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Great Lakes Oktoberfest - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

557 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 557
Hads: 1,940
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 213
Gots: 288 | 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:
Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 11-04-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Oktoberfest Alström Bros
Reviews: 557 | Hads: 1,940
Photo of Soneast
3.16/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice clear amber color, with a white frothy head.

Nose has a definite sulfur component followed by a rubbing alcohol presence. There are some toasted malt characters hidden behind all the yuck.

The taste follows suit with an upfront sulfur flavor followed by some graham cracker-like malt flavor and sweetish finish. A rubbing alcohol flavor brings up the rear.

Not sure if this year's release is particularly bad or what, my experience of this beer is a shadow of what everybody else seems to be tasting. Not many redeeming qualities. (538 characters)

Photo of OhioLimoncello
4.15/5  rDev +4%

simple and straight to the point. Not overdone, and well balanced. If you are looking to try a seasonal Oktoberfest offering, you can't go wrong picking this one! (164 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
4.43/5  rDev +11%

BBD 10/30/14. Pours a clear amber with a nice dark ruby hue. Good head and retention, rich excellent lacing. Nice nose of malt - caramel, biscuit and a light spicy note. Medium body with a creamy texture. Normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence on the finish. Excellent flavor profile that is balanced and complex. It begins with a toasted biscuit character which flows into caramel over a subtle note of sweetness. The middle is slightly bitter with a very nice touch of spice. The finish is clean, slightly sweet, and a noble hop flavor lingers while the spice tickles the tongue. Great Lakes has nailed it, again. (632 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 45°F

Appearance (4.5): Beautiful orange amber color with an attractive two finger head

Smell (4.25): Toasted caramel malts, toffee, banana bread, spices hops

Taste (4.0): Toffee, caramel, spiced hops

Mouthfeel (4.25): Light yet full bodied for an Oktoberfest. Perfect carbonation and crisp bitterness

Overall: Not a fan of most Oktoberfests and only have a couple when in season. With that said, this is definitely one of the better ones iv had. Good quality at a good price. What Great Lakes does best! (555 characters)

Photo of MarkQ617
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Had this on tap at the Village Anchor, my second review of a Great Lakes brew. Outstanding Oktoberfest, one of my favorites. Great molasses/maple/biscuit flavor, exactly how you'd want it. I feel like sometimes these kinds of beers get a little syrupy to hit this kind of flavor, but there's none of that here. The color here is a mix between orange and amber, darker than most, which is nice. Soft mouthfeel, good amount of head. Really good stuff. (455 characters)

Photo of BethanyB
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Appearance: In the deep, orange gold clarity, a flurry of bubbles rush up toward a loose, off-white head. Beautiful color in terms of the body, but the flimsy head is rather lacking. 2/3

Aroma: The malt smell is strong and doughy, which is typical for the style. What is less desirable in an Oktoberfest, however, is the presence of sweet, buttery, and spicy scents. What is found here is definitely not the clean, all-malt scent one is looking for. 8/12

Taste: Good mix of malts. Buttered bread, grainy cracker, and even some spicy rye. Some inappropriate caramel and Saaz hop flavors sneak through, however, again creating a bigger beer than what is called for. 14/20

Mouthfeel: Chewy, smooth, medium bodied...in many ways, spot on for the style. Mild carbonation. Could be drier. 4/5

Overall: Some tasty elements, with noteworthy malt complexity. However, there is simply too much going on for an Oktoberfest here. A sweet booziness almost takes the beer into bock territory. And style appropriateness aside, the beer is just plain unbalanced. 7/10

TOTAL: 35/50 (1,069 characters)

Photo of Hawk221
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Update from 9/12/14:

Had this beer again, completely different this time and was better, I could taste the malt and the weird harsh bitterness was gone. I'm really not sure what happened when I reviewed it the 1st time? Bad bottle?

My review went from below average to good, probably very close to the German Oktoberfest beers. IMHO Paulaner's Marzen is the best for the style and Great Lakes Oktoberfest falls somewhere behind that.

Wow, what a disappointment..

I've had many Oktoberfest beers before and this one was the worst by far.

Looked great in my mug, but the harsh bitter aftertaste gave me a headache. I got no maltiness at all. I think something was wrong with this batch?

