Penn Oktoberfest | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

very good
155 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: 155 | Ratings: 284
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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Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, shipped to me by a man of darkness

appearance: nice authentic feeling label...poured into an ale asylum pint glass, copper body with a beige cream head

smell: not overly potent, rustic malt nose, apple and caramel

taste: Pretty good oktoberfest...rustic caramel malt base, traces of some nice euro the end nothing too special, but a solid lager

mouthfeel: creamy and light

drinkability: good

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Photo of clayrock81
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a orangey tawny color with good carbonation leading to a two-finger head that slowly receeds and leaves a ring of lace down the entire cup. Smell is more malty than hops, with some caramel and other sweet malts and maybe some dough coming through, along with an herbal scent. Taste is prickly on the tongue at first, with a little veg and leafiness coming through. Dryish hops, but not overbearing. Medium to almost full bodied as this is a robust Marzen with a heavy malt body but not overly sweet or dry; just balanced. A good, if not the best, Oktoberfest beer.

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Photo of bob5958
4.48/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A really good beer, well worth the wait each year. There is a definite roasted barley flavor that is neither overpowering or burned tasting.
It's a very smooth drinking beer with just a bit of bite. I happen to be a fan of most of their beers, but this is one of their best..
I think what most impresses me is the flavor that you immediately taste. I was completely unprepared for the very pleasant flavor.

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Photo of Pencible
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This poured a clear copper with white head. It smelled like roasted barley and caramel malt with cultured yeast and a blend of lemon and grassy hops. It tasted like nutty and caramel malts with lemon hops and a bit of vanilla and yeast. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a mild bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a very nice beer with clean and enjoyable flavor, and a decent body. This was very easy to drink, and was quite refreshing. Quality fall brew!

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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.

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Photo of philbe311
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Thin fizzy white head quickly fades... Slight lacing... Orangish caramel color... Slow carbonation throughout...

S - Wheat... Bread... Grains... Malts... Gentle spiciness... Subtle, yet mildly comples...

T - Biscuit... Crust... Malt... Spices... Minor hops... Grains...

M - Crisp... Dry... Moderate carbonation on the tongue... Clean and refreshing...

D - Solid... Highly respectable, but not memorable or inspired...

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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!

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Photo of JoshW
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium copper into a Coors glass... Blasphemy... Seemed to not have any carbonation in the glass, fresh bottle. Smells like a beer (sorry pretty lazy for this one) Tastes malty, fruity, spicy. Mouthfeel is wet...

Easy to drink, awesome beer.

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Photo of trafordboy
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle and poured into my favorite beer mug. Color is amber, with a good head. The smell is a slightly cereal malt. The taste has a decent malt sweetness, but provides a nice hop bitterness to balance it out. Mouthfeel is very smooth. As for drinkability, could drink these all day!

Well, maybe I'm a bit biased being from Da 'Burgh, but Penn certainly makes one of the top Oktoberfests of the year. I'll certainly have as many of these as I can, and I'll certainly look for this next year.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden amber color with a nice off white head. Head leaves some spotty lacing here and there.

S- Nice slightly toasted malt sweetness, some grain and bread aromas, and a nice little hop bite.

T- A good balance between the sweet, slightly fruity malt notes and a hop bite at the end. Maybe also a little sweet.

M- Medium in body and good carbonation.

D- Easy to drink and good example of the style. I don't think you could go wrong with this one.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good looking oktoberfest. Coppery brown beer, white head, and a few patches of lace. Smells nice also. Good toasty maltiness and a nice sprinkling of hops. Nothing fancy, just right where it should be. Taste is pleasant. I like the way the maltiness comes in mini-waves around the light bitternes and carbonation. Creamy texture and solid medium-full body add a nice chewy malt effect.

One of the better versions of this style I think I've had.

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

a: into my Allagash wit glass from which I happen to enjoy lagers, a rough pour gives a two finger off-white head that recedes slowly and leaves a nice layer, quality lacing, the beer is a deep copper in color

s: crisp pale and toasted Munich malts with currents of earthy caramel, spicy noble hops, just a touch of sulfur, very nice

m: smooth light-medium carbonation, medium body, crisp

t: starts the same as the flavor, toasty Munich malts with a lightly sweet caramel presence, very well balanced hop flavors are spicy and grassy, finishes with a touch of toast and moderate bitterness

d: poundable

overall: not sure what most reviewers expect from an Oktoberfest lager, but this is a fine example and something I'd consider a case of as a "house beer"

sixer from Whole Foods Fairfax

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Photo of tugdriver7
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dangerous brew. Since my kids and their friends seem to be having all the fun this year in Munich, I'm stuck scouring the liquor stores for interesting Oktoberfest beers to try. Penn is great. Seriously. Their products are well done and, according to people that know (aka, the aforementioned kids) they are really German. This one is no exception. Dangerous because I could easily drink liter after liter of this stuff in a big tent, given a pretzel and some nice German music. Hazy orange/amber in the glass with little head to speak of, though it may have been the inept pour. Less carbonation than I thought it would have, but that simply added to the drinkability. Not much in the nose, but a nice moderate mouthfeel and a nice balanced taste--subtle malt with a hint of hops for a very subtle fruity bitterness. Very easy drinking. Very easy. As I said, it goes down really well and is downright refreshing. I like this stuff. I may buy a case.

