Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Saranac Octoberfest - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac OctoberfestSaranac Octoberfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

277 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 277
Hads: 518
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 18.26%
Wants: 6
Gots: 71 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-15-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Octoberfest Alström Bros
Reviews: 277 | Hads: 518
Photo of obrendano
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap at California Pizza Kitchen

A - autumn leafy orange and clear, head came at about a finger and stayed for a few sips

S - bready and sweet, some hint of the hops lingering in the back

T - strong taste of sweet candy caramel throughout. hops leave a decently balanced bitterness and occasionally flare up and add a nice citrus tang

M - rich and medium bodied, very solid

O - a really good one for a session or with a nice garlic chicken pizza like I had. thumbs up

 483 characters

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 Beers a Falling collection, 2011.

Poured a light amber - orange color with minimal head that dissapeared in seconds. Scent is slightly floral.Taste is unexeptional,a touch too hoppy/bitter,(label says they use Saaz and Tettnang hops with two-row and Crystal malts. it's ok, but there are much better Octoberfest Marzens out there!

 343 characters

Photo of chefelf
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Oktoberfest lager had a familiar appearance: copper-color with fluffy white head. It had a nice roasted malt flavor to it but a slight metallic aftertaste that wasn't bad but a slight mark against it. This isn't my favorite style but I enjoyed this one.

 258 characters

Photo of hopsgirl35
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Light copper color with a frothy white head.

Aroma: Light malt an hop smell.

Taste: Bitterness and a nice mellow sweetness of light roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a light bitter finish.

Overall: One of the octoberfest beers I like to keep in stock. This one came out of the 12 beers a falling Saranac variety pack.

 342 characters

Photo of Morey
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured copper/amber in color with good clarity. Off-white head stood about one finger tall for all of about 2 minutes. A thin spotty layer of foam on top of the beer is all that remains. Minimal head retention.

Matly aroma with a hint of sweetness. Pretty mild overall.

Nice rounded malt flavor up front. The carbonation pushes through about mid-way and mellows quickly allowing for a smooth...slightly sweet finish. I'm getting a bit of a metallic flavor on the back end that takes away from the overall taste, but it's not too bad.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

A slightly above average Oktoberfest.

Morey's Bottom Line: I recently read a Lew Bryson review for this beer, and he got my hopes up a bit. It's good, but it doesn't hold up to the Great Lakes version, or even the Sam Adams for that matter.

 822 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Clearish orange/amber, two finger head

S-Malty with some spice.

T-Rather matly, some (although more would be nice) spice as well.

M-Medium bodied, smooth, but not much carbonation and a little flat.

O-I will be having it again soon as apart of an Oktoberfest tasting so I'll see how it stacks up against some others, but it seemed bland and lacking.

 355 characters

Photo of bubseymour
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - excellent for a marzen. Copper color with a very frothy 3 finger head.

Smell - Not much scent but some sweet and spice is present.

Taste- For a Marzen/ Octoberfest, this is just an average beer. Its an easy drinker but slightly metallic taste to it with a little hop crispness in the finish. Needs some more flavor.

Mouthfeel - not bad for a light beer

Overall - I'm a big fan of Marzen/Octoberfest beers. This one is just ok. Easy to drink, but offers very little excitement in the taste.

 506 characters

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

Had a pint of this octoberfest on tap. Dark clear copper color with a frothy one finger head that dissipates very slowly.
Aroma, as expected, is predominantly malty with hints of caramel, yeast and grain coming through.
Taste, similar to the aroma, is high on malts with a hint of bitterness in the finish. Feels like chewing on bread, but as you keep drinking, the breadiness does tend to get a little overwhelming. Very good lacing all along the insides of the glass.
Easy to drink and for what it's priced at, definitely worth a try.

 538 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big frothy 2 finger head with sticky lacing over crystal clear copper orange amber color.

Nose reddish sweet amber malts, light toasty red malts, more amber malt aroma than marzen, light fruity floral hops.

Taste sweet malts, light amber reddish copper caramel malts, hint of cracked straw and cereal malts, light fruity hops, nice dry toasty malt finish though with some bitterness coming on the finish.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, a bit too much on the amber reddish american malt profile but gets some of the toasty cereal malts right, light hops are nice but not really right for the style. Sweetness is right, drinkable.

 660 characters

Photo of SickGnar
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light copper that is both tawny and peachy. Very bright and clear with a few bubbles. Small bone-white head that keeps a ring and, though it struggles, leaves basically nil for lace.

S: Fairly clean malts with just touches of grain, bread (barely some crust), and a hint of sweetness. Some herbal and spicy hops as well. Aroma is there, but faint.

