Penn Oktoberfest | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

very good
285 Ratings
Penn OktoberfestPenn Oktoberfest

Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A rich, deep golden-colored lager fest bier that is exceptionally smooth and mellow. Uses two-row malted barley and a combination of roasted malts. Highly rated by the National Tasting Institute.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2001

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 285 |  Reviews: 155
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of metter98
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short beige colored head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose along with some hints of cracker malts.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts out rather malty with lots of flavors of toasted malts with an ever so slight amount of sweetness but this is mostly balanced off by the underlying hops, which contribute a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer had a good balance between the malts and hops but seemed to be a little lighter in body compared to other Oktoberfest biers.

 819 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Again, a pretty ordinary beer from Penn. Though their Oktoberfest is tasty enough, it misses the marks on the details that make German Oktoberfests so great.

A bright orange/copper hue shows aggressive carbonation, bright clarity, and allows a dainty white head to form before rapidly disipating.

Very sweet with caramel and barley malt. Light grain scent and sulfur provide the few distractions. Still, pretty simplistic nose.

Flavors are very sweet with straight-forward caramel taste. Light apple flavor is a bit odd. Malty but not with the soft, elegant, and complex maltiness that rounds out good Marzens. Hops struggle to offset the bold sweetness and with no herbal flavor. Sulfur notes remind me of match-sticks.

Sweet up front but with a fleeting maltiness, leaving the beer feeling a bit weak and scrubbed because of the carbonation-sulfur mix.

The Oktoberfest is a fine beer especially for the sweet-tooths out there.

 933 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a frothy head that leaves some lacing behind

Smell: Subtle wafts of toasted malt, caramel and a touch of hops

Taste: Starts out with a mouth full of caramel malt flavor; after the swallow, the modest hoppy flavors kick in followed by a disconcerting lemony but metallic finish

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly full bodied with good carbonation

Drinkability: One of the better Oktoberfests out there and certainly shows off some of the elements of the style

 494 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle. The label reads "2008" but it's really 2009.
A: Slightly hazy orange amber body. Creamy antique-white head.

S: Malty, as might be expected, with a hint of toasted malt, and a suggestion of caramel. Some delicate floral hops are present as well, as is a hint of fruitiness.

T: The flavor delivers more of everything than the nose suggests, but it's still not overly malty like many examples of the style. On the other hand, I do think it could have used a touch more malt. The caramel comes out nicely, and some spicy hops appear along with the floral characteristics. A solid bitterness balances it, and it finishes dry as the hop flavors slowly flitter away.

M: Medium bodied and gently crisp. There's just enough carbonation to cut through the maltiness and gently bristle the tongue.

D: Personally I'd prefer a little more balance towards maltiness, but I can't fault it. Nicely done!

 914 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of a white head. The nose is some very slight caramel and a bit of bread. Some toffee. The taste is really plain and actually brings in a tiny amount of light cardboard. Mouthfeel is medium with average carbonation. The flavor interferes with enjoyment here and this, all around, is not a terribly great beer.

 371 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very light fizzy 1/4 finger head that disappears semi quickly over clear darker toasted malt nectar almost copper orange colored beer.

Nose is unique, toasted malts as usual, light lager aromas with hints of fruit and sweetness, reddish sweet malts with hint of caramel, but then it changes a bit with some light reddish fruit aromas, hint of oxidation and almost estery aroma.

Taste has sweet malts, toasty malts, sweet caramel malts and toasty caramel, a bit syrupy and almost maple syrup, a bit overly syrupy, not very clean or crisp, slight tingly as well not sure what from as the booze is low. And there are some esters in the background which should def not be there for this beer, this seems more like a Belgian dubbel than Marzen. Finishes still sweet but slightly drier, sticky, touch of bitterness and lingering syrups.

Mouth is med bodied, syrupy, decent carb.

