Penn Oktoberfest | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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very good
152 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 152 | Ratings: 277
Photo of DerekP
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Penn Brewery Oktoberfest, as part of the brewery's Gourmet Selection (variety-pack). Slightly hazy appearance marked by an amber-copper brown color. Head slims to a nice rim with leftovers on top.

Grassy hops in the nose up front, with a sweet honey and malt backbone. Candy caramel w/ sweet brown bread.

First sip--since I took the bottle out of the fridge twenty minutes ago--is marked by a hoppy-graininess that is hard to describe. Alcohol in the taste. Toasted barley? Toasted brown bread? Definitely some caramel. Hoppy up front with a medium body. Sweeter in the finish with a bit of a syrupy feel on the tongue.

I like it, although I'm having trouble describing its characteristics. A good Oktoberfest that doesn't ask you to think about it too much, while remaining interesting enough to imbibe. I can see myself drinking this in the cold.

As for the other beers that one is encouraged to drink in the cold (read: Winter Warmers), give me a few weeks. I'm not ready yet.

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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.

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Photo of cooch69
4.6/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This Oktoberfest pours a brilliant golden amber that's as clear as can be. It pours with a one finger loose head, but the carbonation in this beer is vigorous and quite well spread. It's quite a beuty for the eyes.
This beer smells faintly of biscuity malts. Not much Hop's detected either. As far as aromas go this is very light but straight forward and simple.
The taste of the Oktoberfest is amazing. I'm loving how awesome the finish to this beer is. It comes in the mouth biscuity and slightly sweet. Really comparable to a hot cereal served cold. And in the finish I'm getting one of the best maltiness I've ever experienced in an Oktoberfest.
The mouthfeel is very light and a bit thiner than others in the style. This however makes it too easy to drink.
Thanks PBC for making yet another awesome beer. I've never been disapointed yet.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.73/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Penn is back, lets see how the Oktoberfest ranks up.

A-pours an orangish amber color with plenty of off white bubbly and creamy head.

S-stale grains, maybe some toasted bread in there as well. tons of steel aromas and notes of bad vegetables, some sugary caramel syrupy in the back.

T-much of the same but slightly better, lots of steel, stale vegetables and grains, lightly toasted bread and more sugary caramel syrupy with a light herbal hop presence in the back and hint of bitterness.

M-medium body, very grainy feel to it and highly carbonated with a prickly crisp finish that seems rather messy.

D-poor attempt here, there hefe and lager aren't bad, the dark is alright as well. this one falls short of their standard offerings and has issues.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, earthy and biscuit like. In the taste, earthy, and a hint of sweet fruit. A smooth and light bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry maltiness in the aftertaste. Nice earthy presence, quite nice.

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Photo of nukem5
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper color litle head 1/4 inch.

S: Malt and light hops.

T: Like fall all the flavors of the season, cinnamon,pumpkin,corriandor,lots a of malt

M: Medium bodied with a slight acidic aftertaste of metalics.

D: Very and so much more love for this brew because its my home towne. Keep brewing love.If you have the chance to stop in and sample a fresh one by all means go for it . Always will be my fav. Ocktoberfest.

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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.

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Photo of Durge
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled into a pint glass this one is a slightly hazy chestnut-amber color with a fair off-white head with minimal lacing. The aroma offers sweet wheat and thin fruity hop edges. Generally pretty light. The first taste is of wheat cereal and lemon-apple. Pleasant but nothing too complicated. A litle thin, but near mid-bodied. Nice light carbonation. I get a slightly woodsy sense from this, leafy nut. Not so bad, better as it warms actually. Very drinkable and a decent option to try if you like this style.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice deep copper color, white head is a bit short-lived but a nice coating stays atop the beer.

Big malty nose, Earthy, with a little hop tingle. Taste is also sweet and malty. Some caramel is also present. Hops come in at the finish, with a bit of flavor and a slight bitter end. Otherwise finishes clean and fast.

Nice body on this Märzen. Nice smooth feel and very drinkable. I could session this no problem. A fine example of this style.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

24 (I think) oz wine bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. "2008" on the label but I believe it's a 2009. No other info.

Thanks to NeroFiddled for this bottle!

A - It pours lightly hazy. The color is a rusty pumpkin orange with golden highlights. The vigorous pour creates a billowing white head with good retention. As it slowly lowers, clumps of lacing cling to the glass.

S - The aroma is low instantly but has a tiny touch at a caramel sweetness with toasty Vienna malts and delicious crisp noble hops.

T - The flavor mirrors the nose almost to a "T". It kicks into gear with a solid malt backbone and touch of caramel sweetness only to be finishes quickly by noble hops. A bit grassy but smooth and forgiving. A citrus splash is left lingering on the tongue.

M - The mouthfeel is smooth and soft with a dry finish. Light-medium in body.

D - Well crafted, it has great drinkability and a good flavor. The soft body really helps it go down smooth. Pouring the whole wine bottle into a liter mug wouldn't be a bad idea.

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

12oz bottle into pint glass

A clear burnt golden hue, nearing honey amber. A less-than-one-finger-high head settles to a rim.

Light toasted malts that seem to be masked by a thick layer of diacetyl. Some leafy hops are in the background.

Very toasty malts, slightly dry. A little bit of sweetness from the malts still lingers. Not much from the hops. Full bodied.