T: The malts have some more toasty and breadcrust character than in the nose, but other wise the malts are pretty steely with mere touches of grain and sweetness to round out the central flavors. Nice balancing spicy , herbal, noble hop presence. Good flavor & some firmness to the bitterness.

M: Medium or a bit under with carbonation a tad over matched. Not aggressive or thin, but you do notice that this one is light and lively for the style.

D: Less heart and hefty than many US versions. Not that is misses the style at all, it is just a lighter, and perhaps slightly hoppy, take on a classic. Plenty enough drinkable though.

 987 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.16/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another bottle that I purchased as part of a mixed-6 recently to satisfy a trade requirement.

From the bottle: "In 1878, our grandfather came to America from Germany where he apprenticed at the Duke of Baden's brewery. Brewed to the standards established over a century ago, Saranac Octoberfest is a rich, flavorful lager. We use Two-Row and Crystal malt and balance it with the pleasant bitterness of Saaz and Tettnang hops. We hope you enjoy it. Prosit!

My pour generated two fingers of tawny head with very good retention. Color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Nose had a biscuity malt quality underlain by a soft grassy hoppiness. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was more grassy than malty on the tongue. The finish continued to have a more bitter than sweet quality, which was not necessarily to my liking. I think that there are better examples of the style available.

 899 characters

Photo of hustlesworth
3.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- clear almost coppery amber. Golden highlights, frothy white head with good retention and some spotty lace

S- toasty and sweet, nice malty base with some spiciness and brown sugar. Husky and dry grassy field notes and only a touch of hops.

T- toasty again here with more grainy flavor and less sweetness. More like German examples than the robust over the top American versions and I like that. Grassy noble hops lend a mild bitterness. Finishes grainy and husky and a bit sweet.

MF- a little over carbonated perhaps. Prickly and stinging all the way down and doesn't seem to relent. Sticky on the chops with a bitter alpha oil feeling.

D- not too shabby but seems a bit lacking in some ways. Again, more akin to German versions than our super sweeties i.e. Sam Adams, great lakes, thirsty dog.

 803 characters

Photo of gabedivision
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass.

Pours a nice clear chestnut amber color with a 1 finger head that slides to a thin lace on the edge of the glass. Smells of a good malty backbone, hints of caramel, and a nice touch of spice. The taste is of nice blended malts, sweet caramel, spices clove and ginger a touch metallic on the finish. Light on the feel, nice fresh, watery lager. Very drinkable, good price, good choice for a Marzen.

 443 characters

Photo of cooch69
3.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep copper orange with a nice two finger head.

Nose is'nt very pronounced but mainly features biscuity malts. A slight roastiness to them as well.

Taste is smooth and creamy once again malt forward with a little bit of hops in the finish.

Many Oktoberfest's on the market and this one was deceny but not near the elite.

 343 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From fall brew tasting notes (2010): The aroma is hardly noticeable, consisting mostly of spruce and citrus. Its golden amber appearance is standard for a lager, but a bit on the light side for an Octoberfest. Minimal head. The taste is interesting: light sweetness, medium bitterness, and lightly sour. It has a crisp palate, with a thin texture and lively carbonation. The finish is clean and abrupt. Decent beer for the category.

 432 characters

Photo of therica
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= medium dark brown, fair head quickly reducing to ongoing pooling and lacing.

S= nice nose of hops florals and prune, roasted malts and light caramel.

T= following the scent, a nice burst of hops florals and prune mixed with more evident light caramel and roasted sweet malts. Modest bitterness, slightly dry. Occasionally watery where I'd prefer chewy but overall a very decent offering.

M= slightly dry with caramel and hops florals.

D= rather drinkable. Would probably go nicely with any gravy meal (chicken, beef, pork, turkey).

 538 characters

Photo of billab914
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Mad Fox shaped pint glass. It poured a clear, copper/amber color with a thick and foamy head filling the top inch of the glass.

The aroma has a bready, grainy flavor to it with some light toasted malts along with some caramel coming through. A touch of citrus seems to be present as well.

The taste shows more caramel malt to is with a little toffee and toasted malts coming through as well. A little bit of an earthy, slightly herbal comes through and keeps it from becoming too sweet.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability isn't bad, it's a decent beer overall. It just wasn't anything that stood out in the style for me.

 695 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Clean, light copper color with a two-finger head of creamy, white foam. Great clarity and good carbonation.

S: Light, zesty grains and a sweet, bready aroma are faint. Some floral, estery aromas blend with light, herbal hops.