Overall not impressed at all. They didn't really hit the style well and tried to go overboard on everything (except the hops which were pretty much completely absent). Too sweet, very sryupy and caramel, not clean or crisp, very little toasted malts, little lager flavors, and no straw, etc. This was a poor excuse for an Oktoberfest/Marzen IMO.

 1,230 characters

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

one of the better american variety not to sweet.Liked its color(not as dark as some american varieties.)Nice and malty one of the better American styles liked it alot.Really good on tap.A good anice like finish really makes this quite quaffable and makes you want more.

 269 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a mug.

Pours a medium coppery orange with almost 2 fingers of of foamy brite-white head. Retains solidly with some decent looking lacing. The aroma is a pretty nice smelling mix of lightly toasted bready malts, spice, and floral hop character.

The taste is toasted bread and caramel sweetness with a tingle of Noble hops for balance. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a clean & crisp feel and easy drinkibility.

All around solid Oktoberfest from Penn that stays true to style and drinks extremely well. I'd except nothing less from Penn. Prost!

 576 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good starting head that settles to a thin layer of bubbles. Some ring lace. Darker gold color with a touch of haze.

Deep semi-sweet caramel smell. No notable hop nose.

Tastes like a cross between an Marzen and a heavily unmalted pilsner. Lightly sweet with an above-average body. Light on the carbonation.

 307 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One smooth pour generated a single finger of putty colored foam atop a crystal clear beer the color of ripe pumpkins. Too bad the head melts to a barely covering film at the several minute mark, leaving a short collar of lace as it does so. Not bad, not good.

Those words could also be used to describe the aroma. The beer isn't quite as toasted or earthy as most versions, which allows a coarse, grainy huskiness to be appreciated. It smells better once it warms, with toasted peanuts coming to the forefront.

Oktoberfest tastes pretty much like it smells, although it comes off a little better in liquid form. If you like full-flavored O-fests that feature toasted cereal grains, not much malty sweetness and a wee shot of alcohol, dive right in. Refined is not a word that comes to mind. Then again, this stuff would probably hold its own with most foods.

The beer is beginning to grow on me over the course of twelve fluid ounces. I'm still not tempted to give it a 'good' score, however. The German hops (a guess) stay neck and neck with the malts for most of the mouthful, then pull ahead on the crisp, drying finish. This is a unique take on the style that would be a good change of pace if one becomes tired of the same old, same old.

Although the mouthfeel is a mite thin and spritzy, it works in the grand scheme of things. Lush and laid back would not fit the flavor profile at all. Just be prepared for some tongue tingle and a whole lotta burps.

Penn Pilsner is good and the St. Nikolaus Bock Biers are exceptional. Penn Oktoberfest doesn't meet that high standard, but it's a worthwhile effort all the same. Nice label too.

 1,642 characters

Photo of Jason
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dull orange straw color with a little haze hanging around, the head starts off big but then falls to a thin layer of lace. Both sweet and toasted grain in the nose, hint of spicy herbal hop in the aroma. Decent smoothness from a tightly bound crispness that has a refreshing quality to it. Medium body. Hint of cooked veggies (DMS) with a graininess from the start to finish. Grassy malt flavors point towards dry, hops are mild with a quick snap of bitterness and a spicy finish. Small fermentation twang in the middle. Finishes dry and grainy.

Not bad at all, comparable to the few good imported O-fest beers and certainly better than the new pale versions that have been coming over lately within the past several years. A good choice for a malty pick this fall.

 766 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to Ben for sending me this fine Northeast fest bier. I have been trying as many as possible this year, and I was thrilled to get a hold of a few bottles of this one. Served cold, right out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass. This one was consumed on 10/18/2008.

The pour was very nice. Medium amber in color with a really nice amount of clarity to it. Nice carbonation could be seen coming through the bottom of the glass all the way up to the top and converging into a nice tight head of white foam that sat on top for a good few moments before falling back down, leaving nice, tight side glass lacing.

