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Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Thomas Hooker Octoberfest LagerThomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

223 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 223
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%

Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 156 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerAndBourbon


3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours golden orange with lots of red throughout. The foamy head rises to about one finger breadth then dissipates to near nothingness.

S. Sweet honey with some spices and some graininess.

T. Lots of honey upfront then some bready somewhat caramel-y malt backbone. Ends rather dry.

M. Medium body with medium to high carbonation.

D. By far the sweetest Octoberfest I had this year. Not bad, but not something I'd be looking to pick up again.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 05:14:20 | More by BeerAndBourbon
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gambrinus1184 for a six-pack of this beer recently!

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber/orange with a thin white head on top. No lace left behind. Scents of grains, sweet malts, caramel corn and syrup. Nice sweet nose. The mouth is firm, with a good carbonation level. Finish is moderately full.The sweetness carries over into the flavor. This is a malt-forward beer for sure, as it should be. Lots of toasted malts, sweet caramel and toffee, and a light alcohol-singed finish. One of the last Oktos for the year for me. Always look forward to these beers. This is a nice representation. Check it out.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 20:10:39 | More by Onenote81
Photo of scootny

New York

3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange with a decent head. Yellowish off white. Fades quickly leaving nothing on the sides. Smell is earthy with a toasted malt breadiness. A fruity facet and a some butterscotch. Hint of lactic sourness. Taste is malty with a big earthy hop profile. Big toasted malts. Caramel sweetness in the front and the sourness from the nose in the finish. Finish brings an herbal leafiness. A fruitiness more akin to a British ale instead of a German lager. Feel is mildly carbonated and light. Quite drinkable. This is an earthy quirky take on the style. Not in the mold of German clean and crisp. Lots of character and more hops than is typical of the style. I like it.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2010 05:20:57 | More by scootny
Photo of Chico1985


3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was first ever Oktoberfest last year. For this review I sat in a giant field and drank it out of my glass boot while admiring Massachusetts foliage.

Pours a see-through amber with an off-white head, retains decently and leaves some lacing.

Scent was kind of strange and sort of off-putting, buttery popcorn sort of. A little macro-y.

Taste is definitely better than the smell, lots of buttery malts. Caramel and toffee malts. Grassy hops and a bit of citrus and lemon. Leaves a warm bread aftertaste. Some booze in the last few sips.

Very low carbonation, pretty watery but decent.

This is little too sweet for the style for me, I would've preferred more toastiness, this is kind of a butter/toffee takeover, good though.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 15:30:49 | More by Chico1985
Photo of DNICE555


4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brass city crewfest

A - burnt orange color with a white head

S - Malt and grain

T - Malt, grain, somewhat bitter up front with a sweet finish

M - One of my favorite octoberfests. Enough bitterness to balance it away from being a malt bomb. Very smooth and hearty.

D - Very well done. Compliments a nice fall day very well.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2010 20:29:28 | More by DNICE555
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with no expiration date or lot code. Sampled on February 22, 2010. The pour is a darker amber-copper with little to no head or lacing. The aroma is pungent with sweet caramel malts and toffee. It comes with a decent body while the flavor is also very sweet and caramel-like with a bitter hop finish. Not all that bad.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 19:17:37 | More by puboflyons
Photo of u2carew


3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz long neck. Consumed 11/03/09

A) Pours with a two finger head. Foamy. Settles slightly. Lacing is big, bubbled and sticky. Amber in color. Clear body.
S) Malty caramel. Grainy.
T) Fairly bitter up front. Some sweet malt mixed in but not enough to compensate for the bite. A third of the way through the hop bite mellows slightly. A mild bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.
M) Fizzy. Light to medium bodied. Tannin - slick tongue feel.
D) An alright Oktoberfest not a stand out.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 02:12:44 | More by u2carew
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured amber-orange into an American pint glass, with very little white head, spotty lacing, and mild carbonation presence. I really couldn't discern much of anything in the nose...just some caramel and maltiness. As for the taste, while the maerzen style is known (and loved by me) for its maltiness, this one was off the malty deep end; too much malt sweetness for me. No balance was evident, and furthermore the finish wasn't as dry as I would have liked. The body was a firm medium, but less carbonation than was expected. Thin enough to session, but way too sweet for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 03:58:27 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of BrewMasterG

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Crystal clear orange-amber. A tad dark for the style. Nice whiteish cream-colored head from a gentlish pour. Nearly disappears after 2-3 minutes.

