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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.

1,350 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,350
Reviews: 509
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.32%
Wants: 131
Gots: 62 | 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: 1,350 | Reviews: 509 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Natural510


4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Oktoberfest is here!
This pours a bright orange-red color with thick head. Looks well-carbonated by all the bubbles rising to the top.
Smells malty with an orange-citrus note.
Light sticky malts, not too sweet, with a tart, dry aftertaste. Hops kick around in the background, and yeast is in full force giving an overall breaded character to the flavor.
Crisp and refreshing, clings to the back of the throat.
Excellent marzen. Aggressive in its characteristics, which all tend to balance themselves out. One of the best you'll find outside Bavaria.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2008 02:55:40 | More by Natural510
Photo of spointon


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

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= This beer poured a very clear, deep copper color. The light tan head was 1/2", and dropped quickly to nothingness. Lots of sticky lace down the glass.

S= Definitely a malt-heavy brew, but appropriately so. Smelled sweet and nutty with a hind of toasty grains.

T= I found the sweet bakery malts and nutty flavors to be dominant. Nothing complicated here, but all in balance.

MF= Medium bodied with a heavier mouthfeel than "regular" lagers. Light but cleansing carbonation was very pleasant.

D= A very drinkable beer. If I had a complaint it is that it tastes too much like their Dortmunder Gold. But it is a good beer, and certainly a great one to have with food.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 06:41:36 | More by spointon
Photo of JonB1958


3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice effort by the folks in Cleveland. I bought a 12-pack of this because my favorite Oktoberfest brew, Paulaner, has not yet made it to my Binny's.

It has a nice, dark, coppery-redish color, and pours with a substantial head into a tall pilsner glass; it fades pretty quickly and does leave some nice lacing.

The aroma is less "there" than I expected, but the taste is quite good. A tad on the bitter side, perhaps, (think of the Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest) but nice and malty with some smoothness. A subtle, yet very nice sweetness is what sticks in my mind and on my palette.

Well done, and very drinkable. No qualms about recommending this one to others.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 15:43:43 | More by JonB1958
Photo of Umbra


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear liquid penny with limited carbonation and a wispy head. Limited retention and lacing. Sweet, malty nose.

The fella before hit the nail on the head with a BREAD description. Pumpernickel or marbled rye is definitely there. Faint hops, but mostly a malty sweet brew.

Medium mouthfeel that finishes with an astringent dryness. Faint malts grab the sides of the mouth a bit.

The dryness and breadiness cut back for me a bit on the drinkability. Of course, this was having it solo. I could really see this one with sausage and kraut, which would ratchet the numbers up a bit. If they had mustard and sausage beer, this one would pair quite nicely.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 01:05:42 | More by Umbra
Photo of nrbw23


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear amber color with a nice foamy white head that fades to a layer of bubbles on top of the brew very little lacing.

S- Not a whole lot going on here. Some sweet hops and a touch of hops.

T- The malts jump right out at me. Slightly sweet with a faint graniness. Tiny bit of alcohol later on. Some grassy hops round things out.

M- Medium in body and good carbonation.

D- This has to be one of my favorite Oktoberfest brews. Incredibly easy to drink and highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 19:52:47 | More by nrbw23
Photo of lastdoctor


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color. I was able to squeeze out two fingers of head.

Not a lot going on in the way of smell. Maybe my sniffer is off today.

Great taste. Plenty of malt and enough hops to satisfy, but not too much.

Very drinkable. Definitely a session beer.

I can honestly say I was excited to see the Oktoberfest beers out this early. This year has gone by in a flash. But at least my favorite seasonal beer comes with my favorite season.


Just got some more of this great beer and it tastes exceptionally chocolatey this time around. It's still very good, just different from the first time.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2008 21:22:26 | More by lastdoctor
Photo of donteatpoop


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

Poured a beautiful clear amber color with a fleeting finger of head.

Smelled of floral hops and malts, not overly impressionable.

Taste was fantastic, hints of malts and hops and little bits of heaven.

The beer was crisp and refreshing, well carbonated, but perhaps a bit watery.

It goes down like water; specifically water that tastes really really good and that I want to drink all the time.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2008 01:51:04 | More by donteatpoop
Photo of Hatch


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with a pry-off cap.

