1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Great Lakes Oktoberfest - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,340 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,340
Reviews: 508
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.32%
Wants: 130
Gots: 61 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Oktoberfest Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,340 | Reviews: 508 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hardy008


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper with a two finger egg shell colored head with good retention.The aroma is earthy and musky, with hops and bread / biscuit malt. Not sure what this will be like.

The flavor is sweeter than I would have guessed from the aroma. There is sweet caramel malt, balanced with bitter hops. The earthy, musky aroma also shows up somewhat in the taste. The bread / biscuit aroma is very muted in the flavor, and the caramel malt is the star here.

Medium bodied, mild carbonation, with a sweet aftertaste. A very solid Oktoberfest which I would buy again. The aroma is the weakness of the beer, but the taste makes up for it.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2010 03:03:27 | More by hardy008
Photo of weeare138


2.8/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a transparent amber with a small whit cap that sticks around. The gentle cap of foam fades stays the duration while leaving a scattered film of lacing around the glass.
Smell is of light sourdough, caramel, grain, vanilla, and a touh of butter.
Taste is of the aromas with a hint of diacytel.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spritzy, and just ok.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2010 00:38:34 | More by weeare138
Photo of BB1313


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

Best by 11/10/10. Had this one last week. 12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a clear copper w/ nice head and lacing. The scents and tastes are very sharp. Carmel and toffee are in the mix. Bready malt and grains are present, of course. Mouthfeel is smooth and carbonated. 6.5% abv is sort of high for the style, and although somewhat noticeable, it still works and is insanely drinkable. The more I drink it, the more I appreciate it.

This is has always been my favorite Oktoberfest. No one can brew a lager like Great Lakes! Recommended to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 23:22:34 | More by BB1313
Photo of DerekP


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of appreciation for Great Lakes "For freshest taste, please enjoy by:" marking on the back end of the label, here you go: 9/24/10 - About 11 days before the freshness expiration. I'm not drinking this late, though, seeing as how we are less than a month away from October. On to the review...

A copper amber appearance with a fluffy white head and good retention.

Smells of syrupy sweet malts & caramel, plus a little alcohol and apple cider in the nose.

Tastes of caramel & honey. Very malty. Sticky. Thinner than I expected. A decent amount of alcohol drys on the tongue. A good level of hops comes through as well.

I could drink a few, but still a little heavy on the alcohol taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 00:31:26 | More by DerekP
Photo of gatornation


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

pours a mostly clear nice copper color with a fresh ring good lacing very little head but a nice fresh looking color..smell was malts and caramel roasted bread and smell of earth and autumn..taste was crisp with sweet caramel malts and roasted grains some citrus hops and spices it was creamy smooth and real tasty,,,mouth feel was medium lots of flavor it was autumn in a bottle delicious easy to drink i wanted another one ,,this is one solid OF big recommendation

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 21:50:10 | More by gatornation
Photo of stegmakk

New York

2.48/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Light copper...head left immediately except for small thin ring around edge of glass (but no lacing).

S - Buttered biscuit.

T - Not good. Seems off. Not much too it.

M - Slick medium body

D - Due to the taste - not so good.

I've had GLBC bears before and liked them. Just not this style from them. It might taste OK, but not as an Ofest. Definately would not recommend and will not buy again. I'll stick to Spaten or Paulaner.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 18:06:48 | More by stegmakk
Photo of DanThomas


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

Really enjoyable, my first Oktoberfest beer.

A - Clear, orangey brown, white rim that leaves noticeable lacing on the glass.

S - A little light, definitely aromas of toast and malt, crisp feeling to the smell.

T - Toast, dark bread, barley, a little sweetness and some nice hop spice. Aftertaste is very bread like.

M - Exquisite, the best part of this beer! Refreshing carbonation on the back of it really washes the beer down well, crisp like the autumn air. Before that, medium/bready body that fills the mouth quite nicely.

D - Very high. Could (and will) enjoy several of these. Such a pleasant sipper, it encapsulates all the joy of autumn after the hard work of spring and summer.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 23:37:37 | More by DanThomas
Photo of ThaBobfather


3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours the color of autumn- some deep brown and reds with translucent light and a solid fluff topping of tan head.
Smell is pretty normal- some good sweet malts and light notes of grain.
Taste starts with an introduction to sweet, dark malt that quickly transits to some bready, light grain flavor.
Finish is sweet- lightly malted and a few solid seconds of after flavor.
Refreshing and sessionable- exactly what I want on a crisp night watching football.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 01:50:38 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of tapman


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

Crystal clear with a dark orange body, darker than some others, but only slightly. Head pours a finger and dies down quickly to a fuzzy, filmy lacing. Good, though I could have used more head retention.

Creamy buttered german pastries is what it smells like to me. A nice light roasty character. Some dark munich @ 30 L? Anyways, a good balance and the spicy character that I detect could be the hops and at 6.5% they could conceivably squeeze in a lot more noble type hops. Here's hoping...

Super rich right up front with a great toasty caramel flavor. A little sulfur in the middle of the taste with some earthy hops followed by a firm yet soft bitterness.

Soft, chewy and velvety.

I love everything about this beer, but my only qualm is that it is a little heavy for the style. Not too heavy, mind you, since it does still fit into the style guidelines. At 6.5% this one would destroy me if I had two liters and for me an octoberfest lager should be light enough to have a couple liters during a football game without getting sleepy. In other words, the only thing keeping this brew from getting three '5's is personal preference. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 01:04:43 | More by tapman
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 23:26:59 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Kadonny


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

Poured from tap at TJs in Paoli. First time for this beer in PA.

