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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.

1,615 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,615
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: 1,615 | Reviews: 533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%

A six pack shared with the extended Ovall clan. Mostly from the bottle.

A: The marzenbier is a coppery amber color, a liquid penny. Despite the darker malt color, the lager retains is clarity and a finger of white head.

S: The malty sweetness is immediately noticeable, a full thickness that has just enough toasted grains and caramel. A surprisingly good nose from the 3rd sniff on; before that the lager is nondescript.

T: Breadiness to the nth degree. The malty chewiness has both caramel and toasted biscuit. A firm earthy hoppiness serves as a valid balance, especially later in each sip. I found myself making my way through three bottles before the end of the night. Plenty of grains to keep the tastebuds engaged.

M: The beer is bold, a rich lager perfect for the on-coming crispness in the air. As for tonight, it held up well during a rain storm too.

akorsak, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of pburland23
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard shaker pint glass.

Beer pours a nice, clean, clear copper color with a half a finger or so of slightly off-white head. Looks like your standard Octoberfest.
Did leave some nice sticky lacing too.

The aroma is warm, bready, sweet and inviting. There is a touch of spice and a faint whiff of hops in the nose.

This is a great tasting Octoberfest. Sweet caramel malts are quite prevalent with an undercurrent of Noble hops bitterness. There is also a touch of yeasty spice. Overall, the taste is very clean and smooth. One of the best tasting Octoberfests out there.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy level of carbonation. Drinkability is quite nice. I can see myself kicking back with a few of these during a Saturday afternoon football marathon.

Overall, a very, very good Octoberfest. Perhaps the best I've had to date. Excellent effort by Great Lakes.

pburland23, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of siege06nd
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

Thanks to my beautiful wife for grabbing a six pack of these for me...

A: Pours a clear dark orange copper color with a generous and fluffy three-finger off-white head. The head recedes to a half finger with pillowy bubble clumps drifting around the glass. Beautiful head retention and lacing. Great looking beer.

S: Sweet, bready malt and caramel. Hints of biscuit and maybe even a little honey. Light, but appropriate for the style.

T: Sweet malt and roasted barley, faint hops. Very toffee like and chewy. This is really excellent and the flavors are balanced perfectly. The balance between bitter roast and sweet malt is nearly perfect. It's light yet complex and enjoyable. Great.

M: Excellent. Flavors are balanced, complex. Carbonation is perfect.

O: Great Lakes Oktoberfest is a damn near perfect example of the style. The roasty bitterness I associate with the style is balanced by a mild toffee and honey sweetness that makes this beer a very enjoyable experience and, dare I say it, quite sessionable. Great job, Great Lakes.

siege06nd, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of Groomsy
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%

12 oz. bottle, best by 10/13/2011, poured into a mug.

Appearance: Gorgeous copper/amber body with hints of pumpkin orange when held to the light. Topped by a slowly fading head of soapy foam 2.5 finger head which fades to a thin covering of foam and leaves behind full rings of lacing. Effervescent carbonation stays persistent. Very good looking beer.

Aroma: About typical for the style, but done very well. Husky and toasty barley smells are at the front with notes of caramel and toffee. Some slightly spicy and zesty hops hang in the balance. Very well-balanced O-fest beer, and very enticing while still staying within style guidelines.

Taste: Sublime notes of roasted barley hit the tongue at first, followed by rich caramel and toffee sweetness. Some spicy/earthy hops glide over the tongue at that point, with flavors of fresh baked bread and honey lingering long into the finish. A great example of what an Marzen should taste like. Well done, totally drinkable and enjoyable for... all the time.

Mouthfeel: Fantastic. Crisp medium body with soft carbonation in the mouth with a slightly drying finish. Incredibly drinkable - almost dangerously drinkable?

Overall: Best Oktoberfest-style beer I've had so far, and a fantastic fall seasonal. Supremely drinkable, flavorful, sessionable.... just good all around. Get it!

