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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.

1,616 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,616
Reviews: 533
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 160
Gots: 146 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 11-04-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,616 | Reviews: 533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DannyDan
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Pours out a copper hue with a nice foamy white head that has really wonderful lacing and retention in a medium bodied beer that has fairly good amount of carbonation it it. The smell is the usual Oktoberfest of caramel, grains, and fruits. The taste starts out with a nice mix of caramel, fruits (apples and pears), grass, and sweet breads with hints of hops that stay from the first sip til the end of the drink. A very well balanced and very smooth, crisp, clean easy to drink beer with a dry finish to it. Overall this is the best Oktoberfest beer I have tasted and highly recommended for anyone that wants a great Oktoberfest beer from one of the best breweries around.

DannyDan, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of budgood1
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%

pours out a orange tinged amber colour with a generous off white head leaning towards tannish. certainly looks like a traditional o-fest. again, a traditional munich malt aroma...toasty and roasty in the classic sense. a slight flowery hop note to boot. taste is more of the same...a very sturdy malt base, caramel and toasted nuts come to mind...mild alcohol burn with a definite spicy hop finish that ties things together nicely. somewhere between summit and sam adams with a spicier hop profile. this one does have some girth to it...so the full body and slightly prickly mouthfeel seem so appropriate to balance things out. drinkability is nice...this isn't one to slam by the stein. some cool weather and a fire come to mind when it comes to enjoying this fine offering.

overall this is a nice o-fest type of lager. it's nice to have great lakes available in my area...and even though it's a bit more spendy than the usual suspects i usually quaff, it's nice to be able to try new twists on a style that can get rather boring to me after awhile. recommended.

budgood1, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%

A picked up a case of this for a Halloween party that I'm hosting. The funny thing is... I've never actually tried this one before!

Poured into my DuClaw Colossus snifter.

Bottle dated 11/12/11

A: Poured an clear amber/orange/brown color (yep, it's a mish-mash of those particular colors), with a 1/3 finger head that died down into a solid white ring.

S: Glorious sweetbread and a good bit of nuttiness that reminded me of an almond biscotti. Additionally, I got tons of German maltiness with a slight marshmallow character.

T: Teeters on the line between bread and cake. On one hand, there is a German, mothball character that point to bread, but there is a voluptuous, candy quality that is JUST sweet enough to satisfy any pound cake lover. Remarkable!

M: Smooth as silk, well carbonated for this style, and with a slight bit of pleasant alcohol warming that is very unusual for this style. Howwever, this one IS 6.5% That's pretty high for a Marzen.

O: I call bullshit on the B+ overall average. This is my new fall go - to, non-pumpkin beer for sure!

Chaney, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of weizenbob
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

This was a surprisingly difficult beer to track down in my neck of the woods this year. This 12 ounce bottle purchased at Shop-N-Save in Benzonia ($9.99/6-pack). Best before 10/12/11 (reviewed 10/6/11). The label implies that this beer is brewed according to the German Reinheitsgebot, which is neat trivia if nothing else. It was poured into a pilsner glass.

A careful pour yields two fingers of fluffy head that is nearly white in color. Head retention is moderate. Lacing is not happening. The beer's color rests between caramel and walnut, and is highly translucent. A pleasant amount of carbonation can be seen in ascension through the glass. It doesn't look fancy, but it looks good.

This beer is a malty affair with an aroma that is reminiscent of fall. Call me crazy, but the first thing I pick up in the nose is a pumpkin-like scent. Sweetness ensues with aromas of caramel and toffee. A mild alcoholic scent is present. The strong aromatics are noted without having to bring the glass close to the nose.

The flavor profile does the aroma justice. This Oktoberfest bier is sweet and malty. It is biscuity with a small amount of buttery diacetyl that actually accentuates the malt nicely. The abundant residual sweetness exhibits prominent notes of caramel and molasses. Alcohol is part of the flavor profile in a way that balances well with the malt. Hopping is such that there is little if any notable bitterness. It's an easy-drinker for sure.

