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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 gabedivision

New York

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark orange with a 1 finger head.

Smells of rich malts,strong for a lager, bits of spice and clove. The taste is a malt explosion with tons of hop and spice. Smooth and medium bodied, lots of flavor, and taste. This is a fantastic Marzen, wow, what flavor and complexity this beer has. this is a damn good lager,gotta try it if Marzen's are your taste.

Serving type: growler

11-12-2011 06:11:09 | More by gabedivision
Photo of Jesse13713


3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Filled a Growler at the local Acme marketplace. I haven't seen this bottled in Ohio yet this year. I also have not reviewed a beer on here in a long while. I've been drinking quite a few fall, pumpkin, and Oktoberfest beers this year and it has sparked my interest in reviewing. Autumn beers are my favorite!

Appearence - Served in a maudite tulip glass. Served cold and fresh. A nice, clear orange and amber color with hints of brown. No noticeable head from the Growler pour.

Smell - light caramelly malts and bright hops. Sort of difficult to get a large hint of anything particular. Smells fresh, pleasant, and slightly citrusy.

Taste - light to medium bodied and full of malts. Caramely and light. Slight clove spice in the background but not much. Sort of a lightly sweetened leafy taste.

Mouth feel and overall - The Growler pour tastes a little more alcoholic than the bottled version I remember from last year. I anticipate finding this years bottle release. Crisp and refreshing. Light bodied mostly except for randomntastes of stronger alcohol.

Serving type: growler

08-28-2011 01:57:02 | More by Jesse13713
Photo of despainmakesbeer


3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Awesome color. Very clear orangish copper color. Head fades, light speckled face cover lingers. Maltiness in aroma. Oddly enough pick up a heavy vegetably peppery smell. Some breadiness from malt and some very sight orange. On inhale of beer in throat, pick up a big hint of jello (maybe cherry). Same thing on actual flavor. Some breadiness, some lagery sweetness, but still predominantly jello, coud be something in the growler perhaps. Not much to say about this one, but not my favorite octoberfest.

Serving type: growler

11-27-2010 19:31:26 | More by despainmakesbeer
Photo of gilman

New York

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber almost orange with a fluffy head that leaves a lot of lacing, a very good looking example of the style. The taste is a hoppier, full bodied solid and unique addition to the category and follows the general guidelines. This is a very good rendering of an Oktoberfest brew. Sweet malt and biscuit malt without a lot of hops. Not terribly complex but very flavorful.
Another very solid offering from a really solid brewery.

Serving type: growler

11-08-2009 21:07:55 | More by gilman
Photo of TheTrevor

New York

3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a light amber with a fluffy single-finger head that left some nice lacing. The smell is mostly sweet malt with some unobtrusive grassy and floral malt. The taste starts off with a mix of the floral hops and some sweet slightly tart malt that gives way to a bit of a dry finish. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some moderate carbonation. No problem with drinkability, this is a nice little beer.

Serving type: growler

10-03-2009 00:45:22 | More by TheTrevor
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured crystal clear medium amber with a white head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with caramel and Vienna/Munich malts and a crisp hop character.

The flavor was malty with a crisp caramel flavor and Vienna malt. The hop bitterness balanced the maltiness and kept the malt in check. The Vienna and toasty flavors were very well done.

The finish was dry with a slight bittering component lasting long into the aftertaste. The body was medium and well done.

2L German Growler.

Serving type: growler

11-02-2004 00:18:58 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of schleprock


4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Early on I was not a fan of many Great Lakes Beers, even after visiting the brewery however a few like Conway's Irish, The Christmas Ale, Blackout Stout and this one are top notch.

Pours a really nice bronze body with a thick cream colored head and leaves great lacing as you drink from the glass.

Lots of caramel malt hits the nose and the taste follows with a rich caramel malt flavor with a bit of sweetness.

This is a dangerously good beer. I say that because this is easily sessionable for me.

Overall this is definitely one of the better versions of the style I've seen on the market. I'll definitely be looking for this next fall and run to the store before it's all gone just like I do for their Christmas Ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 04:13:28 | More by schleprock
Photo of dmfrench


4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A better Oktoberfest only exists in the mind.

A: Nice deep orange with a somewhat persistent coarse white head. Too clear.

S: Inviting: earthy malts and dusty/spicy hops.

T: Lots of sugary spiced malt, fruit, some dusty hops, and that dry 'oktoberfest' flavor.

M: could have a bit more backbone, but weighty enough to satisfy.

O: See first line.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 20:01:10 | More by dmfrench
Photo of WunderLlama


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a glass

Looks like a whiskey, thin carbonation cap, no visible carbonation

Aroma of sweet malts, black pepper and bread.

Smooth malt on the front of the tongue. Clean finish in the back. Octoberfest malt, good!

Medium mouthfeel.

