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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 thespaceman


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copperish/amber in color, huge head billows to the top of the glass, very nice lacing around the glass and head retention is spot on.

Smell: Faint malt spice accompanied by some cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel malts. I get small shots of toffee undertones as well which is very inviting!

Taste: Malt spice is perfectly aligned, very refreshing yet perfectly balanced. I get a slight floral hop flavor up front that blends into a nicely added toasted malt addition paired with different spices, including some cinnamon, allspice, a bit of brown sugar and some nutmeg. The finish caps off this beer with a sweet vanilla undertone that finishes off nicely.

Mouthfeel: Robust and smooth on the tongue, carbonation is medium and leaves a nice drying effect in the mouth.

Drinkability: I've always liked some of Thomas Hooker's offerings but never thought they could deliver such an offering like this. This is overall one of the best O'Fest's I've tried so far this season. Not only is it balanced almost perfectly, but it packs a decent, yet drinkable punch coming in at 6% ABV. Gotta support these local CT breweries and this beer will give you their utmost respect. If you see it on the shelf, buy it!

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2009 23:26:35 | More by thespaceman
Photo of Liverpool08


3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden dark orange. Nice white head with some lacing. Aroma of malts and hops. Much more hoppy than I expect from an Oktoberfest. Taste is at first malty and caramel, but then ends with a bitter hop bite. Still a nice beer but not what I was looking for from this style.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 20:53:53 | More by Liverpool08
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, deep, jack o'lantern orange. Large white head leaves several foam splatter rings from glass top to bottom.

Aroma is cinnamon, nutmeg and rum raisin sweetened by toasted malt. Spicey noble hop compliment.

Nutty. Citrus and hop spice interplay over graham cracker malt--nice balance. Blackstrap molasses fade.

Much heartier than most octobers, it's still passive enough to have a few. Body is sufficient but it could showcase the flavors more if it was thicker.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2009 20:54:10 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of bgjohnston


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

This is perhaps the hoppiest Octoberfest beer I have had yet.

Pours a clear orange color, with a small head, but good carbonation. Smell is sweet and inviting.

Taste starts out with a fine sweet malty flavor, but it finishes abruptly, dry and a little bitter. I think I would be happier with it if they dialed up the malt, or dialed back the hops a bit on this one.

I might try this one again later in the season, to see if the hops fade out to "just right" for my taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 19:34:32 | More by bgjohnston
Photo of ghebb


4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark orange / light brown with decent head.

Nice bready and caramel malt aroma with some hints of earthy hop presence. The layers of malty complexity of this brew are simply staggering. I detected strong toasty, and toffee flavors up front with hints of roasted coffee, and faint chocolate flavors that meld toghether beautifully and are balanced nicely on the back end by a medium hop bitterness. The full mouthfeel, medium carbonation, and clean finish make you want to keep coming back for more. An excellent brew, and the best batch of octoberfest I've sampled from Hooker.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2009 01:56:25 | More by ghebb
Photo of JMD


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

A: Pours a rich dark copper color with small off-white head that leaves a little lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted carmel malt, some bread and sweet brown sugar.

T: Sweet upfront with carmel malt, brown sugar and molasses. Also some bready and nutty notes. Some light spice, but very subtle. Finishes with a light touch of hops.

M: Medium to full bodied. Very smooth with moderate carbonation.

D: This is one of my favorite Oktoberfests. Smooth and flavorful, I can drink these all night. Another solid offering from Thomas Hooker.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2009 21:12:19 | More by JMD
Photo of ClockworkOrange


4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a dimpled mug. The beer appears a slightly hazed rich apricot color with an inch of pillowy bone white foam. The foam sticks around through nearly the entire mug, settling only slightly. Flavor and aroma consist of medium toasted bread, sweet malt, pleasantly fruity (apple, pear). A rather tasty marzen to say the least. About medium bodied with ample carbonation. Festbier fans need to give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2009 02:02:15 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of msolar


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear amber color with decent carbonation. Very sweet flavor, hints of apple with a very slight alcohol aftertaste. Pretty good flavor and light-to-medium bodied. This would certainly make a pretty good session beer.

I'd consider putting this on tap at home next year but am a bit October/Pumpkin beer'ed out for the season. Certainly one of the top 5 fall beers I've had, especially considering that this one really isn't spiced like some of the others.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2008 19:02:12 | More by msolar
Photo of deltatauhobbit


4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a good copper/amber color with a decent sized head, fades slowly to leave an alright ring of lace.

Smell has a good malty backing with a good spiciness, some roasted, lots of caramel.

