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Great Lakes Oktoberfest - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,288 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1288
Reviews: 507
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.56%

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 11-04-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,288 | Reviews: 507 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ejimhof


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Slight lacing and the auburn color that an Octoberfest should be

Smell - Malty and sweet bread smell

Taste - light body yet has a backbone

Mouthfeel - very comforting just right for the season

Drinkability - this beers calls out for having one more

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 20:56:48 | More by ejimhof
Photo of SportsandJorts


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: a nice amber color with an unusually nice clarity. A finger of a tannish head that retains very well

Smell: strong malts, slight bitter hops. Slight fruitiness

Taste: starts off with a subtle fruitiness, and rich caramel malts. Stays pretty malt strong but with a nice small dose of hops for balance

Mouthfeel: slightly creamy and medium bodied. Strong clean feel but some taste left over.

Overall: I had all but given up on oktoberfest beers but gave this one a shot just for the respect I have for the brewery. This one gives me everything I want in an Oktoberfest and works well on a way too cold summer day

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 01:39:04 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of Joe_Duvel


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's a style that I like but don't love, know what I mean? But this beer, I love. It's that good.

I was completely blown away with this one. Some nice sweetness to it and great toasted bread notes. Such a pleasant surprise even from the first taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 00:26:54 | More by Joe_Duvel
Photo of Chickenhawk9932


4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In the glass it was a light amber with a white head.

In the nose it was sweet grain, bread, malt, and some tangy floral notes. A nice bouquet.

Taste was first bread backed by some sweet caramel notes, then a very mild bitterness in the back as it finnished with a full grain toasted oat flavor. Excellent taste and very nice mouth feel. A very drinkable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2010 03:10:21 | More by Chickenhawk9932
Photo of MattyG85


4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 06:10:16 | More by MattyG85
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a mini Hofbraü maaskrug.
6.5% ABV, Best served at 45°F, Please enjoy by 10/18/12

A - Streams of lazy bubbles rise to a chunky off-white head which seems to refuse to dissipate. Minutes go by before the tall, loose foam gently blankets the vibrant golden, honey colored beer. Perfection in a pint, it looks like!

S - Great Lakes Oktoberfest has a rich bready aroma so strong it's reminiscent of breaking a loaf of dense, freshly baked bread and taking a deep whiff in. Strong Vienna maltiness paves the way for light Munich sweetness and faint noble hop aroma on the finish. This beer has an odd intoxicating sweetness like boiling wort without smelling like it will be overpoweringly sweet in flavor.

T - Sip after sip continues the explosion of malt flavors and complexities to bombard the taste buds. At first, it's like biting into honey drizzled slices of dense bread. Kettle caramelization follows with a candy-like sweetness before finishing with a crunchy bite of dry wheat toast. The malt nuances are perfectly wrapped in submissive, yet balancing hops which delicately trickle in light spice and dry earthiness.

M - Smooth as glass from start to finish Great Lakes' Oktoberfest fills the mouth with a rich, medium-full bodied feel that carefully walks the line between drinkable and too sweet. The hop additions stray from the classic dry and prevalent profile to a low-key balance.

O - Great Lakes has struck gold with their spot-on rendition of this German lager which expertly marries different malts which blend to perfection with superb drinkability but are also allowed to develop and contribute different nuances. It's rich without being over-the-top; a hearty, malty Oktoberfest which demands you drink it by the liter!

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2012 23:18:44 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of mcallister


4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pale amber/mahogany, thick fluffy pearl head. Some trace sticky lace remains. Very brilliant crisp appearance.

Great nose, thick juicy layers of caramel and toffeed malts. Complex aromas flow from the glass. Also some floral hoppiness.

(I've always loved Oktoberfests beers and have had tasting parties in the past of this style of brew. The Great Lakes Oktoberfest has always intrigued me as they are one of my favorite breweries. Unfortunately you couldn't get this brew outside of the brewery until this year when it was released in draught only. Supposedly to be released in bottle next year all I can say is find youself a sixer when they do. Best O-fest I've had to date).

Big and full bodied creamy mouthfeel. Impeccably balanced and complex. Very uncanny for an O-fest. Enormous burst of caramel/toffee malt smacks you in the face and coats the palate with it's chewy oozing texture, the mid palate is still devoured in malt with hints of fig, and cashews, then finishes with a floral slightly piney hoppiness that rounds things out tremendously. One of the longest finishes I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing in a beer. Well over a minute of malty goodness.

When this one is released in bottles definitely buy some. If you're into this style a must try.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2006 11:19:05 | More by mcallister
Photo of Jason


4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 01:49:15 | More by Jason
Photo of ZAP


4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Light orange color..small white head

S-Light toasted malts...not a lot of aroma to be honest..