Pours amber with some orange hues. Forms a foamy white head about one finger thick that eventually fades into a ring around the rim. Minimal lacing.

Smells of sweet malts, floral notes, maybe some faint hints of citrus from the hops.

Taste of buscuity malts, buttery, sweet tones, a nice mild bite from the malts, crisp. From the hop profile that is present I detected some citrus notes, but there is not a strong presence from the hops. Some very slight bitterness from the hops, but with the milder hop profile it lets the malts shine through. Mild, balanced, and delicious.

A medium-bodied brew that is crisp and refreshing. An almost perfect level of carbonation. Very easy to drink.

Notes: For the style it's probably one of the best you can find at the moment. The malt's characterisitcs really shine through and make this a very delicious brew I'd strongly suggest to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2008 08:41:40 | More by Hatch
Photo of HopDerek


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber orange with little white head, little retention and lacing. Smells are really sweet; caramel and toffee but with some floral hops and a hint of fruits. Tastes are also sweet, lots of caramel with a touch of nuts. A hint of earthy hops fit nicely into the finish giving it a good crispness. Medium in body and smooth, hides its ABV nicely. A good American attempt at the Marzen, very drinkable and hides the alcohol quite well, meaning that after several of these in a session you're feeling quite like you're at a Festhaus.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2008 23:43:39 | More by HopDerek
Photo of bobhits


4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll just say it. This is everything I want from an oktoberfest. I'll also admit that there are very few beers that I've had and though 'wow, I'm glad this isn't hoppy." I'm a hop nut plain and simple and this beer mixing my demand for hops with an Oktoberfest's malty goodness. The beer at first look is pretty much like every other Oktoberfest. The color the head are all as good as anyone does it. The smell is of an oktoberfest with a wonderful hint of hops to it. Don't get me wrong with this, the beer isn't really hoppy, but it just has a nice hint of them to mix it up and keep you interested

I'm giving this beer a perfect score not because it's the best beer I've ever had, but because imo this is the gold standard for Oktoberfest's that all others must live up to. This beer is just a total treat and I regret greatly not buying a case or two while I still had a chance.

Edit. After thinking this over, grading this heavily to style is wrong. Reducing scores to reflect the beer by beer standards and not a substandard style of beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 10:38:59 | More by bobhits
Photo of elmore


3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Thick fluffy head that slowly receded into a ring around the glass and left some decent lacing.

S: Not an overpowering smell. Mostly sweet malt with a hint of hops.

T: Light malty slightly sweet with a hint of hop aftertaste.

M: Medium to light body with nice medium carbonation.

D: Supremely drinkable. This is a real beer that is drinkable. I think thats what they are going for with this brew, and what an Oktoberfest beer should be. I could drink this all day and night long on a crisp fall day accompanied by various meat processed meat products stuffed into sausage casing.

Another winner from GLBC.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2007 17:23:29 | More by elmore
Photo of BeerTruth


3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to pimpp for this one.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear light copper hue with one finger fluffy white head that dies down to a thin layer of almost nothing. Stickiness is decent, leaves a pretty nice coating behind. Smell is a peppery like caramel malt with a tiny bit of citrus hops. Overall it's pretty weak in the nose, was really hoping for more in terms of scent. Taste is very much like the scent. Creamy caramel malt up front with a underlying hint of citrus hops. Buttery biscuit flavors end up in the aftertaste. Medium bodied mouthfeel with a minimal carbonation. Pretty easy to put this one down, but I probably wouldn't have another, just not my style.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2007 01:07:01 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of ZAP


4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Light orange color..small white head

S-Light toasted malts...not a lot of aroma to be honest..

T-Toasted malts all the way...relatively sweet and malty with plenty of tasty toasted maltiness....very subtle noble hop blends perfectly.

M-Medium bodied...clean and crisp finish....carbonation is firm but not gassy.

D-Top notch beer from probably this country's best brewery. A slightly amped up Elliot Ness...I love the toasted malt and the flavor of this. Reminds me a lot of New Glarus Staghorn....one of the better Ofests made along with NGlarus, Summit, and the Hacker-Pschorr/Paulaner clones.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2007 06:23:14 | More by ZAP
Photo of ultralarry2006


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves a one finger tan head that quickly fades to a foam ring at the edge, and leaves some decent spotty lacing. Body is an orange amber.

