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Great Lakes Oktoberfest - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,284 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1284
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: 1,284 | Reviews: 507 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Worked the polls yesterday for the special election and went out afterwards to the Cloverleaf. First time in ages I wet there for any food or drink and along with the lam burger that I had, this was recommended as a beer pairing with it. I've had more than my fair share of Fall beers, Octoberfests, and Marzens so I didn't have the highest of expectations for this. Thankfully, I was proven wrong and this was pretty hard to pace myself through before my food came out!

Nice copper hue to this with a pretty radiant clarity, good head, and rings of lacing that held their own after each sip. Not a strong aroma to this but there was enough malt, cream, and caramel to be found here with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg in the taste to reinforce those notes. Not too strong and certainly not spicy - it almost reminded me of a lighter Pumpkin Ale. This wasn't heavy and there was just enough of a cloying aspect in the aftertaste to keep it lingering without feeling sticky.

The alcohol was good too and although I only had one, it would be quite easy to have more than a few in a sitting. It's not easy to find an Octoberfest that isn't watered-down, generic, spicy, or chewy but this straddled all of those while having just enough to it to stand out. Even if there isn't any food around to pair it with, this is worth seeking out and enjoying on its own.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2013 18:19:30 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of drpimento


3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pretty good stuff, meng. Served too cold, with a smallish, cream-colored head and good lacing. Aroma was almost nonexistent probably due to my low ability to smell, so all I can do is give benefit of the doubt. Color is a clear copper amber. Flavor's very nice and to me, so important for an Oktoberfest, not too sweet. It is malty, bread, cracker, some tang, hint of bitter, roast, and dry. Body/carbonation excellent esp. considering temperature. Finish is like flavor, average length, very easy drinking. Solid beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2013 03:07:31 | More by drpimento
Photo of cjgiant

District of Columbia

3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber, with not much head, retention, or lacing. Slightly woody maltiness with a hint, ever so slight, if toffe or caramel.

The taste is very smooth, if unexciting (not that I expect exciting from an oktoberfest). Perhaps because of its smoothness, it's hard to place a taste, but if I try, it's got a light hint of like a peach pastry.

Overall, a very drinkable beer. Smoother than the Oktoberfest I had just before it, which I appreciated. I have most likely under-rated this for the style, but it was a bit stronger in flavor than the Hofbrau I had after, if not quite as smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2013 00:13:28 | More by cjgiant
Photo of AdamBear


3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-great amber color but with a fairly significant lack of head

S-grainy beer wort. A good scent but not a strong scent

T-comes in with a flavor of roasted caramel grains. They're very crisp and bready. Just a touch of sweetness. Matching after-taste that has some lingering bitterness to it. Quality ingredients.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a semi dry finish

O-definitely a great example of the style, definitely something I could quaff liters of if at a festival. Has a good raw beer flavor more so than some oktoberfests and is also a bit more bitter than most.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2013 01:44:12 | More by AdamBear
Photo of deebo


3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2013 02:20:47 | More by deebo
Photo of Mantooth

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft pour at The Peculiar Rabbit in Charlotte, NC (how bad a pub name is that?).

Loverly orange creature, thick oily lacing and ample head. The nose is nice, the taste is fantastic; malt, hops, grains, dried hay (yes, I taste dried hay!), pepper - very nice brew. Slightly oily moutfeel on this wonderful beverage. This is a beautiful beer, grab one if you get a chance.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2013 22:32:42 | More by Mantooth
Photo of Amish_Ambush


4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Original Review: 09-24-2006

Amber in color. Small head and minimal lacing. The body was about medium with a slightly creamy mouth feel. The taste notes include a complex mix of ripe sweet orange, biscuit/toast and some mild hops. The aftertaste consisted of more of the same.

Notes: I think they nailed this one. Perhaps they should bottle this one for their seasonal rotation?

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2012 01:38:38 | More by Amish_Ambush
Photo of xnicknj


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at devils den

Pours a clear deep amber color with brilliant red and gold hues. Crop of beige head rests on top, fading into some patchy film on the glass while drinking.

Toasted malts and sweet caramel in the nose. Earthy with soft, leafy hop presence. Hints of raisin, burnt sugar and dark fruit.

Earthy, leafy hops swept away by layers of malt flavor. Toasted bread, bread crust, caramel and burnt sugar. Fairly sweet with some raisin and a touch of dark fruit. Finishes malty and roasty.

Fuller medium body, well carbonated, creamy and chewy on the tongue. Really well balanced and crafted - one of my favorite Oktoberfests right now.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2012 00:34:50 | More by xnicknj
Photo of blameo


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- a nice, thick head about .75". Copper color, see through

Smell- caramel, with hints of hops. Also some brown sugar and hints of pine.

Taste- Similar to the smell. On the sweet end, with spices hidden beneath that linger after swallowing. A bit of a bready taste.

Feel- very carbonated. Medium body, not too light but also not too heavy. Great to drink alone or with food.

