Oktoberfest | Millstream Brewing Company

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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 133

#11 ranked German Märzen / Oktoberfest | 5.70% ABV

Millstream Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Notes: Fall availibility. 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 uwmgdman
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is brilliantly clear, dark reddish-copper color with a thin white head. Moderate-high malty aroma with moderate-low sweetness. The flavor is very malty, rather toasty, slighty sweet and has a moderate bitterness (high end of style). The finish is slightly dry, with a nice malty linger on the palate. The beer has a medium-full body, mouthfeel is quite smooth and carbonation moderate. Overall a very good example of an Oktoberfest on all fronts!

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is slightly dark copper/amber. Two and a half fingers of off-white head developed and dissipated quickly to leave a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: It reminds me of a Ferrero Rocher chocolate ball with caramel or chocolate mousse inside. There is an immediate cocoa aroma laced with sweet caramel. Very enticing. Also noticeable after the pint warms are scents of toffee, honey, and grassy barnyard malts.

Taste: Reminds me a lot of the Red Trolley Ale I drank at Dodger Stadium. The very smooth cocoa/chocolate mousse shines through in the taste, and the caramel adds a touch of sweetness. However, the tail has a nice bitter edge that leaves the back of the mouth tingling. As it warms the flavor aligns with the later emerging scents: toffee, honey, and grassy barnyard malts.

Drinkability: Solid. From past experience, märzen was just a darker, slightly toasted lager, but Millstream's Oktoberfest completely strays from that norm. It's malty, toasty, slightly spicy, and just a hair heavy. Basically, it's a damn good beer.

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Photo of Skidz
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for this one!

Pours out orange brown and sits reddish-brown in the glass with a nice off-white head and fair lacings.

Smells of sweet malts and good gobs of caramel. Nice spicy hop background and a little twinge of alcohol on the back of the nose.

Tastes lightly sweet up front with protruding hop spiciness. Nice herbal flavor, a bit peppery; tingles the toungue. Malty sweetness pushes on throughout the beer with caramel under a nice toasted body. Finishes bitter with many more herbal flavors and a touch of sweetness.

Creamy in the mouth with nice carbonation in a medium body. Flavors free to come and go, and soothe the pallate.

Highly drinkable. Very tasty and full of flavor. I love the spicy profile of the beer, and it's definately got a lot of character. Iowa doesn't seem so far away....

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark amber color with a large, thick, creamy, fluffy, smooth, sticky off-white head. Good retention with a nice creamy layer of lace.

S - A lot of toasted grain with some toffee malt and a bit of caramel as well. A touch of musty, grassy and floral hops. Touches of bready and cracker taste as well. All this is just a little faint.

T - Tons of toasted grain along with caramel and toffee malt. Some dry bread/cracker taste in the background. Some honey sweetness along with just the faintest hint of grassy and herbal hops. Nice spicy background along with a touch of apple fruitiness. Nice mix of sweet and spicy with grainy and malty flavors dominating but a nice background of other flavors. As it warms some more tea like flavors are coming out.

M - Lighter side of medium body with a nice level of carbonation. Crisp feel with just a slightly drying finish.

D - Very nice mix of flavors and a great mouthfeel really help to make this an easy to drink beer. A little on the sweet side, but not bad or cloying.

Notes: A nice Märzen beer with a great mix of flavors. Plenty of grains and malt upfront as you would expect for the style, but a very nice background of hops, spice, and apple. Nice local fall beer.

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Photo of far333
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dark honey color with an off-white head that sinks quickly. Aroma is sweet and malty, with bits of pear and candy, makes me want to jump right in. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, moderately carbed. Flavor is lots of malt, light and sweet, with some banana and butterscotch. A little bit of citrus in the finish, and a hop tingle lingers. I could drink a lot of these. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for passing this on.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep amber-purple colored body with a pale tan head standing about a half inch tall.

S - Plum, malt, and anise aroma but all are mild. Very unique for an Oktoberfest.

T - There's a malt flavor with sweet accents of brown sugar and raisins. The ending has a hop flavor and the finish, which comes almost 15 seconds later, offers even more hops. I will note the hops are sublte and do not in anyway take away from the malt and sweet flavors.