Groomsy, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of micromaniac129
4.03/5  rDev -1%

Crystal clear beer with a beautiful amber copper color with ruby orange high lights.
It has about an average size head. The head though smallish is dense. Carbonation is lighter and mixed with larger light gathering bubbles.
Hold up to bright sun light.

Aroma is very malt munich and vienna style. Hops have a slight bouquet here.

A rich malt taste here and not to much in way of hops although faint hops and bitterness can be noted.

A smooth full bodied ale thats clean and balanced.

What I like most is the apperance, hold this beer up to the light and you'll see. A wonderful site. Could use a bit more head.
Flavor is very good and represents the style nicely.

micromaniac129, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of IronLover
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%

Sampled from a bottle, best before October 21, 2011. Light copper orange in color with a reddish hue and excellent clarity. Pored with a frothy white foam that lasted from beginning to end that leaves wet lacings on the glass. Earthy, bready malt aroma, along with hints of ripe fruit, light floral and citrus hops. Smooth, delicate and mellow feel with assertive carbonation d and a light, biting tanginess at the finish. Earthy, munich malt flavors, light floral hop character and a delicate fruitiness combine nicely from beginning to end. Finishes semi-dry with a light biscuity and sweet bready aftertaste. Mellow and delicate with nice aromas, texture and flavors.

IronLover, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of Viciousknishs
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

A- pours a bright coppery amber with superb clarity. A finger and a half off white head is produced from a modest pour.

S- Rich Malty nose with characteristics of toasted bread and a touch of caramel. Spicy herbal nobal aromas add some complexity.

T- big toasty malt flavor with notes of caramel and home baked bread. Subtle hearbal noble hop flavor lies under a blanket of malt sweetness giving it balance and body. Long bready finish.

MF- rich oily mouthfeel with a filling full body. Subtle soft carbonation.

D- high drinkability

Overall one of the better American interpritations of the style. A great Oktoberfest with that full body that most lack.

Viciousknishs, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of TuffNut87
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%

The beer is a beautiful copper color and reminded me of the first beer I had in Germany 30 years ago. Not the same style of beer, but the same experience. Wonderful, smooth and easy to drink. I am not a hop head, so this is a great beer for me. The great mouthfeel and refreshing finish brought memories of Munich. My first bucket list entry is to be there for Oktoberfest. Trink, trink..Bruderlein trink!

TuffNut87, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of king75
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

A- copper amber color that is transparent in appearance, a solid 1/2 inch foam of head with descent lacing.

S- Has a slight spicy smell and a ton of malty bread smell. Not a ton going on but still smells pretty good.

T- This one drinks like a mix between a lager and an amber ale. A generous mixture of malts mixed with a slight flavor of hops and grainy wheat mixed throughout. A little bit of nutmeg and spice present.

M- This one is smooth at the beginning with a slight bitter bite at the end. Very well balanced.

This one gets better as it gets warmer. The flavors are really malty and complex. A very solid fall beer. One that I look forward to drinking again in the future.

king75, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of DrewV
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Poured from a bottle (drink by 11/17/11) into a medium flute glass.

A: Beautifully clear brassy copper color with a moderate 1-finger head. No lacing to be found, oddly.

S: Bready malt up front. Typical Great Lakes lager aroma. Possibly some noble hops hiding in the background.

T: Eh, I had high hopes, but was unimpressed. Malty, sure, but not much else. Tastes like "beer" to me, which was a let-down since I've been impressed by just about every other GL brew I've tried. Aside from the bready malt, I can't really describe any other prominent flavors here.

M: Thick, moderately sweet, malty. Medium carbonation, akin to Eliot Ness.

O: Overall, a disappointment. I actually prefer Eliot Ness to this, as it has a bit more of a sharper flavor profile. Quite honestly, this just tastes like an average lager to me. I'll give it a B, but no more.

DrewV, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of CHADMC3
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

Pours transparent amber to copper with a foamy off white head that leaves scattered lacing about the glass as it dissipates.