I switched to a Dogfish Head 60 min IPA afterwards and that seemed less bitter and easier to drink, I'm thinking I may have had a bad batch?

For being a 20 IBU beer it was way too bitter tasting.

The best by date was 11/05/14 (930 characters)

Photo of Gobearswalter34
2.5/5  rDev -37.3%

Yes balanced, but balanced nothingness. Too sweet. I have never differed so much with BA and bros opinions. The first Great Lakes beer I didn't particularly enjoy. (166 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%

12oz bottle, best before Nov, 2014, poured into a Great Lakes 25th Anniversary snifter.

The beer pours a clear amber color, hues of brown and orange with a thin, bubbly, bone colored head that has no retention and yields no lace. The aroma is spot on, rich caramel malt, brown brea d, lightly nutty, a touch of toffee and perhaps a nutmeg spice. The flavors mirror very well, caramel and munich malt, toasted nuts, light spice, noble hop bitterness, with sweet toffee at the finish. The mouthfeel is great, lively, carbonation is bubbly, coats very well, feels soft and finishes very lightly dry.

Verdict: A delicious example of the Märzen style from Great Lakes. Balanced, earthy, lightly sweet with mild bitterness, but more importantly, extremely refreshing. (767 characters)

Photo of emyers
4/5  rDev +0.3%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy orange color with a big 1.5 inch white head. Good head retention.

Smell: Big bready malt aroma with hints of caramel. Nice spicy hop presence throughout.

Taste: Similar to the smell with a strong bready/caramel malt presence. Good crisp noble hop profile. Excellent balance.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and clean on the palate. Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall: As far as American-made Oktoberfests go, this is one of the best out there. (538 characters)

Photo of beerdedking
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Draft pour into pint glass at Town Tavern, Duryea.

Easily the best American Okto I've had. Pours a lovely maroon with standard 1 finger head. It's perfectly balanced with no overwhelming characteristics.
It's hopped just right keeping the caramel in check, but certainly you wouldn't say this is hoppy. Great Lakes does their approachable beers so well, and this is another winner. (388 characters)

Photo of Chiefy770
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Great Lakes Brewing Co.
“Enjoy By” date of 11/2/2014
Date Reviewed: 9.13.2014
Glass of Choice: Nonic Pint

Bottle Notes:
“A Handcrafted Amber Lager”

Golden-orange body with a slight amber tint. Respectable white foam head. Weak on the lacing.

Toasty malts. Sweet bread. Toasted grain. Spiced hops. A greater presence of spice than similar Oktoberfest brews.

Semi-sweet malts up front: Sweet bread, toasted nuts, and biscuits. Spicy hops even things out. This particular spice tastes similar to the spices commonly used in Winter Warmers or other holiday releases. Think pumpkin pie spices sans the pumpkin… cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc. This spice taste is VERY subtle but it is definitely something my tongue picked up. Crisp and clean. Medium-light body. Moderate carbonation.

This brew definitely lives somewhere in the top rankings of the Oktoberfest style for me. The spice really makes this beer stand out from other Märzens. Perfect companion for the young days of fall.

95 (A) (1,051 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%

From 08/29/14 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a somewhat clear bright orange-amber color with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident. A lot of bready malts, grains, dough, toasted malts, burnt malts, caramel malts, some brown sugar. Some light fruity malts in the taste. Medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

Overall a decently good marzen. Not a ton going on bit easy to drink. Not my favorite but would try it again. (472 characters)

Photo of Upstategmen
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Great beer. Great color. Great taste. Although I'm not sure if it's the best. As the 2014 Oktoberfests are introduced this is not my favorite. Time will tell (158 characters)

Photo of PA-hunter
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%

Poured bottle into glass. 6.5% abv

Appearance- Light amber and semi clear. One finger head that dissipates.

Smell- Strong and sweet smell of caramel malts and that of fresh bread.

Taste- A fresh flavor of toasted bread drifts into the rich sweetness of caramel malt. Finishes clean and sharp.

Mouthfeel- Thin but lively and crisp.

