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Oktoberfest - Lancaster Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

84 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 84
Hads: 180
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 5
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lancaster Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: oberon on 10-31-2003

Oktoberfest uses seven different malts and three varieties of imported and domestic hops, as well as an authentic Bavarian lager yeast. This beer is full-bodied with a nice malt sweetness.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 84 | Hads: 180
Photo of TLove
2.38/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

(From Notes)

On tap at the brewery.

Yellowish orange with a rough, strewn head that disappears very quickly. Overly carbonated and kolschy, this beer possesses a slight note of honey in the body, along with orange citrus and papaya. Sweet malt, grainy taste, which sits rather oddly to me. Finish is timid. Light in hops. Strong in alcohol, but hidden well. Crisp, but a bit syrupy and light in body.

I expected a lot more from a brewery in one of the biggest, most traditional German-descendent communities in the country. Really unremarkable.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.4/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.0 A: Agressive pour gave a small head. Little lacing. Orange amber in color.

3.0 S: Sweet caramel and some sourness much like a sour wine. A bit of floral hops to round it off.

2.0 T: Really sour for a beer. Tastes like a cheap sour red white with a bit of Japanese sake mixed in. Interesting but not good and terrible for the style.

4.0 M: Easily the best part about this beer. Creamy and smooth and largely chewy. If only it tastes better.

1.5 D: It's hard to get through even one of these.

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Photo of TopherBreski
2.44/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Very light color for a Marzen and a bunch of carbonation. Smell is average; good malts and caramel - nothing special. Beer tastes ok but is too light and carbonated for me. I love Marzens and this is sub standard.

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Photo of Seanibus
2.53/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This actually winds up coming out like a light pumpkin beer, although I see no evidence they were actually aiming for that.

Pours clear copper with fizzy carbonation, though the head collapses with dismaying rapidity. The aroma is strong at first - honeyish and spicy, though it fades incredibly fast, leaving only the slightest whiff of malt. The flavor is a bit better, round with some clove and cinnamon coming from the malt. The finish, however, is a bit bitter and sour. The mouthfeel has some of the creaminess one gets in a pumpkin beer.

This one doesn't do it for me - it doesn't have any of the crisp snap of a well-executed Oktoberfest. It feels flabby and round and the satisfying malt burn turns quickly into a sour aftertaste.

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Photo of jackorain
2.61/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer looks good and like an Oktoberfest should 2 finger head goodretention and lace. However the aroma and flavor were off. Too yeasty, almost hopless

Very fizzy wuth a light body.

I really wouldn't persue this in a bottle again. I've had many a beer at the Brewpub and on tapother places and tmost lancaster offerings are fine products, however, most of there contract brewed bottled stuff is not the same quality.

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Photo of neobassman
2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This Lancaster brew was a gift from a recent house guest. Frankly, I expected more from this brew, though I appreciated my friend's hospitality. Color is amber, almost copper. Pours with a modest head that does not linger. Not much lacing. Smell and taste were consistent with each other - a hint of hops, some malt, and some not very pleasant cider-like flavors. Mouthfeel was not noteworthy. As this beer warmed up from refrigerator temperatures, it grew less pleasant. The color and light hops are characteristic of Oktoberfest beers, I believe. but it did not have a full, lusty taste that I had hoped for.

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Photo of mempath
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

deep amber color with almost no lacing and a head that dissipates fast. smell is a bit sweet, a honey-malt sense that some may like, but too much for me. taste is...well, the first taste is simply on the sweet side...next one, after a bit of warming reveals a hint of muscatel...something i like, but if it's muscatel/muscadine, give me more. mouthfeel is fairly carbonated but oddly thin and 'chewy'...not sure what it wants to be...for me, not super drinkable. not a session FEST beer as i would expect...i really love Lancaster's Hop Hog and other offerings, but this isn't their best. for me. it might be for you. i would HAVE to have a big sausage sandwich with this. plenty of mustard. something to make this something worthy of washing it all down