Taste is similar to the smell, with the taste mostly contributed from the caramel malt and some nice spicy kicks to the sides of the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 23:44:19 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of Soozy


4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice amber/orange color

S - Malt, caramel, some hops

T - Awesome. That's all I can say. Tastes like pure caramel, crystal malts, nice hop finish. Very, very pleasant. Easily the best Oktoberfest I had this year.

M - Low carbonation, great for style

D - Pretty good; I was not expecting this to be 6%. I could drink a few of these in a row, but probably not the six.

I had a different Oktoberfest immediately following this one and I was surprised at how watered-down it tasted... it couldn't hold a candle to it. I

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2008 18:58:25 | More by Soozy
Photo of Hokies

Rhode Island

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

12 oz poured into a nonic. Pours a deep color with a minimal white head with a thin lace left on the glass.

A nice caramel malt aroma with a faint hop aroma.

Not overly sweet and definitely not too hoppy. A very balanced Marzen with a very strong caramel malt taste.

Probably one of the best Oktoberfest beers that I have had.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2008 03:02:50 | More by Hokies
Photo of DousedInStout


4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured a beautiful, bright orange color with a solid head and long lasting lacing. The nose was sweet and malty, and the taste was prefect to style. Very well balanced - caramel malt at first followed by some noble hop crispness. Overall, the best Octoberfest I've had this year.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2008 16:44:04 | More by DousedInStout
Photo of Doomcifer

Rhode Island

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

Pours a deep, bright amber color with a fantastic cream colored, frothy head that retains very nicely. Smells biscuity, bready malts, earthy tones. Taste is more bready and biscuity maltiness, earthy, noble hop spice, very pleasing and balanced. Fantastic Marzen. Slightly creamy mouthfeel, crisp. Very drinkable and one of, if not the best, Marzen I have had this year.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 16:04:56 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of BeerTruth


4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The little bitch known as number1bum got this one for me, thanks man.

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a dark brick orange with a two finger light khaki colored head that sticks around for a while leaving a nice wall of lacing behind on the sides of the glass. Smell consists of roasted nuts, caramel malt, and sweet butter. Grassy hops and toasted grains tickle the nose as well, but overall the aroma is pretty weak. Taste starts off with sweet caramel malt and pale malt with a touch of butterscotch. Clean crisp hops with a citrus like characteristic midway and some nuttiness too. A very enjoyable aftertaste with earthy hops and a hefty breadiness to it. A chewy medium body with a smooth feel and lively carbonation. A very solid Octoberfest beer for sure, probably one of my favorite. Great drinkability and great flavor, what more can you ask for in a lager? Get your hands on this one if you can.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 21:30:11 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of Gambrinus1184


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

Served on-tap at Wood n' Tap in Southington, Conn.

A: Poured a deep, rich copper color with a thin, creamy veil of carbonation which left some nice, patchy lace on the glass, which was a Hooker; nice for effect!

S: Smells slightly grainy, with a noticeable sweet bread aroma and some very faint hops.

T: Taste is served with a big rush of sweet, toasted caramel malts and satisfying multi-grain flavors. There's a slightly bitter hop backbone near the finish, but this is a sweet malt treat.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and a little creamy for a marzen.

D: Very tasty, with a sturdy pair of malty legs beneath it, this has to be one of the tastier American marzens I've had. Not much in the way of aroma, and not completely balanced, but really smooth and quite flavorful.

If it were not a work lunch affair, I'd have gone for another one or two. I heard last year's batch didn't turn out quite right from some trusted sources. I'll have to see if this good flavor and strong drinkability will translate from the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2008 20:20:12 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of marlinsfan4


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

I saw a news article recently that claimed this as the best Octoberfest in the country.. I'm partly biased as I'm from Conneticut where this is brewed and I don't agree. I think Brooklyn's and Redhook's octoberfests are better tasting overall. Anywho, it was still better than the German octoberfests I tried but still didn't have enough flavor for me. Overall it was just a little too bland but I'll have to try it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 23:33:40 | More by marlinsfan4
Photo of sethmeister

New Hampshire

4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Luminous, crystal clear brassy orange body topped with a billowing tan cloud of a head. Beautiful appearance.

Very fragrant; scent appeared before I lifted the glass. Toast, roasted grains, a hint of bitter tea.

Taste: toast, roasted grains, spicy hops and a delightfully long and nicely bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with a lively carbonation up front and an astringency at the end. I might prefer a slightly thicker feel but that's just my preference. For the style this is probably ideal.

Drinkability is excellent. Each sip leaves me wanting another and I have to force myself to put the glass down for a moment in order to write this.