T-Toasted malts all the way...relatively sweet and malty with plenty of tasty toasted maltiness....very subtle noble hop blends perfectly.

M-Medium bodied...clean and crisp finish....carbonation is firm but not gassy.

D-Top notch beer from probably this country's best brewery. A slightly amped up Elliot Ness...I love the toasted malt and the flavor of this. Reminds me a lot of New Glarus Staghorn....one of the better Ofests made along with NGlarus, Summit, and the Hacker-Pschorr/Paulaner clones.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2007 06:23:14 | More by ZAP
Photo of GoodKnight1220


4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this brew from a bottle to a pint glass.

Had a golden, copper, orange look with a nice three finger frothy head and a good bit of lacing throughout.

Smells of a malt and a hint of citrus and spice.

Taste and mouthfeel is perfect. Very smmoth and crisp. Wonderfull sweet maltyness.

You want to gulp this stuff down all night, drink this like water.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2008 01:20:21 | More by GoodKnight1220
Photo of MadScientist

New York

4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2012 02:55:41 | More by MadScientist
Photo of becktone


4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Eye: Very good appearance on this brew. Head is ivory in color, but not so creamy looking. Just a good solid head with good size and retention, good lacing too. Very clear brew that is dark copper in color with yellow-orange highlights.

Nose: The beer smells mostly of malt. Those aromas being toasty and rich. Hops give this beer a nicely balanced aroma with woody/earthy and spicy aromas. Definitely noble hop aromas.

Tongue: This brew is nicely balanced. Between the rich and toasty malt flavors and spciy and woody/earthy hop flavors this brew is right on the mark. I won't go as far as to say that the balance is even, it tends to lean more towards the malty side...as well it should. There are also some dark fruit flavors I'm picking up. In my opinion this is one hell of a brew.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Carbonation and body are medium in this brew. There is just a bit of warmth as it goes down, suggestion of alcohol. Overall pretty sweet on the palate. The beer is easy to drink, this is one I could see myself drinking all night, especially if I had a large liter glass stein. This is a brew I'll definitely buy again, though probably not this season as I may be out to try other oktoberfest style brews.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2007 04:02:11 | More by becktone
Photo of raverjames


4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was on tap at Gibbies Irish Pub. The first thing I notice was that the smell was sharp and unlike typical Oktoberfest contenders. It was served to me with a nice lacey head. First taste was sweet and malty with five times the flavor of Sam Adams version of this seasonal. This had a fruity finish and I didnt regret ordering another. Even my girl said this was the best Oktoberfest she had ever tried and she has half the experience I do. Thank you Great Lakes for releasing such a satisfying seasonal.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2004 08:40:36 | More by raverjames
Photo of JuniperJesus


4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Among the cacophony of Johann Schrammel blaring in the background and the merry yells of the festival crowds, she crosses your sight. She’s a voluptuous beauty who’s had her share of brezen, weisswurts, and obatzda, but she perfectly fills out her dirndl in full. Among all these Marzens, what is it about this one that has you hiding the bulge in your lederhosen? Her dark copper color helps her stand out from the rest as she pours into your glass with the thickness you expected. As soon as you bring her to your lips, she surrounds you with a warm comfort, both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time; her aroma matches evenly with her sweet taste. She is ready for fun and her hearty laugh makes you smile with each sip. After unraveling the strings on her dirndl blouse and voraciously dropping to her knees, you are overwhelmed with her lascivious mouthfeel but also a looming sorrow: this tryst will last but a few days. Alas, Octoberfest wasn’t meant to last all year, so grab her by her thick curves and dive in head first. You might as well: she’s been patiently waiting for you all year with a tankard in one hand and a motel key in the other. As the bacchanalia comes to a close, she quietly slips away into the Munich night; the memories of the copious merriment she leaves behind can only find their match in grandeur in the moist spot she left behind on the bed you shared.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2012 01:42:30 | More by JuniperJesus
Photo of BuckeyeSlim


4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 02:04:59 | More by BuckeyeSlim
Photo of adamette


4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Poured from one of the 6 twelve oz. bottles that I bought as a six pack for $8.99 a few weeks ago for a bonfire that was taking place in my neighborhood. Poured into a clean, clear pint glass. Some background: I rated this beer about a year ago and recall that it was outstanding on tap at the brewery. I recall that it was my favorite Märzen in fact. Date stamped on the label of 12/15/11 which I take to be the "best by" date.

