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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 evanackerman


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

beer pours a rich copper color very appropriate for the fall season, nice white head appears with a stiff pour.

aroma is bready with that signature fruity maltiness that Great Lakes has in so many of their beers.

taste is on par with the style, toasted malt, minimal hop presence, very nice with pork or spicy chicken dishes. overall very tasty.

mouthfeel is on medium-light bodied side but appropriate for the style.

drinkability is very high.

overall another winner from Great Lakes, very good example of the style in my opinion, will definitely buy this every year.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2007 22:09:59 | More by evanackerman
Photo of GRPunk


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

Bottle poured into a mug.

A- This beer poured an amber-orange color with a 1" whitish head. There was medium lacing that lightly stuck to the side of the glass and medium-light carbonation.

S- The aroma was a little lighter than expected. What scent there was, consisted of caramel and bread notes.

T- There was more caramel and bread in the flavor backed by some light hop tones. It wasn't as sweet as some other Oktoberfest beers on the market.

M- It had a full mouthfeel with a semi-dry finish.

D- Another Oktoberfest beer that just happens to be an easy drinker.

Overall- There was something about the flavor that was different from the other festbeers I've tried, but it was a good "different."

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2007 02:31:37 | More by GRPunk
Photo of cokes


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

Autumnally toasted golden/scarlet/orange stacked with a sturdy sand colored froth.
Toasted grain nose with a caramel-covered gala apple fruitiness, along with the requisite coating of peanuts. It smells delicious, even if the aroma is a tad dim.
The malt upfront seems to rush into the mouth and muddle together. Not a terrible thing, as it is still tasty. All at once, it's toasted pumpernickel bagels, bran flakes, pecans, apples, caramel, honey, and golden raisins. No one entity steps forward for dominance, its more like a puree of all of the above. After a sprightly lagered interlude, the hops close things out with perky peppercorns and a more insouciant dried flower linger.
Medium bodied, with a silky well-lagered flow, and a steadfast yet tempered carbonation, this is a oktoberfest build for fests.
Without truly standing out in any particular way, this is simply a rock solid U.S. version that vanishes from the glass with a gusto.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2007 07:04:08 | More by cokes
Photo of waldoiverson


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

appearance - caramel colored with a pillowy head and minimal lacing

smell - pretty non pronounced with maybe a bit of toffee

taste - malty with a hint of smoke rounded out by minimal hopping. The 6.5% alcohol was not present in the flavor.

mouthfeel - the malt is present and this really coated the palate. I drank at a slightly warmer than the recommended temperature so will be interested to try after it cools down a bit. I was thirsty :-)

drinkability - A good representative of the style. It is a bit malty for an every day beer but it tastes pretty good on a cool fall day.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 22:43:17 | More by waldoiverson
Photo of Pauly2X


3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light amber, one finger head which took longer to diminish than most beers of this style. Left some nice lacing too, annother rarity for the style.

S- Very mellow malty, slightly nutty aroma, accompanied by an even fainter dried fruit aroma.

T- Very malty with a hint of caramel sweetness. Hop presense is adequate to offset the sweetness. Slight roasted nut finish.

M- A little effervescent for the style but otherwise good.

D- One of the more drinkable american styles, but I wouldn't run a session with it.

All in all a solid American Oktoberfest.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 16:23:03 | More by Pauly2X
Photo of chilidog


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

I must say the review prior to mine (cortexbomb) sums it up nice.
I special ordered thisone in, eventhough im in Ohio, some GL are harder to get for they come thru Toledo first. Thisone was limited but it finally came in. Thanks to The Andersons Lima.

It pours nice, amber/orange, very fall like. Good half inch off-white head that maintained well for its size and lace was spotty.

The aroma is malty, sweet caramel.

The taste and mouth...Very marzen...The style to a tee. Malty, caramel, toffee sweet. Not so sweet for a good little hop balances or saves this beer. 6.5%abv sounds good, I like that in a marzen. Where's the alcohol? I litterally could not pick it up in the taste.

