Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Okto Festival Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Okto Festival AleOkto Festival Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

177 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 177
Hads: 473
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 14.2%
Wants: 9
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hyuga on 10-29-2002

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
View: Beers (77) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Okto Festival Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 177 | Hads: 473
Photo of beerpadawan
3.49/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The ingredients listed on the website for the 2012 bottle do not match those above: hops include their "Alchemy" blend and Willamette. ABV is listed at 5.3% and IBUs at 28.

To mid-afternoon sunlight it has a clear, dark amber color and with a 1-finger head the color of the Dark Helmet's desert gear. It retains for a few minutes and then settles to a splotchy covering.

The crystal malt is apparent in the aroma, mild toffee or caramel; some toasted/sugary notes join dark bread and some faint fruit and floral hops.

The flavor is malt-forward, with toasted grain/bread and light caramel. It has mild bitterness and some estery fruit. Hop flavor is noticeable but takes a back seat; floral. Body is medium and somewhat sweet on finish, despite balancing bitterness that gains prominence as the beer approaches room temperature. I would probably pick it out as an amber ale if I weren't told anything about it. (914 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Altbier and Oktoberfest are NOT similar enough to be substituted styles, but the label on my bottle says oktoberfest style, so that's the way I'm rating it.

Pours a clear copper brown color with a solid half inch cream head that slowly dissipates into a layer of foam, leaving spotty lacing.

Caramel malt, toasted bread, and floral hops comprise the initial aroma, with caramelized sugar and a hint of resiny hops adding complexity deeper in the scent.

Flavor reveals more of a bready backbone, with toasted crust lingering throughout. Light caramel notes are slightly sweet, and floral hops surface toward the finish, which is fairly dry and a touch bitter. There's a bit of a metallic aftertaste. Nuttiness emerges as it warms.

Body is moderate to slightly full, with moderate to low carbonation. There's a slight alcohol warmth.

Overall, a decent beer, but it lacks the malt complexity that is typical for the style. The caramel notes are too light, and melanoidin flavors are absent. (992 characters)

Photo of MouthfulOfchris
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured out a dark copper color with a very thick off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S: The smell is very light. It is mostly light toasted malt and earthy bread with a hint of caramel.

T: The taste is mostly sweet malt with an ever so slight slight earthy hop bitter finish. The bitter finish is a nice balance to the sweetness. It also has notes of caramel and roasted/tea flavor.

M: A medium body mouth feel with a medium-low amount of smooth carbonation. It has a nice sticky texture that feels like it coats the tongue.

O: A solid Oktoberfest offering. Nothing stands out as spectacular but has a nice overall character. It definitely leans toward the sweet side but has just enough bitterness for balance which makes it interesting. (756 characters)

Photo of wac9
4.06/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

what can i say i dont normally buy widmer but i like the color of the bottle wow very nice beer with a little hop to it but that ok all i can say it s a good tasting beer for a octerber fest so if your looking a beer that crisp with a hop this is a beer for , good color good taste little hop enjoy (298 characters)

Photo of droomyster
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper body with one inch of foam with decent retention. The aromas are reminscent of bread crust and baked biscuits. The front palate has a light earthy hoppiness, with breadier, more biscuity flavors dominating the middle. Medium to full bodied, finishes crisp. This is my first Oktoberfest of 2012, and I like it a lot. (330 characters)

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown longneck from a 6pack "okto festival ale"

A: very enticing copper color, very clear, with 1 finger khaki colored head. Head fell to an average cap with a thick ring.

S: almost smells like pineapple, sweet malty profile and noble hops. Most of the smell is fruity though. Smells good but odd.

T: super malty and rich. A little toasty and bready. Quite sweet. A little hop character at the end that finishes well.

M: rich and chewy. very smooth. I really like this.

O: quite good, I am a fan of alts in general. I do not regret this 6 pack at all! (556 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear deep amber colored ale with a smallish tan colored head.

Smell is sweet and malty with a little Lemon in tea and grass in it. Toffee candy and a little toasted grain.

