Great Lakes Oktoberfest - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest

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1,910 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,910
Reviews: 566
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 194
Gots: 263 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 11-04-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,910 | Reviews: 566
Reviews by ljthockey7:
More User Reviews:
Photo of keithmurray
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - clear amber color with beige head

Smell - caramel, toffee, toasted nuts

Taste - caramel sweetness, toffee, toasted nuts

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweet upfront, hop bitterness at the back end,crisp, flavor lingers for a bit

Overall - this is a solid beer that I would gladly revisit, holds its own against its German counterparts

Price point - $8.99/6 pk

Photo of RoyalT
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance – This is a brilliant, crystal clear lager halfway between orange and brown with a nice, off-white head that left lacing on the inside of my pint glass. I don’t want to call the beer copper because that really doesn’t do it justice. I just couldn’t stop staring at it the color was so brilliant and perfect.

Smell – No aromatic hops here so the bouquet is all malt, and man what a wonderful aroma this beer has. It’s toasty with a bit of whole wheat dough and very simple in the nose which is just as it should be. The smell rightfully lacks sweetness which is a big mistake among American brewers of the style.

Taste – This is phenomenal. The flavor picks up some hops but mostly it is an incredible mix of malts, and again the sweetness typical of many pretenders of the style is all but absent. The malt is raw and slightly doughy with a slight uncooked biscuit character supplemented with mature, unsulphored cane molasses, second molasses if not the third boil.

Mouthfeel – This is shy of medium in the body and pleasantly flat to mild with a teasing bitterness that begs for sausage and mustard. It’s a bit rougher than other versions that I’ve had but really hit the spot.

Drinkability – This is easily the best Oktoberfest beer manufactured in the US that I have ever had the pleasure to consume. It’s simple, straight to the point, on style, and literally transported me back to Munich.

Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my new favorite Fest style beers,poured a clear bronze with a delicate looking 1/2 finger slight off white head.Grainy aromas a bit toasted with some caramel doughy sweetness a bit of iron is detected as well as well as some leafy hop,truly American in its larger dose of peppery hop but staying true with its lightly sweet doughy maltiness it has something for everyone and purists I really liked this one glad I have alot more.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap and poured into my new and now beloved liter stein at the 2006 Great Lakes Oktoberfest. The place was packed (two and a half hour wait when we walked in at 9pm!), but we did manage grab a table in the pub for a few hours before heading across town for a late bite. Back to the beer, I was immediately struck by the color, clarity, and impressive head. Indeed this brew is quite the looker. Pours a crystal clear coppered, orange leaning, amber with minimal carbonation, and a thick, voluminous light brown head. Retention is top notch. Aroma is stylistically correct but a touch light to my preferences. Notes of caramel syrup, Vienna/German malts, and that very autumn, almost pumpkin like smell associated with Marzens were all present but on the faint side. Flavor was caramel and toast, very German and autumnal but again a bit light. Subtle amounts of raisins, a very light fruitiness, and a brushing of hops finishes off the job. Body is medium, lightly carbonated, and rich with out any muddling or lack of cleanliness. Drinability is through the roof. Very nice example of an Oktoberfest. Would drink again if given the opportunity.

Photo of tectactoe
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice copper-caramel color with nice clarity, creamy looking head that sticks around for a little bit, minimal lacing left on the glass. The nose is a malt-fest, filled with toasted bread, butter, yeast, spices, slight floral hops, caramel, toffee, biscuits. The taste is well balanced and on the sweet side up front, hitting with caramel and toffee toasted malts. The yeast flavors work well to balance this and provide a nice structure to the flavor profile. Spices come alive, maybe some clove and/or a hint of cinnamon, I can't quite put my finger on it, but some spice is definitely there, and once again, it helps to counter the sweetness of the malt. Medium, creamy, and overall dense body with mild carbonation, leaves a slight spice filled and yeast-heavy aftertaste on the palate. Mild bitterness and some light hops in the background that become a little more noticeable towards the end; they are musty, dry, leafy in character.

I'm not too well versed in O-fests or Marzens, but this beer is great. In fact, it's quite a bit different than many of the other Oktoberfests I have had, very ambiguous yet very familiar all at the same time. A nice collection of flavors from the abundance of malts, this beer also makes a nice winter warmer, if you can hold onto it for that long.

Photo of MadScientist
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A medium amber with brilliant clarity. The cream off-white head has a good retention time slowly dissipating over a couple of minutes.

S: Light toasted malt aroma and an allergy stuffed nose, but not too bad as I just smell more of the soap on my hand than this beer initially. A very clean lager having no fruity esters, no DMS no Diacetyl. Malt aroma increase as it warms.

