Millstream Brewing Company

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German Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #12
Ranked #10,063
3.96 | pDev: 12.12%
Millstream Brewing Company
Iowa, United States
Very Good
Notes: Millstream's Oktoberfest is similar to the our Munich style Schild Brau Amber, but it has more flavor, is maltier, and darker in color. A truly special beer, to celebrate the harvest, an important part of life here in Amana. Join us for the Amana Colonies Oktoberfest and partake of a pint yourself!

21 IBU
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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 133
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
2.17/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Well, this and the Oatmeal Stout I got a while back had a big cidery taste, so I have to conclude I got bottles with bacteria in them, or they were lagered too warm, or their yeast got tired. Too bad, because it looked great. Pours a nice deep orange, with a creamy head and plenty of bubbly action. Toward the end, I could get past the cidery taste and find a nice Oktoberfest malt bill and even a touch of balancing hops.

I emailed the brewery and they suggested the off taste came from the fact that I had an 8-month old bottle; since they don't pasteurize their beer, that's past its prime. I will definietly buy more fresh beer and revise this at a future date.

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Photo of Herky21
2.54/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Great pour, golden, caramel color with a nice head.

Smell: Has some good bitter notes that play off your nose. Caramelized scent is slight, hint of hops too.

Taste: Slight chocolate hint, and the hops are also on the back end. Probably pretty true to what an oktoberfest is supposed to be, but should be slightly maltier in my opinion to get better depth of flavor and a little more body.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, nothing spectacular. Carbonation is alright.

O-- It's a refreshing, average Oktoberfest. I expected it to be a bit better. I'm a Millstream fan usually.

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Photo of Vancer
2.71/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Welp, this one has potential, but it just doesn’t make the grade. Pour started off good – clear mahogany with a hell of a ivory head, sticky too.

Aroma starts heading south, with just an average whiff of black pepper and the fall spice lineup. But the quaff is all a woody cut, vinous and leathery. Finishes semi-bitter and harsh.

I’ll have to pass on more.

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Photo of cokes
2.88/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear autumnal amber, with a stunted, off-white head.
Clean, toasty nose. Spot-on smelling, if weakish.
Begins with a malt-structure that's broad but not deep. Toasty caramel, dry roasted nuts, and grain. Lagered clean. The hops bring dead leaves and a destructive burnt rubber notion. Herein a decent brew is rendered fatally flawed.
Light bodied, lacking in flavor and what's present is, at best, not special, and at worst, fairly disagreeable.

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Photo of steveh
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another in trade with Corsdad. One of the first Microbreweries whose brew I can remember drinking back in the late 80s.

Label has a notching system -- for bottling, I hope, as this is notched between September & October.

A -- Nice clear, deep amber color with a good, dense off-white head that settles quickly.

S -- DMS & biscuit malt up front with some vague spicy hops back.

T -- Sort of a musty, roasted maltiness up front, biscuit character and some fruitiness coming through, fruitiness lingers into finish and aftertaste with some vague hop bitterness throughout and in the aftertaste.

M -- Medium body with a fairly soft mouthfeel that turns syrupy with warmth.

D -- This is certainly a drinkable beer, but if I were to sample it blind I'd think it was a lightly hopped American Amber Ale, not an Oktoberfest. It's just not clean and malt back-boned enough.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a medium copper body with a bubbly, white head.

Smell: Musty grain aroma with hints of oven-toasted crackers and toffee.

Taste: A follow through of the aroma, the flavor consists of musty grains, crackers, and toffee. Decidedly balanced, as both the sweetness and floral hop bitterness remain relatively light. However, there is a tiny squirt of lemon in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Meium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: This one really puts the OK in Oktoberfest!

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Photo of alexgash
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange-copper body with a think, light-khaki head. Fruity bread malts with a vegetal hop spiciness and light alcohol on the nose. Caramelly semi-sweet toasted bread maltss up front. LIght, cooked vegetable twang mid-palate. Fruity, lightly bitter finish. Not bad, but not overly memorable in this world of American-made Oktoberfests.

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Photo of morimech
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark amber color with a dense head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left down the glass. Attractive looking beer.

Smells grainy and grassy. The German malt seems to be of the lightly toasted, sweet variety. The grassy hops do not assert themselves very much.

Does have a sweeter flavor. Slight DMS. Lightly toasted malt adds some interest. Very unassertive hop bitterness in the finish with lightly grassy flavor.

