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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.

1,455 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,455
Reviews: 518
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 147
Gots: 99 | 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: 1,455 | Reviews: 518 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

had this on tap some time ago. at the source

good red color with orangeburst highlights. nice frothy head, too

rich aroma of dried fruit and caramel. airy, floral hops abound

plenty of kilned lager malts, even some munich in there, i believe. rich in texture, as well, which would make it perhaps a little tougher to put down a sixer, but makes for a more dynamic individual drink

ooh is this tasty. rich, aromatic, flavorful: delightful

10-22-2009 01:27:56 | More by bruachan
Photo of DoctorDog


3.43/5  rDev -15.7%

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into an pint glass...given to me by a friend for helping him move a shed....

A- Clear reddish/copper. Pours with ~2 fingers of tan/caramel colored head, which fades gradually into a thin cap. Decent head/retention with a bit of lacing.

S- Subdued malty sweetness, offset by some grassy, earthy odors.

T- Slightly caramel malt sweetness, and a prevalent grainy, slightly metallic flavor.

M- Moderately carbonation. Medium to slightly light feel.

D- Pretty decent. Flavor and odor don't wow me at all, but it isn't a chore to drink.

Future outlook: Decent, if slightly disappointing GL offering. No need for me to seek out again when there are preferred options readily available.

10-18-2009 00:44:26 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Its dashing, tawny-tone of auburn stands right out like a solitary image of colour set against a backdrop of black and white. The colour jumps out the tumbler (literally) as the light behind it spills it through the spectrum of the glass. There's no head but the bubbles are sharp and clarity is crystal clear - this beer is in high definition.

The traditional recipe for an Oktoberfest doesn't give you much to work with for aroma. Still, you have to play the hand that's dealt to you and this brewer played it well. The malts are fairly aromatic, eschewing the scent of whole grains and rye bread. There's also a strong sulphitic tinge (think: matches) that for some reason reminds me of cabbage.

That sulphitic character is fairly common (in moderate levels) as a sign of a fresh lager. I already knew this was fresh - the robust, chewy, thickly sweet character of the malts (and the best before date on the bottle) told me all I needed to know. There is an earthy hoppiness to the beer that crowds out much of the caramel, figs and spongy toffee.

The sweetness is just how I like it - it washes over the palate immediately on the sip and then, after a little clip of bitterness, it slowly, very gradually lingers back into the picture and eventually seeps into your gums where it festers and itches until you absolutely can't take it anymore and must take another sip! Ahh, how refreshing.

If we were to rate the beer solely on drinkability - which, for this style, would not be an unfair thing to do - then it would certainly score much higher. This is not something you'll sniff and sip away at for hours but nor should it be. German lagers (especially ones designed for festivities) are meant to be quaffed and that's precisely what you do with this.

When I got the hankering today for a nice chewy, malty Fall-time lager this is exactly what I had in mind. I don't know that I've had one Great Lakes beer that wasn't a flawless, exemplary rendition of the style it set out to be. This German-inspired seasonal is just more proof that the architects at this brewery are among the industry's most skilled.

10-14-2009 18:42:56 | More by biegaman
Photo of alkemy


3.08/5  rDev -24.3%

This is from notes of a review a couple weeks ago...must have forgot to post. Pretty clear golden orange color. Very slightly off-white head showed itself at little over a finger high and left rather quickly. Sweet roasted grains show in the smell, but I also get a really musty odor accompanying this. Malty caramels provide the sweet, but I really get no hop presence. This reminded me of Grassroots, which I was also not a fan of. Great Lakes is probably my favorite all-around brewery, but this just didn't cut it for me.

10-09-2009 22:52:42 | More by alkemy
Photo of hosehead83


3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured into a standard pint glass
Clear copper in color with average head
Aroma-Malt, some sweet spice notes
Taste-Caramel malt,subtle spiciness, nicely balanced and drinkable
Overall a bit better than your average oktoberfest. Was a nice match for some spicy landjagers. Certainly worth a try

10-08-2009 20:59:24 | More by hosehead83
Photo of crossovert


3.8/5  rDev -6.6%

Label says it is a silver medal winner at the World Beer Championships. Says it is brewed according ot the German purity law. The 12 oz bottle is best by Oct 7 2009.

Pours a deep amber with a fluffy head that leaves a lot of lacing, a very good looking example of the style.

