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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.

1,666 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,666
Reviews: 543
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 162
Gots: 155 | 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: 1,666 | Reviews: 543 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nukem5
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 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
Photo of Tballz420
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Oktoberfest is an amber colored lager, with a frothy white head as its crown. The aroma is a spot on marzen nose, rich malts, kind of yeasty, maybe a touch of hops in the background. Wow, the flavor explodes onto the scene the minute it hits the tongue. Very nice and rich malts, fairly spicy hops, somewhat bready, a bit earthy. Very full mouthfeel.

Tballz420, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of scotvega18
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Signature glass

A - A little darker than the typical oktoberfest, but still nice, very clear, and great lacing.

S - I dont get any hops here, just munich and amber malt. Still nice though and very respectable.

T - Okay to be clear, this is an Oktoberfest, built to pound not to savor, but I dont really mind anything thats here. The malt character is nice, and quite smooth. The hops arent really present, and there is a sweetness and roasted breadiness that caries through which I like. However there is some odd grassy flavor that I am having an issue with. May be just the bottle or temp. Who knows.

M - Star of the stage, I coud drink this for days.

Notes - For the style this is the best, hands down, I have ever had. It is just the odd grassy note I get that is keeping me from saying it is world class, but otherwise I really do enjoy it. I buy a sixer every fall and am happy to do so. Great falltime party beer as well.

scotvega18, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stein from a 12 ounce bottle.

A: Brilliant orange/amber hue with a massive off-white head that settles very slowly. Carbonation is quite lively, and lacing clings to the glass with ease.

S: Caramel and toast up front, with a slight floral accent in the background.

T: Much like the aroma. It begins with a load of fresh bread and caramel notes, along with some fruity character. Hops balance out this brew nicely, with a floral, grassy dry finish.

Notes: This beer is moderate in body, full of flavor, and incredibly balanced. At 6.5% ABV, it's hardly noticeable. Drinkability is awesome! This might be my favorite American interpretation of the style to date. An amazing brew.

WYVYRN527, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear slightly dark amber color with a nice big head. The nose is slightly floral, but to be honest, I failed to detect much.

Very smooth-drinking beer that gets quite malty in mid-palate. The flavors tend to go from lightly tart to a toasty nuttiness. While very good, I found it to be just a bit out of balance. It seems to be missing some pepperyness on the finish.

Despite my gripes, this beer is still a first-rate example of the style. Delicious. I will buy this again. It is my favorite domestic Oktoberfest.

deadonhisfeet, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a great lakes mug that I luckily stumbled upon from a friend. Another was poured into a GLBC standard pint.

A - this brew was very nice in color. I expected more of a dark amber orange than what it presented, but the orangish color really suits the Fall time of year and style of brew it is. Superb color. Head was a creamy looking off white color. It reminded me of a light shade of orange sitting on top the body color. Okay, I'm editing this review based on the "decent lace" I mentioned. Idk if it were because the brew was warmer than usual, but I had another last night and the lace was beautiful and plentiful.
S - Love, love, love the spice notes in my nose. Roast and malty smell. A hint of hops are faint to me but are there. Loads of Rye and grain as well.
T - Great taste. Spices are stunning but not overpowering. Definitely a GLBC toasty bread note. Somewhat bitter at first, but hits a sweet almost caramel taste once on the tongue and in the aftertaste. The flavor that filled and lingered in the finish was absolutely world class.
M - light to medium bodied. Easy to drink. At 6.5% you'd never know it from the taste.
O - I have had a few Oktoberfest brews in my life, and I must say I can't name one off the top of my head that tastes better. It's a world class marzen/oktoberfest brew. A slight resemblance to their Vienna Lager, but a lot different when it comes down to the experience. GLBC does it again! and then again with this one. This is my Oktoberfest of choice. When I buy this style it will be GLBC.

BradtheGreat7, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fall orange/amber with a finger of off-white head. Leaves a decent amount of lacing

S - A bit grainy, with a touch of spice, sweet caramel malts, some biscuit and a touch of hops. Quite nice overall, especially for a Marzen.

T - A bit of bitterness up front before fading into a sweetness with some caramel and biscuit. it's quite a sweet brown sugar but has a nice bit of hop bitterness to balance it out

M - Crisp but also some mild chewiness. Incredibly drinkable.

Overall - A very good Marzen, perfect for fall.

BeerBuckeye, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of Jimmys
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: clean and clear. reddish brown. or a light amber. slightly off white head with good retention. mild lacing.

S: toffee and caramel. a big toasted slice of rye. virtually all grain.

T: slightly sweeter than bitter. a cereal like graininess. sort of sulfury alcohol? not sure exactly, but otherwise pretty clean lager. dry finish.

M: moderate carbonation on a light body.

D: glad im already kicking off the ofest season! good drinking beer, but there are some other oktoberfests im a bigger fan of.

Jimmys, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic pint style glass from the bottle. Good till October 11th 2011, BRING it now I can't WAIT!

A shining bronze body clear and crystal as can be is brought to the front, with little cola bubbles on the bottom, and some even small rising carbonation as well. Head has a simple white foam cap and stays easily as the suds fall and pop. The clarity on this is really surprising to me. Impressive looking.

