextrinous and lightly viscous in mouthfeel. Finishes clean, with quickly fleeting hints of brittle. Very well rounded and highly drinkable. A bit shy in malt depth, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. A well executed "lighter" example of the style. (725 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A nice burgandy/copper color with a small, foamy, egg shell white head. It left behind soapy sheets of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and bready malt. Some earthy notes, too.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel and toffee. It had a little bitter spice kick.

M - It was soft, creamy and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay Octoberfest beer. It won't blow you away with flavors or aromas but it is solid and very drinkable. (448 characters)

Photo of boneboy
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a clear amber with a thin, quickly dissipating head.

S - Sweet and malty, with a hint of spice.

T - The taste is of sweet malt and grain, with an earthy/spicy hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied and creamy.

O - Overall, this is an enjoyable beer for a cool, fall night. The price is right, and I will pick this up again before the winter seasonal comes out. (380 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass. Half finger of head on top of a copper body.
Smell is wet grain and a little earthy.
Taste has good malt sweetness, but not too much. Mild bitterness. Bready and malty overall.
Crisp, but still smooth texture with moderate carbonation and medium body.
A good beer. If you find one, drink it. (310 characters)

Photo of UnkleFester
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: pours a vibrant copper/ruby color with about a fingers worth of white head that doesn't stick around for long with not much lacing to speak of.

S: Caramel malt and a light hop presence in the nose.

T: Much like the nose this one opens up with caramel/toffee notes and has a nice floral hop finish.

M: A medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: I really like this one I had it right after I had this years Sam Adams Oktoberfest and I would pick this one every time over it. (530 characters)

Photo of Goliath
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one is really good looking. Pours a clear amber/copper color with a one inch off white frothy head on top. Great retention and some frothy sticky lace.

The aroma is weak. Some sweet caramel and bready malt are available eventually as well as a very faint citrusy hop.

the taste is ok. Bready malt, some caramel, and slightly grainy. A very light bitterness as well. It's not bad, but definitely not my favorite Oktoberfest.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate to high. Presumeably low alcohol, and decent flavors make for an average drinking experience. However, it is fairly easy to consume. (654 characters)

Photo of MTNboy
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Sort of a bronze amber colored body. The head might have been a half inch or so. The lace was very spread out.

Smell: A very floral aroma for a Marzen. It did have some biscuit tones though.

Taste: A bit corny at first with some grass and grain tones followed by some floral hops in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thin with some carbonation bite.

Overall: It is a good beer but an alright Marzen. (408 characters)

Octoberfest from Free State Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.