This beer is medium bodied, with a moderately high level of carbonation that makes the brew appear lighter than it actually is. As far as traditional seasonal lagers go, I generally prefer Maibocks to Octoberfests, but this beer, though not spectacular, is easy to like. It is colorful, flavorful and at 6.5% ABV, moderately alcoholic. Above all, it is easy drinking. I can't speak for its authenticity, but I can say that Great Lakes Oktoberfest is my pick of the American-brewed Octoberfest family.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I give two Schlitz for this well-done lager. Prosit!

weizenbob, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of yesyouam
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Great Lakes Oktoberfest is a super clear, sparkling, amber lager with a thin, soft, dense, yellowish head that has excellent retention and lacing. It smells like bread and pretzels. There's a medicinal or minty note to it. There's a fruity whiff to it, kind of like apples. It's medium bodied and quite smooth with a sharp, lively finish. It leaves the palate pretty clean. The flavor hovers between sweet and dry, with malt taking the center stage. It's a little resiny, melanoidal, fruity and medicinal. The flavors come together pretty well and nothing seems out of balance. This is one of the most sessionable Oktoberfests I can recall drinking.

yesyouam, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%

Its October and I am trying Great Lakes Oktoberfest and it is...OK. No question it is a Marzen style beer. The appearance is a rich clear amber with thick white head that is lacing nicely. There is not much smell other than typical...sweet malt, grain. The taste is ok...not sure if I like the sweetness or not. There is a nice malt base that helps to keep the beer grounded. The ABV initially is a bit much, but after a few swigs one begins to settle in. 6.5% is a bit much for a Marzen so the mouthfeel is downgraded slightly. Overall its decent....better than most.

WoodBrew, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of EnJeiBee
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

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.

EnJeiBee, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of jsulko
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

Bottle poured into a tulip glass

Poured mostly clear amber color Head is an off white color.

Smell is dominated by a carmel and malty smell with a hint of hops.

Malty flavor comes through with a slight hops bitterness on the finish.

A very good example of the American Oktoberfest style.

jsulko, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of soju6
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

soju6, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of zimm421
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%

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.

zimm421, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Victory Festbier.

A: Clear orange-tinted amber with lots of tiny bubbles and a two-finger, off-white, rocky and creamy head that lasted a while. Very nice lacing.

S: Mild toasted caramel malt aroma. Some interesting citrus hop and fruit notes.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate hop bitterness to balance. Deep roasted malt and a sort of zesty fruity character. Very good.

M: Light to medium bodied with lively carbonation. Light, crisp, and smooth.

O: The appearance of this beer was outstanding. Beautiful! The nose was mild but interesting. The flavor was full of character. The beer was very drinkable too. The Victory Festbier wasn't bad, but this was better. One of my new favorites.

SolipsismalCat, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Phocion
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

Poured into a pint glass. Solid finger of bubbly, off-white head holding very well over a mostly clear dark-golden body and leaving light, unretentive lacing.

Aroma is of roasted grains, caramel, toffee, slight aroma of noble hops, and a tad spicy.

Flavor is extremely well-balanced. Still a little malt-forward, but not nearly as sickeningly sweet and full of honey as most American Oktoberfests I've tried. Sweet but grassy hops on the back balancing it out. Caramel malts, slight hint of fruitiness, and some bready yeasts.

Medium-bodied and well-carbonated beer with a somewhat sharp feel. Not dry or abrasively sharp, actually goes down really well.

All in all, I have tried many Oktoberfests and have only really cared for a handful of them. This is one of that handful.

Phocion, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of schwaeh
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

A: Pours a nice amber color with really good clarity. One finger of bright-white dense head fades into good lacing. It looks like the mosquito cane from jurassic park, really transparent and vibrant.

S: The usual roasty-toasty malts over flowing with some toffee and caramel coming through as well. It has that nice brown sugar sweetness and a little bit of snappy ginger bread. A light hint of hops, really light.

T: A mirror of the nose. Sweet toffee and caramel with toasted grains, biscuit, and and under cooked bread. The sweetness washes over the tongue along with crisp earthy hops and then the dough train finishes things off.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, almost medium body. Goes down nice and smooth.

O: This is great stuff. I've really come to appreciate this style during this season, largely due to this beer. This is my go-to fall beer for sure. I wouldn't change a thing.

schwaeh, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of chaunur
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

I tried this after a bottle of Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen. It was a real toss up as to which I liked better. I think the Ayinger is probably more true to the standard for Marzens but the Great Lakes is wonderful.

It pours a lighter shade of copper then Ayinger and the head while robust after the pour completly disapeared and left little lacing. The carbonation also was not as pronounced as the Ayinger.

