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Great Lakes Oktoberfest - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,327 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,327
Reviews: 507
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.32%
Wants: 124
Gots: 58 | 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
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Ratings: 1,327 | Reviews: 507 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Redrover


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

Great Lakes Oktoberfest was freshly taped at the Tip Top in Columbus. Served in a standard pint, the beer is copper with a beige head.

It has an inviting aroma of grass, malts and light brown sugar.

The taste is of sweet malts, a hint of hops, apple and a very light whiff of bread. Seems like a good representation of the newer style Ofests.

The mouth is semi-thick and the beer is extremely drinkable. Bring on the sausages and the chicken dance!

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2010 00:54:41 | More by Redrover
Photo of fbone


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

A-a clear copper,medium head,medium retention.

B-yeasty smell,slight malt aroma.

T-good,sweet malt flavor that the hops hide under just a hair .

M-medium body,medium carbonation,mild hops.

D- very easy to drink,I would buy this one again.With all the craft beers today that are heavy on the hops,It's nice to taste the malt in a beer with a medium amount of hops.

I have been to this brewery and would like to say that there best beers aren't in stores.There at the brewery on tap.If you can't get there beer where you live message me for a trade.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 17:28:17 | More by fbone
Photo of beergod1


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

Clear burnt orange with a small off-white head, fading to a thick ring before long. Aroma of Caramel toasty malts with a bit of earthy hop bitterness, even a bit of biscuity malts after the initial smell. Medium, creamy, light hop body with decent finish / Light flavors of caramel malt, with undertones of pine hop. Very drinkable....as most Marzens are.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 16:29:44 | More by beergod1
Photo of Landfill21


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always look forward to Oktoberfest beers and this is the first one I have tasted this season. I like almost all of the Great Lakes brews especially the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Drank in a pint glass. Pours into a nice amber color with a small head. Drinks very smoothly. Has an aftertaste that you have to get used to. Smells of fruit and finishes with a nutty taste.

This is a good oktoberfest beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 04:03:16 | More by Landfill21
Photo of dditto2


2.73/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First to remark that the end of august is when the fall seasonals always start hitting the shelves, just a little edumacation.
Unfortunately I was not impressed by this beer much.
Beautiful looking amber, very nice head.
Smell is dominated by a decomposing grass smell.
Taste is ok exept for that decomposing taste that lingers well after you finnish the brew.
It feels good and is very drinkable in general but that odd taste really ruins it for me.
Definately the worst oktoberfest ive tried and the worst ive tried from greatlakes. Not really a bad beer over all. I would drink it but theres better for the price. I have access to many kinds of hard to find brews so its very unlikely i will ever buy this one again.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2010 19:36:36 | More by dditto2
Photo of MbpBugeye


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

Seeing this out at the beginning of August makes me wonder when we will see Fall seasonals next year? July?

Anyway, fresh by 9/22/10 on the label. This style was really my first foray into craft. German tradition and culture really interests me so I owe it all to Marzens. Drinking this bad boy out of a big Weinhenstephan dimpled stein for that traditional feel. Why dont I have a boot yet!?

A- Nice, deep orange in color with a quick dying head. Its a very clear lager.

S- Grainy and fruity. Golden raisins, apple cider, and a nutty and bready malt base. Lots of things that remind you of autumn.

T- Really awesome tasting. Lots of fruitiness from a golden raisin flavor. Its very sweet. Nice nutty finish.

M- Quite dry, this beer finishes clean and smooth. Body is medium, getting kinda full for an amber lager. Its a robust Marzen for sure.

D- I like this one a lot. This has got to be my favorite oktoberfest to date.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2010 05:49:28 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of Keffa


3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into my Unibroue Ephemere glass.

A: Pours an absolutely beautiful burnt copper/orange, nice 2.5 finger white head that disappates slowly and leaves a little lacing here and there. Head settles to a small ring and a film like top layer of bubbles. Very nice so far.

S: Sweet, caramel, slight burnt sugar, biscuits and a little bit of a dry yeast. No real hops on the aroma.

T: Caramel, toasted bread, little bit of a citrus like sweetness, like a marmalade, a very very faint taste of floral hop. Very malt heavy, and rightly so. One of the better ones I have had in terms of flavor.

M: Very rich and chewy, creamy, and just big, IMO.

D: Very drinkable. Normally, I don't like beers that are very malt heavy or overly sweet. This one wasn't bad.

Not a first choice, but this is a good beer, and a decent one in the style. Marzens seem to be pretty easy to get into because most don't stray far from the norm. If you like sweeter, malt forward beers, this is a great one to have. For the price (8.99 for 6) this is a good value.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 01:10:34 | More by Keffa
Photo of dpcoz


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great lakes Oktoberfest
Pint glass from bottle - 08/03/2010
A - copper-amber complexion, cream colored head, appx three fingers deep. Good carbonation rising to the top

S - roaster malts, slight hops, Carmel, bread and spiced, possibly from Vienna malts?

