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Great Lakes Oktoberfest - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest

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1,284 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1284
Reviews: 507
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.56%

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: 1,284 | Reviews: 507 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of schwemjw


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

A: Clear dark copper. slight brown 1 finger head. lots of carbonation on this brew.

S: Butterscotch and toffee sting the nostrils before a tremendous backing of biscuit, dried bread and stale toast. A little yeast funk rounds the nose out.

T: Big folds of bread. buttered brown toast. A toffee sweetness is there but very light. Just enough of a roast to make itself known. a small amount of spice kicks in before more dried bread. perfectly balanced.

M: Great carbonation with a little spice and bread finish.

O: Perfectly blanced. an easy drinking marzen; a true standout. /92

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2013 06:28:01 | More by schwemjw
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

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

A- pours a bright copper color with a small foamy/sudsy white head that reduces quickly, leaving only a small ring around the glass

S- classic marzen aromas of toasted sweet malt with some woodsy and earthy notes, dried leaves with some nice fruity esters

T- sweet and malty with earthy Forrest floor notes, fruity notes of plum with just a touch of caramel. Nice toasty malt backbone balances out the sweetness quite well, sweet finish with more fruity notes

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a crisp finish

O- I'd out this one near the top of the style, up there with Ayinger, and probably the best American version I've tried. Lots of fruity notes with the toasted, sweet malty flavors expected of the style

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 02:07:32 | More by Treyliff
Photo of Icedogs


4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Oktoberfest of them all. Yes, I am quite biased in favor of Great Lakes Brewing Company because one of my best friends worked there for nine years and I've spent many a fine afternoon/evening at the place. But my preference for GLBC beer is primarily because the beers are almost always outstanding. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2013 02:17:27 | More by Icedogs
Photo of ThisWangsChung


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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden amber color. About two fingers of a fluffy, barely off-white head is featured. Retention is surprisingly good for a lager, and there's plenty of lacing left behind, too.

S: I've never had a marzen that seemed this juicy before. The aroma is more reminiscent of fruit punch (or perhaps a good apple cider) than it is the bready caramel sweetness typical of the style. The hops give off nice notes of grass, apricot, and peach. Aromatically, it's probably as good as a marzen gets.

T: A touch of the caramel-y sweetness does appear initially, but the real star of the show is how juicy it seems to be - and how much of that juiciness seems to come from the hop profile. Apricot, apple, peach, and pineapple make up the bulk of the flavors around the middle, with some bitter hoppiness finishing it off.

M: It has a fairly light body, with a rather wet finish. Normally, I'd prefer a drier beer, but since the flavors are so good, I don't care. Carbonation is middling, which I like.

O: This is unusual. Why? Because it's not a marzen I want to chug - it's a marzen I want to savor. How Great Lakes crams so much fruity flavor into their lagers, I'll never know. I'd put this up near the top of all the oktoberfest beers I've ever sampled. If my last review said I wouldn't have minded getting a six pack of the beer in question (ST's 2XRYE), then I'll state in this I kind of wish I got a six pack instead of a single.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2013 18:59:03 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of MaximalC


3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a moderate off-white head that soon disappears almost entirely. Aroma is light, smelling of noble hops and caramel malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, featuring mild caramel, grassy hops, and an off-putting dash of apple juice. There's also a metallic twinge that muddles the middle and obscures what ought to be the backbone of the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is light but appropriate for the style.

I'm not much of a fan of oktoberfests to begin with, but even by oktoberfest standards, this is unremarkable. The peculiar juiciness is distracting, and there's just not much else there to gravitate toward. Perhaps my least favorite offering from Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2013 02:14:55 | More by MaximalC
Photo of Fergyx825


2.95/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: This is a dark copper red, with a little bit of head on the pour and a little bit of residual head left after the poor and on the surface. This is typical of an Oktoberfest.

Smell: This smells high in alcohol. I can smell a medium malted toastyness. Thats about it.

Taste: A good malty taste. There is not much alcohol after it either. I do enjoy this. There isnt' much to complain about.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, with a light to medium thickness. This beer isn't bad.

