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Oktoberfest | John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House

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24 Ratings

Brewed by:
John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by IrishRedRock on 09-29-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of Kelp
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of Sweffin
2.25/5  rDev -39.4%

Photo of LutherBrau
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of JamesGWittel
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of olafphysics
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of markh814
3.04/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was disappointed with this beer and it may have been the tap. it came in a standard american pint glass, filled to the top. No head at all. served very cold. i would guess between 38-40 degrees. not much flavor until it warmed up at the bottom of the glass. my first sip i would rate a 1 and the last sip i would rate about a 4 so i am going in the middle on this. i would love to try it again fresh.

 402 characters

Photo of dextermcgurk
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 9/17/08. On tap at JH in Lake Grove, NY. Pours a clear red/orange with a small ring of white head. Aroma of sweet malt and citrusy hops. Flavor is quite malty (but not sweet per se) with a bittering finish. Light and tasty. Very similar to some other beer I've had that I can't remember exactly, but I think it was an amber ale...In any case, a good beer but a little boring.
6/4/7/3/14 (3.4/5)

Reviewed on 9/28/08. On tap at JH in Manchester, CT. Pours a clear light bright with a thick, frothy white head. Aroma of oatmeal, peaches, baby formula, and light fruits. Flavor is quite sweet, almost juice-like with a stale wheat malt backbone. Meh, I did not care for this one. Too sweet with odd background flavors.
6/4/6/3/12 (3.1/5)

 746 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - this beer arrives a reddish rust kind of orange, absolutely no carbonation and only a rim of foam of a head

S - sweet autumn malts hit the nose first, followed by hoppy balance and so spiciness, pumpkin-pie related spiciness

T - sweet with some near vanilla hints, spices step up and assert their presence in the palate, with the nutmeg particularly forceful

M&D - quite a balance of malt and hops, sweet and spicy, a well crafted octoberfest, commendable, easy down the palate aided by a sneaky sly sweetness that really sticks to the tongue

 549 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 10/25/07 at the brewpub in Manchester, CT served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright and deep orange color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very spicy and sweet with nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel, dark fruit and a touch of hops. It almost smells like a Pumpkin Ale.

T: The taste is very malty and smoky and is nowhere near as sweet as it smells, which is a good thing. There are some spice and fruit in there and a mild hops presence to provide a decent balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, slightly filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a beer that is well worth drinking for a whole evening especially if you’re in the mood for a good O-fest.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A crystal clear copper red color. A very minimal caramel colored head faded to nothing rapidly. A handful of large carbonation bubble rising rapidly. No lacing to note.

Very weak aroma. A watered down scent of malt is barely present. Has a faint yeasty bread crust finish. Overall nice scent but just to week to be anything but average.

Very nice rich malt flavors. A burnt toffee taste is present in the first sip. A second sip had a doughy burnt bread flavor very similar to a pretzel in taste. Nice flavors with a very light bitter finish on the tongue.

A decent feel comes from a slighly thicker then average beer. A light carbonation burst helps push the flavors to the edges of the tongue.

Overall a very nice offering. Would go great with a nice thick goulash. A exceptional depth of taste makes up for a weak aroma. This one is a great example of the style. A must try if you are lucky enough to beer at the brewpub when it's offered.

 957 characters

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a nice toasted grain malt with hints of caramel and toffee.

The taste consisted of an excellent toasted grain with mild caramel sweetness.

The mouthfeel was full and crisp.

Overall a very nice and very drinkable Oktoberfest. Not overly sweet.

 374 characters

Photo of MarineHokie
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Bright, clear, copper color. Thick off-white head. Decent retention left sticky lacing.

S- Malty, appropriate noble hop aroma.

T- Crisp. Well balanced malt, with a little dark malt/chocolate/carmel on the finish, nice hop bitterness.

M- Seemed highly carbonated at first then transitioned into a full smooth mouth feel

 331 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a copper color with an off white head and some spotty lacing. Mild amounts of carbonation streams come up to the top.
Smell is of Munich & Vienna malts with crisp Noble hops coming through. There is a slight fruitiness reminding me of melons in this one.
The taste is of the same aromas with that same melon-like taste coming through. It's certainly not bad but it is slightly different. I like it.
Mouthfeel is smooth, sweet, crisp, along with a mild sour dough lingering that makes this right on for the style.
Drinkability is very enjoyable. A nice surprise!

 573 characters

Photo of Truh
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kicked out the lederhosen with this one on 9/11/2004. 16-oz. pour at the subterranean Cambridge location.