Starts out malty and mild. Sweet and malty with nuts and a little hop bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall not a bad beer. Probably won't buy again though. (342 characters)

Photo of bump8628
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a fall beer, vibrant copper with a thin head of foam that drops some lace. Thick, steely caramel with warm toasted bread maltiness. Hops are clean and herbal. Balance is about even. Clean fermentation profile, lager-like even if it is technically an ale. Nothing spectacular, but another solid beer to have in the cooler during football season. (355 characters)

Photo of iabeerbaron
2.36/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Surprising found this at Chameleon's in Mount Vernon, IA. "Pours a clear amber with a thin white head that disappears immediately. Smell of sweet malts, with just a hint of hops. A little watered down. Taste has malt, caramel, and some hops with just a tad of bitterness. I would say this would be a very average Octoberfest; nothing stands out. (345 characters)

Photo of SickGnar
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Warm ambery copper with a slight orange hue. Clear with a few bubbles rising to a medium size off-white head. Settles fast, but okay retention and quite alright lace.

S: Bready malt with hints of crust & toasty grain. Ghost hint of hops. Very faint fruity esters. Light and clean aroma overall. Sweet & bready malts grow just a tad as the brew warms.

T: Quite a bit more forward on the minty & herbal hops – especially on the flavor more so than bitterness. Just a step behind is the malt backbone. More malty sweet than nose, a bit nutty too, but still bready with crust and toasty grain notes. Hops get a touch spicy in the middle and a bit of soapy resin comes out in the finish as the malts fade.

M: Medium body with balanced & finely textured carbonation. A small bit of chew & a balanced finish.

D: Looks the part & smells alright. A bit light on malts, and heavy on the hops. But hey, they are west coast brewers. And the hops do taste German. Okay for an O’fest / fall ale. (992 characters)

Photo of kickapoodude
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Malty and nutty. Frankly, a little more complex that what I'm looking for in an Octoberfest. Can you truly call it an Octoberfest? Probably, this brewery has been at it for a while. The nuttiness is the most agressive characteristic. It's not a filbert taste, but similair. Over all, a great beer for the days just before the snao begins to fall. But I'd grab a 22 oz.er of something else to clear your pallet in between three packs. (433 characters)

Photo of MsRif
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (331 characters)

Photo of aval89
3.38/5  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. (281 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  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. (476 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (828 characters)

Photo of zimm421
2.46/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottle dated September 07, 2011. Poured fairly aggressively. Has one finger of off-white head. The head is bubbly and doesn't stick around long. Appears a dark copper color. Fairly clear.

Nose is pretty muted, but has notes of sweet caramel and lots of bready malts. No balance here. All sweet from what little aroma there is. Taste is very bready as well. Some spiciness, but mostly sweet. A decen tbalance in the taste, but again pretty bland.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, average carbonation. The lack of taste and feel makes this go down so easiliy. Overall, a pretty boring beer. Not interesting or enticing at all, just something that goes down easy. (711 characters)

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.49/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Sudwerk Marzen.

A: Clear amber with two-finger, off-white, rocky head that lasted a while. Nice lacing.

S: Caramel malt and yeast. Mild.

T: Moderate sweetness and bitterness. More bitterness up front. Toasted finish.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth.

O: Wonderful looking ale and the mouthfeel was solid. I think the nose and flavor was a bit off though. I liked the Sudwerk slightly better. (456 characters)

Photo of kjyost
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Bottle BB Aug, 2011 sold in a mixed 12 that was packaged on June 26th, sold at Happy Harry's, 45th St Fargo. Poured ~4C into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Rich amber body with a nice white tea that offers up some lacing. Good start.
S: Not too sure what to make of it here... Lots of malt, some fruity esters coming through. Caramel, sweet malts, but lots more esters than I expect for a fake Oktoberfest Lager.
T: Once again and odd beer. It comes off for a moment as a standard Oktoberfest, with sweet malts and a light body. Fruity esters then come through and finish with a weird sticky metallic bitterness on the front of the tongue that just won't go away.
M: Strong carbonation, weird bitterness. Unpleasant aftertaste of metallic nature...
O: Honestly, I think I'd rather have a Bud. (792 characters)

Photo of Duhast500
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Octoberfest dimpled mug.