M - Thick and warm feel to this brew. The feel is the best part of what is a good beer. Impressive!

~ This is a very good beer. I haven't sampled many brews from this Millstream but I can assure you that will change. Thank you Gnomefest 6.

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Photo of GStone899
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Smell is refreshing as a cool autumn breeze. A really well balanced Oktoberfest. Nice toasted malts with coriander and orange peel. The brewery from Iowa impresses again.

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Photo of Awolter
4.46/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A great true to style Oktoberfest. Very well balanced and full bodied, has a slight carmel taste, and complex malt profile. My favorite Millstream beer!

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Big E-Z Cap swig-top brown one liter bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Russet reddish brown in colour with a creamy tan lace that is absolutely superb.

Smell: Clean in the nose with lots of malt ... some sweetness, a touch of caramel and a whiff of grain.

Taste: A long drawn out malt flavour lingers throughout the medium body that hold a perfect carbonation. More sweetness in the front, lots of lightly toasted malt in the middle and more of a grain flavour towards the end that stays and stays with the palate. Hop bitterness cuts the edge off of the malt to help round out the brew yet hops are still restrained. Finish is a tad clean with hints of carob and grain.

Notes: A very tasty Oktoberfest, one of the better domestic samples BeerAdvocate has tasted ... most others are pale in comparison on flavour and body. Goes well with bratwurst and boiled veggies.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: It pours dark amber with a one finger beige head with very nice lacing all the way down the glass.
S: Spicy, bready nose.
T: Dark bread, spice and kettle sugars.
F: Clean, smooth, medium to medium full body and medium carbonation.
O: A well balanced Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.76/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look-Wonderful looking ofest. Not a big head but the golden-copper color with good lacing gets one excited for a great beer.
Smell-Not a lot going on due to the big malt. I do pick up some bready sweetness. Ready for the taste.
T-I think this competes beats the European beers. Malty bready ness combo is hard to beat. It really resonates through the nose. There is a great backbone and a mild sweetness presents itself. I'm glad I bought the 6-pack instead of mix n match!
Feel-plain old smooth.
O-I didn't plan on this one becoming possibly my favorite ofest. I've been to the brewery and want to go back. I would love for this to be the first keg in my kegerator when it it's finished.

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Photo of mynie
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2016 EDIT:
To me, this is the absolute standard-bearer of the style. I've never had the pleasure of drinking truly fresh German lagers, but from everything I've tasted and read, this is as close as you can get to a true marzen in the States, and might well be all the better for its mild Americanization. In all my years of drinking I've never come across an American lager that so flavorful and full-bodied yet so crisp and clean, without any yeast esters whatsoever. If you can get it relatively fresh, this is must-try.

Fresh, this is easily the best Oktoberfest I've ever had. Far and away, no contest, it's not even worth trying the others after awhile. Trouble is that it only stays good for a few months, and since Millstream is usually only obtained through trades the beer sometimes ages for months before it is reviewed on this site. I beg of you--if you want to try this wonderful beer get ahold of it soon!

2005 Batch

Sampled at Oktoberfest in Amana, Iowa.

Pours as pretty as can be for the style. Three kinds of brown--chocolate, autumn leaves, crayon--with stabs of ruby in the sunlight and a retentive, light chocolate head.

Smells of a perfect mix of sweet and spice. The malt is buttery, but not in an icky way. Not even in a table butter kind of way. More like a shortbread butter cookie, along with deep marzen caramel and a hint of white pepper hops.

Tastes very much like it smells. The thin, sweet malt comes up front and slides perfectly into the more robust deep grain and candy caramel, ending slightly dry on a hint of corriander. Wonderful.

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Photo of beergirlteresa
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This Oktoberfest is very true to the style. Coppery color and nice lacy head. The malty backbone of this beer real brings on the rich full-bodied flavor I enjoy in a true Munich style brew. Probably my favorite Oktoberfest brew I tried to date. I would very highly suggest getting your hands on a 6 pack of this one!

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