Bouquet is a crisp dark cracker dry roasty malt. Soild. Simple... good. Perhaps a faint brown sugar, but not a sense of sweetness coming. Hints of powder yeast and malt dry-ness.

Taste is, light/medium bodied impeccably balanced between malt and , with a dry dark brown bread crust finish. Palate matches a malt profile that is similar to their Vienna lager, but drier. The swallow and the finish is the best part, it creeps up with a slight sugary-ness and hits with toast dark brown bread. Texture gets almost borderline syrupy.

Overall a great tasting beer. Great Lakes pulls it off again. Kudos to you!

smakawhat, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a lighter orange than I was expecting, but still looks good. half inch head that really lingers. Good carbonation.

Smell consists of a grainy smell that I associate with a Great Lakes brew. A good combination of sweet, grainy malt and mild hop bitterness.

Initially, my tongue was assaulted by an astringent bite that gives way to a very sweet, grainy, almost nutty flavor that feels almost chewy. On second thought, that initial bite was the hops. This brew consists entirely of a caramelized sweet malty flavor that needs a second to come forth.

Leaves a chewy feeling with a light body. One of the more drinkable Oktoberfests. I could sit and drink this thing all night.

Notes - What is amazing absent is the alcohol. I do not taste anything resembling alcohol, and I am actually very happy about that!

VncentLIFE, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of Hanby
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Orange/ amber colour with a finger of off white head.

S- Light hops and caramel on the nose.

T- This is where it's at. Up front there's pumpkin bread crust and caramel malt. Following is some light hoppy taste, and finally and overall sweetness.

M- Good carbonation.

O- Very good. Great Lakes does a great job, and I think I'll certainly come back to this one. This brew has great taste.

Hanby, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 3-10-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Poured one finger of foam, nice lacing ring around the glass, nice copper amber color, some carbonation bubbles forming at the top

S - Malts, caramel, slight hop aroma

T/M - Medium bodied, crisp at first but smoothed over quick. Smooth malty taste, not much hop bitterness.

D - Very drinkable Oktoberfest. Another great brew from Great Lakes. I recommend this brew and will for sure get it again.

FreshmanPour77, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of Amalak
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle.

A. Prototype looking oktoberfest. Nice bronze color, clear yet darkish. Very bubbly that leaves a limited tan head.

S. Very nice hoppy and citrus scent.

T. This has a unique, very strong almost grape sweet taste to it. Rye aftertaste. Very nice blend of fruitiness and bitter hops.

Amalak, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of warnerry
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

best by 9/28/10; sampled 10/1/10

A - Pours translucent amber with 1 finger of head, nice carbonation rising throughout.

S - Slightly sweet bready malts with a bit of hop spice.

T - Nice mix of bready and caramel malts, with a slight hop bite.

M - A nice creamy light/medium mouthfeel.

D - Highly drinkable; this and Ayinger are my favorite Oktoberfests this year.

warnerry, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-very rich amber color. Crisp white head
S-the roasted malts assault your nose from beginning to end
T-roasty and rich malts. Nice nuttiness to it. Very sweet.
M-medium body and very smooth
D-ine of the easist drinking beers. Excellent

One of my favorite oktoberfest beers. Wish they made it year round

brew3crew, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of vgarneth
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer has a medium body, nice American style of a German Märzen, good session beer. Bought at Total Wine in Greensboro, North Carolina, (High Point) approximately late Fall 2010. Drank mid January 2011 and still fairly nice. Give it up to Great Lakes.

vgarneth, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle usually poured into dimple glass. Pours a nice solid golden color, not quite copper, but note quite straight "gold." The nose gives the first indication that this example is going to be stylistically excellent. Hints of rich malt and a touch of German noble hops come through. Flavors coming through on the palate are equally splendid. Munich malty goodness is prevalent, rendering one with the feeling of walking through a beer garden in Munich. The finish is medium-dry, allowing for a high level of drinkability. An extremely well-crafted German seasonal. My favorite overall domestic Oktoberfest.

CuriousMonk, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of AwYeh
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying an expired Oktoberfest in the middle of January may not be the best way to appreciate the beer... but we'll put that thought aside and try to reflect on the case or so I had during prime Oktoberfest season. This particular 12oz bottle was poured into a nonic pint glass.

A: Mildly hazy light amber color, one finger of white head which dissipates quickly.

S: Sweet caramel malts stand out; lots of sweet grain aromas as well. Bits of yeast and a light bitter hop smell.

T: Rich and balanced: sweet malt is again upfront, balanced by hop aftertaste. Finish is quite similar to many other Great Lakes beers; I suspect it's some combination of ingredients, particularly yeast, they may use in a number of their beers, in conjunction with the lively carbonation.

M: Medium-bodied, creamy, smooth.

D: Extremely drinkable; it's surprising that this one is even 6.5% alcohol. Sweet tastes are never overwhelming and couple perfectly with Ohio's autumn weather (and probably Germany's too).