The color is a deep amber/orange with a finger of foamy white head and some slight lacing left on the glass.

The smell is malty is a small nutty aroma and some caramel aroma with the slightest bitterness in the nose.

The taste is a bit bready with some interesting malt flavor. Some slight hop flavor hangs in the back as a nice caramel flavors out.

The feel of this beer is smooth with a nice drinkable feel that goes down easy and is pretty refreshing. (527 characters)

Photo of Kc4shore
4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy Dark-Amber w/ a nice white med lace head

Smell: Decent hop aroma up front along with some sweet citrus. Strong caramel malt. Some subtle fall essences coming in from the back burner

Taste: Nice smooth bitterness. Very prevelant malt flavor. Spectacular long finish. As the beer warmed in the session, the fall air come through more and more.

Mouth: Awsome full body, very mild carbonation.

Overall: This Oktoberfest really got me excited. From the first sniff when I got that rush of malt and fruit, i knew there was a great deal of balance ahead of me. This beer has a great deal of toastiness that makes this great New England fall weather seem somehow MORE like fall. I will be seeing this bottle again real soon! (741 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber ale with a decent amount of cream colored head with nice lacing. Lotsa bubbles being produced from the bottom. Getting the caramel in the aroma with some butterscotch and light apple and some distant chocolate whiffs. The taste is malty with a slight hoppy bite on the swallow. Slightly yeasty and bready but not bad. Kinda nutty aftertaste as well. Overall I enjoyed this session. Overall I liked the nice blend of the malt and hops and the lower alcohol is welcomed. A solid showing from the Widmer Bros. (521 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
2.64/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours out a dark orange/brown with a nice thick tan head with interesting (minimal) lacing.

S: Picking up some bready and caramel notes mixed together like someone just had baked a fresh caramel danish or something. Very nice.

T: Right way I am hit with caramel, like I just bit into a caramel square, but it soon gives way to the presence of alcohol.

M: This beer is a tad dry, and somewhat chalky in the mouthfeel. It is a medium, bordering full body with lower-moderate carbonation.

D: Not high on my list, this beer just isn't that good. (549 characters)

Photo of jdense
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from Slaveway in The Big poured into UCLA shaker, 10.13.11.

Half finger very light tan head, quick dissipation resulting in thin broken layer on top of medium amber clear body, numerous streams of uprising small bubbles. Malt forward nose, mostly caramel with some biscuit, floral hops, not much else. Taste mirrors nose, more caramel than biscuit, floral finish. Mouthfeel on the light side of medium, not a lot of effervescence. IMHO they'd have been better off just doing a seasonal bottling of the classic Alt, one of Fred's favorite beers and a historically important microbrew than this, which lacked both depth and character, though fairly sessionable. (674 characters)

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard tumbler

Appearance-Very clear copper body with a 2 finger off white frothy head. Nice rentention and lacing.

Smell-Sweet malts, citrus and some spices

Taste-Very bready upfront followed by some citrus and some subtle dark fruits, some plum. Finish is pretty sweet w/ some extremely subtle hops.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, pretty smooth. Medium carbonation.

Overall-Nice flavors, low ABV packs some nice, drinkable punch. I liked it. (459 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
2.91/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip glass. A copper color with a finger of white head that shortly broken down with some good lacing.
Smells of honeysuckle, grapefruit and mandarin.
It tastes like lemon, hops and a hint of soap. I have tried three different bottles in three different glasses and they all taste like this. Maybe it is the style, but the soap taste is a bit off-putting.
Moderate carbonation and medium bodied.
I cannot get over the taste.... but it smells so good. (465 characters)

Okto Festival Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.