T - sweet malts, Carmel, breadiness, spice - just as it smells

M - sweet to the taste, decent carbonation, sweet finish

D - nice, attractive and delicious. I could enjoy multiple in one setting

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 16:09:07 | More by dpcoz
Photo of OverToad


3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It poured a copper color with a nice white head. It has a very strong malt smell and flavor. It was a lot sweeter than I was expecting. There was a little bit of the alcohol coming through at the end. It had a nice creamy mouthfeel. One I would drink again if they were to make it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 16:49:57 | More by OverToad
Photo of TMoney2591


3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2010 20:35:22 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of drabmuh


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2010 19:57:51 | More by drabmuh
Photo of ToasterChef


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a pint glass. The beer is light brown in color, but shows off some orange tones when held up to the light. The head is small, made of small bubbles and tan colored. It disappeared to a slight skim. There's lots of carbonation rising within the glass. The aroma is woodsy and leafy, but with a good toasted malt character, kind of like toasted artisanal bread. It starts out with a good toffee malt flavor that is slightly sweet. The finish has a bit of a kick; it almost feels like there is a slight alcohol burn, but since this is only a 6.5% ABV beverage, I'm guessing it's some finishing hops that cause this sensation. The beer has a full body; each sip feels like a real mouth full of beer. It leaves behind a good amount of coating on both my lips and in my mouth. The carbonation is felt, but it isn't too prominent. It's a very drinkable beer. It's too bad it isn't available in my area...I could see it becoming my go to autumnal seasonal brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 00:12:57 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of smerkinb

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy bright orange with a 1/2" head that disappears rapidly. No lacing.

Smell=summer field-sweetish clover, light floral hops, slight citrus mixes with heavy smelling malts.

Nice strong malt character leads this little parade--sweet cracker melds into a bite which is followed by a dry finish that lingers. There is a slight bitterness enmeshed in the acidic bite. The hops stay firmly in the background and give a nice support for the rich malts.

The mouthfeel is a bit more aggressive in this beer- the stronger carbonation teams with the excellent rich bodied malts to make this feel substantial - not thick, not creamy, just a nice thick full body....like Jessica Rabbit.

And as with J.R. I couldn't get enough of this. I'll be grabbing a case of two next time I'm in the distribution area.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 22:30:56 | More by smerkinb
Photo of Prostman81


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been awhile since I had this one, but wanted to post my review of this based off of some notes I ran into when going through my brewing recipes.

Smell and appearance are pretty much standard for an O-fest, although a little lighter in color than a Spaten O-fest that I drank side by side with.

Taste and drinkability are here hands down. ABV is a little high for a true German O-fest, but Great Lakes did a good job of hiding where that went. Malt & hop profile are definitely robust, but still what I would consider within the guidelines for this type of beer. Very smooth and well rounded. A solid offering from a brewery that obviously knows its way around traditional German recipes (i.e. Elliot Ness).

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 20:25:20 | More by Prostman81
Photo of jlindros


3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 01:26:35 | More by jlindros
Photo of cagocubs


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

Just found my notes for this beer.

A: Pours a nice baltic amber with 1 finger head that dissipates, caps off, and lingers and laces.

S: Smell of caramel, roasted malt, bread, spice, and some earth tones.

T: That caramel from the nose is present in mouth. Good spice and bready taste. Well balanced marzen.

M: Nice creamy. Coats mouth nicely.

D: Good marzen for the season.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2010 18:47:34 | More by cagocubs
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fluffy head, crests at a bit over a finger, the larger sized bubbles cause it to evaporate into surface islands swiftly, minimal lacing with no stickiness. Burnt red to orange color, like a summer sunset, light filminess but not quite translucent. Strong burst of cocoa, milk chocolate powder and caramel to the nose, honeyed graham crackers, malty to the exclusion of most hoppiness, no citrus or grass notes, touch of pepperiness. Medium-bodied, somewhat sluggish mouth presence, the carbonation is round and not that refreshing. That said, good depth to the honey, caramel, cocoa flavors without pushing the sweetness too far. Here you get more orange citrus bite as well as a grainy edge, even some poor minerally earth. Smattering of peach, pear, apple fruit, not a player. What's most nice about it is that it absolutely coheres best as a whole rather than parsed out as parts. Hence, drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 00:28:02 | More by farrago
Photo of Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chris for this bottle. From notes, 10/21.

Pours a really nice dark orangery-amber color. 1.5 finger head fades to thin film with abstract lacing.

Smells of caramel malts, crackers. Subtle spiciness and light toffee. Overall a pretty subtle, unobtrusive aroma. Very subtle floral/herbal hops with a touch of spice.