Overall: I don't mind this beer. It definitely doesn't blow me away at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2013 04:30:21 | More by Fergyx825
Photo of AdamBear


3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-great amber color but with a fairly significant lack of head

S-grainy beer wort. A good scent but not a strong scent

T-comes in with a flavor of roasted caramel grains. They're very crisp and bready. Just a touch of sweetness. Matching after-taste that has some lingering bitterness to it. Quality ingredients.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a semi dry finish

O-definitely a great example of the style, definitely something I could quaff liters of if at a festival. Has a good raw beer flavor more so than some oktoberfests and is also a bit more bitter than most.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2013 01:44:12 | More by AdamBear
Photo of bbeane


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured into a pint glass... decent head that recedes quickly. Beer is a dark gold color

S- Bread and caramel, hint of sweetness

T- Nice balanced tasting fest beer. Notes of caramel, bread, toffee, and a hint of hops

M- Medium body with light-medium carbonation

O- I think this may be my favorite American brewed Marzen. and very reasonably priced

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2013 00:07:57 | More by bbeane
Photo of Givemebeer


4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into my snifter. Drinking this while listening to some Bob Dylan - good times.

A: Clear light brown copperish color with good lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee. Tons of malt. Smells sweet.

T: Yes this is bready. Also follows the nose with plenty of caramel and toffee. Delicious!

M: Lush medium - full bodied beer. Sweetness lingers on the palate.

O: Great oktoberfest here. A definite must try.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2013 03:59:23 | More by Givemebeer
Photo of DeFaz


4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

If I could only have one Oktoberfest beer during the autumn months, this would be it. I think it smelled even better in recent years, but otherwise everything comes together just about perfectly here. It smells of toasted malt and toffee. The malt provides flavors of bread, caramel, toffee, and grass, and the hops add just enough bitterness to balance the sweetness from the malt. This is medium bodied with active carbonation that makes it crisp. Overall, this isn't an overly powerful beer, but it is nicely balanced and is complex.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2013 01:47:58 | More by DeFaz
Photo of mtomlins

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A: Crystal clear; burnt orange, copper in color; 1-2 fingers of creamy off-white head that takes forever to dissipate to a sudsy collar and leaving lots of lacing.

S: Toasted malt, sweet caramel. Maybe a bit of toffee.

T: A big, robust toasted malt character that is sweet and round. A pleasant noble hop profile balances the malt out for a very clean finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation with a smooth, silky texture.

O: A rich, full flavor brew with wonderful toasted malt character.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 16:58:58 | More by mtomlins
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours clear amber with long lasting, foamy white head. Aroma is of noble hops and caramel malt. Body is full and smooth. Caramel malt and some cherry are balanced on the palate by herbal hops. Finish is long, semi-dry. Nice Oktoberfest.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 18:36:12 | More by mikeg67
Photo of Joe_Duvel


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's a style that I like but don't love, know what I mean? But this beer, I love. It's that good.

I was completely blown away with this one. Some nice sweetness to it and great toasted bread notes. Such a pleasant surprise even from the first taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 00:26:54 | More by Joe_Duvel
Photo of ChrisC1970

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful burnt orange color with a very nice, foamy head. My pour was half side of a stemmed chalice, half down the middle. The head remained intact and a full 1". Foam laced evenly.

The taste was very pleasing with easy mouth. Drinks very mildly and smooth.

I'm getting hungry right now, so the 2nd one will be paired with a slice or two of a thin and crispy pizza. The carbonation is good, so a clean palate will be expected before each bite.

I just had a Flying Fish Oktober Fish last week, I'd say this Great Lakes version is much better. If I could choose an Oktoberfest to rest upon this Fall, this would be the one.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 23:50:30 | More by ChrisC1970
Photo of Alextricity


3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by 9/30/13 ... poured on September 5th.

Appearance: Doesn't pour quite as nicely as I thought it might -- no big, billowy head. Not really any lacing. Barely a film on top of the beer. At least the color is spot on, with the color of autumn.

Smell: Very pleasant, sweet malt aroma. There's also a mild spicy hop character in there as well. Simple, clean, what's to be expected.