I can absolutely see why this one keeps winning awards. Since I love a thicker mouthfeel I think it is a tossup whether this or Berkshire's thick juicy Oktoberfest is my favorite, but either way this is an excellent Oktoberfest lager.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2008 21:45:57 | More by sethmeister
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

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

Single, 12-ounce bottle just copped from Nikki's Liquors in Providence, Rhode Island...
"Celebrate Autumn - Our Award Winning German Style Lager" on the orange, front logo sticker...
Appearance: A hefty pour yielded a rustic, deep-copper, orange hue with a decent-sized foamy head that quickly receded and deposited a thin film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Smell: Rustic, malty aroma with hints of amber and grains...
Taste: Dead-on in terms of style, yet could've been slightly thicker in terms of mouthfeel... Grains, amber, caramel, slight vanilla bombard the palate...
Good mouthfeel along with a good level of drinkability and warming ABV...
Good stuff...

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2008 00:23:13 | More by dsa7783
Photo of erosier


4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice amber orange color with a medium sized and medium bodied white head that laces the glass on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, some caramel, and a slight earthy hoppy aroma at the end.
T: Very big malty base that makes up the body of this beer. Nice caramel notes and then some fainter earthy hops at the end.
M: Very crisp, fresh, and lighter feeling than I thought it was going to be. Nice amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable beer and I wish they had these seasonals all year round.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2008 10:39:35 | More by erosier
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber color with a small off-white head that dissipated into a small cap. The aroma is quite faint, I pick up the caramel malt, brown bread. The taste is a bready toasted malt, caramel, and a touch of metal. A nice malty flavor, could use more of a Saaz hop presence. The feel is moderate with nice carbonation. The brew finishes with a nice malty sweetness balanced with a toasted malt bitterness. A solid malty brew. Something about this brew does not scream out Marzen/Oktoberfest but it is still a good offering. Sample is probably a bit old at this point.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2008 03:26:32 | More by Gmann
Photo of Zorro


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

Sampled through sinstaineddemon and Secret Bunny '08 BIF.

Clear amber to reddish brown colored lager with a strong tan head.

Smell is very clean with a fair amount of caramel. Lots of toasted grain aroma and a faint grassy aroma. What is absent is much hop aroma at all, just a little grass.

The taste starts out sweet and malty with lots of Munich malt and a solid drying bitterness. Flavor doesn't change a lot as you drink it; it's just plain good. Little bit of raisin bran flavor here, like you see in a lot of Octoberfest beers.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite nice drinkability here, I would have no problems drinking this for a month or six as my only beer. Add a little more dry hops and this would be about perfect.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 03:31:39 | More by Zorro
Photo of GatorBeerNerd


3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark amber brown color with a half a finger thick head that quickly disappears to a ring around the rim. There is no lacing due to dissipation of the head.

S: The main smell is of roasted malt. There is a hint of a chocolate aroma as well.

T: The aroma carries through to the taste. A hint of chocolate and a roasted malt taste. I like it, but it is just a tad too bitter for my tastes.

M: It has a nice thickness that makes it enjoyable in the mouth. However, there is no carbonation at all. I think it would be much more enjoyable with at least some carbonation.

D: The bitterness makes this one a sipper for me. I enjoyed this one a lot, but there was no way I could knock it back.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2008 00:16:33 | More by GatorBeerNerd
Photo of jackorain


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

Dark amber, almost brown, slight chill haze. 1-inch head fell to tall collar and really nice splotchy thick coat.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel and biscuit too, alittle yeast

Tastes of caramel maltand biscuit up front. The middle is toasty. There is a nice balance in the hop bitterness but it is fleeting as the mlats come back t finish this beer.

Medium body and quite fizzy.

decent drinkability. I would not be adverse to having a couple of these.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2008 23:43:54 | More by jackorain
Photo of BeerImmediately


4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a sixtel this fall... just getting around to typing up the review

Regularly poured with a nice 2 finger head, which quickly dissipated. Burnt orange in color - attractive.

Found this to have a rich, malty smell. Didn't catch any special spices to note.

Tasted of caramel, a hint of chocolate, faint hops, and an overall rich flavor for an Oktoberfest.

This was very smooth on the palate.

Found this to be a pleasantly sessionable selection - well done, and recommended!

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2008 21:05:13 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of pittvkyle7


4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from 2006
A-A hazy dark amber/brownish color, white heads that fades to a ring in about two min. Some lacing but it's not very sticky.

S- Candy sugars and some yeast, very sweet, no hop aroma

T- again on the sweet side of things, tastes like a lot of other octoberfests I've had. toasted sugars, nutty, just a bit of hop bitterness to even it out.

M- At first I felt it was more carbonated than other TH beers, whatever the case, it is still smooth and goes down easy. light mouth feel

D- good drinkablility

I had the 2008 version, and I have to say that is the BEST Octoberfest I've had all season. It is just full of flavor and makes others seem watered down, just really good stuff!

the 2006 got a B from me, but now I'm changing its score for 2008

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 02:49:39 | More by pittvkyle7
Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.