Oktoberfest | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Copper color, toffee aroma, malty dried apricot flavor, medium body.

Added by Mitchster on 09-06-2001

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Reviews: 235 | Ratings: 848
Photo of Beerwithoutallthehops
3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I realize beer goes by taste, that is the deciding factor.

You can show all your "lacing" and such, but those are bells and whistles, not the deciding factor - TASTE.

Octoberfest beers, if you look around this site, appear to be voted on by a number of factors, the least, as it appears to me, to be THE TASTE!! Some state their Octoberfest "beer" has "hints of apple and peach" and that "makes" it a good Octoberfest in that person's mind.

NO, IT DOESNT. Again, I understand each person's taste is THEIR TASTE - not mine.

But, Octoberfest, by its definition - MUST HAVE MALTINESS as that is how it is brewed.

If you wants peaches, apples, floral notes - blah, blah, blah, blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, go to a knitting class and drink their tea and eat their cookies and sit there and talk about how good it is that all of you can sit there and drink tea and eat cookies and talk for hours about drinking tea and eating cookies........................ yaaaaaaaaaaaawn.

Do you want a good Octoberfest beer? Then try a good Octoberfest beer. This Goose Island is a decent beer. It has a LOT of hops influencing its taste. Some will call that "refreshing" or "crisp" or whatever. It is hops, pure and simple.

Hops should NOT RULE an Octoberfest beer. You wants hops to rule? Go get an American craftie beer that screams about its "peaches and florals" and suck on that. Octoberfest is about maltiness.

Try a Weihenstephaner or a Hacker-Pschoor or a Paulaner - to name just 3 GREAT German OCTOBERFEST beers - and you will be pleasantly enjoying them. Weihenstephaner understands hops and malt are to get along. They have been doing that wonderfully for about 1,000 years. Thank you very much W!!! HS and Paulaner are great as well.

This Goose Island is good to drink, but it is not what I consider an Octoberfest. It is a good beer, yes. But it is not an "octoberfest" beer as it is more hops than malt. Drink and enjoy it and buy some more. But, if you want OCTOBERFEST beer, see the German beer names mentioned previously.

Thanks Goose, nice beer. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of NastyNorseman
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Amber and transparent with khaki head. Smells of bread/biscuit with a bit of fruit. Tastes of bread, malt, caramel, apricot, and toffee. Finish a little flat. Could be crisper. Hops are faint in the pallatte in the aftertaste. A good Oktoberfest but not great.

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Photo of POOGMAN
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A great Americanized oktoberfest. Awesome balance of malt and lager. Genuinely one of my favorite state side oktober crafts. Toffee is super present, but doesn't offer too much sweetness. Bold in flavor with a nice ABV punch. Delicious.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice reddish brown colored beer with a light tan head. The aroma is caramel and malt with undertones of stone fruit. The taste is sweet with caramel and stone fruit and a grassy hop flavor and bitterness at the end. Not a bad Oktoberfest marzen but I would think a little less bitterness would balance it more.

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Photo of KonigObHops
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep copper color with a beige head that is about two finger widths thick.

The label on the bottle does not lie. There are notes of apricot and toffee in the aroma.

The taste is about what you would expect after smelling this beer. The apricot is fruity and sweet up front, and then the toffee is pretty deep and intense in the middle. The beer finishes with a dry malty flavor.

The mouthfeel is excellent on this beer. It was smooth and a bit creamy.

I like Oktoberfests that are either true to the style or a unique spin on the style that actually works. The latter are few and far between, but Goose Island nailed this one. This is a beer that is interesting and tasty. An Oktoberfest worth going out and getting.

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Photo of PDGreenB
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Has a good dark taste to it, nose is strong. The toffee is immediately present. Smells of apricot and wheat. Mouth feel is full, but lingers quite a bit.

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Photo of rypkr
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Similar to sam adams American version in that it more resembles a sugary dopplebock than a marzen. NoT terrible though.

Probably would not buy again.

 150 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Comes out a pretty amber color with ample clarity and a 1/2" off white head. Aroma had lots of caramel, lesser nuts.

Mild sweetness, light relatively thin body for the degree of caramel to it. Reduced carbonation, lets the woody and nutty aspect sit in the mouthfeel.