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Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours out as a copper color with a decent head on it. The head settles not really leaving a lacing. The smell is mostly malts, not much spice or hops in this one. The taste is kind of bland for an Oktoberfest brew. I wasn't really getting much an autumn feel from this beer. The mouthfeel was light and had some carbonation in it. Overall not nearly the best Oktoberfest beer out there.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a light copper color with a one finger head of billowy white foam. The head fades super-fast leaving just a tiny bit of foamy lace on the surface of the brew.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is strongest of a caramel and bready smell with some notes of toasted malt and a bit of a grainy smell. Along with these aromas comes some lighter smells of a grainy and light earthy floral and nutty smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt taste as well as a decent bready taste. Along with these flavors are a rather decent showing of a caramel and toffee sweetness with a decent showing of spice flavors of a more nutmeg and coriander nature. The sweeter caramel and toffee grow stronger to the end with a little bit of a fruity flavor of an apple nature also joining the profile. The roasted flavors fade a bit all while a more grainy and light floral flavor comes to the tongue, and with an increase in the spice flavors of the brew, one is left with a rather sweet, almost cloyingly so, and moderately spiced flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to slightly thicker side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side overall. The thicker body really accentuated the quite sweet flavors of the brew and while traditionally good for the style was a bit much for the mix of cloying and spice flavors.

Overall – Not really an all that fantastic Oktoberfest. Too cloyingly sweet and just not balanced at all.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a orangish-amber with a bready and frothy sandstone colored head 2 fingers high that displayed poor retention lapsing within a minute of the pour to a skim covering. The lacing was clean while the visible carbonation was light and sporadic.

S: light toasted grains with a faint dry flowery hopping. A fresh woodiness and a dried apple skin fruitiness is also present.

T: The flavor comes off a bit more fruiter then I was expecting with dried apples skins and light dried grains along with hints of fresh pear juice. The fruitiness was big and wet in the beginning overshadowing the malting which is suppose to be the main focus here. A bit fruity and lacks a good dry toasted malting makes this hard to appreciate per style. The finish finds trace amounts of sweet toasted grains on the fade but was to light and late to make amends.

M: perhaps the best part of this drink, was full bodied with a creamy smooth texture and a very light carbonation.

D: Drinkability was slightly below average with only fair enjoyment per style. Would not be my interpretation or one I could imaging drinking in multiples. Drinks more like a fruity ale and lacks a dry toasted bready warmth and ease of drinkability. Worthy of a pint and that may be it, move on to a more suitable marzen for your mass consumption and authenticity needs.

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Photo of dananabanana
3.14/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Translucent, yet dark, brown. Very little head. No lacing.

S: A little wheat, but not too strong.

T: Hoppy bite. The aftertaste is a sweet wheat.

M: Sort of caramel. Well-carbonated.

D: Very heavy, but in a satisfying way.

Overall, it's solid, but it's unremarkable.

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Photo of jak3676
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lancaster Brewing - Oktoberfest

Overall - another mediocre märzen. This one may have been past it's prime too - I got medium head with an agressive pour, but it faded quickly without any lacing. The beer did have have a nice redish-copper color, and it poured perfectly clear. Taste was OK - a bit malty, but slightly off somehow I don't know how to describe. Not bad, but I won't seek it out again - I'd probably prefer a Sam Adams which is generally my idea of a middle of the road Oktoberfest.

Bottle says Wilkes-Barre, PA (I'm assuming that's near Lancaster?) There's no sign of an ABV on the bottle or cap. The bottle has a few stamps on it - 20512, 14960K+ and 15/21/174/12/11.38/S - not sure if anyone can get a bottling date out of that or not.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.16/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The last beer of Augustfest. 12 oz bottle poured into a stein.

A: Pours a lighter copper color. Not much head, it starts off as a one finger offwhite color, before fading to a thin collar in no time. Not impressive looking.

S: A bit hoppy; it's a little earthy and grassy, suggesting a healthy bill of noble hops. The toasted, caramel malts are typical, but there's a touch of nuttiness to the aroma I find myself enjoying.

T: Less caramel-y than other marzens, this eschews the typical profile for more of a nutty toffee presence. The hops only come through as a grassy crispness on the finish. It's OK, but not as enjoyably drinkable as others in the style, likely due it's flavor profile being somewhat buttery.

M: Typical of a marzen, this has a neutral, nondescript finish and a bit of lingering sweetness. Could be a little less heavy on the palate, though. Well carbonated.

O: Probably my least favorite of the five, though it's not terrible - just uninteresting. Nor does it have the drinkability I expect from a good marzen, either. I like it better than Heavy Seas' version, for what it's worth.

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Photo of emsroth
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

App: Great orange-amber. Not much head, but I try not to deduct for that.

Smell: Toasted caramel with mineral undertones. Sweet, herbal hops.