Back up the truck and stock up the fridge. Great tasting American Oktoberfest. Keep on hand and drink frequently. Repeat at will. Different than German Marzens but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 01:10:19 | More by WunderLlama
Photo of Jeffreysan


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

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep golden copper color with reddish highlights and a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice and malty and bready. Notes of freshly baked bread, brown sugar, black pepper, and burnt orange.

Taste: Very much like the aroma. Very malty and bready up front, notes of lightly salted soft pretzels, followed by some brown sugar and caramel-like sweetness, finished by some beautifully balanced hoppy bitterness. Excellent!

Mouthfeel: Medium, with some great carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.5%, there is just the slightest hint of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Damn excellent American version of an Oktoberfest beer! Great balance between the malt, the sweet and the hops. Definitely getting a six-pack of this beer every fall

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 00:17:38 | More by Jeffreysan
Photo of keithmurray

New York

4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 21:28:48 | More by keithmurray
Photo of alphagnome


4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a translucent, rich bronze color body. Fine sediment is visible. Thick, white head leaves nice lacing as it slowly withers away. Light carbonation.

Honestly, not a lot going on here.. and that's not a bad thing! Nice, rich caramel malt provides most of the nose. A bit of nutmeg. The occasional banana. Crisp.

Delicious! Thick malt provides a sweetness that is almost too much. ALMOST. Caramel notes are present but light for the style. Hints of pecan, maple and apricot liven the party up and add a nice complexity. Sweetness transitions into a light bitter bite. Finish has an oak quality to it with a hint of alcohol.

Smooth as they come. Medium body. Light carbonation levels. Alcohol is noticeable and the finish is semi-dry.

Possibly the most enjoyable example of the style I've had to date! Refreshing and easy to drink. Plenty of complexity and character. Grab it if you see it - I know I will be travelling to bordering states to get my hands on this one next year!

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 02:24:08 | More by alphagnome
Photo of ONUMello


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Light orange with a thin head that hurriedly disappears
S: Roasted malt, subtle spice, caramel and just a hint of hops
T: Matches the nose with roasted grain, caramel, spice, hops
M: Light but crisp and refreshing
O: Very enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 03:17:21 | More by ONUMello
Photo of Jacobob10

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep amber in color with a solid white head and a fair amount of lacing on the glass. Clear body. Bread and toasted malt aroma. Light floral noble hops. Medium bodied with good carbonation. A great and slightly unique example of the style. One of the best American-made Oktoberfest beers I have had to date. This was my first Great Lakes beer and I will certainly be trying others. Glad they are now being distributed in NJ.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 00:17:42 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of brewskifan55


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass

A: Amber, opaque, with a tan half-finger head that dissipates to foamy bubbles. Great lacing.

S: Floral, malty. Cinnamon and spices. A little pumpkin, too.

T: Robust, malty, hearty, sweet. Grainy. Now this is the way an o-fest should taste!

M: Medium to high. Hefty carbonation. Really full and thick.

O: An excellent Oktoberfest. Great with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 17:22:39 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of matjack85


4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I tried this at Quencher's Saloon in Chicago. $5 for a 12oz bottle served in a pint glass.

The beer poured a crystal clear red/copper/amber color with a big 3-finger white head that lasted awhile and left some tremendous lacing.

Pleasant bready malt smell with some aromatic hops and spices in the background.

This is a spicy Oktoberfest. Plenty of bready malt and traditional caramel sweetness, but this one also has a mild hop bite to it along with a pronounced spiciness. It's very good.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

I like what they did with this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 18:44:05 | More by matjack85
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 maxcoinage


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter with a few cm head that dissapated rather quickly. Color is a dark amber with slight orange hue.

Aroma - caramel malts, toffee

Taste - nice sweet malt backbone balanced with a bit of spicy hops, bit of caramel. easy finish

Mouthfeel - Smooth medium body and carbonation

Overall - great interpretation of the style, nothing like enjoying one on a nice fall evening

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 22:43:09 | More by maxcoinage
Photo of dacrza1

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

DATE TASTED: September 13, 2013 ... GLASSWARE: Ayinger willibecker... OCCASION: first full week of school is done--and the power's back in our house...APPEARANCE: upward cascading bubbles uphold a thick, foam-laden off-white head; orange amber body conveys an Oktoberfest with nice tracings... AROMA: beautiful caramel malts; some flowery hops add balance; grassy undertones add to its earthy aroma...PALATE: mellow, medium-bodied and pleasantly drinkable; balanced between tongue and tooth...TASTE: sweet, buttery caramel and sugary/salty enough to force of a lick of the lips; a winning sweetness that makes this style rewarding... OVERALL: clean, crisp and fulfilling--an Oktoberfest can do little more to impress; outstanding may be a stretch, but the sum of its parts suggests this appellation...