Smell: Soft malty notes with slight moneral character.

Taste: Malty presence, mild sweetness with some minor astringency (6-row?, roasted barley?). With well-balanced hop bitterness for the style. No hop flavor or aroma.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and an excellent balance between dry and sweet. Just about right for the style. My favorite of 4 reviewed this evening.

Serving type: 12oz bottle purchased non-refrigerated on 12/7/2009

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 00:01:51 | More by BrewMasterG
Photo of pokesbeerdude


3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Extra in a recent trade with Wasatch. 12oz.

A: Amber in color with an off white head about 3/4 of an inch thick or so, quite dense, with great retention. Slightly cloudy, decent lacing.

S: Caramel malts, roasted malts, sorty of bready, just a faint hint of booze, definite lager yeast strain, and a distinct spicy hop note, that I would venture to say is verging on skunky, but not bad at all.

T: Caramelly, and toasty, has some notes of biscuit and has a sort of bread crust taste to it as well. Malty, not much of a hop profile, and that's expected. Leaves an aftertaste of seltzer water, which is weird, but not terribly distracting. Pretty tasty though.

M: Very light, and extremely, almost overly carbonated, like the taste reminds me of seltzer water. Don't like the mouth feel on this one at all.

D: Decent beer, with good flavors, but this is really too carbonated for my taste. In thinking about the style, I've never had one that is this carbonated before and its throwing me for a loop. Good flavors, and a nice beer, but just a bit too prickly for me.

Thanks John!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 00:43:36 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of TheycallmeTim

New York

4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A--Two finger creme colored fizzy head that reduced to skim quickly and didn't lace. But the real story here is the body: picture perfect deep auburn sunset combined with some copper. Really really beautiful and spot on for the style.

S--Decent. I'm picking mostly a candy apple thing, with some toffeeish notes alongside a lighter fruity sweetness. Definitely some Munich malt going on here.

T--Wonderful! Good sock of malt here right up front, as the toffee bark flavors come to the fore early on, followed by a more mellow caramel gloss that also picks up the now juicier apple notes toward the back. Really, really accurate representation of the style, very true to German standard, which I prefer. Balanced hop bitterness keeps the malts from taking over and urges you to gulp some more.

M&D--Mouthfeel is appropriately thin without being watery. Carbonation, again, is moderate. All the aspects of the mouthfeel stay out of the way--they're like a good Major League manager: you don't notice them. Drinkability is excellent, as this is smooth enough to throw back a few without being boring in the flavor profile.

If you're a fan of the style, this has to be the must try list for American versions of the style. Tastes like a standard-bearer to me, alongside the Ramstein Oktoberfest.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 22:27:32 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark orange body has quite a bit of activity as far as carbonation goes. The off white head is almost two fingers thick, and is pretty creamy. Good retention, but only a little bit of lacing.

The aroma isn't very powerful. Mostly a lightly sweet malt with perhaps a touch of hops.

Thomas Hooker O-fest is definitely on the maltier side of the style, which is a good thing in this case. Sweet, lightly toasted malt with only a touch of earthy, spicy hop character. The malt profile reminds me of dark bread with a touch of honey added to it. This one reminds me a little bit of Great Lakes O-fest, but I haven't sampled the two at the same time.

The body is a touch of medium, and the carbonation is a little under, which isn't great but doesn't ruin the beer in any way.

