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Okto Festival Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Okto Festival AleOkto Festival Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

356 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 12.97%

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Classified as a German Altbier by the Widmer Brothers; brewed with an (ale) Alt yeast strain.

availability: early Aug. - late Oct.
bitterness : 28 IBU
original gravity: 13.5° PLATO

(Beer added by: RedDiamond on 09-09-2005)
View: Beers (70) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 356 | Reviews: 166 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of flagmantho


3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer in a pint glass on-tap at Indigo in Lynnwood, WA.

Appearance: medium orange hue with a clear body and a lazy effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy ivory foam. Seems a bit light for an altbier, but it's still pretty attractive.

Smell: light malty aroma with a light citrusy fruitiness. Nice, but a bit on the subtle side.

Taste: sweet malt with a light toasty character. There's a nice citrusy hop flavor which seems atypical for an altbier but I think it works well. Bitterness is relatively low; overall I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium light body with a low level of carbonation; there's a light but decent creaminess.

Overall: it's a bit unorthodox, but I like the idea of a citrusy altbier.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2012 01:43:26 | More by flagmantho
Photo of DannyHartman

3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a huge fan of the Widmer Weissbiers, but I must say that this seasonal isn't too bad.... As you fill a pint glass, a beautiful reddish/copper beer appears with a nice inch head that leaves a decent amount of trails as you drink it.... The smell is that of toffee, caramel, and a bit of toast.... The taste is also toasty with caramel notes, and slightly hoppy and nutty.... It has an average to full body that leaves a pleasant aftertaste.... Overall, a pretty good brew.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2012 16:20:32 | More by DannyHartman
Photo of MsRif


3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Capone's in Norristown, PA. Poured a copper color with a nice head that left considerable lacing. Had an aroma of sweet malts, light fruits and hops. Tasted like it smelled. Not too complex, but well-balanced.

Light-bodied with good carbonation. Goes down quite easy. Not a favorite of mine, but worth a try overall.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2011 20:59:40 | More by MsRif
Photo of aval89


3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark amber with finger head.. clear body.

S: sweet caramel/toffee malts with touches
of hops to round out...

T: again big malt presence upfront.. finishes a bit earthy with a slight medicinal taste.. slightly bitter..

Mf: light-medium body with good carbonation

O: not bad.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2011 06:39:50 | More by aval89
Photo of Rifugium


3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

An interesting take on an Oktoberfest beer, as it's an altbier rather than a typical marzen. Poured a coppery orange with a creamy white head that left a nice bit of lacing. Caramel malts on the nose, light fruity tones, and some leafy hops. Similar taste: sweet malts, light indistinct fruits, and subdued hops make for a light, not overly flavorful or interesting, but well-balanced drink. Not quite medium-bodied. Sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2011 02:27:50 | More by Rifugium
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 11/1/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruit, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with very sweet flavors of fruit, caramel and spices. Then some breadiness comes in from a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and creates a decent balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful but too sweet for the style, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, whether it’s a true O-fest or not there are better alternatives that are similar.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2011 16:54:58 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Scotchboy


3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Merc, Hidden Springs ID. Served in a pint glass.

A: Mostly clear amber, with carbonation rising and maintaining a fairly consistent off white lace.

S: Light toasted grain nuttiness gives way gently to caramel and toffee notes. Light aromatic hops mix light floral hop bitterness with malt sweetness...all very light and fluid.

T & MF: On-par with the light amber/Marzen nose, buiscuity maltiness is the star as this medium bodied amber fills the palette with some rich toffee notes and delicate floral hops, finishing with an array of spices on the back end. Low carbonation moves this beer gently from tongue to throat, emphasizing carmelly nuttiness and a light dry character. Clean finish (which is a nice change).