Taste: Mineral hop and grain flavor at start. Ends with clean, not cloying caramel with slight herbal hop.

Mouthfeel: Light medium munich body with a crisp, dry finish. Tight carbonation that cuts through the chewy caramel.

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Photo of JMWEB2
3.27/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

A: Copper color, head disappears.

S: Great malty smell upfront, some sweetness.

T: Carmel flavor dominates the malt I had smelled at first, and there buttery quality. Smoother Oktoberfest.

M: Nice and crisp, drinkable.

O: I like its drinkability, its not the best Oktoberfest, but by no means the worst.

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Photo of delta490
3.29/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pilsner style glass. Poured a clear amber with almost no head and no lacing. Aroma is simple, with malty notes of biscuit and a little bit of fruit. Taste is about the same. Not much depth to it. A little hint of carbonation and a thinner mouthfeel. Not bad, but unexciting when compared to its German counterparts.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to THECPJ for this one!

A: Pours a clear orange/amber color with a smallish head. Head dissipated quickly, very little lacing.

S: Very malty, hints of caramel. Also a little bit of doughyness.

T: Taste similar to the nose. Also get a grainy taste as well.

M/D: Light to medium bodied, with average carbonation. Overall, it was good, but not memorable. Would probably pass in the future to try something new.

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Photo of treyrab
3.31/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

6.5% on the Lancster Brewing website....Poured into a pint glass...

A: Beautiful pour! Clear copper with a nice three finger creamy tan head! Nice carbonation creeping up the glass as well.

S: Smell is of sour caramel surprisingly. A very sour smell that caught me off guard. There is also a metallic hint in the nose as well.

T: Very interesting sour caramel as well. The sourness really hits you hard here with a tad of metal in the taste as well, but that is minor. Otherwise, the caramel taste is nice, but the German hops I was expecting were not there.

Overall, an interesting Oktoberfest that comes with an interesting sour malt flavor

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Photo of tone77
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells malty with some hints of caramel. Taste is mild with some maltiness, not a very strong flavor. Feels medium bodied and goes down rather well. Overall this is a fairly enjoyable brew.

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Photo of stakem
3.37/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on tap yesterday at their brewpub and it was completely different froim last years leftover bottled version that I am reviewing today.

Initially pours a 1 finger head that quickly releases to a thin film. Orange/amber semi transparent and clear color.

Huge malt sweet nose on this, lots of toffee and/or caramel smell.

Taste is crisp but very sweet. It has just as much toffee character as the nose would invitingly portray.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark brown color with a finger of foam that fades quickly. Aroma is pretty mild, some toasty bready malt but not much else.

First sip is... kind of buttery, with a decent amount of sweetness. Minimal hop flavor and mild bitterness. Finishes on the sweet side.

All in all, not bad - but nothing spectacular. I'm pretty sure the buttery flavor is unintentional. That being said, it doesn't ruin the beer, but I would prefer that it finishes a little dryer.

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Photo of garuda
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly hazed copper body, white head has some retention and lacing.

S/T - Toasted grains, baked bread, nothing in the way of hops, just a touch of bitterness on the back end.

M - Medium/light body, medium carbonation, finishes clean, smooth going down.

O - Easy drinker, but there are other marzens out there with a deeper flavor/aroma profile.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

light amber color, moderate off white head. Fairly tame with some mild grainy malt and a little hint of caramel. Very smooth and drinkable - somewhere between a classic marzen and the lighter versions produced by the Munich breweries for the Octoberfest. It probably falls more on the commercial side of mass-market Octoberfest, but it is unfair of me to compare it to the cream of the crop. Do it if the price is right.

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Photo of weller1js
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: pours a clear copper-orange with light carbonation, light off-white foam and lacing.

smell: earthy harvest malts and light scent of spices.

taste: begins clean, malt-harvest flavor quickly presents itself, malty flavor somewhat clashes with a spicy undertone, leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste.

drinkability: not an overly impressive Märzen, the harvest malts are pronounced, but its bitterness detracts from the style.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark brown with no head. The smell is of sweet roasted malts and some floral hops. Taste is of sweet roasted malt, and a caramel note malt as well. The hop presence is midway through to the end and light and of citrus hops. The mouthfeel is moderate carbonation. Overall it is a solid to above average drinkable beer. It has a good round flavor but not spectacular.

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Oktoberfest from Lancaster Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.