Decently made people who like the style should be down. Hops and bitterness held in check.

 365 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear red-brown with a small, quickly dissipating, light tan head. Nothing remains after 45 seconds.
Smell is great and well balanced. Notes of malt, whiskey, pears, light raisins, green apples and some indistinct wood.
Taste is similar with tastes of malt, light hops, whiskey, pears and some woodiness/earthiness to it.
Body is pretty spot-on medium but feels like more after the swallow. Warming kicks in then , as well. Carbonation is a bit tangy on the tongue but mellows beyond that. A solid offering.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear copper in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint amber + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy beige head that reduces quickly to a large patch of mottled very thin film covering a little over half of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted + caramel malts with light aroma of light fruit/apricot. There is also a light to moderate aroma of earthy + grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of toasted + caramel malts with a light to moderate amount of initial sweetness and some light apricot flavors. There are light flavors of earthy + grassy hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness in the finish which fades fairly quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Easy to drink because it is not as malty as some of the others in the style. Enjoyable.

 1,065 characters

Photo of PhillyRiver
2.61/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured on tap into pint glass. Look was cloudy. At first I liked the strong taste but could not place it. Something burnt, woody, ashy. Mixed with coffee. I liked it about halfway down, then for the last half it was like someone had put out a bunch of cigarettes in the glass before pouring. Maybe they did, though it was a reputable neighborhood restaurant. I ordered something different for the second beer.

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Photo of MorganJ
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: poured from bottle into pint glass (no stein handy). Beautiful amber color like you'd expect from a marzen.
S and T: delicious beer for this style. Lots of instant and uniform flavor of rich carmel and malt, and the hints of toffee and apricot notes (as suggested on the bottle).
O: this is an Octoberfest I buy every year and can count on for quality and taste (and a good value). I love Octoberfest/marzen style and this one is way better than most American microbrews. So glad I live in Chicago where this seasonal is still offered. I don't frown on GI beers since they've been bought out. They still make some great on-the-shelf offerings -- and have some outstanding offerings you can only drink at their brewery.

 721 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours minimal head on a clear dark straw body.
The aroma is mild grains with a little apricot.
The taste is mildly sweet to start, a little caramel, a touch of bitter in the middle and finishes sweet. Nice profile.
The texture is a little sticky.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.65/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

got this to fill out a "make your own six pack" at Krogers.
SUPER happy about this:

A pours a nice golden-red. one finger of Khaki head - thick with tight bubbles, nearly no lacing.
clarity is medium at best

S NICE malty foreground, a bit of hops way in the back

T: really like this, comples maltiness, just abit of a bite (trylu not sure if it's ABV or hops)

M: just right....

D: really , Really Great. not a session beer but this one is to be Treasured.

 461 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BOD 8/13/15. Pours a clear amber with a rich garnet cast. Outstanding head volume, world class lacing and retention.

Quite good, but light, nose of toffee, biscuit, light caramel, hints of pear and subtle earthy hops.

Heavy light body with a smooth texture that has creamy hints. Superb carbonation with a bit of effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the finish. The carbonation is almost perfect for the body.

The flavor profile is quite outstanding. It's balance is nearly perfect. It starts with light toffee that flows into a caramel sweetness that is just enough to notice but not dominate. The middle brings a slight earthy hop flavor and bitterness. Light pear creeps out as the finish approaches. The finish is fairly clean with a subtle earthy hop flavor lingering.

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Photo of DuffDaddy
2.25/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Bottle (single from SE Publix) while watching Sherlock with the fam. Usually love the Marzens, but this has come kind of chemical taste at the end. Leave it to A/B to fuck up an Oktoberfest offering.

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Photo of Tone
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of strong caramel malt, sweet malt, strong pale malt, yeast, hint of hop, hint of nut, and a hint of wheat. Fits the style of an Marzen / Oktoberfest. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong caramel malt, sweet malt, strong pale malt, yeast, hint of hop, hint of nut, and a hint of wheat. Overall, great feel, good aroma, body, and blend.