Perhaps the breadiest smelling Oktoberfest out there, it is very malty with a slight bit of caramel nuttiness in there. Hops are there but do not add much to the scent profile.

The taste is a lot hoppier, like drinking bread mixed with hops. It isn't the most delicate or precision crafted flavor but it is a solid and unique addition to the category and follows the general guidelines. The mouthfeel is spot on for an Oktoberfest in this brew.

Overall it is a solid addition to the Oktoberfest category, not the best one but worthy if you see it and want to try it.

10-07-2009 18:41:57 | More by crossovert
Photo of kwakwhore

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

On tap last night in Oberlin OH.
Reddish brown pour with not a ton of lacing.(bartender error?)
Malt dominated aromas and flavors. Sweet malt and biscuit malt without a lot of hops. Not terribly complex but very flavorful.
Comfortable slightly creamy mouthfeel.
Very tasty and easy to drink. I could have had several of these but I have work to do this morning.
Another very solid offering from a really solid brewery. Wish I could get it more often.

10-07-2009 14:30:48 | More by kwakwhore
Photo of blackearth


4.53/5  rDev +11.3%

Purchased from Three Cellars in Franklin, WI. Pours a medium amber body with a rocky off-white head. Aroma is a deliciously inviting sweet taffy. Medium bodied with robust malt flavors from start to finish with just a hint of bitterness. This is one of the best octoberfest beers I've tried this year.

10-06-2009 17:48:20 | More by blackearth
Photo of nickynick


3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

Great Lakes Oktoberfest poured a nice amber color, however lost some points because it lacked head and lacing. Smell was nice of bready malts and hops. Taste showed nice balance between the bready and slightly sweet malt, with a nice hop finish, enough there to notice, but did not over take the malt. The malt stood out. Mouthfeel was good for the style. Drinkability was good, almost to good for a beer with this ABV. Overall I thought this was a nice version of the style. I feel to often American made Ofests or often overly sweet. This one had that nice sweet malt, but not overly sweet, and all in balance.

10-06-2009 14:48:16 | More by nickynick
Photo of projectflam86


3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

A- Pours a dark copper color with a thin white cap that leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Spicy caramel malt with a some bitter hops. Slightly more hops than I've encountered in most traditional Oktoberfest beers.

T- Decent wave of hoppy spice bitterness with some vegetal flavors and a soapy finish. Not exactly what I was expecting. Alcohol is fairly apparent even though this one only clocks in at 6.5%.

M- Light/medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Soapy aftertaste lingers.

D- I was a bit surprised that this wasn't better than I expected. Great Lakes puts out some very good beers but this one missed the mark.

10-06-2009 04:15:41 | More by projectflam86
Photo of meatyard


4.03/5  rDev -1%

Pours a nicely carbonated, clear amber with 2 fingers of very pale, yellowish head. Retention was hanging in for a bit and there are some dabs of lacing.
Smell is lightly grassy, malty and sweet.
Taste is maltcentric, slightly sweet but I don't get the grassiness that's in the smell. No complicated flavors in this one as it probably should be that way. It's done simply and tastes good.
Mouthfeel is medium full and pleasantly smooth.
Very drinkable, goes quickly.

10-05-2009 22:36:30 | More by meatyard
Photo of Brenden


4.15/5  rDev +2%

Given that this one abides by the Bavarian Purity Law, and given that no such aromas / flavors exist in this one, I have to question the credibility of a review that attributes extreme excess of flavor or overbearing sweetness. It just isn't here and, frankly, it's not possible that it could be.

The color of this brew is right on the border between orange and red. A thick, compact head dissipates after some time, leaving a tight film that drops a nice curtain of lacing halfway down the glass before spotting. There's lot of clarity and a little activity throughout.
A nice, sturdy malt / hops balance is on the nose with light citrus notes and a caramel tone from the malt.
There's a light sweetness underneath in this one (play between the malts and the fermentation, I assume). The supporting flavors are very gentle, backed by a strong, pure hops. The malt adds that gentle sweetness and the hops add an earthy note and a subtle citrus as well.
This one was as smooth and creamy as I've ever had. There's not as much crispness, and carbonation is pretty light, but man this is smooth.
All in all I was quite impressed with this one. There's a good balance and even a light complexity, more than expected given that its only ingredients are hops, barley, yeast and water. NO sugars, nothing added. Discredit those who say otherwise.