A rich malty aroma with carmel notes, seemed slightly sweeter than I expected. Wonderful full bodied flavor, sweet but not cloying with a light hop presence. Again some carmel flavor comes through.

An easy beer to drink, not to heavy and not overly strong. Luckily I have five more to drink.

chaunur, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of andrewjraab
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

10-3-2011 Purchased from Sicialiano bro's in Grand Rapids, MI. Enjoyed in a tall Pilsner Glass

A - Clear Golden Amber color with a thin white frothy head.

S - Deep malty smell. Very unique when compared to other Oktoberfest brews. I can't place my nose on what exactly I'm getting into here, but it almost has a fruity essence to it.

T - Robust rich malty flavor. This clearly has more character to it than most Marzen's I've tried.

O - It has the malty and rich flavor, yet it packs a punch at the back of your tongue that keeps you coming back for more. This version says, "step yo' game up" to other versions of the fall classic. This is one of the best I've tried and I'd give it a big hell ya.

andrewjraab, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of atr2605
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

A-pours a transparent copper color with an frothy off white head about one and a half fingerwidths, an great retention
S-sweet malt with a mild to moderate hop aroma and a slightly spicy
T-more of the same with a complex and sweet malt profile with great hop bitterness that provides excellent balance.
M-medium bodied and medium carbonation
O-Very good beer. has great balance and flavor. Provides alot of different flavors without allowing one to overwhelm the other and remains extremely drinkable. Highly recommend

atr2605, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of sdsurfer217
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

sdsurfer217, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and lively copper like amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big five finger off white head with very good retention. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Aroma has lots of caramel malts with some toffee. Has some hints of spice and a solid backing of noble hops and grassy hops. Smells malty and full.

Taste: Big taste of caramel and toasted malts with some hints of toffee. Has a slightly spicy character. This is also one of the more hoppy Marzens out there with a very noticeable presence of grassy and noble hops. Its still very malt forward. Very full flavored and tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very creamy, crisp, and chewy.

Overall: A very full flavored and well balanced Marzen. One of the best American versions out there.

MattyG85, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of pb9613
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Appearance: This beer pours an amber color bordering on orange with a solid white head.

Smell: A strong caramel malt aroma with a little the grassy hops thrown in.

Taste: A heavy caramel flavor from the roasted malts that are balanced with the bitterness of the hops.

Mouthfeel: The beer is solid with excellant carbonation.

Overall: A good solid beer fall beer in a classic style.

pb9613, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of malloyca
4.15/5  rDev +2%

Brilliantly clear orange amber color with limited head retention. Toasty and sweet malt aromas carry over very accurately to the palate, with sweet and toasty malt flavors that are balanced very well by slight bitterness. The sweet aftertaste lingers a bit but tapers off before becoming cloying. Moderate carbonation makes this very pleasant, easy drinking beer with a very rewarding flavor profile.

malloyca, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

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.

metter98, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of 57md
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

Pours a clear burnt orange, almost copper color. There is a delicate scent of malt and toasted nuts present in the nose. The malt is the upfront flavor, but it is not overboard. The subtleties allow for some nutty and caramel notes to come through. These flavors blend well together and linger in the finish. I am beginning to find myself very partial to Great Lakes lager offerings.

This is the best Marzen I have sampled this autumn or any other.

57md, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of Kendo
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

Kendo, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of patpbr
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

A- amber color with a two finger head which did not last for long. many bubbles continuing as I drink.

S- caramel

T- earthy and sweet, very smooth going down. Can taste the malt and a little hop. Could easily put down several quickly before realizing the abv.

M- nicely balanced and crisp flavor lightly lingers.

O- Glad I picked up a six pack . Only way it could get better would be if i was in a beer garden on a fall day.

patpbr, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of divineaudio
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%

mug. dated 10/11/11.

a - pours a transparent amber with lots of streaming bubbles. gave me a thin cap of off white head that calmed to a film pretty quickly. a few legs of lace here and there.

s - rich carmel malt with notes of plum or fig.

t -more of the nose really, but nicely balanced by light hop character. just a hint of bitterness in the finish and the sweetness lingers.

m - lighter side of medium with enough co2 to tickle the tongue a bit. slight mouth coating action.

o - goes down easy, could probably drink a few in a sitting. might not be the best of the great lakes offerings, but it's still a solid beer. definitely one of the better fall seasonals i have had this year. would certainly buy it again.

divineaudio, Sep 21, 2011
Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,616 ratings.