Drinkability, yes. A good autumn brew thats very fitting to the marzen style. For a Great Lakes, I wish it had alittle more of something.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 15:20:13 | More by chilidog
Photo of CortexBomb


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

Pour is deep orange / golden with a modest white head on top. The nose is soft caramel and malts, fairly typical for the style.

The flavour starts out with a bready / yeasty aspect, and the caramel from the nose comes in about midway. A slight hop tingle is present throughout, and adds a touch of citrus to the flavour. A fairly classic Oktoberfest with the big caramel presence and bread finding just the right balance.

The mouth is full, creamy. The drinkability is not a problem, but I would not call this unusually drinkable.

The bottom line: Great Lakes has put together a damn fine take on the style. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to someone who is in the mood for an Oktoberfest beer. Best consumed from a large mug.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2007 02:16:23 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of witster18


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a 3/4"head. Retains decent. A sweet marzen styler with a crisp semi-sweet chocolate finish. This is the smoothest 6+abv I have ever drank. Honestly, this stuff tastes like it has less alchohol than the eliot ness. A fantastic beer that ranks right with the best offerings from this decorated brewery. I was always struggling to decide whether I liked Nessy,..or Fitzgerald....or Dortmund the best...now I have to add a fourth Great lakes beer into the equation. Great for the style. A touch more carb than most in the style but it helps the drinkability here...a definate session favorite....bready sweet malt flavor is robust but ends crisp with little to no aftertaste...fantastic with baked fish...I can attest. Great...great stuff. The High carbonation is a bit off for the style, but for some reason it works here..

Prob my 2nd or third fave in the style(see Ayinger Marzen or Mektoberfest) out of about 50 or so that I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2007 19:48:09 | More by witster18
Photo of prototypic


3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's clear and amber in color (a little orange when held to light). Head is about a finger and half. Retention and lacing were good.

Smell: It has a predominantly yeasty or bready smell to it. Caramel-toffee malts are noticeable. Not a great deal of hops to speak of. Very light citrus notes are present.

Taste: It definitely has a strong yeasty-bread-like taste to it. It is mostly malty and the caramel malts do provide a slightly sweet taste. Hops are not strong. Not bitter at all. There is a very faint citrus taste on the tail.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied. Carbonation is good. 6.5% abv is perfect for this beer. It's pretty smooth and drinkable. I can think of a few Great Lakes offerings I'd rather have, especially to session. Overall, it's a pretty solid effort though. Nice for this time of year.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2007 02:46:36 | More by prototypic
Photo of Grundle20


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

The beer is copper in color with just a touch of haze to it. There's a fine eggshell white head to the beer which displays mediocre retention and patchy lacing.

Sweet Munich malts build the bulk of the nose but there's a crisp underlying lager yeast note throughout. In the back there is a hint of eggy sulfur but it's very weak.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Right off the bat I pick up the sulfur note once again but it's a little more pronounced. It's not skunking sulfur but more of a warm side lagering note. The beer drinks rather crisp and smooth with a rich biscuity toffee note from start to finish. It's kind of a one dimensional beer, but tasty. The finish is clean.

It's an Oktoberfest, this beer has "drunk" in its pedigree. Pound away.

Bottom Line:
It's alright, so far it's the only o-fest I've had this year but I don't recall the style being so crisp and I think the sulfur notes could have been rounded out a little better. A decent brew but GLBC has better.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2007 21:28:44 | More by Grundle20
Photo of alexgash


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sparkling copper body with golden edges and a finger of off-white, lacy head. Caramel cookie dough malt sweetness on the nose with hints of spice cake, cooked vegetables, and spicy herbal hops.

Toasted bread malt up front followed by cookie dough and carrot cake sweetness. Cooked vegetable taste near the finish. Spicy, noble hop finish lasts a while. Medium-bodied, gently carbonated feel. Another nice lager from GLBC.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2007 01:51:34 | More by alexgash
Photo of brewcrew76


3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear orangish copper with a 2 finger white head and sticky lacing.

S - Toasted bread, caramel and a slight graininess.