AwYeh, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle this beer was a clear, orange color with two fingers of khaki-colored head with some rusty highlights. The retention was so-so, the lacing quite thin, to my surprise. The aroma was of sweet malt, caramel malt and some lights spices including hints of vanilla. The flavors were a combination of toasted malt, dry grains, some chewy, bread-like malts and a bit of biscuits. The hops did follow through in the end but had trouble keeping up with the array of malts. Still, given that this is a malt-heavy style of beer I had to admire the emphasis and depth of the malts on display. The mouthfeel was slick, the body medium and the carbonation medium/low.

thekevlarkid, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. it poured a clear copper color with a modest white head barely covering the top of the beer. The head retreated to the edge of the glass after a minute or so and left a little lacing as i drank it.

The aroma has a sweeter, grainy like quality to it with some toasted malts and caramel coming through. Pretty smooth, clean and appealing aroma for the style. I really started to get more of the toasty flavors to it as it warmed.

The taste is clean and crisp with a sweet grainy and malty flavor throughout it. It starts out pretty sweet with more of the grainy sweetness coming through. The caramel and toasty malts seem to come through more towards the finish. It seems to balance out some in the finish too with the sweetness subsiding and more of a crisp, slightly tart flavor coming through.

The mouthfeel is light with carbonation being moderate. Drinkability was good, it was a flavorful but easy drinking beer. It was a good version of the style as well. Pretty solid beer all around.

billab914, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of SickGnar
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Warm, bright, and a little bit orangey copper that seems just a hair less than totally clear due to color. Decent, but smaller size off-white head that stays for just a bit and leaves much lacing.

S: Getting some hops up front on this actually. Not a lot, but its there. But so are a lot of rich toasty, bready sweet malts with just a hint of euro-lager fruity esters.

T: Rich, robust, and superbly balanced. Toasty malts have layered complexity without much bready / doughy character and only minimal grainy sweetness up front. Initial sweetness is quickly subsumed by toasty malts with even slight, slight hints of toffee. Hops balance somewhat more strongly than in many other Marzen style beers. Hops are overall meadowy and hay-like, a bit grassy and herbaceous with some mint and some spicey and medicinal edges. Both hops and malts linger in the finish.

M: A little bit over medium body with CO2 to match. Robust yet smooth and goes down easy. Despite a ghost of booze in palate, I am not picking up any alcohol warm. Some dextrin chewyness and an almost semi-sweet finish.

D: Robust, but not overly so, this has great heft and depth while being amazingly rounded and balanced. A bit hop forward for the style, but richly malty too. Maybe done a bit for a US palate, but this is close enough to style, goes down easy, and is sure to get the party started.

SickGnar, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of Bouleboubier
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(This review stems from an Oktoberfestbier tasting on Nov 6, 2010, that included 13 examples of the style, of German and US origin. The variations brew to brew fascinated and surprised)

A quite attractive entry into the O-Fest category from Great Lakes. Light orange / amber in color, fairly clear look, with a moderately dense, well-composed head. Laces with authority. Bit of a light cheesy quality to the extensively toasted grain aroma. Not overly malty and certainly no significant hop notes to smell, either, though some fruitiness shows through in the scent as well. The Munich malt does shape the profile of the flavor, which, as I mentioned before, isn't heavily malty, but does display some biscuit / spice wafer qualities, that mysterious grassy cheesiness, and finishes with an apple sweetness and tiny medicinal burst in the very end. Carbonation is above-average, thinning its medium body a bit. A thin-syrupy, malty "tang" lingers in the back and sides of the mouth. Pretty good all-around.

Bouleboubier, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of despainmakesbeer
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Awesome color. Very clear orangish copper color. Head fades, light speckled face cover lingers. Maltiness in aroma. Oddly enough pick up a heavy vegetably peppery smell. Some breadiness from malt and some very sight orange. On inhale of beer in throat, pick up a big hint of jello (maybe cherry). Same thing on actual flavor. Some breadiness, some lagery sweetness, but still predominantly jello, coud be something in the growler perhaps. Not much to say about this one, but not my favorite octoberfest.

despainmakesbeer, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$2.00 single at Abe's.

Classic amber body, good clarity, topped by two fingers of level white foam.

Toasty bready aroma, mild but appealing.

Semi sweet malt lathers the tongue, touch of dark chocolate, real depth of flavor. Great balancing by earthy noble hops.

Smooth medium mouthfeel. Solidly drinkable, though perhaps more filling than the typical oktoberfest.

One of the best US Oktoberfests. Next year a sixer instead of just a single.

RonfromJersey, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of Durge
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very clear, quiet looking beer with a light copper color and a minor white cover. The lacing is pretty mediocre. The aroma is a sort of swampy-skunk bread with earthy peanut malt. A bit odd to say the least, perhaps a little scary. Fortunately it translates into a perfectly fine Oktoberfest burst of malty flavor. Over the malt I get leafy hop and a hint of bready toffee that provides a classic German idea that is medium bodied, crisp and easy drinking. I find this to be a very enjoyable brew and a great session choice for the autumnal months.

Durge, Nov 09, 2010
Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,666 ratings.