Overall- not what I would normally expect when thinking about an oktoberfest but still a wonderful beer. I would definitely buy this again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2012 23:41:04 | More by blameo
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a medium orange color with a one finger dense white head. The head had decent retention and faded to give way to a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma of a light roasted malt and some caramel. There is some toasted bread notes and a light spicy hop aroma that are mixed within.

Taste – The taste begins of a caramel flavor and a great roasted malt and biscuit taste. As the taste advances some of the caramel fades as some light hop flavors of a more herbal note come to the tongue. These flavors crisp up the taste toward the end and leave a smooth, slightly roasted and lightly hopped malty flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly higher then average side in terms of creaminess wth the carbonation level being quite average. The body was fantastic for the roasted flavors of the brew while the carbonation level helped to give just the right amount of crispness to the brew as some of the sweeter flavors left the taste profile.

Overall - Very easy drinking with some wonderful tastes as well as a nice smooth feel. Quite nice.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2012 00:20:49 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of EnJeiBee


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Transparent coppery hue with a thin white head a great lacing

S - Slightly nutty/ toasty sweet malt aroma with the faintest hint of spicy hops

T - Spot on to the nose, what you smell is what you taste

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation and slightly creamy

O - Great easy drinking oktoberfest. Although this isn't my favorite style I can really see why so many love this brew.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2011 04:33:41 | More by EnJeiBee
Photo of soju6


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Maggie's On The River in Watertown, NY.

A: Served a nice copper color with a head that fades slowly to good lacing.

S: Pleasent aroma of roasted malt, caramel, bit of citrus and spice.

T: Mild sweetness, roasted malt, caramel, a bit of spice and a clean finish.

F: Medium body, Very clean, smooth and creamy. Verygood balance.

O: Easy drinker. Great one to curl up with on a cold evening. This is what an Oktoberfest should be like. Well worth the effort to seek this one out.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2011 22:23:43 | More by soju6
Photo of zimm421


4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard pint glass. This appears a nice brown color with hints of red to it as well. There's not too much of a head on it, but that could just be the pour. Not much lacing either.

Nose is sweet. Caramel and bready notes. More balanced than the bottled version. There is a bit of hop bitterness, with nice earthiness and fresh cut grass. Taste is balanced. Nice caramel, biscuity malts, with good balancing aspects from the hops. There are the same hop notes, but a lot more of the grassy notes here.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and goes down easily. Medium bodied, good carbonation levels. Overall, a good brew. Reviewed the bottled version earlier, and really don't think there's many differences. The draft smells better, but doesn't look as good. Either way, a great Oktoberfest that is readily available in my area, and I'm definitely appreciative of that.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2011 23:25:04 | More by zimm421
Photo of sdsurfer217


3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brilliant Orange, little to no head.

S: Little bit of sweet orange aromas. Plenty of malt/breadiness with hints of caramel.

T: Breadiness, malty, orange/citrus notes. Plenty of caramel/nutty notes. Balanced goodness.

M: Medium weight, with a little bit of creaminess.

O: One of the better oktoberfest's out this year. Balanced and delicious. Would like some more sweet malty flavors, but a very good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2011 20:12:55 | More by sdsurfer217
Photo of Kendo

New York

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Got it on tap at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse, where they serve it in an imperial pint glass (cost was $5.50, I believe). . . . Body is clear coppery-amber with a 1-finger white head. Leaves behind some foamy lace.

S: Mild nose - a touch of toffee and caramel malt. As it warms I get some herbal notes as well.

T: First impression: clean. Caramel malt up front with a slightly florally hop bite at the end. Finishes fairly dry and clean.

M: Call it light-to-medium in heft, with an appropriate level of carbonation. There's a slightly "sharp" feel to it that makes it a little more interesting as it tickles the tongue.

O: An easy quaffer, but one with some flavor. Probably what every Octoberfest should be.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2011 16:00:17 | More by Kendo
Photo of gojo1970


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has truly raised my expectations of finding a good German style beer in the states. The color being slightly dark not quite dark enough to be considered an alt beer but great tasting none the less. With its roasted hops flavor and beautiful dark color it drinks as well as any good oktoberfest beer wold better drank ice cold to keep a good quarter inch head on it as you drink it.

If you haven't ever been to the Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland it's a must as you walk in it gives an immediate feel of comfort that the german gausthaus does. Next time we go I plan on getting a room for the night to do a little more drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2011 17:23:28 | More by gojo1970
Photo of aasher


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this yesterday on tap in Louisville at Maggy Malone's. It arrived a light bodied rich pumpkin orange in color with a one finger soft and creamy off white head. It gave aromas of light caramel malts, light bready malts, a light hop bitterness, and a nice touch of honey. It had a great nose for an Oktoberfest. The flavors mimicked the aromas and it was very appealing for the style. It was a little bolder than the every day Marzen. It was really apparent how fresh the keg was, having just arrived a few days earlier. The flavors were sharp and on point. It drank very light and was ultimately smooth. This was definitely aided by being on draft. Overall, this is a damn fine Marzen. Grab it while it's fresh!

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2011 15:42:39 | More by aasher
Photo of nukem5


3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Nice color in pint glass, orange with a nice cap of tan foam.