Pretty drinkable O-fest, a solid offering from Thomas Hooker; definitely worth trying for O-fest fans.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2009 01:49:13 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Wasatch


3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Ezone024 for this brew.

Pours a nice slightly hazy dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with some slight spice and lots of caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, slight hop note, some spice/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, I've been waiting along time to try this brew out, not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2009 23:56:07 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Mavajo


3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange with a moderate, one-finger thick off-white head. It fades very quickly into a thin crown around the glass and leaves insignificant lacing.

The nose is malty with a bit of earthiness. Taste has that malt there again, with a buttery, caramel flavor to it. Definite note of moderate bitterness on the back end. Nothing major, but enough to cause a sensation along the back/sides of your tongue. Body is medium with medium-heavy carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty much par for the course with the style. Nothing sensational, but it's a decent, enjoyable example.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2009 00:01:19 | More by Mavajo
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thomas Hooker- Octoberfest

A- Deep dark orange with a small filmy head, filmy lacing too.
S- Very buttery caramel toffee malt with a touch of licorice.
T- Very buttery sweet shortbread biscuit malt, Caramel and toffee with licorice and butterscotch.
M- Very buttery, slick and chewy malt.

Overall- The maltiest butteriest beer I might have ever tried.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2009 21:41:03 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of cbutova


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark copper color with a fizzy one finger head that has medium retention. Leaves no lacing behind on my glass. Not the best looking beer. Smells primarily of malts (lighter ones) with some nuttiness and a bit of earthy hops. Not a weak smell by any means but not a very complex smell either. Taste has a great malt backbone in the beginning and after tastes. It definitely has that german lager taste, like most Oktoberfests. Nuttyness like that of a brown is detected and adds to the malts well. A tiny bit of earthy hops can be detected with a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is moderate body with very good carbonation and is very smooth. No alcohol warming or taste at all in this one. A bit of creamyness to the mouth also. Drinkability is great. The beer has a good taste and it only seems to taste better as it goes on. There are no bad or off flavors to complain about. I think I prefer the Brookyln Oktoberfest over this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 18:28:20 | More by cbutova
Photo of Ezekiel81923


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Philadelphia Eagle pint glass. I'm a fan of Thomas Hooker so I have big expectations of this one.

Appearance: Deep, dark amber color that allows some light through. Thick, pillowy off-white head fills the pint glass to the top before receding to a thin film sitting on top of the beer in about 45 seconds. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts aroma that sometimes smells slightly nutty. Slight toasted grain aroma as well.

Taste: Sweet malty flavors dominates at first, as you would expect. Slightly toasted flavor lends way to a caramel backing as the aroma sort of suggested. Good hoppy finish that lends some herbal flavor and some slight bitterness that tickles a little as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy. As mentioned, a slightly drying, prickly bitterness sits in the back of your throat after you swallow. Interesting.

Drinkability: A bit filling, but most octoberfest's are. Could handle quite a few of these nonetheless.

This one pulls through in my book. Glad I bought a case, should last me a good while.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2009 00:54:14 | More by Ezekiel81923
Photo of eagles22


3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: nice 2 finger white head with a dark copper body

Smell: roasted malts also caramel and toffee notes

Taste: caramel and biscuit taste at first but than i get hit with alittle hop bitterness that makes it very unique

Mouthfeel: no complaining here..very smooth

Drinkability: very good ofest beer..great for a session...its even better when it warms up!!

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 23:03:23 | More by eagles22
Photo of drcarver


4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep amber color with a frothy 2 finger, offwhite head. Head thins quickly to a 4mm thickness leaving nice lacing down the side of the glass. Great looking beer.

S - I'm digging the prior descriptions of graham cracker, but I'm getting a little cookie in the malt as well.

T - Alcohol followed by steel/iron (almost like it was out of a can). Finished with a roasted malt flavor. The first flavor is there and gone quickly. Needed another quaff to find the cookie malt in the forefront. Creamy and medium-full bodied. Sweet aftertaste sits in the back of the mouth for quite a while.

