Founders Brewing Company

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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #25
Ranked #15,545
3.93 | pDev: 7.63%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Notes: Formerly Mothership Series #9: Oktoberfest.

Blink and you’ll think you’re in Bavaria. We went all in on tradition with our Oktoberfest, using imported German malts and hops with a beautiful lager yeast for the finish. Pours a gorgeous copper hue with a rich, malty and slightly sweet backbone. Our version is akin to the beer poured in the early days of Oktoberfest and, yes, it adheres to the Reinheitsgebot. Prost!

IBUs: 20
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 78 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Zorro
Zorro from California

3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber colored beer with a medium sized white head. Pretty much what it should look like.

Smells malty and a bit soapy from the hops. Little bit fruity with some caramel candy. Grassy hop scent.

Starts out malty and mildly sweet. No real hope bite it is pretty smooth. Very mild but not complex.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall super easy to drink and not challenging. The sort of thing you want for drinking in one liter mugs.

Yesterday at 09:27 PM
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sjrider from California

3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can - clear copper with quickly dissipating white head leaving minimal lacing . Nose is mild sweet malt. Taste follows more or less with a bit of bready yeast. Finish is almost dry. A decent version of the style.

Saturday at 05:30 PM
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Clear copper with a off-white head that dissipates quickly leaving behind a thin cap with no real lacing.
S - Bready malts and light notes of caramel and spice
T - Bready malts, spices, yeast, and caramel dominate the palate. Some honey flavors as well.
F - Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Clean, crisp, refreshing.
O - A clean, by the numbers Oktoberfest, but a well done one.

Saturday at 02:12 AM
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FBarber from Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear copper color. Thin off-white foamy head dissolves pretty quickly leaving no residual head. Its within the style but also unremarkable. Aroma is a bit subdued, has some light bready malt notes, mildly toasted, a bit of nuttiness. The malt aroma isn't as rich as I want from the märzen, but its far closer to an old world märzen than most American versions. A light sweetness is noted on the nose, but I'm not really getting caramel - its more a sweet bread/malt note.

The taste follows the nose with notes of bready malts, there are definitely hints of toffee, maybe a slight caramel note, but very subtle. The sweetness is balanced with a distinct spicy hop note on the back end. There is a distinct nuttiness to this one especially once the beer warms up a bit. The bready malts in this one just don't have the depth and complexity of their imported siblings. This reminds me of a early attempt by an American brewer to brew a European style. Its close, and on the right track, but just a bit off. Feel is medium bodied, bright carbonation, semi-dry finish. Very drinkable.

Overall, this is a good, but not quite very good Oktoberfest märzen from Founders. That being said, I genuinely enjoyed this one and would happily drink through a 15-pack (thats what they're selling these in).

Sep 21, 2020
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defunksta from North Dakota

3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep, clear, orange color with a soft off white head. SRM of 12-13. (4.25)

Aroma: Light aromas of bread, honey, alcohol, caramel. A little spice. Smooth and faint. (3.50)

Flavor: Also mild flavors of bread, honey, light cinnamon, spice caramel, rye. Bready and caramel spice. Mildly sweet, but also bread spice. Mildly spiced though and not overly so. Leans sweet with bready, honey, and caramel flavors. Smooth. (4.00)

Feel: Medium mouthfeel with a moderate carbonation to finish fairly clean, but mildly sweet. Finishes into a full body. (4.25)

Compared to Great Lakes Oktoberfest 9/20/20: Pours a similar color. More spiced caramel aromas/flavor. Less red apple, cherry, and pear. Slightly more bready, honey and less tart. More authentic and less roasty. Winner: ?

Overall: A well-rounded and well-made Oktoberfest bier. Malty and light on the spice, but delicious sweet, bready flavors.. Sweet bread, caramel, and malty flavors, but the spice is muted. Malty, but not overly roasted like you might expect from some. That said, it's quite good. Nice malty flavors with a full body

Sep 21, 2020
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This pours a beautiful golden copper color, not a spec of haze in sight, with a sudsy pearl white head. “Looking the part” is a big part of the beer experience for me, and this checks all the Marzen boxes.

Bready notes that lean to wheat bread are prominent on the nose, and there’s also some caramalt and nutty aromas that again check the Marzen boxes.