T: Rich German Malt flavors (Munich and Vienna) dominate with a light toastiness and a slight hint of caramel. There is a moderately-light earth noble hops flavor with a touch of spice. A firm hops bitterness provides enough balance to make this malt driven beer dry out on the finish with lingering bitterness and a slight grainy malt aftertaste. Again a very clean lagering process so no fruitiness nor diacetyl.

M: Smooth medium bodied with moderate carbonation. There is a slight prickle at the back of the but that could be my allergies going off here.

O: An excellent Oktoberfest, Great Lakes is on Hell of a brewery that consistently reminds me that lagers a worth my time and attention despite being a huge ale fan.

Looks like a 10/12/12 best by date

Photo of blackearth
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Three Cellars in Franklin, WI. Pours a medium amber body with a rocky off-white head. Aroma is a deliciously inviting sweet taffy. Medium bodied with robust malt flavors from start to finish with just a hint of bitterness. This is one of the best octoberfest beers I've tried this year.

Photo of nickadams2
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Reddish amber with a thick white head that dissipates into a thin ring.Decent lacing.

S_Mild malty smell. Picking up some hop profile.

T_Malty,toffee,nutty. Some floral/piny hop notes.Bold but not overbearing flavor.

M_Medium bodied,high carbonation,coats the mouth.

D_Great drinkability. Just like a good oktoberfest should be.

Photo of warnerry
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

best by 9/28/10; sampled 10/1/10

A - Pours translucent amber with 1 finger of head, nice carbonation rising throughout.

S - Slightly sweet bready malts with a bit of hop spice.

T - Nice mix of bready and caramel malts, with a slight hop bite.

M - A nice creamy light/medium mouthfeel.

D - Highly drinkable; this and Ayinger are my favorite Oktoberfests this year.

Photo of DamDweller
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Oktoberfest, 2010

Smooth drinking Oktoberfest that pours a copper hugh with little head or retention. Hint of toffee on the nose. Beer has a taste of caramel malts that sit on the back of the tongue, a hint of hops that, and definitely bready aftertaste that lingers. Body of the beer is not as heavy as expected. All in all a drinkable Oktoberfest, but not my favorite of the season.

Photo of generallee
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: The body has a deep orange amber color with very good clarity. Its head builds up thick and creamy. It's just off white in color and slowly fades to a thinner covering.

Smell: The aroma has nice spicy and earthy hops with a wonderful sweet malty character.

Taste/Mouth feel: Its flavor has a deep malty base with light toasty bready notes and nice caramel sweetness. Balance comes from spicy, herbal and earthy hops. The texture is smooth and easy drinking with modest carbonation and a good solid medium to full body.

Notes: Absolutely wonderful balance of flavor, body and drinkability.

Photo of dditto2
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

Unfortunately I was not impressed by this beer much.
Beautiful looking amber, very nice head.
Smell is dominated by a decomposing grass smell.
Taste is ok exept for that decomposing taste that lingers well after you finnish the brew.
It feels good and is very drinkable in general but that odd taste really ruins it for me.
Definately the worst oktoberfest ive tried and the worst ive tried from greatlakes. Not really a bad beer over all. I would drink it but theres better for the price. I have access to many kinds of hard to find brews so its very unlikely i will ever buy this one again.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a GLB pint glass.

A - One-finger head of soft, fluffy foam that slowly dissolves into a sheen of little bubbles across the surface. Color is copper orange and clear. Steady steams of tiny, tight bubbles flow thru the pint to the surface throughout the tasting.

S - Rich, lightly toasted malts, caramel, and brown sugar. Just a hint of hops in the background.

T - Just like the nose, but a tad earthier. The toasted malts and caramel really stand out along with a hint of toffee. There's also a hint of bitter citrus, like orange zest. A touch of hops appear at the end of the finish to add a pinch of spice.

M - Crisp, with good carbonation. A little fizzy that gives way to a soft creaminess. Medium body. Nice, well-blended, well-balanced structure. Clean finish is a tad dryer than the nose suggests and lingers, too.

O - A delicious example of the style, it pairs well with grilled sausages and kraut. It's next to impossible to only drink one at a sitting. As good as it is from the bottle, it's even better on draft. While I enjoy the summer wheats, I'm always chomping at the bit to get to the Autumn beers, and this one dominates as a fridge favorite because it's fuller and more complex than many of its brethren. It's outstanding.

Photo of Jason
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle.

The lacing makes a spectacle of it's self, copper clarity is stunning. Clean malty nose of toasted bread with some spicy hop too. Smooth and a bit creamy with a delicate medium body. Malt is quite complex with fresh baked bread, dried hay and a hint of caramel. Spicy hop bitterness is there from start to after taste. Dry finish and the flavor lingers slowly away.

Seriously great beer here. One of the top picks for O-fests.

Photo of Homebrew35
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes.
12oz bottle $1.85 a single

Pours one and a half fingers worth of egg shell colored head. Crystal clear amber colored body.

Smells of toffee, Carmel, dark brown sugar, bready yeast.