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 03:09:54 | More by dacrza1
Photo of Jonada

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Best before 11/9/2013. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Copper orange color with less than a finger of a white head that dissipates quickly to a thin collar. Body is relatively clear, however there is some fine suspended sediment visible.

Smell: Sweet malt, banana bread, a bit of earthy hops. Mild/medium strength aroma.

Taste: Malt sweetness, bread and bread crusts, with some subtle hints of caramel and apple.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and crisp. Medium prickly carbonation. High drinkability.

Overall: One of my favorite Oktoberfest beers. Its not super complex but it's still very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 03:18:21 | More by Jonada
Photo of emerge077


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

BBD: 10/18/12

Poured into a tulip glass, it has a bright amber copper color with high clarity. Languid sparse trails of rising bubbles from the center of the glass. A sizable head at first pour becomes a frosted thin layer on the surface, with a perfect delicate crown of lace around the edges. Retention is pretty good.

Mellow shortbread aroma, slight toasted grain.

A light bitter bite is noticeable upfront, segueing into some smooth nutty almond from it's grain and malt character. Bitterness grips lightly, but slips into the malt cocoon effortlessly. Light bodied but with enough complexity to keep one well interested.

2013: Sampling this again against a dozen other Oktoberfests, this one came out in my personal top 3. Very fresh and true to style with it's own unique nutty malt character, and lingering flavors. Highly recommended for an American Oktoberfest that upholds tradition.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 02:24:21 | More by emerge077
Photo of Stevedore


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from the 2013 seasonal release. Poured into a Founders' snifter today, 10/2/2013.

Absolutely beautiful beer. Pours an clear burnt orange-amber hue, with a 1cm white head that quickly dissipates. Some lacing. I just want to keep looking at this beer in the light, it illuminates extremely well.

Smells pretty straightforward. Super malty, lots of toffee candy and bread right here. A little bit of noble hops, making for an earthy hoppiness. Decent nose, not super pungent but you know what, that is okay.

I am digging the flavour. It is very bready in terms of maltiness with a very nice earthy bitterness accompanying it. There is also a little bit of that lager yeast spice which somehow complements everything very well. Very balanced, full of flavour here.

This is actually a thicker bodied beer for the Marzen style. I am really digging it and its perfect carbonation. Very drinkable and smooth, refreshing. This mouthfeel captures the spirit of Oktoberfest quite well.

I'm a fan. This is probably my favorite Oktoberfest beer I've had so far. I've had a bunch, like Staghorn as well as the typical Munich brewers' takes- Hofbräu, Hacker, etc. and this holds up pretty well to the German examples. I'm guessing that this is as good as it gets in the USA.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 03:42:02 | More by Stevedore
Photo of schoolboy


4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I usually avoid marzen so I was surprised when I actually like this one from our local boys. I was pretty sure that I had it before and it was OK, so it seemed like a nice change of pace and at about $1.50/bottle, it is pretty reasonable.

I like to think of this as a lager, like it says on the label. I think they nailed it as far as a rich appearance and great taste and aftertaste (which is really smooth). I feel a little like Dewey Cox on the aroma - I caint smell it. But I think I want me some of that.

They did the right balance on this. Although an experiment of a bigger version would be cool, it just wouldn't be so drinkable. I think during the Indians playoff game tomorrow I will drink several of these and see it they are as drinkable as it seems.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2013 20:38:30 | More by schoolboy
Photo of dancingnancie


4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 OZ Bottle.

Very fresh as I live not too far from the brewery.

Very good lacing. Every time you take a sip you gather another ring around the glass.

The nose is very very malty. Along the lines of freshly baked bread. Pretty darn smooth, but I think the mouthfeel is a bit light. The bitterness of the hops is very nice in this brew. The hop bite lasts from start to finish. This is the first Oktoberfest I've ever had. This has got me really intrigued into the style. I plan to try more thanks to this brew!!

Try it for sure!

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 23:19:42 | More by dancingnancie
Photo of Maninthearena


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

Appearance- Red-amber, very appetizing color. Almost perfect head upon pour, thick yet crisp, maintained form and hugged the glass. Fairly translucent.

Nose- A rush of noble hops upon pouring. Some tannins and earthy qualities, woody.

Taste- Oh my, this is autumn in a glass. Caramel and then some. Malty and quite spicy. Very complex blend of herbal qualities, can't quite distinguish all of the individual flavors. Finish is a toasty maltiness that leaves you salivating. Layers of goodness. Just a wee bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, smooth, mouth drying. More velvety than creamy due to how thick it is.

Overall- A charm to drink, there are so many Oktoberfests out there and this one stacks up in my opinion. A full-bodied flavor profile makes tasting this a pleasure.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 00:55:58 | More by Maninthearena
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Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,288 ratings.