Vienna malts and bread float from the glass. Smells crisp, yet toasty with hints of toffee.

The flavor is deliciously bready with caramel and lightly sweet malt as well.

The mouthfeel is crisp, but not light, actually a bit fuller in both body and carbonation.

This is a fine Oktoberfest, tons of great and traditional flavor and aroma characteristics and a very nice introduction to the fall.

CHADMC3, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of hyprlt
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%

I won't waste anyones time with my awful ASTMO notes. What I will say is that this was the third Marzen I enjoyed that evening and it was by far the best. In terms of quality, I liken the GLBC Oktoberfest to Spaten. Compared to many other Oktoberfest beers, this one has a depth that can accompany you into the chilly nights of fall.

hyprlt, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of Brunite
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%

A: A crystal clear amber colored body with an light tan head.

S: Yeah! Finally! An O-fest that smells of malt and is not so hop forward. Caramel....bready...light toffee.

T: Classic GL! Great bready, yeasty flavors. Bready...caramel...malt...sweetness. Delicious. This is what a Marzen should taste like. There are hops here but only to balance the malt out.

M: Medium body...smooth.

O: A classic. Best American version of this I have seen. GL continues to amaze me. They have tied Founders in my book as having the most solid lineup of amazing beers in their stable. Great!

Brunite, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of Extrajoker00
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Served in a Half Liter Beer Mug

A : beautiful cooper amber with a 1/2 inch head

S : faint with yeast and sweetness

T : well balanced big flavor hops, spice and well balanced sweetness

M : dry and crisp

D : big flavor and good mouth feel equal great drinkable beer

Great Lakes has really been a favorite brewery of mine, so I was so exited to try their Oktoberfest, it did not disappoint

Extrajoker00, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of Shumania
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

12 ounce bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Gorgeous day after Hurricane Irene and makes me want nice, crisp fall weather.

a: dark amber with lots of carbination. 2 finger head to the top of the glass.

s: spicy carmel. really interesting and unique.

t: the sweet malt hits you at first. There's a great balance with the malt and hops where it is not overly sweet. It finished with the spiciness in the smell.

m: Crisp and clean drinking.

This is always the first Oktoberfest I grab when the season hits.

Shumania, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of garuda
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

12 oz brown bottle, best by date stamped on label

A - Clear orangeish amber, thick white, fluffy head that retains and laces well.

S/T - Sweet, bready malts, a little toasty. Simple, but done so well. Finishes crisp and clean.

M - Light side of a medium body, perfect carbonation, goes down super smooth.

O - Such a simple beer, but everything is done so well and it drinks so easy. I'll definitely buy this again.

garuda, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of MarvinTheMarzen
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

Shared this with Mrs. Marvin (another Marzen fan) and we found this to be a bit atypical for an Oktoberfest. It's a good beer but its a variation on the standards: less sweet than most and a more prominent finish.

The label describes this beer as "the noble brother of the Vienna lager" and that's a great way to describe it. This will be a nice complement to the other malty/sweet marzens that you'll be enjoying in the fall.

MarvinTheMarzen, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of Jesse13713
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%

Filled a Growler at the local Acme marketplace. I haven't seen this bottled in Ohio yet this year. I also have not reviewed a beer on here in a long while. I've been drinking quite a few fall, pumpkin, and Oktoberfest beers this year and it has sparked my interest in reviewing. Autumn beers are my favorite!

Appearence - Served in a maudite tulip glass. Served cold and fresh. A nice, clear orange and amber color with hints of brown. No noticeable head from the Growler pour.

Smell - light caramelly malts and bright hops. Sort of difficult to get a large hint of anything particular. Smells fresh, pleasant, and slightly citrusy.

Taste - light to medium bodied and full of malts. Caramely and light. Slight clove spice in the background but not much. Sort of a lightly sweetened leafy taste.

Mouth feel and overall - The Growler pour tastes a little more alcoholic than the bottled version I remember from last year. I anticipate finding this years bottle release. Crisp and refreshing. Light bodied mostly except for randomntastes of stronger alcohol.