S: Aroma is sweet and not unlike any other marzen style beer you have had, but this one is a bit smaller than average.

T: Sweet malts and a breadiness are present in this as well, It just tastes like fall to me .

M: lighter side of medium bodied with a light carbonation level.Very little if any legs to it.

O: Overall it is my fave beer style and was a bit put out as Great Lakes usually do things very good and well received but this one while good on the average is still a bit light for me.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2011 01:38:15 | More by nukem5
Photo of ne0m00re


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

09/18/10- Had this one on-tap at Mohawk in Columbus.
A: Copper with a thin collar (cream) and clear.
S: Caramel malt, metallic banana, raspberries... nice.
T: Nice toffee/caramel bready malt with a crisp finish.
M: Creamy, yet with a thin body. Very good.
D: Very good.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2010 18:55:20 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of jampics2


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at GLBC for Oktoberfest. Served in a pint glass.

This beer is copper with a nice head. There are some touches of brown, orange, and even a touch of red when held up to what little sunshine Cleveland could conjure up on this cool late September day. The beer leaves good lace on the glass and is overall very nice looking.

For an Oktoberfest, this beer is nicely expressive in terms of smell. Sweet, slightly caramelized malt with an abundance of toasty notes and a touch of flowery noble hops. Very nice expression especially considering this wasn't particularly kicked-up for the American palate/nose.

With one sip, it becomes apparent that Great Lakes Oktoberfest is certainly less of a sweeter Americanized Marzen style and more of a traditional take. It's a bit grainy and toasty, and the bitterness is a touch more pronounced that the flavors the malty base contributes, which makes it a touch unbalanced to my pallate but flavorful nonetheless. The Hallertau hops lend a very appealing spice characteristic and the yeast lends just a touch of fruitiness to balance out the toasted Munich specialty grains. Overall, this is complex and earthy but just shy of being extraordinary to my palate.

Like all Great Lakes beers, the Oktoberfest is nicely carbonated. In particular, the crisp edge pairs nicely with the medium body. I like this beer and will enjoy it many times this year, as it's a wonderful companion on the first chilly days of Autumn.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2010 17:12:57 | More by jampics2
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 Florida9


3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Served in a shaker pint with just a small bit of head which subsided relatively quickly to just a ring around the glass. Very light lacing.

S: Smells of toast and roasted squash. Maybe some hay or straw and a bit of caramel malt.

T: Again toast, and a bit of squash, like zucchini, kind of a bland starchiness. Heavier caramel malts. Earthy hops. Light bitterness.

M: Creamy, round and smooth. Medium in weight with lower carbonation levels

D: Decent, but not my favorite. About half way through my second pint, I just wasn't enjoying it anymore. I bit of a disappointment from a great brewer like GL.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2010 01:47:06 | More by Florida9
Photo of Spider889


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

By far the best Oktoberfest I have ever had. Certainly one of my least favorite styles too, not that I hate it. But I tried very hard to rate this to style, my tastes alone had this a half-point or more lower on most criteria.

Nice dark amber/golden brown color. Maybe it was just the pour but my pint arrived with no head and left no real lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malt, lemon, and orange.

Taste is typical for the style, but much more malt-forward and pleasantly sweet and slightly bitter. I continue to detect lemon. Nice bready malts on the finish.

very smooth and easy drinking, if I want a Marzen I will buy GLBC.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2010 06:13:54 | More by Spider889
Photo of drtth


3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a nonic glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a nice cleary lightly coppered amber color with a ¼" off white head that persists for a while and leaves a nice pattern of lacing on the glass as it recedes. Eventually the head recedes to a ring of foam but for most of the beer there are speckles of lacing when sipping and there is also lacing clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is almost completely dominated by butterscotch or toffee with little or no hop character showing.

Taste: The flavors are malty and sweet with a fair amount of butterscotch and toffee. There is some earthy hop character that eventually cuts into the sweetness but does not eliminate it.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and soft with moderate carbonation. The finish may be the best part of this as eventually the toffee and butterscotch sweetness fade away in to some dry bitterness.

Drinkability: I was surprised by this beer as I wasn't expecting quite so much toffee/butterscotch caramel in either the nose or the flavors. On the whole I had no problem finishing the beer but thought it could have used a bit more hop to balance it out and give it a dryer, more bitter finish. While I'll try this one again to see if I need to improve the scores on this one, it didn't seem to me to be all that pleasant compared to some of the other o-fest beers I've tried.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2010 01:35:53 | More by drtth
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: amber in color with a nice 3" head that lasts a bit. Moderate lace paints the glass.

Smell: light malt sweetness and a bit of earthiness is easy to detect.

Taste: caramel, a bit of bread, and there is a slight roasted and earthy quality here. Bitterness is nicely balancing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, a bit smoother towards the finish. Aftertaste is short lived.

Drinkability: this beer was extremely quaffable and enjoyable. This hits the spot when looking for a nice fall season beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2010 22:41:24 | More by Gavage
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Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,284 ratings.