Overall- A refreshing and good example of this Fall seasonal. A good offering by Great lakes. (429 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best examples of the style I have had. A great malty treat that has all of the typical characteristics of the style, but just makes them taste lively. Bready, fresh, and malty. I could definitely do a six of these. (226 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

Pours copper orange with perfect clarity and some lager bubbles wafting up to the top. Brilliant beer. Shines with fiery and golden hues. Creamy head of foam that lasts. Sweet malty nose. A bit of depth a drizzle of honey. Noble hops give the faint scent of fresh hay. Sweet biscuit. Taste is simply lovely. Smooth, crisp , sweet malt. Tantalizing with a faint bi t of honey. Small hop bit ion the back end. Perfect dryness and a light graham cracker. Faint grass in the last moments and this one is fantastic! (521 characters)

Photo of Mikus
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

This was a ver nice, deep amber pour with a 1/2 finger of white head. I sensed a bit of cariander and lemon? on the nose. It was somewhat malt forward, but very pleasing to the taste. Nice balance. Medium on the mothfeel and a good carbonation throughout.., loving me some Great Lakes. Always consistently strong. Oktoberfest is not an exception. (346 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Marzen beers are maltier beers, my palate has become adapted to resinous hops this summer and it will be an adjustment of the palate. I have not been a fan of Great Lakes in the past because I felt like they put too much malt in their supposedly hoppier beers. On the contrary this beer is designed to be a maltier beer. Classical Marzen in that respect. This is a very nice representation of the style. I am not sure it is worth the 100 rating that BA gives it but it is a tasty brew. I look forward to trying more of this style this fall and comparing them to this one, which apparently is seen as one of, if not the best Oktoberfest beer produced in the US. (661 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yet another great brew from Great Lakes. Beer pours a medium amber with thin white head
a decent clinging lacing on the glass. Nose of caramel, toffee, and medium roasted goodness.
Taste is a perfect session brew with malts up front and on the back with a nice caramel malt
profile and very subtle hop characteristic to give it a zip in balance towards a fantastic smooth
mouthfeel and buttery finish. A most excellent aftertaste with high drinkability.

Cheers (468 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
3.09/5  rDev -22.6%

Notes: Best by 10/19/14 (consumed 08/16/14). Poured into a nonic pint

A: [3.00] Nice deep amber color. Forms no head at all. There is barely a wispy white film on the beer. No lacing at all.

S: [2.75] Wheat and slight hops.

T: [3.25] More of the wheat. More sweetness than I expected. The sweetness is a nice element.

M: [3.25] Clean and crisp. There is some carbonation tingle late.

O: [3.00] This is a nice summer evening beer. The malty sweetness is the main draw here. It is not something to go out of your way to get - but I would not turn one down. (571 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

Poured a deep and clear amber. A great creamy off-white cap of head lasts well into the beer, aided by a steady stream of effervescence. The aroma is pretty weak, with some mild malt notes. The taste has some nice biscuit notes, a little caramel sweetness and a hint of earthiness. The body has a nice weight to it and there's a little bit of carbonation on the finish. This is a very good lager, but when compared to it's German cousins, it just comes up a little short for me. (478 characters)

Photo of Fergyx825
1.94/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: This is a dark copper, 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: i almost don't taste anything. Tastes high in alcohol. not very tasty at all.

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

Overall: This is pretty bad, and way worse than last year(13) vs 14. (514 characters)

Photo of ibu4u
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I know it's almost to early to think about the leaves changing colors, but this beer does just that. The amber color was clean and head great with nice lacing on the glass. Smell was nice and malty. On the front end the taste was smooth for a 6.5% beer and finished just as smooth. Overall a very nice for anyone looking to drink a good beer. I will get another six pack of this one. (383 characters)

Photo of Caveworm
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co., a seemingly early start, but whatever. Poured from the bottle into a liter glass drinking boot, this brew's got a 3 finger thick pale tan head, knockout lacing& a body that is the textbook definition of amber. What a sexy beer!

I smell gloriously roasted malts; perhaps a dash of caramel. A satisfyingly full aroma.

Tastes nearly identical. Full as they come and still crisp! Earthier hops balance this brew out JUST enough. I love the taste

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean. No lingering elements here.

Overall, a fist pumping 4.25 is given to Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co. I implore you to give this brew a chance. It blew me away, obviously. This brew will be a staple in my fridge during its circulation period. (797 characters)

Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 557 ratings.