Great Lakes Oktoberfest - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest

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BA SCORE
89
very good

555 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

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Reviews: 555
Hads: 1,913
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 198
Gots: 267 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 555 | Hads: 1,913
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Premiere Gourmet. Pours peachy colour, and the aroma is fruity peachy. Easy drinking, mild bitterness, and the bitterness is more pronounced than the slight sweetness, a tad smoked. Not outstanding beer that I would seek it, very pleasant though. Bang on the style plus. (275 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to whitenads for sending me this one.

Enjoy by: 10/15/14.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, toast, earth, caramel, and slight nut aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, toast, nut, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of malt and earth forward characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle. (642 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear orange and amber in color. It poured with a thin white head that died down and left a thin ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of toasted malts and grassy hops in the nose.
T: The overall taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of toasted malts with hints of caramel. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and relatively smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and is a good representation of the style. (582 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.11/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a fairly light amber, bordering on copper. Starts with a two-finger head in my pilsner glass, lading into just a rim as the beer goes down. Hints of lacing. Smells slightly sweet with some caramel. Not too much depth. Taste is similar with a faint hoppiness. Light caramel touch. Mouthfeel is nice. Medium body and good carbonation. Slightly creamy. Drinkability is average. Nothing spectacular here. Not quite malty enough to fit into the German-type Oktoberfest, and doesn't have the hop feel of some of the better American Octoberfests. (545 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found on-on tap at (of all places) Cheapside's. The bottle proved to be a world-class brew, so I had high hopes for the tap. The golden-copper-orange brew came out with a very froathy, withstanding head retention thats tough to fight through. The aromas are somewhat light, but are very yeasty, bready, malty, with just a touch of refreshing hops. Tastes very malty without the caramel or toffee sweetness. Malts are so rich that the hops, esters, and alcohol take a really far back seat. This is undoubtedly the most malty-textured Oktoberfest that I have had. Very rich textued, creamy, and soft. Finishes malty and firm. Could this beer be too malty? (653 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Bottle: Poured a golden color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of clean cereal notes is exactly what I would expect from the style. Taste is also dominated by cereal notes with light residual sugar with a clean finish. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Perfect example of the style. (340 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Polished pumpkin orange with candy corn colored highlights. The thickly creamy crown is more pale orange than ecru and possesses the usual Great Lakes magic, both immediately after the pour and as it settles. A thick, circumferential sheet of lace is broken only by a few specks of visible glass. Wow, what a start!

The nose is standard for the style and neither disappoints nor impresses. Actually, given the brewery, it is a disappointment. Earthy malt and musky hops lead the way, but don't make me excited to begin drinking.

I'm sorry I doubted. The flavor profile makes up for the aroma's shortcomings, and then some. Oktoberfest's best feature is its balance, both with respect to complementary flavors and to sweetness and bitterness. Toasted barley, baked nuts and steely caramel are beautifully countered by bitter orange peel, dark honey and herbal-earthy hops.

I feel the same way about Oktoberfest that I feel about Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, in the sense that there's something in this flavor profile (that I can't pinpoint or even describe) that makes it better than all of the other versions that I've tried. It's just... so... damn... delicious. How they do it, what secret ingredient they use, I'll never know.

One thing I didn't doubt, not even for a second, was the mouthfeel. These guys do mouthfeels like Monet does landscapes. Strangely enough, their brewpub beer (a different brewer by the way) doesn't hit me the same. This one is medium-full and is incredibly smooth and polished. In other words, it's a treat for the mouth.

I'll admit, Oktoberfest is not my favorite style. In fact, it isn't among my top-20 favorite styles. Leave it to Great Lakes, a world-class brewery, to show me just what a world-class O-fest should taste like. Highly recommended... but only if you're a fan of outstanding craft beer. (1,838 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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. (899 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, orange color with ruby highlights. It had a small, foamy, off-white head that left some sticky lace.

S - It smelled of caramel malt and some mild floral notes. It smelled really quite sweet.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel with touches of honey. It doesn't have the maltiness that I expect in a great octoberfest.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly dry finish. A light to medium bodied brew.

D - This is a nice easy drinking octoberfest. It's not my favorite but its still worth a try from a quality brewery. (543 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +6%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dan for tossing this beer in as an extra in a recent trade.

A: The pour is a clear copper color with a finger or so worth of white foam.

S: Initially I get a lot of lager yeast aromas along with some grassy hops. As the beer warms up a little bit, some sweet malt aromas come through. Fairly creamy with some caramel and toffee notes, and a mild spiced quality.

T: Fairly malt forward with notes of grassy and spicy hops. The malt character is bready with some sweet caramel flavors. A slightly earthy bitterness to this beer as well.

M: The body is medium with a smooth carbonation that is lively and moderately creamy.

D: A solid Oktoberfest from a solid brewery. I really enjoyed this lager. (709 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pokal at ChurchKey.

I missed the Nosferatu, but at least I got to try this one. It pours a clear amber copper topped by a veruy short, ecru, bubbly head. The smell is sweeter than expected, comprising brown sugar, maple syrup, caramel, and a semi-tropical fruitness that's hard to pin down (my best guess is pineapple). The maple comes through in the taste, along with toffee, walnut, green apple, and a sort of woody bitterness. Not what I've come to expect from an Oktoberfest necessarily, but not all that bad either. The body is a light medium, with a smoothness that improves over time and a carbonation that's small and short, but pretty active while there. (676 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Becker pint glass.

Pours beautiful clear orangish amber with a smallish white head that left little lacing and what did remain behind didn't last very long. Aroma is sweet and a little spicey, with some definite fruit notes and a slight floral smell of hops.