Taste/feel: I wouldn't call this outstanding, but I'd consider it very good. First, the feel -- medium mouthfeel, with a nice carbonation to it that is nearly perfect and my favorite part of this Oktoberfest. The beer itself is perfectly true to the style, except for the fact that I get a mild alcohol flavor on the end that puts me off just a little bit. A touch sweeter than it is bitter, which I like in my Oktoberfests. A super solid example of the style, and my first Oktoberfest of the year. Tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 01:22:22 | More by Alextricity
Photo of deebo


3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served a pint on tap at Republic Uptown.

A-Crystal clear with weak beige head that laces the glass a bit. Color is light amber with orange hue. Lighter in color than most marzens.

S-A bit weak in the sweet toasted barley malt that is remniscent of the style. High in the spicy hop character.

T-Like the aroma this beer has a weak toasted slightly sweet toffee taste with a much higher than usual spicy peppery hop back end taste and finish. Reminds me of a maibock.

M-Weak bodied with high carbonation. Crisp finish with a mild bitter spicy noble hop finish.

O-A bit disappointed in this beer as I prefer my Marzens with more carmelized roasted malt character with a bit more body.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2013 02:20:47 | More by deebo
Photo of gr0g

New Jersey

4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber color topped with two fingers of foam. Good head retention with streaks of lacing. Aroma is very malt-forward with lots of toffee character some ripe golden raisin. To a lesser extent, there's a floral hop character.

Robustly malty flavor profile while still having enough hop bitterness to be balanced. At 6.5%, this is bigger than the vast majority of Marzens, and it comes through in the flavor. Texture is slick with moderate, soft carbonation. The rich maltiness and sweetness makes this more like a maibock.

Though a bit one-dimensional, Great Lakes makes a great 'fest that's rich and full of flavor. This is going on my short list of top Oktoberfest beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 01:34:36 | More by gr0g
Photo of jayhass


4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A nice orange amber hue with a big white head that sticks.
Smell is of bread and sweat caramel from the malt. A floral almost earthiness from the hops.
Taste is almost like the smell sweet malt caramel and light toasted bread. Light spiciness of noble hops also gives so earthiness to this beer. Finishes dry making you want another drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 01:11:46 | More by jayhass
Photo of KomodoDragon


4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Burnt orange, active beer with a one inch head that had no interest whatsoever in disappearing

S - Oats, rice along with sweet candy-like perhaps toffee smells

T - First item to not is the remarkable creaminess. A bit light for the backbone, but there is a distinctive caramel/toffee flavor. Pleasant hop finish. Bit of a burnt oak aftertaste.

M- Smooth, creamy, light

Not my favorite style, and perhaps the fact this is a different take makes it as good of fall seasonal as I've had. Very drinkable, very enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 02:12:34 | More by KomodoDragon
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear medium orangish amber in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation near the edges of the glass and some apricot + copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film evenly covering the entire surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts with a light hint of caramel sweetness followed by light to moderate aromas of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of toasted malts with light amounts of caramel sweetness. That is followed by light flavors of grassy and earthy hops which impart a very light amount of bitterness which fades pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable, a nice example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 02:03:36 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of philbe311


3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - No more than a finger's worth of late to develop sturdy crisp slightly fizzy bone white colored head... Decent retention given the slight head... What's left if a slightly lopsided rich veil of lacing and slight collar... The color is a medium rich amber... There are some pale golden undertones... A moderate bit of moderate paced carbonation...

S - Bursting at the seems with toasted malts... Toffee... Some rich overly ripened fruit undertones... A very subdued noble hop presence lingers beneath the surface... There is also a slight metallic tinge buried deep within...

T - Toasted malts... Cereal grains... Light sweetness of toffee and caramel... Some subtle earthy characteristics... There is a mix of noble hops and metallic presence that appears on the finish and lingers for quite a bit...

M - Sturdy and crisp... Medium bodied... Light carbonation... A good hoppy bite on the finish...

D - Not a bad Marzen / Oktoberfest by any means, however, I'm not sure this one leaves up to the high expectations I had for it based on my fellow BAs ratings... I'll have no issue getting through the sixer that I have in the fridge, but there are more than a handful of other style brethren (both German and domestic) that I would opt for over this one when given the choice...

