Oktoberfest - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

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OktoberfestOktoberfest

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BA SCORE
79
okay

137 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 137
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 18.66%
Wants: 3
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TexIndy on 08-16-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 137 | Reviews: 41
Reviews by GMB:
Photo of GMB
2.89/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A standard pour of Rahr & Sons' Oktoberfest yields a dark amber body with lovely reddish highlights and a small, fizzy beige head. The 1/2-inch cap falls quickly and disappears without a trace. A few sheets of tiny bubbles move lazily towards the surface. I don't expect a giant head on a Märzen, in which head-making hops are understated, but quality of this foam leads me to make two predictions: 1) want of hops will render the brew too sweet; 2) the mouthfeel won't do justice to the rich flavors that typify the style.

The nose isn't appealing at first: a strange, smoky smell and copper. A few swirls around the glass and repeated sniffs toss up a bit of more-toasted-than-usual toffee.

The taste is more interesting than the nose. The metallic flavors are ever present, but are subdued by some sweet malty flavors. Bittering hops are pronounced. I taste toffee, slightly-more-than-toasted butter cookies, and candied bitter melon. Then there's that nagging smokey flavor... hmm...

The beer is full on the palate, but even at warmer temperatures, foam is wanting.

I liked Rahr & Sons' Oktoberfest more than I thought I would. Still, there are much better versions from both sides of the Atlantic. I won't drink this one next year.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
2.8/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is actually fairly nice, with some caramel and toffee notes. The flavor is not too great. There is nothing wrong with it, it is just very bland. I get some toffee and bready malt, but that is about it. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I had heard the beers from Rahr's were better after they renovated their brewery, but this is the same, bland beer that they have always brewed.

Photo of randal
1.95/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Rahr you got me again! I used to buy the blonde lager quite a bit when it was $6.99 and at that price accept the occasional flat or sour bottle. Now that Rahr beers are priced in line with Great Divide, Sierra Nevada and others I don't take the chance however I saw the Oktoberfest and being a sucker for something new picked it up.

The description on the bottle says a large fluffy head - I was greeted with a dismal off-white scum, kind of like what you see lapping at the edges of Lake Lewisville. The beer itself was murky and uninspired. A marzen lager should snap and this just squatted listlessly in my glass. The taste was faintly malty with a touch of sweetness but I was distracted by an overriding watery mouthfeel.

Photo of whoneeds8
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I originally bought a 6 pack that was obviously bad. Contacted Rahr's and someone from the brewery drove from Ft. Worth to North Dallas to check it out, and then after tasting a few of the beers he replaced the store's supply with fresh from the brewery beer. BIG PROPS to Rahr's for that.

So I'll be reviewing the fresh beer.

Poured in a pint class to a very nice amber color with a small amount of of white head, with minimal lacing.

Smell is ok, nothing great (but not as bad as the first beer I opened that was bad).

Taste is also ok. I've been drinking many different Oktoberfests this fall and I would have to say this is not a very good contender.

Rahr's customer service is top notch. However, they need a little work on this seasonal.

Photo of skillerified
3.37/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a delicious looking beer-bottle brown with red highlights around the edges. Turns a little redder in stronger light. Limited head with no retention and pretty much no lacing. Lots of carbonation. Good color, but the lack of foam hurts.

All chocolate and caramel. A little toasty. A nice smell. With much agitation, some hoppy (spicy, piney) notes just peek through.

It's like dipping your tongue in carbonated liquid chocolate. Some toasty caramelized notes come through here and there too. A good taste, but nothing to write home about.

Fairly light on the palate. Good crisp carbonation prickle. Actually reminds a little bit of Rahr's Ugly Pug, which I find quite tasty. It's lighter though. Mostly sweet. Just a little bitter bite here and there.

Tasty. I won't have trouble finishing my sixer. But I have to think there are better Marzen/Oktoberfest brews out there (I haven't tried too many myself).

Photo of willyumlong
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a few of these at the brewery last night. Medium dark amber color poured with almost no head but good lacing. Very clear.

Nothing too special or strong on the smell.

Tastes like a standard oktoberfest beer with a mild malty flavor and a bit of caramel. Very slight bitter aftertaste.

A little bit thicker than others but smooth and dry.