Taste is of sweet caramel with some nuttiness. The sweetness lingers into the finish but is offset very nicely by a lingering hop bitterness. Mouthfull is full and crisp and nicely covers the nearly 7% ABV.

Great Lakes a brewed a nice take on the Marzen here that seems to have a little more going on in the taste department than others I've had. Drinkability is very good and is prefectly geared towards Fall imbibing. Enjoy! (710 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Garbercury.

A: Fluffy head of 2 fingers rises up and slowly fades. It's about as crystal clear as it can get. It has a toasty amber orange color.

N: Lots of nice malts, a little sweetness, some light toasty malts. Also has some crisp lager aromas.

T: Pretty sweet to start, almost syrupy and like table sugar was added. It has a nice malty flavor, some toastiness, and lots more sweet almost creamy malts. A hint of bitter hops. Then light crisp lager flavors.

M: Light, good carbonation.

F: Finishes a little drier, but still slightly sweet, and has a little more bitterness. Actually, the sweetness just sits on the tongue and doesn't want to go, it's a little annoying. A little syrupy as well. A nice beer, decent Oktoberfest, but a little too sweet. (777 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.75/5  rDev +19%
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. (447 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.51/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served up at Med Mex the Robinson location:

Appearance: Perfect, caramel orange tint nice foamy cream hued head, with rings evenly spread for the lace. Aroma: Rich toasted malts with a sryupy malt backbone bringing out the sweetness with the hops tip toeing onto the scene. Taste: Full malty and hoppier than most awesome Ofest the best spicy finish I have yet to taste from any of the Oktoberfests I've sampled, mildly hopped at 35 IBUs. Mouthfeel: Medium body slightly sticky in texture with smooth carbonation. Drinkabiltiy: All I can say is by the liter. (562 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Oktoberfest

Clear and bright bronze/copper in appearance, creamy, off-white brief head.

Aroma: perfect marzen nose, rich malty, shiny cereal, sweet, yet slightly sharp. Pleasantly herbal.

Taste: Tasty amber lager. Smooth on the tongue. Pleasingly malty, rich. Great drinkability. Lays just long enough on the palate, then keeps it on the sly for a while. Swims lightly, keeping the malty marzen flavor going.

good one. (434 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%

From 08/29/14 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a somewhat clear bright orange-amber color with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident. A lot of bready malts, grains, dough, toasted malts, burnt malts, caramel malts, some brown sugar. Some light fruity malts in the taste. Medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

Overall a decently good marzen. Not a ton going on bit easy to drink. Not my favorite but would try it again. (472 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is red and clear with a white head of small bubbles. No lacing and carbonation is moderate.

Beer is mild smelling and mostly malty.

Beer is pretty thick, full bodied. Very malty, mild roast perhaps. Drinkability of this beer is good but I feel its a little too thick for an oktoberfest. (293 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 10/6/2012. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense off white head with great retention; that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, pear, biscuit, toast, herbal, floral, and light earthy spiciness. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of biscuit, toast, caramel, pear, herbal, floral, grass, and earthy spiciness. Lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, pear, herbal, and grass on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance and robustness; fairly clean finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and fairly crisp mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with pretty much zero warming noticed after the finish. Extremely smooth and easy to drink. Overall this is a highly excellent Oktoberfest. Great flavor balance and very smooth to drink. An easy winner. (933 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear medium orangish amber in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation near the edges of the glass and some apricot + copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film evenly covering the entire surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts with a light hint of caramel sweetness followed by light to moderate aromas of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of toasted malts with light amounts of caramel sweetness. That is followed by light flavors of grassy and earthy hops which impart a very light amount of bitterness which fades pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable, a nice example of the style. (908 characters)

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

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry lager yeast scent along with a smooth malty aroma. Caramel, Munich, and pale malts are present with a slight yeast fruitiness. The taste is good. It has a very smooth, malt flavor that is light with just the right amount of sweetness. It goes down easy and finishes a bit dry with some earthy character. The mouthfeel is excellent. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I love the flavor of this one. It's incredibly smooth and malty; highly drinkable. (626 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner like glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of beige head. Head fades down to a thin layer. No lace left. Color is a golden bronze.

Aroma: Sweet caramel malts with bready flavors. Has a toasted flavor to it. No hop aroma.

Taste: Very similar to the nose. Some sweetness with some toasted flavors. However, there seems to be some grassy/noble hops showing. Bready and caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. End dry with spice notes.

Overall, a fairly average octoberfest beer. Nothing crazy, but it is what it is supposed to be. I do like the hops that shine through in this beer. Fairly drinkable. (662 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is orange with a small white head. The aroma offers sweet malts, lager scents - smells appropriate for the style, albeit a bit sweet. The flavor is ok. A bit grainy and sweet, but also flavorful and enjoyable. Notes of gourds, squash. A tad syrupy on the palate with moderately low carbonation. Overall, a pretty good example of the style, although one was plenty. (373 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at TJ's Everyday on the latenight.

A- Copperish brown with a dark tan foamy head up above, slight stick on this.

S- Caramel, munich malt, grassy hops, simple, yet refined.

T- One of the better balanced and flavorful octobers from the states in recent memories. Im smacked with a gob full of caramel, toasted malt, slight nutty appeal. A dab of fruit in the middle with some grassy hops, finishing clean as as can be.

M- Medium bodied , nicely carbed, this beer is alive on the palate and well balanced.

D- I think I really like this beer, Im not a huge oktoberfest guy, HOSS is my favorite from the states but this might just be my second. A six pack might be in order. (681 characters)

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Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.