Smell - toasty malt biscuits, with a faint hint of caramel, and some herbal, grassy hops.

Taste - much like the smell. Toasty malt biscuits with faint caramel, and fading on the finish to a tea with lemon taste. Simple, straightforward, but good.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied.

Drinkability - this is good and sessionable. A somewhat hearty, and very solid O-fest beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2007 16:44:45 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation


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

Polished pumpkin orange with candy corn colored highlights. The thickly creamy crown is more pale orange than ecru and possesses the usual Great Lakes magic, both immediately after the pour and as it settles. A thick, circumferential sheet of lace is broken only by a few specks of visible glass. Wow, what a start!

The nose is standard for the style and neither disappoints nor impresses. Actually, given the brewery, it is a disappointment. Earthy malt and musky hops lead the way, but don't make me excited to begin drinking.

I'm sorry I doubted. The flavor profile makes up for the aroma's shortcomings, and then some. Oktoberfest's best feature is its balance, both with respect to complementary flavors and to sweetness and bitterness. Toasted barley, baked nuts and steely caramel are beautifully countered by bitter orange peel, dark honey and herbal-earthy hops.

I feel the same way about Oktoberfest that I feel about Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, in the sense that there's something in this flavor profile (that I can't pinpoint or even describe) that makes it better than all of the other versions that I've tried. It's just... so... damn... delicious. How they do it, what secret ingredient they use, I'll never know.

One thing I didn't doubt, not even for a second, was the mouthfeel. These guys do mouthfeels like Monet does landscapes. Strangely enough, their brewpub beer (a different brewer by the way) doesn't hit me the same. This one is medium-full and is incredibly smooth and polished. In other words, it's a treat for the mouth.

I'll admit, Oktoberfest is not my favorite style. In fact, it isn't among my top-20 favorite styles. Leave it to Great Lakes, a world-class brewery, to show me just what a world-class O-fest should taste like. Highly recommended... but only if you're a fan of outstanding craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 15:04:46 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Phattony


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this beer at the Oktoberfest Zinizinnati. It was the first beer I had that day and was quite impressed.

Fairly sweet, Malty and somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Higher alcohol profile than your average Oktoberfest fest/Marzen. I tried several (probably one too many) other Marzens that day and this was a wonderful represintaion to the German style beer

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2007 20:57:34 | More by Phattony
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a great fall orange color, subdued and with high clarity. Not much to the thin white head, but it laces pretty well.

Aroma - lots of bready, toasty malt. Not a deep roast, but a prominent light one.

Taste - good roasty malts, allows part of the grain to come through and also displays an even balance of toastiness. A breath of hops, no development to them, just an offset to the malt. This is one tasty, toasty beer.

Mouthfeel - a smooth Octoberfest with slightly restrained carbonation. Right in step with the flavor.

Drinkability - shoulda bought more, sooner. A very palatable seasonal from Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2007 21:01:41 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Bighuge


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear amber. Nice cap of snow white head. Leaves ample amounts of lace. Nice whiff of toasted malt goodness and some bready yeastiness. The toasted malts carry over to the palate along with some caramel candy sweetness and a little toffee malt as well. Bready yeastiness accents everything to a tee. The mouthfeel is very agreeable. Carbonated pefectly. And it gives a medium to medium-full body feel. This is one of the better Oktoberfests I had. If I were to create a Mount Rushmore of Oktoberfests, this would be in it (along with Summit, New Glarus and Central Waters).

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2007 21:10:39 | More by Bighuge
Photo of tkarsies


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

This represents the 2007 version. Served cold into the pint glass.
Appearance was amber/orange and clear with a steady stream of carbonation from the bottom. Off-white head that is maybe 1 finger and quickly fades to persistent lacing.

Smell: Nice sweet, malty aroma. Gives a nice hint of things to come.

Taste:The malt is definitely front and center here, as it should be. Slightly sweet with a faint graniness. Slight alcohol later on. Some grassy hops round things out and provide balance

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation with medium mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This is quite drinkable, although you do notice the alcohol in the end. I have not been a huge lager fan, but this is a solid brew. Definitely plays more for the malt lover. This beer does make me want to try other beers in this style.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2007 23:45:42 | More by tkarsies
Photo of nortmand


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale amber with a half finger of fluffy, sustained head.

