Great Lakes Oktoberfest - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,910 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,910
Reviews: 566
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 194
Gots: 263 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Oktoberfest Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,910 | Reviews: 566
Photo of humuloner22
4/5  rDev -1.5%

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.

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
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.


Photo of fscottkey
3.09/5  rDev -23.9%

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.

Photo of delta490
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

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.

Photo of Diablew
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Great Oktoberfest

Photo of Fergyx825
1.94/5  rDev -52.2%
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.

Photo of ibu4u
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of Caveworm
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of EmptyPockets
4.84/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm mostly an IPA and Stout enjoyer (I know that's not a word}. It was one of the best last year and I actually think this year's brew may be better. Customer feedback was great, ordered one case last year sold all of it in one day. This year made it my beer of the week, sold 2 cases in 3 days...I should have order more than 5 cases. This is a must try!!

Photo of schleprock
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Early on I was not a fan of many Great Lakes Beers, even after visiting the brewery however a few like Conway's Irish, The Christmas Ale, Blackout Stout and this one are top notch.

Pours a really nice bronze body with a thick cream colored head and leaves great lacing as you drink from the glass.

Lots of caramel malt hits the nose and the taste follows with a rich caramel malt flavor with a bit of sweetness.

This is a dangerously good beer. I say that because this is easily sessionable for me.

Overall this is definitely one of the better versions of the style I've seen on the market. I'll definitely be looking for this next fall and run to the store before it's all gone just like I do for their Christmas Ale.

Photo of dmfrench
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A better Oktoberfest only exists in the mind.

A: Nice deep orange with a somewhat persistent coarse white head. Too clear.

S: Inviting: earthy malts and dusty/spicy hops.

T: Lots of sugary spiced malt, fruit, some dusty hops, and that dry 'oktoberfest' flavor.

M: could have a bit more backbone, but weighty enough to satisfy.

O: See first line.

Photo of WunderLlama
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a glass

Looks like a whiskey, thin carbonation cap, no visible carbonation

Aroma of sweet malts, black pepper and bread.

Smooth malt on the front of the tongue. Clean finish in the back. Octoberfest malt, good!

Medium mouthfeel.

Back up the truck and stock up the fridge. Great tasting American Oktoberfest. Keep on hand and drink frequently. Repeat at will. Different than German Marzens but very enjoyable nonetheless.

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

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep golden copper color with reddish highlights and a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice and malty and bready. Notes of freshly baked bread, brown sugar, black pepper, and burnt orange.

Taste: Very much like the aroma. Very malty and bready up front, notes of lightly salted soft pretzels, followed by some brown sugar and caramel-like sweetness, finished by some beautifully balanced hoppy bitterness. Excellent!

Mouthfeel: Medium, with some great carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.5%, there is just the slightest hint of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Damn excellent American version of an Oktoberfest beer! Great balance between the malt, the sweet and the hops. Definitely getting a six-pack of this beer every fall

Photo of keithmurray
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - clear amber color with beige head

Smell - caramel, toffee, toasted nuts

Taste - caramel sweetness, toffee, toasted nuts

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweet upfront, hop bitterness at the back end,crisp, flavor lingers for a bit

Overall - this is a solid beer that I would gladly revisit, holds its own against its German counterparts

Price point - $8.99/6 pk

Photo of alphagnome
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a translucent, rich bronze color body. Fine sediment is visible. Thick, white head leaves nice lacing as it slowly withers away. Light carbonation.

Honestly, not a lot going on here.. and that's not a bad thing! Nice, rich caramel malt provides most of the nose. A bit of nutmeg. The occasional banana. Crisp.

Delicious! Thick malt provides a sweetness that is almost too much. ALMOST. Caramel notes are present but light for the style. Hints of pecan, maple and apricot liven the party up and add a nice complexity. Sweetness transitions into a light bitter bite. Finish has an oak quality to it with a hint of alcohol.

Smooth as they come. Medium body. Light carbonation levels. Alcohol is noticeable and the finish is semi-dry.

Possibly the most enjoyable example of the style I've had to date! Refreshing and easy to drink. Plenty of complexity and character. Grab it if you see it - I know I will be travelling to bordering states to get my hands on this one next year!

Photo of ONUMello
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Light orange with a thin head that hurriedly disappears
S: Roasted malt, subtle spice, caramel and just a hint of hops
T: Matches the nose with roasted grain, caramel, spice, hops
M: Light but crisp and refreshing
O: Very enjoyable

Photo of Jacobob10
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep amber in color with a solid white head and a fair amount of lacing on the glass. Clear body. Bread and toasted malt aroma. Light floral noble hops. Medium bodied with good carbonation. A great and slightly unique example of the style. One of the best American-made Oktoberfest beers I have had to date. This was my first Great Lakes beer and I will certainly be trying others. Glad they are now being distributed in NJ.

Photo of brewskifan55
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass

A: Amber, opaque, with a tan half-finger head that dissipates to foamy bubbles. Great lacing.

S: Floral, malty. Cinnamon and spices. A little pumpkin, too.

T: Robust, malty, hearty, sweet. Grainy. Now this is the way an o-fest should taste!

M: Medium to high. Hefty carbonation. Really full and thick.