A: A medium amber color with some light brown hints. A one finger fluffy white head leaves nice glass lacing, but not overly so.

S: Notes of bread and toast with some grainyness and some floral notes.

T: Bitter up front which is quickly taken over by the sweeter bready flavors. Grains mix with the bread and toast flavors coupled with some slight fruit sweetness of apple and maybe a bit of nuttiness. Some slight toffee and caramel are overtaken on the finish by this long and lingering floral hop presence. Very nice Ofest. Different because of the English hop notes.

M: Creamy, smooth with the hops bitterness staying around. No alcohol traces. Nice carbonation.

D: Forget about it. Nice, nice drinker!

Overall a top notch Ofest that I put up there with the best of them. It seems Great Lakes keeps makes solid beers no matter what style. Very nice, I will seek more out next year.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2010 20:19:07 | More by Kadonny
Photo of sixerofelixir


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

12 oz bottle. I've also had this on draft, but it was very comparable to the bottle.

Pours a very clear, light golden amber. Nice tannish head. Smell is all malt and mineral, and fresh. Taste is clean and bitter upfront. That great dash of toasty marzen malt comes after. This one finishes with a little bit of heat on the end, also with more bitters. Dry, but satisfying. OK, but the feel seems a little off - the ABV may be just a bit too high.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 04:00:43 | More by sixerofelixir
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 yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best by 11/18/10.

Pours a clear bright copper with a foamy, retentive off white/cream colored head with slowly receding lacing. Mild, clean aroma of toasted malt, restrained sweetness; average for the style, neither good nor bad. Flavor is more of the same, with a little more sweetness. Toasted and caramel malts dominate with feint earthy hops in the dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium thick, creamy and smooth with soft carbonation and smooth clean finish. Overall a nice beer with absolutely nothing wrong with it, but lacking a little depth expected from the flavor knocking that score down a notch.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 01:33:24 | More by yourefragile
Photo of JoePat


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

This beer pours clear amber color with a thick off white head.

Sweet, toasty, bready malty aroma with a small hint of grassy hops. Very clean.

Sweet caramel malt balanced with some spicy flowery hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean with great drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2010 23:24:25 | More by JoePat
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 morimech


3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber color with one finger of white head that settled to a thin film of bubbles. Moderate amount of spotty lacing. Sweet malt aroma with just a hint of fresh cut grass. Not a whole lot going on in this department. The flavor is likewise sweet, slightly toasted, and nutty. Hops are very low keyed if detectable at all. Low hops even compared to most of the German standards. The body is a little larger than what is typical. Looking at the ABV I am not surprised. The carbonation is a little prickly which hurts the consumption a little. A well crafted beer but is a bit boring. The ABV may prevent some from enjoying the quantities that these beers are meant to be drank.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 19:34:43 | More by morimech
Photo of Thorpe429


3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2010 17:35:34 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BARFLYB


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2010 13:40:10 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of HitokiriNate85


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Orange and leaning a bit towards copper. Thin white head that covers, but looks a bit limp and leaves no lacing behind.

S - Toasty malts upfront leading into a sweetish, bready character. The nose is really nice, but you have to be looking for it. It could be more upfront.

T - Toasty and bready malts lead the charge. Thankfully not too sweet or overburdened with caramel sweetness. Follows into spicy and herbal hop notes that really balance the beer out nicely.

MF - Really nice, medium body. Carbonation seems spot on and is there just enough to get you ready for the next sip.

D - Really good considering the ABV. One of the best Oktoberfest beers I've had this year. The overall rating might not come out great, but GL Oktoberfest has it where it counts.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 02:41:49 | More by HitokiriNate85
Photo of tavernjef


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

Clear and bright coppery orange with a slim yet dense little capping of ivory foam. Spotty and very drippy lacing.

Aroma is light to medium in the nose with a slight nutty, bready sweetness with a edging of toast, apple, and honey.

Nice bold taster with a real stick of malt to it. It grows quickly as it slides down with ease creating a welcome slickness of sweet nutty bread, a bit of toasted grain behind it and hint to some heavier roast ghostly wafting about. Perhaps a tint to some coffee as it gets darker in character as builds into the finish with a light touch to some hops. Subtle with a very nice complexity to it long giving taste.

Body is medium with a hugely smooth malty creamy slickness with just a pinch of eager carbonation on the palate and has one very nice finish with a gradula growrth to some darker character.

A bonified exceptional drinker of an O-fest by the craft crazy awesome folks at Great Lakes. Many a mugs of this can be easily handled.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2010 23:58:28 | More by tavernjef
Photo of earthboundagain


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pumpkin orange with reddish highlights. Nice brown head with lots of lacing.

The nose is malt and murky, not the best nose from this style.

I the taste is an sweet caramel malt balance with earthy hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is built on a medium body, and is smooth and creamy.

This is a different twist on the style, but it's still a nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2010 22:41:25 | More by earthboundagain
Photo of nkersten


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a 3 floyds imperial pint. Vigorous pour gives a small, white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass. Color is a light amber with hues of orange. Smell is typical marzen, mostly malts, some light brown sugar, a touch of spicy hops. Tastes like fall - Good, solid malt flavor, slightly sweet with just enough bitterness to provide some contrast. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly sticky but still crisp. Light to medium carbonation. I love oktoberfest beers, so drinkability is pretty high for me despite having a slightly higher alcohol percentage then i like in a session beer. If you enjoy marzens, definitley check this one out.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2010 19:00:14 | More by nkersten
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2010 00:54:37 | More by bsp77
Photo of nickadams2

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2010 14:59:57 | More by nickadams2
Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,340 ratings.