Tastes similar to what the smell could tell you. Bready yeast, toffee, carmel, dark sugar.

Mouthfeel is medium thin, medium carbing, a balanced amount of hop bitterness on the finish.

Overall this is almost quaffable. Very tasty and highly drinkable.
I'm going to pick this up again soon.

Photo of tigg924
4.75/5  rDev +17%

One of the best examples of the style I have had. Bready, fresh, and malty. I could definitely do a six of these.

Photo of LyonsHead
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: coppery orange with a thick creamy white head which sticks around for a while. The clarity is top notch

S: There is a rich malty sweetness with bread and biscuity notes.

T: this beer is very sweet with hints of bread and biscuit throughout. there is a slight caramel sweetness in the background. and the finish is just a touch sweet which keeps me from rating this 5.

M: mouthfeel is thick and smooth, but as noted earlier, the finish is not dry enough for this style

D: This is a fantastic beer. Its almost completely accurate to style except I feel it finishes too sweet (almost cloying) to be given all fives. Nonetheless this is a great beer, one that I would drink all year round

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from a six pack, picked up in Buffalo at Consumer Beverages.

Poured into a tulip. Lovely caramel amber colour, very bright. Good sturdy head, settles into a thick ring with flecks of lacing.

Nose is very malty and with a grainy biscuit character, with a touch of herbal hops in the back.

Solid marzen, again with a strong sweet malt flavour up front, grain, biscuit as well, then settling into an assertive herbal hop finish with just a touch of citrus. Very drinkable, though a little sweet for me.

Smooth, carbonation is quite balanced.

Drinkable little marzen, would certainly be a good addition to an Oktoberfest evening.

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Super drinkable. Good thing it's über available in ne ohio this time of year.

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber with initial foamy white that mostly disappears.

Smell: Strong sweet caramel and bread, with some light biscuit and noble hops underneath.

Taste: Very malty, and is caramel and cherry driven. The expected biscuit and toast malt notes are mostly hidden beneath the surface. A little spicy noble hops and cherry on the finish. More flavorful than most.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, seems slightly thin despite the somewhat full lager body. Finish is drier than the initial sweet body indicated.

Drinkability: Strong, semi-sweet Marzen. Great with food, but a nice full flavored lager on its own.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at D's in Swissvale,PA.this past Saturday.
The beer poured with a creamy slight off white,nice and thick about an inch.The color was medium copper,very clear.looked good.
The smell was buisquity,carmelly,very clean not a lot of aroma presence.
A medium body,tastey,finishes with a sharp,prickley feel on the tounge.
A very drinkable beer,nicely carbonated,clean and refreshing.Leaves a dry aftertaste in the mouth,making you want more.
A good Octoberfest.

Photo of deebo
3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served a pint on tap at Republic Uptown.

A-Crystal clear with weak beige head that laces the glass a bit. Color is light amber with orange hue. Lighter in color than most marzens.

S-A bit weak in the sweet toasted barley malt that is remniscent of the style. High in the spicy hop character.

T-Like the aroma this beer has a weak toasted slightly sweet toffee taste with a much higher than usual spicy peppery hop back end taste and finish. Reminds me of a maibock.

M-Weak bodied with high carbonation. Crisp finish with a mild bitter spicy noble hop finish.

O-A bit disappointed in this beer as I prefer my Marzens with more carmelized roasted malt character with a bit more body.

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours brilliant red orange under a persistent, clingy 2” white foam cap.
S: Rich spicy malt
T: Exceptionally well developed malt flavors with a little breadiness and lightly sweet kettle sugars seasoned with spice from the malt and hops and a firm bitter accent on the finish.
F: Clean, smooth yet crisp with a medium body and carbonation.
O: Very well balanced and well prepared Oktoberfest.

Photo of Osiris9588
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper with an orangey hue. The white head was not that thick, with little retention--this was the result of the time it took the server to get the pint from the bar to the table.

Aroma is very malty, has subtle hops, slight spice, and a touch of citrus. The flavor is domianted by malt, subtle spice--not overwrought like some beers of this ilk, and a little pumpkin. The mouth is good, bright on the front, malty and dry on the back. Very drinkable, as it is extremely well balanced. Another winner from GLBC.

Photo of MattyG85
4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and lively copper like amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big five finger off white head with very good retention. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Aroma has lots of caramel malts with some toffee. Has some hints of spice and a solid backing of noble hops and grassy hops. Smells malty and full.

Taste: Big taste of caramel and toasted malts with some hints of toffee. Has a slightly spicy character. This is also one of the more hoppy Marzens out there with a very noticeable presence of grassy and noble hops. Its still very malt forward. Very full flavored and tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very creamy, crisp, and chewy.

Overall: A very full flavored and well balanced Marzen. One of the best American versions out there.

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Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,910 ratings.