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Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Octoberfest LagerThomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

252 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 252
Reviews: 164
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 33
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2003

Originally brewed to celebrate the beginning of the German brewing season and the 1810 wedding of crown prince Ludwig of Bavaria and his bride-to-be, princess Therese of Saxon-Hildburghausen. This amber beer was brewed in March ("Marzenbier") and left to age in cool lagering caves during the heat of the summer. Our rich and satisfying Bavarian-style OctoberFest comes from a special blend of imported German malts that creates a full-bodied brew and stresses a malty flavor and lingering aroma. Gently hopped and delicately balanced, its true-to-style, slow fermentation and long, cold maturation produces a luxuriously smooth, award-winning brew.

16 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 252 | Reviews: 164 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of uconnalum2
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, deep copper color with a one-finger tan head that goes down quickly. The smell is predominantly of sweet malts and a little bit of spice. The taste is also of lightly sweet malts and some spices coming on later. This is a nice clean taste with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. Drinkability is very good. Overall, this is a tasty and very enjoyable beer that I'm sure I'll return to each fall.

Photo of auntfloyd
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a glass Brooklyn Oktoberfest stein.

Pours a lovely dark copper color, with a large head.

The aroma is sweet malts, and a delicate floral lager scent.

The taste is malty, bready, with hint of spices. A good, clean märzen taste.

The mouthfeel is smooth, light, and lager-ish. This is a very easy drinking beer.

A good oktoberfest beer, quite nice, and not overdone. Good for the style, and one oktoberfest fans and newcomers alike will enjoy.

Photo of bjohnson
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep copper almost reddish color with a one finger cream colored fizzy head. Dissipates quickly but leaves a film on top.
S: Good sweet malt presence with notes of caramel and some spices. Toasted grains with a sugary presence to them.
T/M: Maltyness dominates the taste buds with distinct flavors of caramel and burnt sugar with a spicy interlude. Creamy yet fizzy as it crosses the palate. Slight fruity hop presence which I first mistook for dark fruit malt usually noticed in bocks. Fizzyness is a bit overpowering, but doesn't hinder anything. Medium body with a smoothness to it.
D: Very drinkable O'fest. One of the better ones I've had this season so far. The abv is a tad higher than the others I've had, but it's not noticeable

Photo of Liquids
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a red-orange with a thick and peachy colored head. The aroma is like a standard lager but with gentle floral noble hops of those detected. German-american style here. Not a personal favorite in regards to aroma I must say. Taste is bright, german of course, malty, and minimal hops. This is probably according to style, but overal as a beer this is booring and hard to drink. A lager gone wrong to my palate. Mouthfeel is extra bright, full, with full on carbonation and a medium body. Lackluster. Overall, this is okay but not a good style for me and not a beer I'll return to, but others somehow enjoy this, so YMMV.

Photo of jmz62565
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a clear brownish amber with a large tan foamy head. Holding this up to light shows you how awesome this beer looks. The smell is a malty gem. The most pronounced aroma is a sweet malt with a "bisquity" undertone. The taste is sweet malt,yeast,spices,including cinnamon and nutmeg, nuts and dark fruit. The m/f is light with all flavors mixing well. This is one of the better Octoberfests in the U.S. Give it a try, you won't be let down.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle.

This Oktoberfest poured a clear, copper color with creamy, tall, light brown foam that persisted but slowly settled. The smell was malty with a hint of sweetness and a touch of caramel. The taste was malty with a bit of bread, a touch of caramel, a hint of Munich Malt, and a mild, modest hoppiness in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth with good carbonation and medium body. Overall this beer was nicely dry with a malty aftertaste. This was a very rich and malty Oktoberfest, but was very easy and enjoyable to drink.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a well endowed, frothy, amber-tan colored head that sits atop a rich ruby colored brew. The aroma has a light malt sweetness to it plus a nice, dry, not quite toasted malt note that is perhaps most reminiscent of crackers. I also get some aromatic hints of raisins, and a bit of spiciness up front, which I would attribute to the hops.

This has a medium palate to it, which I really like in an Oktoberfest. I want a Pils to be light and refreshing not one of these. There is a light sweetness here that makes me think of raisins and caramelized stewed-malt. There is a nice spiciness to this brew from beginning to end, it is not in your face noticeable, but it is appreciatively apparent, and adds a nice backdrop to the malt character. The beer finishes with a bit of a sharp hop bit, but then it is balanced by the soft, almost fruity, sweet malt character.

This is a nice example of an Oktoberfest. It is just light enough to be quite drinkable, but is full of flavor (in both the malt and hop department), yet not so much that you get distracted by it.

Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a five-finger cream head that fades quickly and leaves some lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is malty. Starts sweet with a good malt/hop mix, finish is bready. $1.55 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Photo of UncleFlip
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle sent to me by....someone. I've done a few trades recently, and can't remember them all. I can remember who sent me the Hooker pint glass I'm using- that was UnionMade, in my very first beer trade.

Nice clear copper colour, with a very healthy tan head, mostly tight bubbles. Head falls slowly, so no official word on the lace yet, but there doesn't really appear to be much.

The smell has some spice notes, and a weak underlying maltiness. I'm getting a bit of almond and orange. Higher points if the smell magically gets stronger, so I don;t have to touch my nose to the head. :)

Some nice fruitiness up front, with a woody quality paired up with it. Ther's some nice spice here, as well- a bit peppery.
The spice gets more intense at the finish.

A bit too much carbonation for my taste. The liquid is hearty and even underneath.

I rather like this one, and I would not turn it down. If the carbonation were toned down just a touch, it might get another half-point on drinkability.

Be well

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It seems like I continue to come across more Octoberfest brews recently. The Thomas Hooker pours from the bottle a deep brownish red hue with a two finger creamy khaki head sitting magestically atop the brew. Really stands out in the glass. Aromas of caramel covered roasty grains along with biscuity undertones. Fruity, nutty and malty with a dash of spicy, herbal hops in the background. Crisp, laid back and quite nice.

First sip brings a nice fruity, caramelly, toasted grain maltiness upfront with big biscuity flavors throughout. Fairly sweet, as it goes down there's a mellow spicy, herbal hop note that peeks out and makes itself known. I get a touch of roasted nuttiness as well. A big, clean, malty oktoberfest brew with an enjoyable balanced flavor.

Mouthfeel is big, chewy and creamy. This is a full bodied oktoberfest that goes down smooth and is really satisfying. Speedy carbonation pulls it through nicely. This would be a nice fall session brew if it was available to me locally. Yet another lovely brew from Troutbrook. Well worth trying...thanks to UnionMade for the opportunity.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.34/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Creamy two finger, yellowed-white head that dissipates slowly and leaves a thin layer of foam on top of the beer. Head collapse is marked on sides of glass by some good streaking. Color is deep, dark amber/orange/brown with a bit of yellow on top when light shines through it.
S: There's something of a potent metallic smell (is it the water used?), along with evidence of malt and caramel scents as the beer warms.
T: The metallic essence in the smell briefly appear in the first sip. Malt follows, a bit sweet and a bit like paper. This is brought to a conclusion by a fair amount of hop bitterness that leads into a dry finish with a malty/biscuity aftertaste. Quite good, aside from the metallic and papery bit.
M: Mild carbonation gives way to a somewhat creamy, medium body. Nothing exceptional, but nothing to scoff at, either.
D: Thomas Hooker stays true to the style with the big, malty backbone and dry, hoppy finish. The aspects of this beer that didn't fit were the metallic presence and slightly thin taste. This may simply be limited to the pack I bought, and I'd be willing to give some more of this beer another try.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orangish-brown with a rocky, lacy, tan head. Head is dense and about 1/4 inch thick. Smells (strangely) of hops with some maltiness underneath. Usually, I would expect an Oktoberfest to smell the other way around.

Taste is of rich caramel malt with an underpinning of herbal hops. Lightly smoky. Mouth is lightly sticky with a persistent hoppy aftertaste. Good stuff. One of the better Oktoberfests I've had.

Photo of tavernjef
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Attractive amber color that grows a big, soft ivory foam. Keeps a solid skim on top throughout the session and the lacing is mostly drippy with some globs and displaced sheeting.

Aroma is clean and subdued carrying a tad of toffee with a rounded toasted realm to its waft but mostly dark and malty with a soft sweetness to it.

Taste starts out like many o-fests, full and malty, nicely creamy with very tender notions to toasted toffee, darker fruits, and some nuttyness. Finish creates a slightly dry smokey peet and wet woodyness. A nudge of deep sided hoppyness helps add some depth in the finish as well. Stays favorably clean and firm the whole ride through.

Mouthfeel is fairly full in the front and teeters from there but stays firmly set in its creamy/silken nature and finishes well with subtle tonality and very slight malty warmth.

The overall clean profile of this O-fest by Thomas Hooker is quite remarkable and probably the most intriguing part that I found and liked about it. Not to mention that it helps add some very good downability; that, along with a slimmer 6% ABV just begs for repeat fill ups.

A hearty thanks to goodbyeohio for the many samples!

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear, darkish copper body, with good carbonation. Topped by a fist full of soft, creamy bona china colored foam.