Rich amber malts with a grassy, assertive hop presence.

Grainy flavors up front. A lot of phenols and alcohol overall. Maybe a bit much for a seasonal fall amber colored beer of indeterminate style.

Medium bodied with sufficient carbonation, this beer is just OK. The aroma is pretty fantastic, but I'm not sold on the flavor. It's a bit alcoholic and there are all sorts of phunky phenols.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2007 00:02:51 | More by nortmand
Photo of Kegatron


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

12oz bottle into a Becker pint glass.

Pours beautiful clear orangish amber with a smallish white head that left little lacing and what did remain behind didn't last very long. Aroma is sweet and a little spicey, with some definite fruit notes and a slight floral smell of hops.

Taste is of sweet caramel with some nuttiness. The sweetness lingers into the finish but is offset very nicely by a lingering hop bitterness. Mouthfull is full and crisp and nicely covers the nearly 7% ABV.

Great Lakes a brewed a nice take on the Marzen here that seems to have a little more going on in the taste department than others I've had. Drinkability is very good and is prefectly geared towards Fall imbibing. Enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2007 17:03:24 | More by Kegatron
Photo of joe1510


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

12oz Bottle
$8.99 6-Pack
Binny's, Orland Park

Great Lakes Oktoberfest pours a crystal clear glowing amber with hints of orange. Large carbonation bubbles rise to the two finger head that formed on the pour. The head fell to a thick creamy cap and left some lacing on it's way down. Leaves nice drink lines after each sip.

The aroma come forward with large amounts of Munich malt and lesser amounts of toasted grains. The Munich comes across chewy with a touch of caramel and a slight earthiness.

This is a glass full of malt. Munich malt. Starts off with a chewy nuttiness and leads effortlessly, mid-palate, to an earhtiness. A slightly sweet grain huskiness comes through on the swallow making this an enjoyable Oktoberfest.

The body on this octoberfest is medium with a silky smooth creamy mouthfeel. Lazy carbonation lets this beer glide through the mouth.

Lives up to the status of an octoberfest in that its easy enough to put away pint after pint.

Great Lakes Oktoberfest hits the spot on a crisp fall evening like tonight. One of the great American breweries comes along with another great American German Style beer. If that makes sense to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2007 21:02:06 | More by joe1510
Photo of LeftyBWS


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams specialty pint glass. The label features an "enjoy by" date of 11/04/07.
A: Rich, dark copper color with a medium amount of whitish, bubbly head. Slow rising carbonation visible. Spotty layer of lacing at times, minimal.
S: A filling sweetness, fruity caramel scents. Hints of floral hops and grains. Crisp, like fresh grass. All in all, very much like autumn, pleasant.
T: Tingly, crisp sweetness up front followed by a floral sweetness in the middle, rather grassy. The finish has a faint smoky taste, and doesn't quite round out the initial tastes, but is still pretty nice.
M: Smooth throughout, quite crisp. Slightly bitter in the finish with a warming alcohol feeling.
D: Pretty good. Easy to drink and with a pleasant smell.
Overall, a pretty solid Oktoberfest. Really reminds me of autumn, fits the season well.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2007 06:24:10 | More by LeftyBWS
Photo of atrus138


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 12 oz brown bottle with freshness date clearly marked on label. Had a nice amber color with a nice sticky head that stuck around a while.

Nice caramel aromas with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Very inviting.

Delicious! Delivered everything the smell promised and then some. Nice balance of malts and hops. Nice and creamy.

I could easily have had a few more of these, but this came from an Oktoberfest sampler. Might have to pick up some more of these for the season. Another great offering from Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2007 16:55:16 | More by atrus138
Photo of jasonpeckins32


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an autumn copper color with a good measure of heady foam. Spiderweb lacings throughout the duration of the beer. The nose is quite malty, really not much else to talk about in the taste department with this one.

It tastes great! Predominately malty, of course, but with a little more character than the majority of Oktoberfests Ive had in the paste couple of falls. It seems like there is a touch of hop bitterness lingering here and there in this brew, which is really a nice addition (if thats actually what they did), to an oktoberfest in my mind. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with adequate carbonation. I'm quite pleased with this one, very refreshing, and something I'd buy again.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2007 06:11:37 | More by jasonpeckins32
Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,350 ratings.