What pleases me most, though, is that this beer stayed the course and didn’t get too sweet (for my palate), which I appreciated. The nutty flavor was definitely playing sweetness goalie.

The mouthfeel was medium and in the crisp side. I think Founders nailed this - I was leery of buying a 15-pack (I rarely buy 12-packs anymore, never mind a 15-pack), but I may need to secure another of these because it’s a perfect fall beer, IMHO.

Sep 20, 2020
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear copper color, medium-sized white head, well-carbonated.
Sweet malt aroma, some bread, some hops.
Caramel taste, lightly toasted bread, late hops.
Medium-bodied, nice beer.

Sep 20, 2020
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wmscottsimpsonjr from Missouri

3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber with two finger off white head. Sweet smell of fruity, rich malt with spicy noble hops and a touch of banana. Flavor has rich malt with a minty noble hop taste. Dry and decently bitter. Mouthfeel is medium.

Sep 19, 2020
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bigdeuce from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding pour. Deep copper color with a thick head that doesn’t dissipate. Scents of caramel, saaz hops, and biscuit. Heavily carbonated with a strong malty backbone and a smooth balancing hop finish. Quite full bodied. Extremely well balanced. Lacing follows down the glass. Creamy for an Oktoberfest yet has a dry crisp finish. No alcohol dedected even though it’s quite strong for an Oktoberfest at a nice 6% number.
This is a great stab at the Marzen style by some master brewers at Founder’s and quite inexpensive for an Oktoberfest. This will be a yearly/seasonal staple for me.

Sep 18, 2020
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MercInc from Wisconsin

3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It's that time of year and I have been out trying a few of the "Oktoberfest" brews that appear.

Being a "Founders" product, I was pretty sure that I would not be disappointed.

Poured into a pilsner glass at a measured 41 degrees, I was graced with a clear, amber color and a thick white head. The nose is malty, with the hops breaking through. slightly sweet, smooth mouth feel and a clean finish. VERY drinkable. (I have an extra 15 pack in the "Beer Fridge")

As a note, I try to use "Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen" as kind of a "Control"

Sep 18, 2020
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber body with a two fingers of white foam. Smell features an expressive german yeast with slight banana phenols and tons of breadiness. Accenting caramel, pear, and a kiss of white pepper round out the nose. Taste is a revelation, best of our 2020 fest thus far! Toast, toffee/caramel, pear, and huge nuttiness combine for a clean start to the taste before the amazing soft yet full yeast brings in waves of bread and very slight hints of banana and apple esters. Very bready impression overall. Feel is soft, bready, almost frothy, and malty to the max. So smooth yet clean. The wife liked it

Sep 18, 2020
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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Love the fact that this beer is brewed consistent with the Reinheitsgebot Purity Law, and this marzen does have a fresh simplicity about it. Copper in the glass, mildly malted, crisp lager taste gives you a sign that autumn is on the way. Overall though, this is an on-the-surface beer, with not a whole lot of deep flavor or character.

Sep 17, 2020
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Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky

3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Appearance is a light, glowing amber with a very thick and creamy white head with good retention and lacing. Still.

Aroma: roasted grains and nuts, toast, cherry wood, toffee, caramel, honey, dried apricots, apple, pear, and floral and earthy hops.

Taste: Robust roasted grains, nuts, and bread upfront. Grassy/earthy and floral hops with the cherry wood. I can also easily taste the sweetness of the apples, honey, and pears together. Overall, nutty and sweet. Feeling is medium-light.

Sep 17, 2020
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Nass from Florida

3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I like the can art, great use of color. The pour is brown colored with a faint amount of carbonation. The taste is malty, nutty, & rich. The tasty is quite mild. Cheers! B-

Sep 16, 2020
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philbe311 from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A finger's worth of audibly fizzy light khaki colored froth... Modest retention... The color is a pale translucent (especially when back lit) amber... Nose is of light cereal grains and caramel malt... Palate follows suite with the cereal grains taking dominance over the caramel malt... There is also a very light kiss of noble hops present... On the lighter side of medium bodied with a good carbonation bite... A fairly pedestrian Oktoberfest... Came in last in a blind tasting against Sam Adams / Weihenstephaner, but fairs much better standing on its own...