Taste has herbal hops in the background of caramel malts, crackery in character. A slight nuttiness. Marzipan.

Nicely carbonated, maybe a bit too high? Drinkability was solid, but note my bias against this style. Having said that, Great Lakes is yet to disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 17:41:19 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of AltBock


3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a blurry picture of people enjoying Oktoberfest in an outside bier garden in either Germany or Cleveland. Directly to the left of the picture is the Government warning and to the right of the picture is a description of the beer, history of the style, ABV%, serving temperature, the remaining mandatory US information, and a freshness date. Everything you want to know about the beer is on the right side of the label. Due to the ink they use, the date can be hard to read. Around the neck is another label that talks about the style in general.

When poured into a DFH pint glass, this Oktoberfest poured the usual semi clear dark golden amber with a faint splash of lemon around the edges. The head of foam on this beer was a little weak. It was smaller than 1/4 of an inch in height and white as a sheet of notebook paper. Despite its small size, it still had decent retention that left behind a tiny string of foamy white rings and just a spot or two of lace around the glass.

This is the type of aroma that makes you feel all toasty inside. It was a simple toasted aroma of toasted malts, a dash of peppery hops, and then it ends with a whiff of honey graham crackers. It's not an aroma that's going to jump out at you, but at least it wasn't a bad skunky aroma.

The taste was toasted like the aroma, but I noticed there was a small fruit presence toward the middle of the taste. The scent of fruits is something the aroma could have used to its advantage. It was a crispy toasted Oktoberfest with toasted malts in the front, fruits with a splash of honey in the middle, and some peppery hops at the end of the taste. In other words, this was a good slightly above average Oktoberfest.

This was an easy drinking light to medium bodied Oktoberfest with a crispy aftertaste of toasted malts, honey, and a gentle touch of peppery hops. Don't get too attached to the aftertaste because it won't stick around for very long.

Great Lakes always does a great job on making German styles of beer and this another one of their easy drinking German style of beer. It was above average for the Oktoberfest style and really not all that much above that point. Since it's a good beer and it does have a ton of flavor to it, I could easily see myself drinking a liter of this beer during anybody's Oktoberfest celebration.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 23:34:25 | More by AltBock
Photo of MrMcGibblets


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

another solid beer from great lakes. clear amber, creamy off-white head. caramelly, bready malts in the nose follow through on the taste, with the light sweetness well balanced by the spicy hops in the background. roundish mouthfeel, almost medium-bodied. could have a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 06:25:56 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 00:45:04 | More by Sammy
Photo of tatoodkelt


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

Another one courtesy of a trade with Auslander, thanks again man!

Consumed 11/6/2009- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Date on the bottled was 11/15/09.

A- Very vibrant brassy orange with a two finger chunky tan head that settled to a nice cap. Great lacing and retention. Steady carbination.

S- Bold aromas of light fruit and floral mixed with faint sweet and grassy notes. Probably the best smelling Oktoberfest I've had.

T- Same notes as the smell with some caramel mixed in. A little hoppy at the end.

M- Medium bodied and smooth despite the carbination.

D- Fantastic session brew. I love Oktoberfests and this might just be my new favorite! I wish this brewery was available localy.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 18:34:54 | More by tatoodkelt
Photo of kegger22


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear, deep amber with a moderate head that quickly faded to a thin collar. The aroma was lightly malt sweet. The taste was caramel sweet malt with the barest of hop bitter in the background. The feel was medium bodied with little carbonation. Drinkability was very good. Clean, clear and crisp. I'm not normally a fan of marzen beers, but this was a very good one, best I've had.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 23:51:05 | More by kegger22
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bottle in Buffalo with high expectations for another hit.

Great Lakes Oktoberfest pours a deep and rich orange with a creamy light tan head, which leaves sheets of lacing as it descends my glass. The retention is excellent, and its a wonderful all-round appearance. Strong caramel malt nose with some earthy notes mixed in, which is par for the style, but not as exceptional as I hoped for with this brewery. Mind you, who cares about the aroma when the beer tastes this good? Excellent balance in the flavour between huge sweet malts and a herbal bitterness. At times I pick up on caramel, orange, earth and mineral, while at others I get nuts and mineral. Its certainly a flavourful o-fest, and I'm already regretting that I don't have a litre stein of it! The piece de resistance is, of course, the mouthfeel. Anyone familiar with Great Lakes can attest that they are, without doubt, one of the best brewers in the world for perfecting the mouthfeel. This one is full, smooth, and the perfect compliment to the malty flavours of this beer.

Yet again, Great Lakes have hit one out of the park. For a long time I've been edging towards calling them my favourite brewery because of their huge range of styles, all of which seem to excel in their category. Their oktoberfest cements this reputation and is the perfect fall drink. Perhaps the best reason to live in Cleveland?

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 16:04:11 | More by bobsy
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
Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,327 ratings.