10-03-2009 12:52:13 | More by Brenden
Photo of TheTrevor

New York

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

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


3.2/5  rDev -21.4%

A- Clear orange with a thin white head.

S- Sweet malt and a bit grassy.

T- Has a nice malt profile, lots of different biscuity and bread notes. Hops aren't too noticeable, but there definitely there to keep the beer somewhat balanced, but it's still on the sweeter side.

M- Medium body with a nice carbonation level.

D- Not a bad Maerzen, but note the best one either.

10-02-2009 19:53:01 | More by TommyW
Photo of zeff80


3.68/5  rDev -9.6%

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.

10-02-2009 01:07:52 | More by zeff80
Photo of TaddyPorter


3.68/5  rDev -9.6%

Our friend Beth brought over a sixer last night, when we made some tasty French bread pizzas. I thought it would be a good beer to review to make me sit down and pay a little more attention to it.

A frothy, 3-finger head after a fairly vigorous pour. Inviting, sparkling golden clarity. It's a musky, caramelly brownish gold with a fluffy white head atop that slowly dissipates to a more modest size.

Slightly metallic, sweet smell of roasted grain. Natural smelling, a bit piney or grassy with spicy, somewhat cinnamon-like notes.

Deep malt notes open up from tighter, more biscuity flavor into a melty caramel-like roasted smoothness. Hops are virtually absent, perhaps only noted as a ghostly presence in the initial sharpness. Finishes sweet and robust after coming on strong and fizzy, leaving a lingering reminder of some kind of childhood canned beer taste. But the finish is complex and sweet, leaving you with something to ponder.

Starts out strong with a somewhat astringent mouthfeel due to fairly active carbonation. This fizzes over the tongue, leaving you with a cleansed palate to appreciate the flavors through a light, silky finish.

Starts out making you think there's not going to be much to it, but leaves you with an impressive amount of malty complexity to ponder as you make your way through this easy drinker. For such a sessionable beer, it has some real nuance.

09-30-2009 21:57:57 | More by TaddyPorter
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

12 oz bottle, picked up in Buffalo.

Pours a radiantly clear dark reddish amber, honey coloured, thick slightly off white head forms, slowly settles down to a pretty decent layer and ring around the glass, good retention, some lace chunks stick. Smell is nice, very fruity, almost tropical like mango and pineapple, bready and biscuit malt, sulphur, caramel, strawberries, very rich and malty, some alcohol comes through, quite nice. Taste is similar, very rich maltiness, biscuit and caramel, bready, some fruit, strawberry sweetness, iron, some alcohol, sugary feel, it really coats the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, feels a bit heavy, but is really well done. Maybe a touch sweet but a nice marzen.

09-30-2009 01:56:55 | More by Viggo
Photo of Mitchster


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Brewed with Harrington 2-row, Munich, and C-45. Hopped with Hallertau.

6.5% ABV, 20 IBU., OG=14.5P.


Please enjoy by" date of 10-05-09. Pours out to a clear medium amber, forming a modest off yellow head with good retention and decent lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is big, malty, clean, moderately sweet with a hint of alcohol, grain husk, and residual sugars. Very nice. The mouth-feel is smooth and soft with a nice finish. The taste opens with some grassy hops, followed by maple syrup and distant caramel, then a wave of grassy hops hits in the middle, followed by peppery alcohol, and an aftertaste of leather and toast. More grassy and herbal than I expected, but I just brushed my teeth, so I'll try another later.

One of the better American Oktoberfest's, however I've noted a few other reviews regarding the grassy hops, which is kinda off-kilter for the style.

09-27-2009 17:22:52 | More by Mitchster
Photo of indiapaleale


3.28/5  rDev -19.4%

Oktoberfest pours a very dark mahogany color with some reddish auburn highlights. Its a great looking color for a beer. The head is big and fluffy and quite dense, almost looks like bread dough.

Aroma is very sweet, like caramel and brown sugar in a glass. Sort of surprising as its much sweeter than I expected. Its actually sweet to the point where I'm a bit turned off.

Flavor is...well...it tastes like brown bread with honey on it. That is the best description I can come up with. Its got a sweetness that is not balanced by a crisp lager-esque finish, its sort of falls flat and is a bit watery. I had high hopes for this beer but its definitely not one of the better domestic Oktoberfests that I've had this year. Maybe it was a bad batch? Anyone else had this and felt the same?