Big buscuit / fresh bread aroma, with a hint of grass outside the bakery window.

Good malty start, with real depth, much more a dark chocolate than pixie stick kind of sweetness. Good earthy hops arise to both balance and take a little bow of their own. Real solid taste, firm, and well integrated. Liquid brown bread - high praise from an Irishman.

Mouthfeel is great, drinkability superb.

Just a joy, up with Ramstein and Brooklyn as my favorite domestic O'fests. Guess I have to go back to Connecticut next fall.

Photo of PSUDREW
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep amber color, with a tanish head that dissapers pretty quicly and leaves almost no lacing. Very maly/biscuit like nose.

Malts abound in the intial tasing. Solid bread like qualities abound. Yet in the aftertaste, there is a nice hop presence to finish it off. It comes out very clean, you get the malt taste that you expect in a O-fest, and yet just enough hops to make it interesting. Very well made brew, traditional enough, and just enough of an edge to make it ineresting. Very drinkable to boot.

Good show all around, whish they had more of this in Philly.

Photo of Sixpoint
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hooked this one up via my man Jim. Yeah Jim.

Appearance? Love the deep amber of the Oktoberfests. Nice head and lacing. The mark of a well-crafted beer...

Smell? Awesome. Usually it's all malt. Melanoidins and caramel. And then malt. Screw that.

This is America! There's even a picture of a wreath of hops on the label. Only in America can you get away with emphasizing the hops in an Oktoberfest.

That's why I love Thomas Hooker. They emphasize the hops but not annoyingly so. The balance and proportions are tipped in favor of the hops, but just enough to give you the right amount of zing. Booya.

I could drink this one all day. I think I'll try to procure a six-pack with my Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanks Jim.

Photo of Hagbard
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge tan head forms from an average pour. Four inches, it fills the entirety of my half-liter mug. The color is mahogany and it is fairly clear, allowing sight lines to some tiny carbonation bubbles. The aroma is subdued when it's cold, but strengthens a bit as it warms. It is comprised of a strong maltiness and bread, nice but not assertive enough. Thankfully the taste makes up for this. The maltiness and breadiness are there and are still the stars, but there is much more going on. There is some sort of fruity sweetness in the background that lasts until a certain hoppy bitterness comes in. An unsweetened chocolate taste comes on during the finish. This is a great tasting Oktoberfest that has some untraditional marzen flavors that work very well and provide a depth of flavor and nuance to the beer not found in most examples of the style. Extremely clean, there are no off-tastes making it very drinkable. A must try for anyone who can get it.

Photo of radshoesbro
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle
a - ruby/amber/redish. weak head that dissipates rather quickly leaving relatively no lace.

s - a malty sour smell with a bit of hops.

t - smooth malt body with very mild hop finish. very "lager like".

m - medium bodied, smooth, alright finish.

d - wouldn't have more than two of these in a session.

Photo of CherylM
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I am impressed with the Thomas Hooker line of beers from the Trout Brook Brewery in Hartford, CT. Love this one and look forward to its annual appearance in the stores! It pours a deep amber color with a thin white head which lasts. The smell is of yeast and toffee. Taste is of malt, caramel with faint alcohol notes on the finish. Mouthfeel is of medium carbonation which fades. Actually the flavor is more pronounced and enhanced when less chilled. One of the best October Fest beers--very easy drinking and tasty.

Photo of FirstMan
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have to say that I have a little bit of a warm spot in my heart for Thomas Hooker since meeting one of the founders at the Higgins Festival of Ale this year. That's actually where I had the Hooker Oktoberfest for the first time, too, and after a nice conversation at the Hooker table, I got sent home with a free six of this. I say this partially to just give Hooker some kudos for keeping a future customer happy, but also as a bit of a disclaimer on my review. I'm trying to be fair here, but I do like free beer.

Pours a deep amber - a little darker than some other maerzten I've seen this year. Nice thin tannish head settles around the rim of the glass. There's some staying power to the thin layer that remains after a few minutes.

The nose has a yeasty vegetable aspect with a sweet maltiness hiding back behind there.Nice.

A heavyier, more bitter taste than I was expecting, but not necessarily bad. This beer focuses pretty strongly on the vegetable, deeper tones of the lager yeast. There's a little sweetness in there, but not as much as you might find in other Oktoberfests. None of the spicy character that other Oktoberfests sometimes exhibit. This is about the yeast and hops with just a little sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a little bit slick, but with a sharp tingle of bubbly carbination.

Overall this is an interesting Oktoberfest that is quite a bit different from many of the sweeter, spicyier maertzen beers out there this year.