O: Meh. I don't get the craze on these beers (Ambers/Octos/Marzens/Altbiers), I really don't. This beer is more of the same; hefty caramel malt bill, generous sweetness, maybe some nutty/wood-like attributes, light hops that add little beside aromatics and a touch of bitterness.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2011 04:37:30 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of DoubleJ


3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Roscoe's, on to the beer:

This beer is colored light caramel with a short head that retains itself fairly, dropping to a lace around the glass. There's some toasted malt and a little toffee in the aroma, all good here. It reminds me of a Sam Adams Oktoberfest when I drink it, more of a toasty malt experience with a little sweet, bready malt and toffee. There's a pinch of hoppiness that is noticed as the sweet flavors dry up. Lighter bodied and easy to consume.

A solid drinkable beer that's versitile for most situations, including lunch with a gigantic BBQ beef sandwich and a tremondous helping of curly fries.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2010 01:12:34 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep, deep orange body with good carbonation and a small white head. Nose is caramel sweetness with some fresh bread around the edges. Taste starts with a layer of malt,and a slight hop twang at the end. Very clean, definitely German as opposed to American, but not very interesting.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2009 01:43:25 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 9/24/2008 (Draft @ Gingerman, Houston, TX):

Pours an amber brown, body somewhat opaque. Big creamy light tan head. Good lacing. Grape juice aroma, some maltiness. Somewhat malty taste, almost sour aftertaste. Some grapey foretaste. Some balance, but more on the malty side. Pretty good session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2009 04:54:29 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of tempest


3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Gingerman. Leaves thick lacing over a clear amber-red body.

The aroma is oddly dusty, not pleasant at all. Luckily the aroma has no hint of this while it also has very smooth caramel malts. This actually reminds me of Negro Modelo, but not quite as nice. I'd say that considering how drinkable and tasty so many other O-fests (and ambers) are, this beer is easily avoidable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2008 02:00:39 | More by tempest
Photo of RedDiamond


3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Okto caused me some confusion. The name clearly suggests an Oktoberfest beer and Widmer’s literature lauds this as being “in the grand tradition of Bavarian Oktoberfest.” It also says “festival ale” on the label and the table placards at the Gasthaus. Furthermore, my tastebuds kept saying English bitter. So what’s the deal?

Well, it turns out that Okto is not an Oktoberfest beer. It’s not even a lager. It’s actually an amber ale. On top of that, it turns out to be the exact same beer as Widmer’s Oktoberfest, just repackaged. So Oktoberfest itself was never really an Oktoberfest. Go figure.

As for taste, my impulse to tag this an English bitter was not far off the mark though the bittering is derived from noble hops and their American hybrids. Okto reminded me a lot of Bridgeport’s Ropewalk only slightly lighter in the body. My pint showed flayed lace and offered a distant, non-descript aroma. It’s a clean and casual beer with a flat bitter finish, but not an Oktoberfest lager by a long shot.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2005 04:11:36 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of freed


3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the annual Oak Park Oktoberfest in Portland. Poured an amazingly clear bronze/orange with a nice regal head. Aroma is mild, but still hints at its european hop stylings and sweet malt body.

Taste is quite pleasant and full, almost surprising. Crisp both from the malt an hops, quite fresh in its flavors, nice active carbonation. Malt is a mix of sweet pales and nutty and dry specialty malts that are wonderfully satisfying. This is a very nice beer, and a surprisingly nice recreation of a great style.

Side note: My wife had the drop top amber, and side by side, the two were remarkably similar. Oddly enough, the Oktoberfest had a much more robust malt body.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2003 06:47:51 | More by freed
Photo of alphagnome


3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A clear, deep orange body is on display wearing a finger thick, cream colored head. Light lacing and considerable carbonation. Fantastic curb appeal.

Light sweetness and light toffee and a hint of caramel. Nothing else.

Like the aroma, not a lot to write home about here... that said, I still found myself enjoying it. Incredibly light roasted malt character.. fresh bread and caramel.

Lighter carbonation and body than most offerings in the genre. Thin and watery, but easy to drink. Clean finish with no aftertaste.