Initial downy blanket of head at start that was tightly light gray. This fizzled down to a hide-n-seek sheen that had very little lacing. Autumnal mix of red/brown/light yellow to hue. Juniper and roasted chestnuts initially noted on bouquet, though light; difficult to pull much else out of the nose, although there was a pleasant malt base in the background. To taste, malt underpinning upon which rested a raspberry note, and just a hint of smoked character. Medium-bodied with just a touch of chewiness from the malt; I noted a slight metal rounding finish.

On the whole, a pleasant brew and one that I will surely have more of as New England embraces its cooler months.

 786 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

John Harvard's Pittsburgh location,

Pours a copper amber tone with a nice cream colored head, only not much lacing what's up with that. Smells of rich malty vienna malts what a nice simple brew holding true to a classic style. Taste is rich sharp sweet mellow into a caramel sweet goodness rich and thick with mild hops dead on. Mouthfeel: Syrup medium body for the style good crisp flavors coat the palate. Drinkability: Awesome wish I had more of this at my disposal perfect beer to buy by the keg so drinkabe and just excellent for this time of year.

 556 characters

Photo of UnionMade
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at the Manchester, CT location.
The beer is a caramel amber, good clarity, topped with a thin, broken haze of head. The head dies out to a very thin ring about halfway through, although that remains for the rest of the pint.
The aroma is a bit less caramelly than most marzens I've had of late. More of a toasty malt presence, although the caramunich is still there. Very clean, nothing is off. Very mild noble hops, german in feel, with some spicy saaz peeking through the malt.
The flavor starts out malty, of course, with lots of caramunich, and perhaps plain munich malt. Heavyish malty mouthfeel, smooth and well lagered. The hopping comes through in the middle, balancing out the havy malt well, with a pleasant spicy saaz character. A quickly diminishing aftertaste, with a balance of herbal hopping and toasty caramel maltiness. The carbonation is perhaps a bit overbearing, and very filling. Not really too much for the style, but certainly not the right choice after a big plate of fish and chips.
Very clean and tasty, although I think I'm marzened out. I've had so many in the past month or so that this one fails to really make an impression, although it's good and very well made. I enjoy the less excessive caramel flavor, this brew is kind of a mix between true munich oktoberfest marzen and marzen for american export. Clean, robust, and flavorful.

 1,377 characters

Photo of PatandDavid
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the JH in Cambridge. Medium copper pour, not much head at all. Aroma is fresh, and slightly woody. It's actually a lot less malty than I thought it would be...there's malt there, but the woody hop notes definitely stand out. Rather nice and easy to drink. pat

 278 characters

Photo of taez555
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at the JH in Framingham, MA 9/3/03

Poured a very clear brown body with a very small white creamy head.

The nose was a little tricky to make out in the restaurant atmosphere, but I could deffinatly make out some soft malt and a nice sweetness too it.

The taste was very light and almost nutty. Woody, malty. Very lightly carbonated, almost watery. But a really nice balance of fresh grainy, nutty, biscuit malt and earthy wood like hops.

Overall one of the better octoberfests I've had. Very easy to drink and full of flavor. This is a beer I'll be having again.

 587 characters

Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Cambridge.

Appearance: Lean looking lace, clarity is fine with a deep chestnut colour.

Smell: The usual maltiness expected from an American Oktoberfest, rounded sweetness with notes of toasted grain and faint caramel. Light twang of hops in the back.

Taste: Balanced palate with a modest hop and malt mix, medium bodied and semi-crisp. Obvious malt flavours that don’t jump out but more or less keep things on an even note. This goes from the hops as well with a level bitterness. Finishes with basic and clean toasted malt flavours.

Notes: A decent rendition for an Oktoberfest beer, it sticks to style and does not stray. An easy-going brew that adds some depth to the line-up of brews on hand.

 718 characters

Photo of LarryV
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice example of the style I thought. Not a lot of hoppiness, and a rather thin mouth feel. Bready, doughy flavors come across as it warms. Nice reddish color with a decent head. There's a bit of a steeliness in the aftertaste. A decent attempt at an Oktoberfest.

 267 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting interpretation of the popular fall seasonal. It tasted more like a true german Oktober than other American versions I have tried, but still lacked that bitter malty bite. Mouthfeel was somewhat carbonated and spicy. Not a whole lot of hop flavor, but it was there in the aftertaste. Nothing spectacular, but certainly not a bad offering from JHB.

 361 characters

Oktoberfest from John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 24 ratings
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