Photo of andjusticeforale
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours with a decent amount of tight carbonation- and forms a one inch head in a pint glass atop clear mahogany.

The beer has subtle aroma, and upon first taste there is a fizziness that gives way to a medium to full bodied mouthfeel. This is not a pale Oktoberfest. There is a present taste of alcohol which is not blended into the beer flavor. Its not too bad by the end of the glass though.

There is a very familiar crystal-malt taste which is present and makes itself known, but does not overpower, and gives way to a hoppy mid to finish -also not overpowering. There is a beer called “Rogue Saint red ale” I pick this beer for no other reason than the fact that there is a similar malt flavor - but this Oktoberfest is infinitely more drinkable and subtle. If you like the malt in this one and wish there was more, than by all means try the Rogue offering.

This would be a great beer to knock back in a big stein with or without a sausage plate, red-wine cabbage and Belgian fries. Just don’t forget the designated driver.

Photo of Knuckles
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Man...my first time with a Hooker and it's a HUGE disappointment. I'd built up this moment: Put on a special cologne (ok, it was deodorant, but it made me smell real nice), combed my hair (ok, I actually shave my head, but I rubbed my bald head somewhat nervously), dressed in the nicest pair of sweat shorts that I've ever had an ex-girlfriend make for me and made for the fridge.

Appearance: This is a lovely beer, to be sure. Deep, auburn with a beautiful tan head. Tight carbonation, sticks around longer than I did when I was dating that chick who played the accordian. (Never did hear her play, either. A regret, like you would not believe.)

Smell: Truthfully, I get one bigass snootfull of yeast. Please recall that I have a nose the size of a 57 Buick Roadmaster. It's a sensitive motherfucker. I can smell dogshit from a mile away. Thankfully, this didn't smell like that. It smelled like yeast. No, not that kind of yeast. I realize this is a Hooker and all, but come on. Show some class.

Taste: Damn, I'm disappointed. First time I get to stick my tongue in a Hooker and it's defining characteristic is "marginally sweet"? I was hoping for some brown sugar, maybe some dates. Bring me some figgy pudding, if you knowhamsayn...(ok, I don't actually know what I'm saying either. Basically this tastes like a very malty Michelob, and I'm angry as fuck that I know what a Michelob tastes like). Ok, I'm just being mean. It doesn't taste anything like a Michelob (although, I understand that the night actually belongs to Michelob). It is disappointing, however. It's a marginally sweet lager, with no real distinguishing characteristics. I'm sure it's a lovely dancer.

Mouthfeel: You'd think a Hooker would have more body, but this one ain't got no junk in the trunk whatsoever. Disappointingly thin, with a presence that disappears into the pint glass. Baby ain't got NO back.

Drinkability: Well, the truth of the matter is that you could drink this beer all night long. I just don't think you'd enjoy it much. Take this Hooker out for dinner, just don't drive her home.

Photo of francisweizen
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a nice off-white/khaki head of foam that lasts and gives good lacing as well. Aromas are all fresh heavily German malts, and fresh bavarian hops as well. Taste follows through on the aroma with a very lovely FRESH maltiness and a nice hop complexity that lays in the background where it should be. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to thick per the style, drinkability is good, as one can drink this on en mass. Classy, and classic. A great o-fest for the 2005 season! Prosit!

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 version

deep amber color with active carbonation, medium one-finger styrofoamy head. sugary sticky lacing ring with cascading bubbles. sweet and spicy aroma.. hints of cinnamon and pumpkin spice. doughy scent. slight tartness rounds out the big smell on this autumn brew.

alot maltier than i remember.. big smooth caramel mouthfeel with lagery lemon fizz and back-end hop twang. nutmeg and allspice dig themselves into my cheeks and leave a non-chalky bitterness long after the beer has gone. flavorful.

big on flavor means drinkability suffers. could probably have max three of these in a day, and the third one would be a chore.. although maybe i would be desensitized, but that would also limit my enjoyment of its complexity.

this is my 3rd bottle this year, all from different sources. first one was really sweet and fizzy.. second was medium bodied with a mellow flavor. this one is bitter and tart. the tap version was probably second best out of my 4 experiences, and the best method overall for hooker o-fest enjoyment this year.

Photo of twelvsies
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a decent effort, but not really a killer Octoberfest as I might've expected from Hooker. An orangy amber color, but the little head that is on there fades quickly. A nice sweet and malty character to this one, with decent hop balance, but something just lacks to finish this off. A subtle smoky quality as well, but there's another odd kind of bitter taste that sort of clashes with the smooth sweetness of this beer. Good, just not particularly interesting.

Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.