Jesse13713, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of Homebrew35
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

From notes.
12oz bottle $1.85 a single

Pours one and a half fingers worth of egg shell colored head. Crystal clear amber colored body.

Smells of toffee, Carmel, dark brown sugar, bready yeast.

Tastes similar to what the smell could tell you. Bready yeast, toffee, carmel, dark sugar.

Mouthfeel is medium thin, medium carbing, a balanced amount of hop bitterness on the finish.

Overall this is almost quaffable. Very tasty and highly drinkable.
I'm going to pick this up again soon.

Homebrew35, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of bigdeuce
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%

This year's version of Great Lakes Oktoberfest is absolutely GLORIOUS! It actually is a bit less aggressive than year's past, but in a great way, as Oktoberfests needn't be overly aggressive. Pours a copper, oft reddish colour, with some thin lacing down the glass. Head sticks for about 30 seconds, then creeps down. Smells of burnt caramel and some slight bread-like, toffee. Tastes outstanding. Very malty with some bitterness to balance, though mainly malty. Smooth, creamy mouth feel, very clean and crisp. You wonder where it went! Drinkability is great and I need to be careful. This beer is lethal! CHEERS and glad it's almost fall!

bigdeuce, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

A: amber/copper body, finger head, excellent lacing

S: sweet malt, earthy biscuit, toffee, nutty

T: sweet malt, biscuit, caramel, nutty, semi-dry crisp

M: med body, solid carbonation, semi-dry mouth
smooth body

O: WOW, once again Great Lakes has
delivered a stunner. Excellent seasonal brew.
Big flavor, I want to gulp this but
savoring this delicious beverage.


BeerLover99, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of aasher
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

I had this yesterday on tap in Louisville at Maggy Malone's. It arrived a light bodied rich pumpkin orange in color with a one finger soft and creamy off white head. It gave aromas of light caramel malts, light bready malts, a light hop bitterness, and a nice touch of honey. It had a great nose for an Oktoberfest. The flavors mimicked the aromas and it was very appealing for the style. It was a little bolder than the every day Marzen. It was really apparent how fresh the keg was, having just arrived a few days earlier. The flavors were sharp and on point. It drank very light and was ultimately smooth. This was definitely aided by being on draft. Overall, this is a damn fine Marzen. Grab it while it's fresh!

aasher, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of KBomb
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%

Body has a nice dark copper color capped with a thick white head that doesn't stick around very long but leaves lovely lacing to the bottom of the glass.

Smell is of rich caramel malts, slightly toasty bread, and a touch of that marzen yeast.

The solid malt flavor is phenomenal. An incredibly drinkable blend of sweet malts with just a touch of peppery/herbal hops for balance. A rich, toasty malt flavor that never comes close to sugary but is remarkably full-flavored. Clean finish.

Moderately crisp mouthfeel. Just a teeny tiny bit of chew. It manages to be both light and substantial at the same time.

One of the best Oktoberfest brews I've ever had.

KBomb, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of jmeyers78
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

A- nice deep amber color with a thick fluffy head

S - sweet malts. Getting some toasted bread

T - sweet toasty malts. excellent balance

M - smooth feel and carbonation is spot on

D - highest of any seasonal beer I've had....solid brew

Overall one of the best fall seasonal I've had. Very drinkable. I'll definitely put this in my rotation.

jmeyers78, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of nukem5
3/5  rDev -26.3%

A: Nice color in pint glass, orange with a nice cap of tan foam.

S: Aroma is sweet and not unlike any other marzen style beer you have had, but this one is a bit smaller than average.

T: Sweet malts and a breadiness are present in this as well, It just tastes like fall to me .

M: lighter side of medium bodied with a light carbonation level.Very little if any legs to it.

O: Overall it is my fave beer style and was a bit put out as Great Lakes usually do things very good and well received but this one while good on the average is still a bit light for me.

nukem5, Aug 25, 2011
Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,615 ratings.