Feels like a smaller lager but the carbonation seems off. Gives this beer a thin, watery feel. Not terrible but would like a more creamy texture.

A good effort. By no means one of the better American Oktoberfest beers. Worth a try and would drink this again.

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Photo of Dansting
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured a clear caramel color with a thin white head. Almost not lacing whatsoever. Mouthfeel is nice. Aroma is decent, with sweet and fruity scents. Flavor is typical of most oktoberfest/marzens, as it has a nice caramel malt flavor to it. Aftertaste almost has a apple hint to it. A nice oktoberfest brew.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear red-copper with a modest white head that dissipates quickly to a thin ring and a slight soapy sheen.

Aroma is bready caramel malt. Earthy and nutty. Hints of a metallic character.

Taste is toasted, bready caramel malt up front with a sweet edge. Nutty and woody, with mild earthy hop. Finish is hard and metallic.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall a drinkable O-fest. Certainly worth a try. I particularly enjoy the earthy woody character. However, there are better O-fest brews out there. Metallic finish comes on a little to strong for me.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light, earthy malt aroma. Big light-tan colored head faded quickly to a ring around the glass. Hazy chestnut colored beer with an orange hue. Mild malt flavor with a pinch of cocoa and some crisp fresh hops. Moderately full body is smooth and carries the flavors well. Something is off with the smell, but otherwise a nice brew. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for the chance to try this one.

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Photo of bashiba
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a perfectly clear ruby/amber color with a very thin light head.

Has the classic toasted malt oktoberfest smell mixing in with a bit of copper.

The flavor has a nice crisp bready malt flavor up front, but then is quickly taken over by an off metallic tinny taste. Not bad, with some nice malty slightly sweet overtones, but the coppery metal flavor makes it seemed slightly flawed.

The mouthfeel is clean and dry with a slight lingering.

Not bad, very close to being good, I just can't quite get past the stale penny flavor in the finish.

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Photo of hero27
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fall 2006 batch.

A bottle was handed to me by the Millstream distributor when he was in town several weeks ago, and I'll certainly oblige by drinking it.

Clear amber, frothy off-white head.
Slightly spicy, bold munich malts, and a kick of hops for good measure. Light chocolate and a decent roasted character are along for the ride. Smooth & well-balanced. Very easy-drinking Oktoberfest.

Certainly nothing spectacular here, but another solid German-based brew from Millstream.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, caramel amber with a small head.

Aroma seems typical of the style: Cumin and allspice. I also detect a welcome caramel smell.

Flavor has a nice, smooth & mellow caramel base, followed by boring oktoberfest spices: cumin and allspice. However, the spices were authentic, not powdery. A dry hop finish makes the taste a bit more enjoyable.

Mouthful is excellent. Stellar! It’s well carbonated, and very smooth.

Drinkability is actually very good. I have to note that most Oktoberfest beers bore me, and the flavor here was no exception. However, I found the beer very interesting solely on the smooth mouth. If you’re a fan of this style, I would highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 batch

A - Pours a deep clear copper with a thin beige head.

S - Sweet toasted malt and caramel. Some spice is present in the background.

T - Slightly sweet with toasted malt and caramel. There is a slight biscuity grainy characteristic that gives it a slight chalky taste.

M - Medium bodied and dry.

D - Not a bad Oktoberfest but I would not go out of my way to find it again.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L : Pours a beautiful festive orange color with copper-brown hues. The head is large and webby, very creamy, very nice. Clarity about 30%.

S : Caramel malt, fresh sticky wort, coriander, light nut.

T : Oh, yeah this is delicious. Lots of sticky caramel, balanced with strong herbs (namely thyme and basil), cinnamon and coriander, stale nuts, dark bread crusts, and a touch of honey. Towards the finish there's a very stale malt/chalk note and the herbs win out a bit, bringing the score down a bit. The initial rush of flavor is KA-POW! but then it dies down to a stale malt mess. After a little while it becomes pretty much a brown bread crust ale.

F : Semi-creamy, very mild carbonation, light chalky finish.

Overall, this isn't half bad. I think it could use some improvement, especially where the finish and feel are concerned, but it's worth a try no doubt.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice amber color and clear. Light carbonation for an Oktoberfest. Taste is solid, clean and malt forward with good balance. This is a well crafted beer and is true to the style. Notthe best in our opinion

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Photo of MTNboy
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- A dark hazy bronze orange color. Virtually no head but what little head it had it was an off white color. The body is a little fizzy and there is a nice amount of lacing.