A Great generous light brown head over a light caramel translucent body. This is, in my opinion, what a beer in this style should look like. The head lasts for more than 5 minutes a leaves a nice lacing on the inside of the glass. 4.5

S A great barley malt based malt, hops balance that I find to be very interesting and again, might be the best american Märzen out there. 4.5

T Barley husk predominates with supporting roles from hops and malt in a great balance, perfect for the style. I would not recommend any changes to make this a better version of the style. 5.0

M Moderate with the fullness garnered from the barley malt, balanced hops but the lightness of a translucent lager. 4.0

D/O Overall this is a fine example of the style. The drinkability is very good as are most beers of this style. I believe that part of the idea of this style is to be very drinkable. 4.5

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 05:12:30 | More by adamette
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear copper with an inch of dense tan foam.

S - Malty, some dark fruit, floral hops and light graininess. Very rich smelling.

T - Nutty, caramel, molasses, raisins, toasted grain and husk. Light floral hoppiness balances out the malt nicely.

M - Smooth, substantial mouthfeel with a mild carbonation.

D - This is a superior beer. Very tasty, and well balanced, leaning towards the malt.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2008 02:34:35 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of PenguinBeerFan


4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Crisp golden brown, with little head.

S - Exceptional lager sweetness you'd expect from a Marzen. Little more hops than most in the style.

T - Fantastic. Very crisp and sharp, and not all sticky malt. Superbly balanced.

M - Medium bodied, sweet on the tongue and just enough bitter on the finish to not be overpowering.

D - You could easily drink yourself into the Oktoberfest gutter on this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2008 00:09:55 | More by PenguinBeerFan
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

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 23:07:47 | More by LyonsHead
Photo of KBomb


4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Body has a nice dark copper color capped with a thick white head that doesn't stick around very long but leaves lovely lacing to the bottom of the glass.

Smell is of rich caramel malts, slightly toasty bread, and a touch of that marzen yeast.

The solid malt flavor is phenomenal. An incredibly drinkable blend of sweet malts with just a touch of peppery/herbal hops for balance. A rich, toasty malt flavor that never comes close to sugary but is remarkably full-flavored. Clean finish.

Moderately crisp mouthfeel. Just a teeny tiny bit of chew. It manages to be both light and substantial at the same time.

One of the best Oktoberfest brews I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 14:24:13 | More by KBomb
Photo of rwrk42

New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: A dark copper red with a slight bit of head on the pour.

Smell: Sweet malt with very little hops aroma. Typical Oktoberfest aroma

Taste: A good malty taste. Extremely smooth. Slight caramel taste and a bit bitter finish from the alcohol content. Bitter in a good way as it goes well with the overall taste. Low carbonation and very east to drink

Overall: An extremely good Oktoberfest. Probably one of the best I have ever had. Would highly recommend to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 02:19:35 | More by rwrk42
Photo of uwmgdman


4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brilliant copper color with moderate white head that quickly diminishes into a skim. The aroma is moderately malty, spicy, biscuity, grainy, and a bit sweet. The flavor is highly malty; biscuit and bread-like, spicy malt and a spicy, earthy low but noticeable hop flavor. The finish is exceptionally smooth and pleasantly dry. Carbonation moderate-low and body is full. Overall an exceptionally smooth, flavorful beer. A great example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2008 21:57:41 | More by uwmgdman
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$2.00 single at Abe's.

Classic amber body, good clarity, topped by two fingers of level white foam.

Toasty bready aroma, mild but appealing.

Semi sweet malt lathers the tongue, touch of dark chocolate, real depth of flavor. Great balancing by earthy noble hops.

Smooth medium mouthfeel. Solidly drinkable, though perhaps more filling than the typical oktoberfest.

One of the best US Oktoberfests. Next year a sixer instead of just a single.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 23:03:58 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of Tballz420


4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Oktoberfest is an amber colored lager, with a frothy white head as its crown. The aroma is a spot on marzen nose, rich malts, kind of yeasty, maybe a touch of hops in the background. Wow, the flavor explodes onto the scene the minute it hits the tongue. Very nice and rich malts, fairly spicy hops, somewhat bready, a bit earthy. Very full mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 01:18:12 | More by Tballz420
Photo of GreenWBush


4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good goddamn! I knew that Great Lakes was a fantastic brewery, but I had no idea how well they could clean up in this style ... At the local beer bar, the cronies and I ordered up every last Oktoberfest on-tap and compared them side-by-side. Amongst Spaten, Paulaner, Sam Adams, Goose Island, and Upland, Great Lakes was unquestionably the best.

This beer pours out a deeper-than-normal brownish-bronze with a fat head and astonishing lacing.

The nose is richly sweet, malty, twinged with a greater than normal IBU. We're not talking Imperial Oktoberfest here, but a presence much more impressive than any other examples.

The sweet nectar has a smooth, rich mouthfeel that coats but keeps getting better with every sip. I cannot describe this beer any further than to demand anyone who has any reasonable access to it to seek it out.

Mmmm ... down to the bar ...

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2004 03:39:31 | More by GreenWBush
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Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,288 ratings.