Sep 15, 2020
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First time seeing this in the wild. Found this can for $1.99, born on 8/20/20, and poured into my Goose Island Nonic pint.

Pours a light amber glow that's completely transparent and has a very tall fluffy head of 3 fingers that recedes to 1 finger eventually leaving some hills of lace.

Aroma is of clean malt and clean water, with toffee and caramel undertones with slight bubble gum.

Flavor brings a robust bready malt and a nice peppery hop stab right behind it. It lines up nicely and brings a great balance. It's clean, kind of drinks a bit like pine water on the aftertaste, with more malt and slight dried apricot on the finish.

Feel is crisp and carbonated with a medium-light body and a bit of starchiness on the finish. Has a bit of hop burn as well which is weird.

Overall, a solid Marzen. There's nothing really offensive about it but also nothing substantial. It's a well-made beer if a bit boring.

Price paid : $1.99
Would buy again : Eh

Sep 14, 2020
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can. Poured out a clear auburn color with golden highlights and a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It left minimal lacing. It smelled malty with toffee and rye bread. Sweet caramel and toffee taste with roasted malt and a sharp bitter bite. Crisp and smooth.

Sep 13, 2020
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. canned on 08.20.20

Pours a nice clear amber golden orange with yellow highlights around the edges, and a fair frothy white foam head that recedes to a thin ring around the glass. Smells toasty, malty, a bit fruity and sweet, with some caramel and dried apricot notes, nutty toasted grain, mild toffee sweetness, hint of spice, with a touch of earthy floral hop notes. Tastes a bit more rich and concentrated, malty notes of light caramel, nutty toasted bready grain, mild toffee sweetness, dried apricot fruit, dark amber honey, charred bread crust, with a gentle hint of spice and earthy herbal floral hops. Feels medium lighter bodied, creamy slick, almost heavy and thick, with smooth moderate low carbonation. Overall a real nice märzen Oktoberfest beer.

Sep 13, 2020
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57md from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an autumn copper with a finger of head. The nose is nutty with some caramel sweetness. The flavor has plenty of caramel with a slightly drying finish that leaves room for the residual sweetness to linger.

Sep 12, 2020
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dd53grif from Michigan

3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a copper color with a small foamy head that lasts quite a while. Aroma of roasted malts and caramel. Tastes of sweet caramel and malts. Very smooth. Good mouth feel.

Sep 11, 2020
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Manta200 from Kentucky

3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can from Party Source
Pours a deep golden and clear color with a nice off white head, decent retention.
A slight caramel smell. Nice malt flavor.
Light body, very drinkable. I enjoyed it.

Sep 11, 2020
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ilikebeer03 from Texas

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

pour is a bright copper with a finger of off white foam with decent retention. Fades to a little cap on the glass.
nose is toasted malt, toasted bread crust, light nutty character.
taste follows. toasted bread crust, fresh baked bread, nutty character. hops provide enough balance to not be overly sweet, but are restrained. a touch of honey.

Sep 08, 2020
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hardy008 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a small white head which fades quickly. Has a sweet smell with caramel, bread, and toasted malt. The taste is just like the smell, Medium bodied with average carbonation. Has a mildly sweet aftertaste. A very good Oktoberfest.

Sep 05, 2020
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Samldc from New York

4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like several of the reviewers before me stated, I saw the Founders 15 pack of 12 oz cans for $17.00 that immediately caught my eye, THEN I saw the package date of 08/13/20, which was less that three weeks old and thought how can I possibly go wrong with this purchase ?
Poured into a Marzen glass, it was a deep, dark, bready Marzen with a definite fruity taste in the middle and a slight aftertaste of alcohol on the back, but it goes down so easy . At this price point will definitely buy again.

Sep 05, 2020
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Donniejq from Tennessee

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Amber in color. Slight head that turns into a small ring of off white.

Smell: Dark bread, lager yeast, malty

Taste: toasted malt, light caramel sweetness, hint of hoppy bitteriness in the aftertaste

Feel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation

Overall: I like it. It's not the best Oktoberfest I've ever had, but it's very drinkable.

Sep 04, 2020
Oktoberfest from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 78 ratings