 495 characters

Photo of Spikester
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear red amber with one finger of white head. Retention is average. Some spots of lace.
Smell is bready malts with a hint of herbal hops.
Taste is bready caramel some plum light smoke and mild hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel is light to medium with plenty of carbonation. Finish is mild dry bitterness.
Overall the hop bill saves this one from being overly sweet. Nice O'fest beer worth buying a single for sure. I have one more in the beer fridge and may edit this review after I revisit this beer.

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Photo of stlfatguy
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice looking copper- reddish body with khaki head. Clear and bright. Smell is sweet with light fruit and syrup. Taste is very smooth and balanced. Nothing overpowering. I didn't get any burnt or bitter flavor others had mentioned. Mostly sweet malts, and a hint of flavors I couldn't distinguish. Bottle says "pleasant hints of died apricot and toffee." Yep, that's the flavor. Really like this one. No spice you see with many of this style, but it's so smooth and easy drinking. Light syrup builds up on the feel after a while, but that's it.

 544 characters

Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have only had a couple of beers under this style, but this one beat out Sam Adams in my opinion. It was drinkable and had a sweet profile to it. Pretty nice for the style.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: Yes

 223 characters

Photo of dcscientist
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm always up for an Oktoberfest, especially this time of year, so I tried this one. It was pretty decent, but maybe just a bit off. I couldn't tell why, but maybe a bit too hopped or a bit too much spice for my liking. I'd try other beers from Goose Island in the future though, which will hopefully give me a better feel for their products.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I don't visualize Goose Island as doing many German styles, so seeing an Oktoberfest from them was a surprise. Nonetheless, I wanted to try out. I grabbed a single bottle just a few days ago, yet discovered that the beer was bottled on July 4! Who is buying Oktoberfestbiers in July?!? As October comes near, this bottle has already three months of age on it, before the height of the season has approached. <END RANT>

So, here's 12 ounces, and hopefully I can cool off with it. On to the beer:

This vibrant copper colored liquid with yellow hues is a pretty color. An inch of soapy head leaves fair retention on top. Its soft aroma offers notes of fruity and toasty aromas, a little different from what was written on the label.

Well Goose Island really hit the target here! This Oktberfestbier is incredibly smooth and easy drinking. As a bonus, its flavor repertoire is attractive. Those fruity, nutty, toasty, and caramel notes that I taste are uplifting and make me forget about my earlier rant. Carried in a medium body, this beer is easy to drink, delicious, and one that I would be proud to sport in my maß.

 1,121 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle. Pours bright clear amber, thick fizzy head fades fast. Sweet malty candy like aroma. Has a nice sweet malty taste to start with a clean mineral quality. Some grassy hops balance the sweetness fairly well. The finish however left a lingering aftertaste that I'm not crazy about, sorta like a burnt toffee, chemical like, not terrible but just odd. Mouthfeel is medium, buttery. Overall not bad, a little different tasting marzen.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bready, toasted malts, hint of a Belgian yeast strain. Reserved sweetness. Real good drinkability. It's ok, but lacks a bit of depth. Could drink a lot of this though.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a stein? You mean one I can't see through? I'll say hmm.. Let's go for a good German mug and call it even… ok DONE!

Big aggressive pour makes a fistful as expected but also a real nice light tan head makeup. Good retention on this guy, some soapy bubbles but also a frothy to foamy makeup… nearly creamy too. Body color is a good crystal clear deep polished copper, thick reds and lots of whispy carbonation. Great looking marzen.

Toffee like aromas and classic clover flavors hit the nose nicely. Sharp and spicy with a good balanced sweetness, fine hints of maple sugar and mixing toffee like caramels as well. Excellent sugar aroma that isn't overly large either, giving hints of vanilla and syrup so slightly.

Palate strikes a great balance in malt thickness, flavors, and diversity. Thick malt body with not overly syrupy tendencies. Sticky body feel and stuck yeast and caramel thickness. Big yeasty finish on this which manages some controlled sticky qualities but could be off putting to others. Sweet caramel notes fill the mid palate, and a little bit of spicy clove at play as well.

An interesting marzen with a big yeast punch which certainly makes it interesting.

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Oktoberfest from Goose Island Beer Co.
3.7 out of 5 based on 848 ratings.
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