Pretty nice beer to drink I had three. Not sure the ABV but must be decent as I could feel it pretty good by the last one. Overall not a bad beer at all.

Photo of zimm421
2.58/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a standard pint glass. Has a below average tan head that doesn't stick around long and doesn't leave any lacing to speak of. Appears a brown color with some haziness.

Nose is full of coffee and other malts. Just not what you expect from a Marzen. Some sweetness from the caramel malts. Taste is very similar. All sweet, no balancing factors. Just not right for a Marzen. The flavors were decent, but just doesn't fit into the style.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied. Too thick and heavy when going down, again, just not quite right. Overall, a decent brew, but nothing above average. Got stuck drinking this all of last week because it was the best they had to offer where I was staying. Don't seek it out..

Photo of KTCamm
3.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very brilliant amber color, which shines in the light. Little foam. Very sweet malty nose, and loads of esthers. Quite buttery malty taste, and a lot of caramel in the mix. Sweet finish, with just a nutty hint of hop at the end. Very good,.

Photo of LacquerHead
3.71/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this at a BBQ in Texas. Poured this in a large mug.

It poured an amber color with a light tan head.

S: not very strong, some malt aromas - nothing to outlandish.

T: Not bad. It seemed like a typical Oktoberfest beer. Some sweet malt flavors.

Overall: For the price, $8.00/six-er, this was a fairly solid Oktoberfest beer. It didn't knock me over with taste, but I found it to be very enjoyable.

Photo of goochpunch
2.23/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours out like a dark, raspberry flavored iced tea with a tiny head that fizzles quickly into nothing. Smell has some nuttiness from the malts and a brown sugar aspect to it, but this is all drowned out by a harsh graininess and a weird butter/rubber band medley that I can't put my finger on. This odd characteristic comes out right at the gates in the flavor accompanied by heavy toast and even a bit of roasted malt flavor, it seems. The graininess shows up in the middle along with that weird rubber thing (which stuck around all this time). Finishes sticky sweet with a touch of marshmallow flavor. Mouthfeel is awfully light and prickly with a stickiness that follows each sip. Not impressed at all. I was really hoping for a good local O-fest.

Photo of TexIndy
1.63/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Got from Lone Star after the brewery/distributor had replaced the bad batch that got shipped there so this one is factory fresh. Poured from a 12oz bottle (no date) into a pint glass. It was an orangish amber color with a ton of little yeast bits floating in it. Lots of carb. No lacing. It had a small beige head that quickly fizzled to nothing.

The aroma was very weak. A bit of caramel malt and just a bit of hops but that faded very soon after pouring. Not very appetizing. The taste was also very bland and what was there was off. Had a slightly bitter taste and none of the sweetness you usually find in a Marzen. Also had a very weird aftertaste. Can't pin it down but makes you dread the next drink and kills the mouthfeel.

Overall, a terrible beer - avoid. This supposed to be the fresh batch but sure tastes off to me. Not sure what the problem with Rahr is but over half of the beers I get from them are spoiled. When they are on the make a couple really good beers like the hefe but when they are off they are bad. And unfortunately they are off more than they are on. I want to support them since local but tired of spending good money on spoiled beer. They need better quality control, dates on the labels and non twist off caps.

Photo of gtermi
3.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick tan head.

S: The beer has some coffee, malt and some

T: The taste wasnt as strong as I was hoping. It has some sweet maltyness and some caramel, but not really much else.

M: The beer mouthfeel isnt anything special. I drink it and just feel like I am missing out on something.

O: This a decent average Oktoberfest beer, but nothing to go out of the way to get.

Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy, deep amber in color, with a large, persistent, off-white head, thin, broken lace.

Aroma: Earthy notes, and toasted malt, with a slight herbal hop presence.

Taste: Opens with strong toasted malts, mild caramel and toffee, lots of bread and nut malt, solid malty notes throughout the taste. Finishes with a wave to toasted bread flavors.

Mouth feel: Pleasant and full body, no carbonation sting.

Drinkability/notes: A very solid example, quite representative of the style.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a pop-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Photo of brurevu
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The Oktoberfest pours a dark amber with a nice tan head and all the trademark sweet malt aromas of the style. The taste is a good sweet maltiness with a slight hop and even a bit of Chocolate. For a darker beer it was light on the palate and very clean and drinkable. The Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest was a great Texas Oktoberfest.