T: Creamy malt flavor throws sweet, caramel malts and toasted grains into the mix with a slightly fruity malt palate. The creaminess translates nicely into the flavor, but it drys and finishes with such minimal bitterness, its tough to get too excited to take another sip.

M: Medium-bodied, clean and slightly creamy mouthfeel with a bit of a crisp finish.

D: A no-frills marzen but not a bad offering from Saranac. They have seemed to take measures not to screw up too basic of a brew and its 5.4% ABV puts it right in line with many German marzens and basic domestic fest beers. It's pretty solid, if not boring.

 911 characters

Photo of dacrza1
2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The Moment: More baseball/football watching--the best time for this sports fan... Glassware: Saranac willibecker... Appearance: Strong, autumnal orange/brown body that suggests malt and more malts--thin white head that is a bit inconsistent... Aroma: sweet, crips malt as promised; doughy accents prohibit a higher mark for aroma... Palate: medium-bodied with a late fizziness; otherwise, flat and lacking a strong mouthfeel... Taste: a bit flat, delivered with the quality of a cola; monolithic in its delivery of malt; the malts themselves taste slightly roasted and stay true to their aroma... Overall: This "limited release" is a serviceable sessioner--and I am a fool for an Oktoberfest ANYTHING--and yet, imperfect hints of metal ping at certain points taper my enthusiasm; truth be told, I bought a case and have not been disappointed in reaching for a pair or three per night the past few weekends...

 908 characters

Photo of weller1js
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance: pours clear, golden-orange with moderate carbonation, with light foam that dissipates quickly, and slight ring of lacing.

smell: light and earthy, malts are light yet have a toasty undertone.

taste: taste is clean and lighter, malt taste are balance between their harvest-earthiness and a light toasty touch that enhances the bitters of the hops.

drinkability: a lighter take on the Märzen style with some pleasant typical lager attributes, pleasant to drink.

 475 characters

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice lighter copper color with good bubbles and nice thin clumps of lacing, with a head that likes to stay above the body of the brew quite nicely at about 1/2".

Smell: Grains, earthiness, some nice crisp malt sweetness, a bit of toffee and caramel, and a nice touch of citrus.

Taste: There's a nice herbal and citrus touch to this that mingles nicely with the lighter and subtle coffee and toffee flavors along with the mild fruit esters. Lingering balance between caramel malts, light esters, and a bit of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with nice crisp carbonation on the back end.

Drinkability: Not a favorite of mine, but for the QPR this is tasty and a decent domestic version of the style, and maybe one of Saranac's better brews.

 801 characters

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
2.24/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed on 4 November 2010.

Poured at 40 degrees F into standard American pint glass. Pours a clear orange-gold, less than a 1-finger egg-white head, almost no lacing. The first ingredient in the aroma is cinnamon, just like when you put cinnamon in a homebrew. Other than that, some sweet autumn-malts. Taste didn't sit well with me. Way too bready, and the bitterness is not the kind of bittering hops we all know and love. This bitterness combines with the carbonation and destroys the roof of my mouth. The taste of cinnamon doesn't carry over heavily. It leaves a sticky, undesirable stale malt flavor on the palate. I would not recommend this as a session beer. However, Saranac has other good brews, so don't turn down the company immediately.

 752 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep gold/amber color. Poured a 1 finger slightly off-white head that dissipated to a skim. Decanted lazily. Patches of lace slid down the sides of the glass.

S: Sweet, bready wet grains. A hint of grass and honey

T: Sweet bready malt. Mild bitter; just enough to balance.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and a alittle coating though carbonation and mild bitter clean it up.

D: Very drinkable; goes down real easy. Smooth and balanced while fairly flavorful.

 478 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Pours a translucent copper with a 2.5 inch, fluffy, cream-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid, quarter inch cap with sticky strands of lacing present during the tasting. Aromas are very light; however, there seems to be a trace of citrus, caramel malt and a slightly skunky quality. Taste follows nose - skunk is less dominant and the malty character expresses itself a bit more; however, there is also a slight metallic character that manifests itself towards the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to the light side of the spectrum), with a lively, almost fizzy, carbonation. Not a bad Marzen, perhaps a little too much carbonation, and some slightly off-putting flavors, but drinkability actually isn't all that bad.

 791 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a amber-copper color with an off white head. A good few fingers of head at first, though this drops down rather quickly without leaving too much lace behind. The nose is a bit of caramel malt and bread as well as some light hop notes. The taste is mostly some caramel and bread and not too much else. Medium body with good carbonation. Fairly plain, but still tasty.

 394 characters

Saranac Octoberfest from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.