D - Great Oktoberfest beer. Generally not a fan of Thomas Hooker, but this is a real winner. Paired with a nice stew or pot roast on a cool fall day and I'm 1 step from heaven.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 23:52:24 | More by drcarver
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a burnt orange color with a frothy head; leaves a bit of lace, too

Smell: Malty aroma with hints of graham cracker and grain

Taste: Malty, up front, with the graham cracker flavors dominant and joined, by mid-palate by a grainy bitter aspect; after the swallow, the flavors are balanced, with a bit of lager twang, though the finish is somewhat sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nothing wrong at all with this "Octoberfest"

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 01:16:18 | More by brentk56
Photo of krisandajt


3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last Oktoberfest from my birthday beer run...

Appearance: Probably the best pour I've ever gotten from an Oktoberfest. A clear, deep, dark amber color with a good inch of bubbly head that fizzles away leaving behind some moderate, soapy lacing.

Smell: Typical for the style, a nice subtle sweetness and just a hint of bitter on the back end.

Taste: Spot on with the smell. Sweet, but not overly sweet, with just a hint of bitter in the finish. Not too bad at all.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, good carbonation, smooth, nice body.

Drinkability: A very drinkable Marzen. This is actually my first Hooker (well, the beer anyways ;-) haha), and if the rest of their line up is like this, I'll have to seek out some more to try.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 00:55:49 | More by krisandajt
Photo of BobZ


4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Seasonal on tap at the British Beer Company in Walpole, MA.

Appearance: Pumpkin orange, perfect for the style, good head, nice lacing.

Smell: Spicy & Malty

Taste: Follows the smell, rich malty flavor with a really nice spice. This is the best domestic American version of an Oktoberfest beer I've had to date. My favorite for the style is Hacker-Pschorr and this is a close second.

Mouth feel: Good carbonation, smooth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, fall seasonal, will definitely seek out in bottle form.

Really solid Oktoberfest beer for someone seeking an American version that's superior to Sam Adams.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2009 01:14:17 | More by BobZ
Photo of CHADMC3


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice burnt orange to copper with off-white, foamy tan head that quickly dissipates leaving almost no lacing behind.

Rich toasted malt and barley aroma, that's about it, pretty true to the style.

Again, there is a big, rich toasted malt flavor, maybe slightly sweet, and a touch of hops to finish. Very crisp.

Medium in body and medium to moderate in carbonation, very smooth and crisp.

Great, easy drinking fall beer, easy to enjoy a couple in one sitting without losing interest.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2009 02:36:19 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of Jayli


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice hue of brown with some burnt orange hints to it. A one finger of rocky, creamy offwhite, hint of yellow head sits on top. Head retention is ok, and leaves some wispy lacing on the glass. Nose is chalk full of malts, a nice sweetness of caramel malts is most notable, with a touch of hops laying underneath. Taste is is very sweet caramel malts up front, middle is comprised of toffee malts and some dark fruits, finish has a nice citrusy hops bite to it - it's a mild bite but just enough to compliment the beer. Medium body, mildly carbonated, creamy mouthfeel with a crisp finish. This is easily a highly drinklable beer!

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2009 13:19:48 | More by Jayli
Photo of albern


3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a very characteristic Marzan style lager. It looks the part, with a nice clear mahogany copper color with a small foamy little head. No lacing, not great amounts of retention either. The nose is all malt, crystal malts, toasted grains, a touch of chicory reds.

The taste is quite nice. It has a hop bite, slightly leafy and bittering towards the finish. The beer has a very large malt palate with lots of roasted notes, some caramel and chicory flavors, crystal malts, some drying notes in the finish. The beer is largely smooth but there is a touch of graininess in there too. The beer is fairly low carbonation, a touch sweet with the malts up front, but not cloyingly so. There is a particular hop bite very characteristic of the style. It is a lager and has that consistency too.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 21:20:39 | More by albern
Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.