Photo of JMad
3.76/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a pint glass...

Pours an amber color with burnt orange hues, the head is tall, foamy and lofty with a tan color. It smells of roasted malt with surprising coffee and milk chocolate with earthy hop undertones. The beer has an herbal hop bitterness, with roasted malt being the dominant flavor, there are also hints of coffee and caramel. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation and a nice dry finish. This Oktoberfest was unique compared to others, in my opinion it tastes more like a brown ale, still good though.

Photo of roblowther
3.39/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a reddish copper with no head at all. It smells of burnt caramel, oranges and pepper. At this point, I am intrigued. The taste is mild malt, some dryness, and a slight spice. It is interesting but maltier and somehow simpler than the style examples I've had before. Mouthfeel is slick, light, and nicely carbonated. This is a pretty drinkable beer, with a good balance of the malt & hop flavors. This is a good beer but definitely not an exceptional one. I prefer the Ugly Pug and definitely prefer their Pecker Wrecker & Bucking Bock. Still, a welcome, rare Oktoberfest offering from a US brewery.

Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

A: Dark amber color. On tap in a cold glass.

S: Not much as the temperature is very cold.

T: Earthy hops, grain and malt, zest. Not much else, but a nice beer, honestly.

M: Medium dry. Not too light.

O: Nice layed back beer. Liked it overall.

Photo of jmbranum
4.21/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pretty decent Oktoberfest beer that improves as it warms up.

Quite attractive dark amber color with a short-ish tan head.

Very nice and malty, fresh and rich. Quite satisfying. Very well-balanced. It reminds me a dark german bread.

Very smooth mouth feel. The aroma was a bit weak. It just needed a little more of something to me.

Definitely do not drink this beer cold. It is much, much better at something approaching cellar temperature. Much more complex than it appeared on first sip.

Also I should note that this beer is not a good value. It is quite tasty but for the price, I would go with Paulaner Oktoberfest instead. $9+ a sixer is way too much.

Photo of Rifugium
2.91/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: ? (I believe on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA)

Poured a clear bronze color with a short-lived white head. Pretty basic aroma and taste, with mild, toasty malts going on and not too much else. Not terrible, but pretty bland and uninteresting. Medium mouthfeel, can seem a little watery at times, but still somewhat drinkable if you're not feeling too adventurous.

Photo of Atlas1
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Oktoberfest beer of the season. I like the new Rahr label design. A little hokey, but in a classic Norman Rockwell sorta way.

The Rahr Oktoberfest is one of the prettiest beers I've seen in a while. Beautiful hues of oranges and reds remind me of autumnal leaves changing color (not here in south Texas, mind you, but in places where leaves actually change colors). Nice thick head with some lace. The nose is dense and malty, as a good festbier should be. The yeast aroma kinda reminds me of Shiner Bock, but in a good way. Earthy and sweet. Taste follows suit, delivering plum flavors with muted apple and pear. Malty sweetness but dry enough to cut through anything that lingers too long. Mouthfeel has a medium body feel to it; firm but not austere.

A fine effort by the folks at Rahr and Sons. Maybe not the best example of the style I've ever had, but a pretty good beer nonetheless. I wouldn't reject the idea of revisiting this beer in the future either.

Photo of Ford
4.08/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a regular pint glass

This is a really good Oktoberfest beer.

A bit less bitter than the Shiner and Karbach styles I've recently had. About the same smoothness as the Saint Arnold.

Really good carbonation.. just right. Great taste. I'd buy a six pack of this over many others.

Photo of Vashtar
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It's a clear, dark amber with a nice head.

It smells extremely malty. There's a hint of what smells like isopropyl alcohol, and it's unsettling.

It also tastes malty. The different notes hit you for a few seconds straight.

It runs over my mouth like a wave. This beer gooey, but great. It isn't the typical ideal mouthfeel that I look for. I think it's in a whole other category.

Overall, this is both one of my favorite October fest beers and one of my favorite dark beers.
Actually, I'm not really sure why it's an Octoberfest at all. If you threw some coffee in it you'd have a great beer in a totally different kind of way.

