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Oktoberfest - Lancaster Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

86 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 86
Hads: 186
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 5
Gots: 14 | 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: 86 | Hads: 186
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 oberon
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the Drafting Room in Spring House, pours a deep copper with a pretty large head that leaves pretty quickly,aroma is sweet and a little grainy.The taste is pretty well rounded lightly sweet with some soft bittering with light toasted malt flavors.A solid beer with no spectacular qualities but still pretty good.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd guess that this is Franklinfest with a more seasonal name; and that this Franklinfest is the same Franklinfest that I used to enjoy so much from Independence Brewing Company. Well, not exactly. But it's pretty close to how I remember it. Yes, very close indeed. Anyway...
Lancaster Brewing Company delivers a very well-made and exceptionally drinkable lager in their Oktoberfest. It's clear, deep amber body displays glowing orange and golden highlights at the sides and base of the glass. The creamy white head holds rather well and leaves tiny spots of lace as it descends. Toasty maltiness dominate the nose, spritzed with floral hops. It's smooth across the palate with a fine-bubbled and restrained carbonation that just lightly tingles the tongue. Munich malts appear upfront in the flavor, mildly toasty, and lightly sweet, along with a bit of caramel. Towards the swallow some floral and grassy hops enter, and then the malt disappears except for a toasty edge in its dry, delicately bitter finish. Well-balanced, clean, and quaffable, it has just enough maltiness and toasted/caramelish character to keep it interesting while still remaining very drinkable. Many breweries over-do their Oktoberfest with too much malt flavor and body, but not this one. Kudos!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poppin' with flavor much like the version I tried a few years back called Franklin Fest. Pours a copper amber hue with a bright light cream colored head with minimal lacing after each sip. Aroma brings out deep caramel malts with a slightly tart sourdough bread presence and light herbal hop backing. Flavor coats the mouth with a sweet initial fruitiness with a welcomed soothing caramel nut finish, herbal hop flavors roll. Drink this one warmer it really opens up the flavor profile, Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonated softly with a nice semi sweet roundness that treats the palate right. Drinkability overall is pretty killer one of those dessert island Ofests, one of the best of the season thus far and I've had a quite a few to compare this one with.

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Photo of jwc215
4.27/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish copper with an off-white head that soon descends to a slowly disappearing thin cover.

The smell is of caramel and graininess. Slight spiciness in the back.

The taste is of carmelized grain. Slightly nutty, it has a malty character with a touch of spicy hops. Malty sweetness in the finish. Simple, but tasty. Robust.

It's medium-to-full-bodied. Smooth.

This is a nice O-fest. Malt-accented and smooth, it is a well-crafted brew that hits the style with exceptional authenticity. Very quaffable. (Could use better head retention, though.) A good one to put in a line-up of O-fests!

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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 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 WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale and Munich malt scent along with a dry fruity yeast aroma. The taste is decent. It's light and dry with a moderately malt flavor. It goes down smooth with a clean and somewhat fruity finish. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good Oktoberfest. It could use a bit more malt flavor, but it drinks quite well regardless.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has a decent, but not thick, white head that lingers for a good while. There is a good, malty nose and a beautiful copper color to it. It has a very smooth mouthfeel with an extremely malty finish. This is one of those rare seasonals that I hosetly wish would be brewed year-'round. Drinkable? Hell, yeah!

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Photo of Gavage
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While at the brewpub I noticed many customers ordering this. Clear bronze in color with a short 1/4" head. No noticeable lacing. The aroma is of malt and mildly nutty. The flavor is large on roasted malt, while nut, caramel, with very little bitterness bring up the rear. As the beer warmed I noticed a hint of spiciness coming through.

The mouthfeel is smooth at the start with a crisp finish were the malt and caramel lasted long on the tongue after swallowing. Nicely drinkable and I guess others felt so as several other customers kept ordering these one after another.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.76/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. A rich copper color with a head that fades to a ring.

Theres not a particularly strong aroma to this beer, light floral hops and bready malts.

Malt is in the forefront with a tea like hop for balance. Has an assertive roasted character and at times tastes nutty. Tastes like a solid marzen/Octoberfest should taste, due attention is paid to the malt body and this beer is well balanced.

Medium to full bodied and smooth.

A very sessionable Octoberfest here. Worthy of the purchase.

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Photo of weeare138
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

...This is now being offered as the year round Marzen at the brewery.