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Photo of wedge
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden color with a modest sticky, soapy white head. Aromas of German malt and gentle noble hops...lightly sweet and clean. Hints of caramel and berries add a pleasant but mild richness. Toasted dry malt flavor. Spicy, herbal hop biterness accentuates the graininess a bit. The lingering aftertaste in my mouth suggests this could be just a notch away from DMS hell. Thankfully, it doesn't get in the way during consumption. Dry, medium-body. Solid.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Penn- Oktoberfest

A- Light golden orange, clear, small filmy head.
S- Weak caramel malt and buttery bread grains.
T- Sweet caramel malt with earthy grassy hops.
M- Very watery and sweet sugary malt with a fizzled out hop ending.

Overall- Blah. Not impressed with this one. Just too simple and lifeless. I'll pass next time.

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Photo of webmanspidey
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on tap at the Penn Brewery in Pittsburgh.

Appearance was caramel and carbonated. Smell and taste were bready and malty.. but nothing overwhelming. Mouthfeel slightly heavy.

This was a decent beer I enjoyed. Wasn't as overwhelmingly malty and heavy as its oktoberfest peers IMO, but that only made it more drinkable.

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

On tap at the brewery in the North Side of Pittsburgh, PA.

A dark golden body with a small ring of head.

Smells mostly of malts.

A tasty beer. Sweet malts up front that border on fruitiness. Finishes with just a touch of hops that makes it spicy and a little bitter. Tasty beer, medium bodied. Pretty refreshing.

I downed this beer at lunch faster than I realized, something that's easy and enjoyable to drink for sure.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- dark gold with some orange. Big bright white head that fades really fast.

S- smells a bit metallic, but not in a real bad way.

T- Toasted malt but there's also a real juicy aspect to it too that's kinda weird. There seems to be a bit of fruitiness as well which is unexpected.

M/D- Carbonation is about medium but real thin in feel, nice.

Overall, pretty nice beer. Good for fall... light but flavorful.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured on tap into a pint glass. A decent white head forms but little to no lace. Copper body.

S. Malts and german hops. The malts are somewhat bready and bordering on sweet. The hops are herbal and earthy.

T. A wave of malts on the palate, more pronounced and smoother than the bottled version. The leafy herbal hops are very fresh tasting. Malt sweetness is balanced by the noble hop.

M. Smooth and fuller bodied than the bottled version.

D. At 5.6% this could be a staple session beer. Definately a much different animal on tap than in the bottle. I was able to drink more of this and enjoy it more. A win win situation.

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Photo of argock
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear short pilsner glass. No freshness date.

A: Classic light copper color with ample off-white 1-finger head and good retention. Thin waves of lace collect near the bottom of the glass.

S: Nice Oktoberfest smells with heavy spiciness, sweet Munich malts, and moderate herbal and leafy pilsner hops.

T: A very rounded flavor with lots of sweet maltiness in the front-end with spiciness and herbal hops flavors through the middle and finish.

M: A tad more malt would improve the feel, which is still good. Aftertaste is sweet and spicy.

D: A very nice American Oktoberfest offering from Penn Brewery.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A golden pour, topped with a white head that lacks much retention but leaves a thin sheet behind.

S + T: Soft malts, toasted with a very slight caramel sweetness. Flavour finishes up with a slight hoppy note and a dash of spiciness.

M + D: A nice, mellow and crisp carbonation complements the smooth feeling medium body and it finishes rather dry. Pleasant and easy drinker, it could go either way as a session brew through the season.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My brother and sister-in-law brought me a mixed six-pack from the brewery in Pittsburgh. Tried a 12 oz bottle of this, poured into my big glass German mug.

Presentation is a clear tawny orange with a small foamy white head. In my mug, it looks like a typical German beer. Retention is okay; the head descends to a thin ring and then disappears eventually.

Aromas and tastes are pretty straightforward: simple malty backbone with a brush of hops at the end. Good clean aftertaste.

Pretty crisp mouthfeel. Some fizz on the tongue.

This is a nice, simple beer. Great session beer - wonderful to drink cool on a summer evening.

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Penn Oktoberfest from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 284 ratings.
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