Photo of champ103
2.8/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear copper red color. A one finger white head forms, and recedes in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt, some sweet caramel/toffee aromas. Nothing else.
T: Again, sweet malty flavors that are pretty generic. Caramel, maybe toffee depending on how you decipher if. Nothing else. Fairly bland and neutral.
M/D: A light to medium body. Fairly smooth. Not hard to drink, just nothing I really care to have a lot of.

Overall just bland, neutral, and inoffensive. Nothing I would recommend, but nothing to offensive either. Pretty much the definition of average.

Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: The label is suspect, simultaneously calling this a lager and an ale. Blame the TABC? Brown glass. Branded pry-off cap. 12 fl oz.

Expectations are average given the brewery. Served cold into a pilsner glass at low altitude in Austin, TX. Reviewed live as a Marzen per the label. 7% ABV.

Paired with pretzels.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Even consistency. Decent fullness, thickness, and softness. Retention is nice - ~6 minutes. Light lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Deep amber with copper hues. Shockingly, there's visible yeast suspended within, and this lacks the cleanliness usually associated with the style.

Appears well-carbonated. It's darker than most beers in the style and I'd definitely call it unconventional, but it's not unappealing. Still, I'm suspicious; if there's a brewery I trust to depart from style conventions and succeed gloriously, it isn't Rahr & Sons.

AROMA: Sweet and bready, with plenty of Munich and Vienna malt sweetness, as well as some overly sweet Caramunich. It's toasty and surprisingly caramel-emphatic. It's hard to imagine swilling down a litre of this from a masskrug based on the aroma. Suggests a Marzen which is far too full-bodied and sweet for mass consumption - and in the case of this style in particular, mass consumption is exactly the point. It even veers a bit into winter warmer or amber territory. I can't say I'm thrilled to try it, but it's not off-putting, and outside of style conventions I'd even say it's generally appealing. Frankly, it has the aroma of a well-executed amber lager.

No overt hop profile, yeast character, off-notes, or alcohol is/are detectable.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Definitely too sweet, with Caramunich, Vienna malt, and caramalt dominating the malt profile where Munich malts and pilsner malts should. It's too heavy and thick on the palate, with an inflated full body that is mismatched to the shallow flavours present. Toasty and malty as hell. There's a minimal hop presence, which is apt for the style, but the yeast attenuation isn't quite as clean (i.e. high) as it should be. It doesn't scream German per se, and I have to wonder if they experimented with an atypical yeast strain.

It's generally balanced, but is far from dialed in for the style. Again, this drinks like a well-executed amber lager, not a festbier. Depth, duration, and intensity of flavour are average. I do like it for what it is, but I definitely can't see myself taking on a litre or more of this at a German beer festival - which means it fundamentally fails in its purported style. Taking it outside of style conventions, it's an approachable brew that suffers from overcarbonation. Unrefreshing.

The texture isn't quite in harmony with the taste, but it doesn't sabotage it. There's ample room for improvement.

The build as a whole has fair cohesion, but never drinks like a gestalt whole which exceeds the sum of its parts. This is a decently constructed brew which leans a bit too hard on its breadiness to really satisfy Marzen conventions.

OVERALL: The discerning drinker may scoff at it when it's taken as a festbier, but outside of style conventions it's not a bad brew by any means. Still, at best it's average. At this price point, I can't recommend it. Pretty pedestrian stuff from Rahr & Sons any way you slice it, but not undrinkable. I'll finish my glass and will soon forget it, but to its credit, it does a nice job of hiding its 7% ABV. On a final note, those familiar with Rahr & Sons' other offerings will be unsurprised by its (lack of) quality. This definitely fits into the rest of their oeuvre - if you'll forgive the pretension implicit in that phrasing.

C (2.8)

Photo of DarkAngel
4.85/5  rDev +41.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oktoberfest's are my absolute favorite brews, this time of year is better than Christmas for me. And this years batch of Oktoberfest is the best Rahr has done. I still prefer Hoffbrau's Oktoberfest (If I am completely honest) but I still love this batch. Great taste, great feel, and all around good brew. A must have for the beer lover.

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Oktoberfest from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.