T - Caramel, toasty bread with a bit of spicy hops.

M - Medium body but it seems a bit dull to me. Slight alcohol bite.

D - Adecent Oktoberfest but I would probably look elsewhere for another.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2007 18:27:56 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of BEERchitect


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

Found on-on tap at (of all places) Cheapside's. The bottle proved to be a world-class brew, so I had high hopes for the tap. The golden-copper-orange brew came out with a very froathy, withstanding head retention thats tough to fight through. The aromas are somewhat light, but are very yeasty, bready, malty, with just a touch of refreshing hops. Tastes very malty without the caramel or toffee sweetness. Malts are so rich that the hops, esters, and alcohol take a really far back seat. This is undoubtedly the most malty-textured Oktoberfest that I have had. Very rich textued, creamy, and soft. Finishes malty and firm. Could this beer be too malty?

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2007 17:31:52 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mug a nice amber that shows orange when held to light. The beer is topped by a nice frothy off-white head that slowly diminishes to a ring but still leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma shows some sweet malts and citrus hops, but is not that strong. The taste is a nice blend of sweet caramel and sweet fruits against a decent citrus hop backbone that stays where it belongs for the style; in the background. The beer is rather light bodied with low carbonation. This is without question one of the best I've had of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2007 02:12:14 | More by atsprings
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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

One of my new favorite Fest style beers,poured a clear bronze with a delicate looking 1/2 finger slight off white head.Grainy aromas a bit toasted with some caramel doughy sweetness a bit of iron is detected as well as well as some leafy hop,truly American in its larger dose of peppery hop but staying true with its lightly sweet doughy maltiness it has something for everyone and purists I really liked this one glad I have alot more.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2007 00:36:09 | More by oberon
Photo of ErinBrew


1.7/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Are you f***ing kidding me ? I think it's time to stop reading these reviews and hoping to get anything inciteful from them. It is very apparent that most of the Beer Advocate reviewers are all hopheads. This beer is NOT indicative of a true Munich Marzen/Oktoberfest beer. The best way I can describe it is: half marzen/half I.P.A. Just like all of GLBC beers, it is WAY too hoppy. Nicely balanced ? I was not able to detect any malt flavor. Malty, slight hops ? What are you comparing this to ?

For what they charge for a 6 pack (around $8), I'll stick with a real Oktoberfest beer from Munich, which I can buy for less money. I'll take the Hacker-Pschorr (which I buy in kegs) or the Paulaner any day. Please try one of these beers for a true example of the style. The Spaten, H-B, Augustiner and Lowenbrau are also good but I prefer the amber colored style.

I live in Cleveland and always shake my head at all the raves about Great Lakes. Eg. their "dortmunder gold" is NOT a dortmunder/ export beer at all. Try a DAB or a DUB instead. Is there a site for malt-heads ?

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2007 19:51:24 | More by ErinBrew
Photo of bradley194


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In my opinion this is an exceptional beer. I went to the brewery and had it on tap and it was phenomenal.

Appearance- Amber in color; with a finger and a half head which held up for quite a while. Beautiful looking beer.

Smell- Sweet carmely, malty smell; very pleasant.

Taste- Wonderful; sweet but not too sweet. Perfect balance with a very slight taste of alcohol. Carmely. Truly excellent. Wonderful malty taste which leaves a sweet aftertaste in your mouth.

Overall- Wonderful beer. Even my girlfriend who is not much of a beer drinker loved it. I recommend it to everyone. Overall- 4.7 out of 5.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2007 06:03:01 | More by bradley194
Photo of bluejacket74


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

This review is from notes taken from my recent visit to the Great Lakes brewpub this past Saturday (9/1/07). Served in a big mug (around 3 beers worth, I guess), the beer poured a nice amber color with about an inch off-white head. It smelled sweet, like caramel and toasted malt, along with some toffee and some spicyness as well. Taste was pretty similar to the aroma. Mouthfeel was light/medium, and very smooth. Drinkability was very good as well, it's very, very easy to drink on tap. I reviewed this beer from the bottle a couple weeks ago, and I think it's better on tap. It's much smoother and it tastes better as well in my opinion. If you get a chance to go up to GLBC and try this on tap, you should.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2007 00:50:17 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of hustlesworth


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

A- pours a clear golden honey amber with a just few rising bubbles topped by 2 1/2in of creamy frothy beige foam that slowly subsided to a sudsy clumpy 1/8in disc with wavy lace sticking to the glass.