I enjoyed this one quite a lot.. Easy to drink and inoffensive as they come, everyone should give this one a go.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2013 02:43:04 | More by alphagnome
Photo of magictacosinus


1.83/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks, Dan. Strange that this is listed as an altbier. I suppose I should have poured into a stange glass, but whatever. Poured into a pint glass out of a 12oz bottle. Bottling date is listed as "08/12/13."

Pours an amber copper color with a very modest, off-white head that seems to settle as soon as I pour it into the glass. Amazingly, in spite of its fizzy consistency, it remains as a light right around the glass, thanks to the enormous amount of bubbles and carbonation that make themselves visible as they rise to the top. Leaves no stickiness, and lacing is pretty much inexistent. No idea how to rate this to style, but I'm sure it could look better.

The aroma reveals some caramel, toffee, light pine, grass... And that's about it. There's a brief green apple and acetone aroma that rises at the finish and coats the graininess and sweetness from the caramel, which is unpleasant. There's also some undeniable squash flavors lurking beneath. What's up with these flavors? They're strangely appealing (as in, begging to be paired with holiday related food), but it's kind of a jumbled mess. Quite poor, especially by this brewery's standards.

The flavor is brief venture into the caramel/toffee territory that it was going towards, and then in come the veggie notes. Squash, pumpkin, and cabbage permeate, with some light melon notes and acrid grassiness from the hops. Apparently this wasn't brewed with any adjuncts, but at this point, why didn't they just rebrand it as a "pumpkin beer" in light of the issue? Tastes stale and anemic, especially with the raspy grainy flavor and faded hop profile. Also, I can't help but notice this diacetyl texture that continues to waft its way through with each additional sip, which made this buttery, funky, and simply wrong.

Horrible stuff - I realize this is an older bottle but it should have held up better than this. Alas, I'm reviewing this because I feel that even in its freshest stages does it retain these off flavors throughout. Am I crazy, or did I get a bad bottle or something? Not anything I'd want to revist again - and I could definitely say the same for most of Widmer's beers at this point.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 06:30:13 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of bark


3.29/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The colour is gold-orange (15 EBC), the liquid is clear. Finger thick head, no lacing, no retention.

The smell is smooth. Caramel/toffee. Sweet notes of dried fruits and some floral flavours.

The taste is fresh and malty with dried exotic fruits, caramel, and hay. Very light bitterness, just enough to create a fine balance. Some cardboard and boiled vegetables in the background. Medium body. The aftertaste is fresher with malty caramel flavours, hay and dried flowers.

Fresh small long-lived bubbles. The liquid is light.

More caramel and fruits than expected: Not really a classic altbier, but still an OK beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 19:56:54 | More by bark
Photo of archyquaffer


3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 12 ounce bottle into an 8 ounce sampling glass. This was bought at a convenience store, and was being stored warm. Freshness date of August, 2013 (purchased and reviewed in early November). A moderate pour produces about 1/2 inch of frothy head, which reduces quickly into a chunky lacing. The color is a yellowish brown with red highlights and crystal clear, with light carbonation.

I get some chocolate and caramel on the nose, with not much hop character. Toasty and bready flavors are predominant. Clean finish with maybe a bit of citrusy hops. Easy drinking.

This was a good value at about 7.50 a sixer, despite the fact that it wasn't as fresh as it could be.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 21:37:39 | More by archyquaffer
Photo of Jeffreysan


3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, orange/amber color with a quarter of a finger of white head, speckled with orange highlights, which quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department. Faint hits of malt and brown sugar. Some subtle hops aroma too.

Taste: Malty upfront, like freshly baked baguettes, followed by some brown sugar/caramel-like sweetness, finished by some nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. There’s a long finish to this beer too.