O: An excellent Oktoberfest. Great with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Photo of matjack85
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I tried this at Quencher's Saloon in Chicago. $5 for a 12oz bottle served in a pint glass.

The beer poured a crystal clear red/copper/amber color with a big 3-finger white head that lasted awhile and left some tremendous lacing.

Pleasant bready malt smell with some aromatic hops and spices in the background.

This is a spicy Oktoberfest. Plenty of bready malt and traditional caramel sweetness, but this one also has a mild hop bite to it along with a pronounced spiciness. It's very good.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

I like what they did with this one.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Worked the polls yesterday for the special election and went out afterwards to the Cloverleaf. First time in ages I wet there for any food or drink and along with the lam burger that I had, this was recommended as a beer pairing with it. I've had more than my fair share of Fall beers, Octoberfests, and Marzens so I didn't have the highest of expectations for this. Thankfully, I was proven wrong and this was pretty hard to pace myself through before my food came out!

Nice copper hue to this with a pretty radiant clarity, good head, and rings of lacing that held their own after each sip. Not a strong aroma to this but there was enough malt, cream, and caramel to be found here with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg in the taste to reinforce those notes. Not too strong and certainly not spicy - it almost reminded me of a lighter Pumpkin Ale. This wasn't heavy and there was just enough of a cloying aspect in the aftertaste to keep it lingering without feeling sticky.

The alcohol was good too and although I only had one, it would be quite easy to have more than a few in a sitting. It's not easy to find an Octoberfest that isn't watered-down, generic, spicy, or chewy but this straddled all of those while having just enough to it to stand out. Even if there isn't any food around to pair it with, this is worth seeking out and enjoying on its own.

Photo of maxcoinage
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter with a few cm head that dissapated rather quickly. Color is a dark amber with slight orange hue.

Aroma - caramel malts, toffee

Taste - nice sweet malt backbone balanced with a bit of spicy hops, bit of caramel. easy finish

Mouthfeel - Smooth medium body and carbonation

Overall - great interpretation of the style, nothing like enjoying one on a nice fall evening

Photo of dacrza1
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

DATE TASTED: September 13, 2013 ... GLASSWARE: Ayinger willibecker... OCCASION: first full week of school is done--and the power's back in our house...APPEARANCE: upward cascading bubbles uphold a thick, foam-laden off-white head; orange amber body conveys an Oktoberfest with nice tracings... AROMA: beautiful caramel malts; some flowery hops add balance; grassy undertones add to its earthy aroma...PALATE: mellow, medium-bodied and pleasantly drinkable; balanced between tongue and tooth...TASTE: sweet, buttery caramel and sugary/salty enough to force of a lick of the lips; a winning sweetness that makes this style rewarding... OVERALL: clean, crisp and fulfilling--an Oktoberfest can do little more to impress; outstanding may be a stretch, but the sum of its parts suggests this appellation...

Photo of Jonada
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Best before 11/9/2013. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Copper orange color with less than a finger of a white head that dissipates quickly to a thin collar. Body is relatively clear, however there is some fine suspended sediment visible.

Smell: Sweet malt, banana bread, a bit of earthy hops. Mild/medium strength aroma.

Taste: Malt sweetness, bread and bread crusts, with some subtle hints of caramel and apple.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and crisp. Medium prickly carbonation. High drinkability.

Overall: One of my favorite Oktoberfest beers. Its not super complex but it's still very tasty.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBD: 10/18/12

Poured into a tulip glass, it has a bright amber copper color with high clarity. Languid sparse trails of rising bubbles from the center of the glass. A sizable head at first pour becomes a frosted thin layer on the surface, with a perfect delicate crown of lace around the edges. Retention is pretty good.

Mellow shortbread aroma, slight toasted grain.

A light bitter bite is noticeable upfront, segueing into some smooth nutty almond from it's grain and malt character. Bitterness grips lightly, but slips into the malt cocoon effortlessly. Light bodied but with enough complexity to keep one well interested.

2013: Sampling this again against a dozen other Oktoberfests, this one came out in my personal top 3. Very fresh and true to style with it's own unique nutty malt character, and lingering flavors. Highly recommended for an American Oktoberfest that upholds tradition.

Photo of Stevedore
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from the 2013 seasonal release. Poured into a Founders' snifter today, 10/2/2013.

Absolutely beautiful beer. Pours an clear burnt orange-amber hue, with a 1cm white head that quickly dissipates. Some lacing. I just want to keep looking at this beer in the light, it illuminates extremely well.

Smells pretty straightforward. Super malty, lots of toffee candy and bread right here. A little bit of noble hops, making for an earthy hoppiness. Decent nose, not super pungent but you know what, that is okay.

I am digging the flavour. It is very bready in terms of maltiness with a very nice earthy bitterness accompanying it. There is also a little bit of that lager yeast spice which somehow complements everything very well. Very balanced, full of flavour here.

This is actually a thicker bodied beer for the Marzen style. I am really digging it and its perfect carbonation. Very drinkable and smooth, refreshing. This mouthfeel captures the spirit of Oktoberfest quite well.

I'm a fan. This is probably my favorite Oktoberfest beer I've had so far. I've had a bunch, like Staghorn as well as the typical Munich brewers' takes- Hofbräu, Hacker, etc. and this holds up pretty well to the German examples. I'm guessing that this is as good as it gets in the USA.

Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,910 ratings.