S- very ale-like with a sweet & sour candy citrus and toffee malts

T- mineral water, sweet bread, dark honey, roasty toasty caramel malt backbone complemented by an earthy floral hop finish to balance out the sweetness with a malty powdery yeast aftertaste.

MF- slick and sugary, the sweetness has a slight cloying mouthfeel which isn't completely unpleasant. medium to high carbonation.

D- a little too sweet for my taste, this is my first experience with any type of oktoberfest so with more experimentation i hope to try a few more examples of the style. as in love with hops as i am, i would like to find something closer to a vienna lager, a close relative, with a greater balance between the bitterness and the sweet malt , which is dominant in this lager as with most others.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2007 00:41:25 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of crazybrody06


3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottled with best by date of 10/15/07.

Apperance-Big long lasting, very rocky, white head, copper color, decent amount of lacing.

smell-hoppy, metallic, not that impressive.

taste-hops,carmel, toasty flavor, spices, very nice.

mouthfeel-nice carbonation, full body

drinkability-would definitely have another one.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2007 01:10:33 | More by crazybrody06
Photo of genog


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle a rich golden, borderline amber color into my pint glass with a bubbly white head that builds up, then dies down to leave a small amount of white head. Smell is malt, hops, caramel and some light spices like clove, maybe a little cinnamon. Taste is very crisp and refreshing as all the ingredients found in the nose come together in a balance of flavors. Mouth is a crisp feeling making this a refreshing drink!

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2007 14:52:29 | More by genog
Photo of Bierguy5


4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, enjoy by 10/16/07. Very clear, light copper color. Thick, foamy off-white head. A few streams of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Great head retention. Nice patchwork of stick lace left clinging to the sides at the end. A very nice looking beer indeed.

Aroma is dominated by toasty, bready malt. Noble hops add some floral and spicy notes. Not much else, pretty clean aroma.

Toasty and bready malt flavor, and just as the nose suggested, a bit of floral and spicy hops to finish out. Certainly malt driven, with a great flavor.

Medium body, good carbonation. Very clean. Only a slight suggestion of warming from alcohol. Probably the best O-fest I have had to date, very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2007 19:52:45 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry lager yeast scent along with a smooth malty aroma. Caramel, Munich, and pale malts are present with a slight yeast fruitiness. The taste is good. It has a very smooth, malt flavor that is light with just the right amount of sweetness. It goes down easy and finishes a bit dry with some earthy character. The mouthfeel is excellent. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I love the flavor of this one. It's incredibly smooth and malty; highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2007 22:03:38 | More by WesWes
Photo of kellyst


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

A: Medium white head that dissappears quickly. Orange/copper color.

S: Roasty malt. No hop aroma.

T: This is a wonderful malt showcase. Roasty malt flavor. Dry, no ssweetness at all. Slight biscuity taste. No carmel flavors. Slight alcohol warmth too it, but not too much, especially since there is medium body to this beer. Nop hop bitterness, flavor, or aroma.

D: I'm torn on this one. I love this beer, and could probably drink several if I tried. But the roastyness and higher alcohol might get overpowering after 2 or 3 bottles.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2007 14:01:21 | More by kellyst
Photo of nsmartell


3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room while watching Saint Ralph. From bottle to pint glass.

Appearance - Nice, rich amber color. OK head.

Smell - Standard for oktoberfest.

Taste - Average taste. Aftertaste wasn't the best.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and decently thick.

Drinkability - I generally really enjoy Oktoberfests but this was not my favorite. While it did go down smooth, the aftertaste left something to be desired.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2007 12:50:46 | More by nsmartell
Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,350 ratings.