The aroma was full, nice bready malts leading the way on this one. Light and airy at the same time though as some nice touches of earthy hops, fresh grass, and a nice grainy profile all started to take hold rather nicely after a while. More of the same on the flavor. Crisp and clean, with a good helping of grain thrown in. Nice dose of caramel and biscuit like malts thrown in for good measure now as the flavor just pops on the tongue. Nice follow through and a bit of a sly bitterness as the grassy hops melt down and allow that nice bready malt profile to really shine. Nice medium body with a n great carbonation profile fits the style wonderfully, and every melds together to form a very nice, and very session able light lager.

Overall I thought this one was very solid. In the upper end of the fest biers I have tried this year for sure. I would have no issue at all with getting this one again any day.

 1,547 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle of this at Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, PA. Served cool in a 1/2 pint.
A - An amber that brings to mind an autumn sunset w/ an eggshell shade of white for a head.

S - Light spice w/ a medium amount of pilsner malt scents w/ a lightly creamy malt odor and a gentle yeasty scent.

M - Rich w/ malt in the feel, yet medium bodied for an American version, this is very nice w/ smooth and subtle sweetness and plenty of carbonation w/ a slightly dry noble hop character and finish.

T - I enjoy the way the malt has a relaxed yet insouciant quality. It says a lot about the care taken lagering this seasonal. The hjops are there, but don't outshine the flavor of malts which can make the overall taste of the fest beer.

D - Very much what a marzen should be - smooth and malty with a pleasant malt flavor, this was very drinkable for me.

 848 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a tinted ruby copper tone and forms a nice full cream colored two finger sized head leaves scattered thickets of lace. Aroma has a nutty warming malt sweetness with some flowing hallertau hops nice floral and distinct. Flavor profile consists mainly of toasted nuts over a trickle of brown sugar sweetness all created by German malts this is one nice beer, one of the better Oktoberfests I have tried so clean and crisp with body a rare combonation for most American O-fests. Smooth creamy mouthfeel what a nice sipper this is a great beer, courtesy of an authentic German style brewery medium body a few notches below robust. Drinkability is definitely where this beer holds supreme just an awesome beer perfect for the turn of the season it has my approval.

 765 characters

Photo of ejimhof
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

Photo of tdm168
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of jwc215
4.54/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours orangish bronze with a white head that soon becomes a patch. Minimal amount of lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is grainy - carmelish - malty - slightly grassy.

The taste is of rich, fresh, caramelish malt. Slightly nutty and bready. A spicy Hallertau hop bitterness balances out the sweetness of the malt to give it a refreshingly dry finish.

Medium to full bodied, it has a wonderfully smooth texture with just the right amount of malty sweetness lingering on the palate.

This is a wonderful, highly drinkable, interpretation of the style. This is what an O-fest is all about! A rich, carmelized malt-accented, Hallertau hopped (though hops play an appropriately supportive role), incredibly smooth, This is one that I would definately love to stock up on for the O-fest season!

 795 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Hojaminbag for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight yeast, with some spices. The taste is sweet, malty, some yeast in there, and some spice. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, thanks Ben.

 357 characters

Photo of ShanePB
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Ortino's Northside for $5 a pint. This beer is a fest beer, like Weihenstephaner's and the beers they actually pour at Oktoberfast. It appears a brilliant gold with a short white head. The beer really tastes a lot like a dry export lager. The aroma is fruity with a mild cherry note, but the flavor is centered around dried white bread with a little crust. Meh, this is not the best I've had, but still not bad.

 421 characters

Photo of outoffocus
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

The smell featured a nice caramel aroma with a robust toasted grain element.

The taste consisted of a solid earthy grain with a nice hint of caramel sweetness. Some flowery hop flavors were detected as well.

The mouthfeel was full.

Overall a nice sessionable Octoberfest. A good interpretation of the style.

 418 characters

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Penn Oktoberfest from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 285 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.