Mouthfeel: Medium, with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.3%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Pretty good American version of an Oktober fest beer, and a little surprising coming from Widmer Bros., who’s beers tend to be much hoppier than this, too hoppy for my taste. This one is very well balanced and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 01:50:01 | More by Jeffreysan
Photo of MaltyCrock

District of Columbia

3.04/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very much an okay nothing special beer IMHO. Cool name and interesting bottle art convinced me to pick up a six pack of this, and Portland beers tend to be good.

A: Nice mid/deep amber color, looks like a beer should, good 2 inches of white lacy foam.
S: Weak malty, slightly zesty, flat
T: Starts a bit sweet, turns citrusy, ends a bit bitter, in general a weak tasting beer, not lacking taste, but if I didn't know I was drinking a beer I wouldn't know I was drinking a beer....know what I mean?
M: Thin
O: I was looking for a seasonal brew to get me pumped for Halloween, something better than the tried and true Sam Adam's Seasonal fare, this was not the beer I was looking for. Maybe I can hand it out with the candy this coming Thursday...to the parents.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 22:30:37 | More by MaltyCrock
Photo of BeerWithMike


4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled on 10/15/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a pretty burnt orange in color with a 1-finger off white head that hangs around for a while. Good lacing was seen with each sip. The aroma is of some caramel, spice and hops. Very nice! The taste was the same and much better than other "Oktober" brews I have tried. Very smooth actually and went down easy.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 20:58:47 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of vkv822


3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip

Pours a very slightly hazy burnt orange with a fizzy, bubbly off white head.

Caramel, malty goodness upfront, highlighted by some light hop notes of floral and spice.

Medium body, fizzy carbonation.

The malts are certainly the focal point in this one, with the hops doing a good job of adding some complimentary notes in the finish. A well done example of a tasty, malt-forward beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 08:39:48 | More by vkv822
Photo of Mike4TN


4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Booze this beer! It's killer! Good color Great Taste and awesome buzz..LOL..seriously though This is a impressive Oktoberfest Beer In the mix of contenders and pretender's...This beer stands out I was impressed CONTENDER!!! Walk on home boy!!! RESPECT!!!

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 23:51:48 | More by Mike4TN
Photo of Celtics17


3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This has hints of a German style Oktoberfest beer. This one by Widmer, has a slight passion fruit taste, along with sweetness that reminds me of caramel, or toffee. This was better than expected. This is Widmer, so the fruit notes don't surprise me. Even some slight honey notes with the taste. Very strong ICE TEA feel to this beer.

A: Reddish/orange amber, very little haziness, slightly off-white head, spotty lacing.
S: Caramel, malt, chocolate, delicate hop aroma.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 06:53:57 | More by Celtics17
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the bottle into a mug while watching the Reds-Pirates one-game wildcard playoff game. Body is coppery-amber that's more orangey amber when backlit. Clear. Oddly, there's no real visible carbonation, though a half-finger off-white head settles on top. Decent amount of clinging lace.

S: Heavy on the toffee side of things. Not much else going on, really.

T: Definitely a malt-centered beer. Toffee, healthy dose of caramel malt and some toasted bread. Also a bit of nuttiness. Faintest of faint lemony bitterness lingers in the aftertaste, though to be honest it didn't really show up on the first run-through on the palate.

M: Fizzy carbonation is a surprise given the appearance. Call it light-to-medium in heft.

O: Decent. An easy drinker, non-offensive, and generally hits the right notes for the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2013 01:52:22 | More by Kendo
Photo of mblk6062


2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really wanted to like this beer, but to be truthful, it falls way short of my expectations. An Oktoberfest beer (for my taste) should be very malty and spicy/toffee flavored. This beer was just....bland. If I had made this one myself, I definitely would not be very proud of it. Not a bad beer, but not great - I wouldn't bring it to a friend's home to share, which is my baseline for a great beer. This is not the first time I have been disappointed in a Widmer Brothers product - most likely will not buy anything from this house again. If you are a WB fan, I don't wish to offend you, as it is probably just my palate, not their product.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 12:30:42 | More by mblk6062
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Okto Festival Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.