Appears a red brown color with nice 1 inch head that sticks around for a minute and solid levels of lacing and medium carbonation. The smell is of nice, German malts and a fruity sweetness mixed with aromatic crisp hops.
Taste is smooth with nice rounded malts and a pleasant, mild hoppiness that compliments the beer well. This is one of the smoothest versions of this style you will have.

Finger licking good.

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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 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 DrDemento456
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a distinct amber brown color with a great amount of head. Not very distinct to most of the style.

S - Smells of caramel malt, Toasted malt, a distinct hop presence and some toffee.

T - Don't want to say it's the best oktoberfest but is has a nice sweet flavor, middle ground is loaded with toasted malts, and the hops has a clean lager taste.

M - Light to medium very good beer.

Overall Lancaster makes good beer and this is no Oktoberfest to pass over, Great beer overall.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.89/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. No date or info. Thanks to NeroFiddled for this brew!

A - The well carbonated beer pours out a deep amber-orange color with a very small and poorly retained head. All that's left is an off-white ring of foam and not a trace of lacing.

S - Sweet toasted malts with a generous dab of honey is further sweetened by a hint of dark fruits. A touch of plum and raisin. A very timid nose of hops can be found lurking delicately behind the malts.

T - Sweet and toasted malts like the aroma with a minor fruit kiss to them, the flavor is more crisp than the nose lets on. The honey dab is still there but finishes with a strong, but not bitter, hop flavor.

M - A bit over carbonated since its pretty fizzy on the tongue and sharp on the finish, it's a medium-bodied oktoberfest that's crisp and refreshing but sweet too. Dry to the finish.

D - Very good balance between nose and flavor as well as malty and crisp/dry. A bit over carbonated but the beer is definitely headed in the right direction. A good first brew to have from Lancaster.

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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 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 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 Florida9
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper color. Forms a fizzy head with no retention and no lacing.

S: Earthy caramel malts.

T: Sweet caramel malt. A bit earthy with some fruitiness. Low hops and bitterness. Lighter flavored than most Oktoberfests

M: On the lighter side of medium. Appropriate carbonation.

D: A good Oktoberfest. Personally I like the lighter feel and malt character.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub.
Served as a deep copper color beer with moderate slightly off-white head.
Smell is malty with some caramel notes present.
Taste is appropriate for the style, with the presence of roasted malt, caramel and toffee found.
Finish is light, for this style of beer, and very refreshing.
A very middle-of the-road example of the style. Great drinkability,

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Photo of thecheapies
3.77/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Coppery gold color. About a half-inch of a dry, settled head. Almost static surface. 3.5

Toasted malts, rolled oats, whole grains, and some very light candied fruitiness. Nicely kilned and very fresh. 4.0

Brute malts with husks, roast, and metallic flavors. Tandem hop and roast bitterness. Very dry with a wheat bran-like flavor. Bitter and tangy in the finish with steely notes and overall crispness. 4.0

Well-carbonated with some palate-breaching effervescence. The thinner body has trouble keeping up. 3.0

Pretty solid American Oktoberfest. I would recommend it as such. 3.5

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautifullly bright clear copper colored beer with a big white head when poured vigorously. Fades vigorously too, to just a thin wispy veil.
Very low carbonation.
I can pick up hop presence but of no distinct flavor and sweet malt pulling up the rear.
Nice malt flavor, sweet tasting from Vienna and Munich malts. Barely any hops to speak of, but it isn't suppost to be a big player.
Smooth and clean, a nice lager style.
Myself, I think it could use a bit more carbo's and be a little more aggressive in the hop area.
Drink well my friends

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lancaster- Oktoberfest

Picked up a single at Capone's- Norristown, PA

A- Golden copper brown with a frothy white head. Moderate lacing down the glass.
S- Strong caramel malt with a light earthy hop aroma.
T- Big strong caramel, butterscotch malt. Sligth touch of vanilla and woddsy hop.
M- Creamy and sweet. Malt dominates throughout.

Overall- Delicious beer, could become cloying after a few but otherwise total session beer here. 1 of the best Oktoberfests I've had this Autumn.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Golden amber with a short head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity with light carbonation.

Caramel, brown bread, toast, and hazelnut.

Caramel with lighter notes of brown bread and lightly toasted malts. A slight kiss of spicy, floral hops in the finish.

Medium bodied, sweet, crisp, and clean.

Fairly light on flavor and aroma. Easy drinking and refreshing but could benefit from being a bit more hearty.

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Oktoberfest from Lancaster Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.