Smell- Sweet and earthy floral scents are predominant in this beer.

Taste- There is a little bit of roasty sweetness to this beer. The large amount of malt is evident but there is a little sense quality hop taste to as well.

Mouthfeel- It is watery, thin and mad fizzy.

Drinkability- It I enjoyed this beer and can’t wait to have it again next year.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer comes out a nice dark amber color with a well crafted cream colored head. The smell is sweet malt. The taste is sweet, grainy and a touch of caramel. Theres also a hint of some metallic taste which kinda throws off the taste. Still a pretty good beer, slightly different than some of the other oktobers ive had, which isnt a bad thing. Overall good.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a nice autumn-like red-brown-ornage, with a medium off-white had that left okay lacing. Nose was the expected malty nuts, earth and dark fruits, with a hint of toffee, and the mouthfeel full and slightly sweet. Taste was more of the malty fall taste, and the finish wet, but offset by just enough hops to be pleasant.

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Photo of beagle75
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Caramel and baking spices are both well-represented, with lesser yeasty bread also present.

T: Begins off-dry, with heavy caramel malt and weizen-style aromatic clove spice. Acidity is restrained but citric into the middle where malt flavored become more refined but less distinct. The third act also features malt behaving in dynamic fashion, turning very bready with a yeasty flair. Mild bitterness is accompanied by dark citrus and fermented plants that blend well with other elements of the flavor profile, rather than standing out.

M: Medium to thick viscosity; smooth, creamy, and slightly acidic on the palate; with moderate carbonation.

D/O: While the smell and flavor represent the style well enough, it is the textures encountered here that really turn heads. Remarkably chewy and viscous for the style, it really demands the respect of the drinker. Other features are predictably malt-focused, but enjoyable. It promises to be an epic cooking beer.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label Lore: Plain checkered background and a Grist Mill motif. Oct notch for freshness.

Deep coppery cloudy hazy orange and brown hues under a taunt antique white quickly settling head cap that easily arises with a swirl, then a few stray bubbles escaping to daylight.

Decent amount of musty malts and spices.

First Swigs: Buttered spice wafers. Plenty of apple maltiness to put this one into the ‘Fest category. Lingering aftertaste of plain cake and delicate rum without the booze, vanilla backbone. Sweet bright taste that almost elevates this into a dessert style beer. Flavors accelerated up until the end.

A bit thin for the style. Quaffable to the end. Liquid dessert.

Last Swigs: Vanilla ice cream on a spice wafer. Almost reminds me of Rogue Dead Guy on tap. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for this one! This is a surprising lager. Delicious. Even the finish is tasty. Sorry it’s gone. Makes you want to carve a Pumpkin. From the last Iowa brewery.

Beer is good. Happy Fest beering.

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Photo of sauron681
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium ruby red. Excellent head, with slow even carbonation, with pretty good lacing.
Couldnt pick up any specific aroma, mayber a hint of muddiness.
Medium body in the mouth, clean and bold. Very nice.

Heavy roasted caramel malt, with little grain in the beginning for sweetness. Finishes acceptably bitter with a nice hoppy finish. Slight tings of import lager (metal) taste. I get to the amana colonies a couple times a year and i will definetly get this brew again

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle thanks to jhammerly

Pours a clear copper color with a small off-white head that fades. No real lacing on the glass.

Aroma of caramel malt with just a hint of hops and a light toasted nuttiness.

Caramel malty upfront with a faint hop flavor. Leads into a light toasted nutty flavor and another touch of caramel malt before finishing clean.

Medium light body, well carbonated.

A nice drinkable O-fest and a solid offering for the style. Look for this one next time you are celebrating the 'fest.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a 1.5cm head made up of medium bubbles. Fairly dense. Collapses in a minute to a ring around the glass with a large island f foam in center. Body is a semi-hazy and dark-brown copper with orange highlights.

Sweet, malt-forward with mixed chocolate scents too. Classic Oktoberfest with a bit of variety. No real hop presence to balance though.

Taste follows scent with a heavy malt sweetness that contains hints of chocolate malt. In the close, there's a hint towards spicy hops. Aftertaste is of some bitter and spicy hops alongside sweet caramel flavors.

Medium to medium-heavy bodied, this is a hearty marzen that is superb with a meal. Carbonation is a bit prickly, could be toned down slightly. Finish is dry.

Overall, a very good Oktoberfest and unique for the stle. One of the better American varieties I've had, a shame they don't get wider distribution.

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Oktoberfest from Millstream Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 133 ratings