An okay oktoberfest, although a little closer to the maerzen side of the style.

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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.

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

Pours an ordinary copper with a small white head. Aromas of toasty malts are lighter than most oktoberfests but good nonetheless. Taste is more balanced than most beers of this style but in this case that's not a good quality - I drink marzens for the malts and this one just doesn't have enough for my liking.

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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!

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Photo of Clydesdale
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a perfectly clear pale bronze color. The head has a similar pale bronze tint and is moderately large, dense, and frothy. Retention is average, with some foamy lacing.

S: Graininess is big here, but in a rough, husky fashion. There's a light caramel sweetness as well. A bit nutty and spicy. A moderate metallic twang is also present.

T: Roughly grainy for the most part. A bit more caramel sweetness than the nose suggested, at least at first. It's quickly swallowed, however, by a nondescript herbal/spicy hop bite. Metallic into the finish. Also a vague flavor of cooked vegetables.

M: Medium bodied. Quite crisp and dry - rather astringent, but not in a particularly effective way.

D: This is a pretty rough Oktoberfest. Rather macro lager-esque in some ways: astringent grain with vegetal and metallic notes. I've been trying as many marzens recently as I can find, but this one is near the bottom of the list, unfortunately.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper color with a slight one finger head. The aroma is of roasted sweet malt with hints of caramel. The taste has a nice roasted sweet malt backbone with caramel and bread notes. The taste is a little smoother and not as biting as others in the style. The mouthfeel is of moderate to moderately low carbonation, but the feel is thin. You could drink alot of these beers, it is very smooth and is a good representation of the style.

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Photo of righthereisay
2.48/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Since I love Penn Dark, St Nikolaus Bock, really enjoyed Penn Pilsner and Penn Kaiser, I went ahead and purchased a case of this stuff.

After 1 sip, I regretted it. Maybe I should have done my research. Not into the Märzen thing.

Not complex at all, too light, nothing special. However, it does have a nice body.

That's all. Guess I need to drink this quick so I can go purchase a different case.

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Photo of kshankar
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amber copper with a smaller head with little retention.

Aroma is a sweetish caramel malt, some bready undertones.

Taste is above average, it starts out sweet and has a nice taste of the caramel malts coming through I'm disappointed. Its thin. Carbonation is okay, but I wish it was thicker

Drinkable? I don't know, it tastes fine,but the mouthfeel makes it bland and thin. Kind of watery.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter, more pale brown color with medium bodied tan head.
Smells strongly of sweet malt and a toasted quality.
The caramel, malt, and body hide the 6.5% ABV very well.
The finish is less than crisp and that mouthfeel is a bit bitter.
Pretty drinkable.

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Photo of hellomcfly
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear mild amber color with about a finger of off white head. Good lacing.

S - Smells really quite nice. Grainy, toasted and caramel malt, mildly earthy, bread, mild spicy hoppiness as well.

T - More of the same. Everything in the nose is well represented. I wish there was a little more brightness in flavor. Seem to miss something but it is still quite nice. As it warms a nuttiness comes through.

M - Light in body and smooth.

D - Pretty highly drinkable. I'm knocking back a bomber in one sitting pretty handily.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Penn Oktoberfest pours a clear orange toned body under a white head that dissipates and leaves slight lacing. The aromas are earthy hallertaur hops along with toasted bread. There is also a slight funk. The flavors are well balanced between the sweetness of the malt (which has a good toast character) and the spice of the hops. This beer is pretty flavorful without being assertive. The body is light with decent carbonation. The website says 4.5 abv, but its listed as 5.6 here. I imagine their website is the correct one.

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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.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.17/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Hazy, light amber with a tint of orange. Less than 1/2 inch of head rises and falls rather quickly to a miniscule collar. No lacing.

S - Big assertive spicy hops are first on the nose. Pepper, chive, garlic, dirt, and some strange cheesy aromas come to mind. The malt is hiding in the background, but it's detectable. Some toasted grains and nuttiness with a hint of caramel and darkish bread.

T - A little strange, bland, and a bit unbalanced for the style. A mild toasted sweetness enters early palate with notes of nuts and dark bread. Some caramel as well. Not bad, but unfortunately this flavor is short lived and devolves into a seltzer like flavor before a quick burst of hops takes hold late palate. The hops provide a fleeting spiciness with notes from the aroma, notably pepper and chive. Some earthiness and metallic flavor round up the finish with a small bitterness. A little bit of graininess prevails as well.

M - Light bodied with a fairly high carbonation. The body is almost watery and doesn't really hold up to the flavors. High carbonation with the thinness gives the impression of seltzer water and does little to help the flavors stick around.

D - Well, Penn's Oktoberfest is certainly an easy beer to drink due in no small part to it's blandness. Much of the problem lies in the mouthfeel which is great affecting the taste. Lots of better marzens out there; this one doesn't have any serious off-flavors but it also lacks in flavor.

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Photo of donteatpoop
2.87/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

[found a paper in an old pair of jeans with beer notes on it.]

Color is amber with a fleeting white head.

Smells hoppy and inviting, made my mouth water a bit.

Light hoppy taste, nothing really special about it; I'm not impressed but not entirely disappointed either.

Very watery in the mouth, virtually no carbonation.

This was far from the best Oktoberfest I had this year, closer to one of the poorer ones.

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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.

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Penn Oktoberfest from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 277 ratings.
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