09-26-2009 23:09:56 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of hossua34


4.53/5  rDev +11.3%

A - Clear, darkened amber red. A big, lively head dies very slowly. Some average-to-light lacing.

S - Crackers (!) and crusty bread. A sweet, almost berry-like hop bite. Toasty malt notes counter this slight hop bitterness nicely.

T - Again, I detect an almost fruity fresh hops note (pomegranate? raspberry?). The sweet and subdued malt finish rounds this beer out nicely.

M - Wow! The mouthfeel of this brew is beautiful; thick, creamy and moderately carbonated. Just excellent.

D - A fantastic marzen. Tart and crisp. A great fall beer, and one of my favorite Great Lakes offerings.

09-26-2009 04:40:32 | More by hossua34
Photo of almychristopher

New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

this beer pours a nice copper color off white head that recedes quickly to a layer of lace. the aroma brings a nice sweet malty bready aroma that follows in the taste. the lager yeast doing their thing making the sweet malt flavor up front dry and crisp at the end. the full body and good co2 make this a tasty beverage.

09-23-2009 17:40:05 | More by almychristopher
Photo of wingman14


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours a dark redish dark copper with an off white head that fades fast and leaves lacing. The smell is malty, but a different sort of malt, with some sweet notes. The taste is much different than most malty beers, the malt drives the flavor, and the sweetness comes on at first, but there is a nice bitter finish to balance the beer. The mouthfeel is medium, nice carbonation, a beer with some depth. This one is an easy drinker, somewhat strong on the tongue, but nothing that will turn you away. Definitely one worth checking out.

09-19-2009 03:35:39 | More by wingman14
Photo of PerroGrande


3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Pours to a medium/light amber with a solid, tight foamy head that lingers for a long time. The foam leaves light lacing on the glass that seem to be fairly durable. A good looking brew.

Aroma is somewhat laid back, but I pick up some light bread, hops, and mostly malt.

Taste is quite good and decently complex. Opens up with some carbonation bite. This is followed by some bitterness that fades in favor of caramel and malty tones that tend slightly toward the sweet side. Long finish is caramel with a mild hint of alcohol that warms slightly.

Mouthfeel is moderately smooth, although a little too carbonated for my taste, with a slight tendency toward the thin side. Higher ABV adds to this bite a bit, but not obnoxiously so.

Drinkability is decent. Higher ABV might limit this somewhat as a session brew, but not too much. Quite refreshing and enjoyable, but I'd be inclined to stop after 2 or 3.

This is a nicely crafted beer that is a good example of a domestic Marzen. A very enjoyable beer to drink, and a nice compliment to a decent variety of foods.

09-19-2009 02:46:38 | More by PerroGrande
Photo of naproxen

District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev -10.8%

Many thanks to nlmartin and beertruth for this one :-)

Poured this into my pimp Schlitz glass goblet, cheers. A thin white head and moderate lacing afterwards, pretty standard. The aroma on this bring on sticky sweet malt, a little bread too.

For an oktoberfest this is pretty tasty and full of flavor, however I find it overall a touch too sweet for my liking to enjoy multiple of these in a sitting. I like the bite of the malt and a little bitter hops in the finish as well. If nothing else, the abv from this one has warmed me up a little bit. I'd love to have this on tap to compare with the bottle.

09-17-2009 00:35:17 | More by naproxen
Photo of Lolli1315


3.2/5  rDev -21.4%

24 oz. bar glass on tap.

A- Transparent orange to burnt orange color. Not much of a head, but the bartender did not really any room in the glass for a head. At a college bar, I expected that.

S- Roasted malts come through the strongest, but not as strong as I think I would like in an Oktoberfest. Some spices also apparent with a very small amount of pumpkin (Not the pumpkin smell you get with a pumpkin ale).

T- The sweet malts hit you on the front, and when I say sweet I do not mean like a hefe or a wheat beer, but a more subdued sweetness that would work better for a fall season and grilled out meats. Not anything outstanding for an oktoberfest beer though, as it is not balanced between the sweet malt and a roasted pumpkin flavor for me.

M- Medium to thin mouth feel. I would prefer that it be a little more full bodied especially for a beer in the fall season.

D- I certainly could finish this beer, but after 24 oz, I did not care much to have another.

09-16-2009 03:11:00 | More by Lolli1315
Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,455 ratings.