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 01:43:31 | More by philbe311
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased at Beers of the World, in Henrietta, NY.

I haven't had many of the authentic German Marzens or Oktoberfest beers, so this one's my favorite. I love the spicy, malty flavors I get from it.

Pours a copper, dark orange. 1 inch of head, slight amounts of lacing.

Smells like musky, spicy hops with some caramel malt flavors.

The flavor continues the story of the aroma- amazing hop flavor here. Grassy, spicy German hop flavors abound, with some slight lingering bitterness. The hop flavor is more than backed up by the typical malt flavors for the style- nutty, slightly sweet, bready. Awesome.

Medium bodied, low carbonation.

I love this beer, and want to buy it every year.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 21:38:32 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of dhannes


3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Perfect Pint;

A=Golden orange, but too light for the style...should be darker, and more red. Nice inviting foamy two finger head lingered.

S=Like lemonade...sweet, citrus, and some herbal. Not as pungent as others. I admit that the reviews lifted my expectations for this beer, and, so far, I am not overwhelmed.

T=First sip...pleasantly surprised by the body and the creamy malt...reminded me of fresh baked bread...or more like a doughnut...a tad sweeter than others. Slightly bitter. Kind of a cross between a soft pretzel and a caramel covered sweet roll...or like one of those pretzel's at the mall drizzled with caramel...saltiness is present as well. Enjoyable, but not quite "outstanding."

M=Light to moderate body...a lit slickness to it...very subdued carbonation.

O=Enjoyable, but too sweet and light...I still have the other 5 bottles of the 6-pack and will try 1-2 by themselves, and use the rest to make snakebites. A tamer version of the märzen style, and better than many, but not really comparable to German offerings.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 01:42:31 | More by dhannes
Photo of steveh


3.26/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Admittedly, not my favorite rendition of the style (and I'm often vocal about it because Märzen is my favorite style of beer), but I had the good opportunity to try this again (and re-review after 4 years) from the good graces of a co-worker who brought me a trade bottle.

Long neck brown bottle. Best by 09/30/13 -- when was *this* bottled?

A -- Deep, clear, amber-orange with a somewhat sudsy, but firm, light tan head. Seems to settle rather quickly to a thin cap, but revives nicely.

S -- Pretty light overall. Some mild DMS and light caramel notes.

T -- Bready and mildly toasty up front, blending into some vinous flavors and mildly peppery alcohol characters. Finishes with some nutty notes fighting the winey character with an aftertaste of hot alcohol.

M -- Mouthfeel is crisp and dry with some alcohol hotness and a light medium body with lingering unattenuated sugars that come across more candy than bread-like.

O -- It's not my favorite to-style, and it appears that nothing has changed in 4 years. The alcohol hotness and vinous character keep this from being a clean beer as a lager ought to be. It's just off the mark for a good Märzen.

My review from 2009. Enjoy by 10/05/09

A - Clear orange amber with a good, persistent, light tan colored head.

S - Mild toasted malt note, with vague DMS back. Some peppery alcohol with warmth.

T - Hmm, dry astringency up front with nutty malts coming to a little rescue. Something's amiss in Cleveland this year.

M - Medium body with a slick to sticky mouth feel and the drying astringency in the finish. Definite warming from alcohol.

D - Something is just a bit off in this batch, the astringency is signaling an infection of some sort. The malts are trying to overcome, but they're not succeeding well. I'll try another to confirm, but I'm disappointed.

*Edit -- Same astringency in a subsequent bottle from the sixpack. Anyone else getting bad batches?

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2009 12:39:51

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2013 21:09:54 | More by steveh
Photo of Apellonious

North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz from six pack at cm. good till 11/6/2013

A - pours a golden amber, little to no head, very active carbonation, clear

S - bread, faint malt and grains

T - fresh baked bread. Touch of a bitterness on the finish to keep you going back.

M - almost perfect.

O - this is the beer and style to drink went you just want a good solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 22:36:57 | More by Apellonious
Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,284 ratings.