Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
3.82 | pDev: 10.21%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Notes: Germany’s Oktoberfest celebrated a royal marriage and the health of the fall harvest—which in Bavaria, means brewers, barley and hops! Today, Oktoberfest is considered one of the world’s greatest parties, and in honor of that rollicking bash we bring you our version of the classic festival beer. Oktoberfest is medium-bodied and rich with bready and toffee-like malt flavor but maintains a crisp finish marked by floral and spicy hops.

Before 2014, known as Octoberfest and ABV 5.80%

2014 - Only available in Fall Variety Pack

Reviews: 225 | Ratings: 1,040 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Henrythegreat
Henrythegreat from Texas

3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Amber color with a quickly dissipating white head. Smells of bread. Crisp with a little too much hops and not enough malt flavor. No toffee flavor (which I like in a marzen) to speak of. Not a bad beer, but tastes more like a pilsner. I guess it's a little disappointing after the awesome 2019 beer.

Sep 04, 2020
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Danieljm from Missouri

3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured nice amber color with small pure white head. Smell is of malts with some carmel sweetness Taste matches with aroma. Nice malts with just a hint of sweetness. Well balanced beer a great example of the style. Good benchmark for American style of Octoberfest

Aug 27, 2020
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matcris from Arizona

4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

LOOKS: Bottled on 7/28/20....Straight from the fridge. A clear 24k gold with a small finger of off white foam that settles quickly to a ring. Mild lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Smells balanced between malt and hops. Mild wheat bread vs those German, grainy, grassy hops.
TASTE: Same with the flavor, but, this year, although pretty balanced, the sweetness really stands out and lingers. Not an obnoxious caramel thing, just that it carries the hop flavor throughout the sip.
FEEL: Medium-ish body, strong carbonation, almost slight stickiness, and just perfect on the finish. Just dry enough.
OA: Love it. Will buy again.

Aug 19, 2020
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tracycramer from Texas

3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Octoberfest 2019. Decent beer. Not sweet or bitter or overly carbonated. Nice reddish color.
Goes down very easily, and yet still has some character and a degree of heft, which is saying something for a corporate beer. Enjoyed 10/27 at home with the family in Austin.

Oct 28, 2019
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AvengeTheRavel from Connecticut

3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had it in bottle format. Bodywise, it was a little thinner than i would like. Tastewise, it was a little thin and lacking. Would not have it again.

Sep 22, 2019
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Hackattack from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is really good beer......toasty, caramel, malty, sweet , toffee flavors throughout the whole drinking experience....a hint of hops comes through on the backside. I got a 6-pack of this for 6 bucks.... dated about 4 and 1/2 months old, but it's still fresh-tasting. Sorry to see it's retired.

Dec 17, 2018
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patre_tim from Thailand

3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper filtered with moderate carbonation and a half finger of white head.

Smells really malt forward, malty maltiness.

Tastes very malty with clean linen, and that typical caramel, aged lager taste of the style.

Medium body, with medium carbonation.

Drinking in Redding, Oct 2nd, 2018. Really good for the style.

Oct 02, 2018
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Anayalator from Texas

4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Solid lacing. Best carbonation I’ve ever seen in a bottled or canned beer. Smells lighter than most Marzen beers. Beautiful balance between malts and hops. Possibly the sweetest and best finish of any October fest style beer out there

Sep 15, 2018
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irtnog from Hawaii

3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I like Marzen beers, so my rating is biased to the high side. I appreciate that Sierra Nevada changes their Oktoberfest each year, but this was not my favorite. The beer is very nice to look at, with a nice malty/syrupy aroma, but the head disappears quickly. The taste is crisp, smooth and refreshing, with the noble hops less prominent than I prefer. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this beer, and a lot right, but I don't think it's as good as an old standby like Samuel Adams Octoberfest.

Jan 21, 2018
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hdf561 from Virginia

2.75/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into English pub glass, looks a crisp gold with minimal head and lacing

Smell is spice but minimal

Taste is minimal spice, and bitter not a bad taste but nothing special

It’s overall not bad but not great have had better in the style

Oct 04, 2017
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mncoinman from Florida

3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This must be the 2017 version (yes, this beer is in production). Pours a light brown with a reasonable head. Aroma indicates some malt presence yet it is more subtle than it should be for a Marzen. Reasonable feel upon taste with a distinctive bite. Unfortunately, the bite contains a huge hop influence. Why do brewers bastardize traditionally low hop styles with hop heavy influence? Are they trying to hide mistakes in their brewing process? Someday, microbrewers obsessed with hop influence will discover the unsatisfied nation of beer drinkers that aren't fans of their hoppy brews...

Sep 30, 2017
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FranklinIrelan from Nevada

3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not as sweet as my favorite Oktoberfest Bier (Paulaner's Wiesn), but a wonderful rich, yet not too heavy, malty delight. Refreshing and tasty alone, yet flavorful enough to accompany some bratwursts with or without sauerkraut and spicy mustard.

Aug 18, 2017
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Rand_Schoeb from Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Not as sweet as my favorite Oktoberfest Bier (Paulaner's Wiesn), but a wonderful rich, yet not too heavy, malty delight. Refreshing and tasty alone, yet flavorful enough to accompany some bratwursts with or without sauerkraut and spicy mustard.

Oct 03, 2016
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Hoppy-2-Meet-You from California

4.85/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a great fall football beer!!! Very smooth...perfecly paired with salmon over the BBQ. (That's what we had) Definitely not too heavy. Overall I wI'll be back at Total Wine for another 6er soon.

Sep 26, 2016
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James954 from Florida

3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2016 glass bottle
This beer is wordclass for a different reason than taste alone.

L: Typical light honey color mininal lacing

S: mostly muted with light honey, flower, citrus

T: This is the world class area. This is a hybrid! I expect and receive classic German pilsner notes ( bready, honey, malt, & light crisp finish), AND a hint of that Marzen dark fruit and sweetness. I think they are onto something big here!

F: Identical to a German pilsner. Full mouthfeel with medium light carbonation.

Overall: I'm hopeful that they experiment and tweak the formula they used to make this. If it were a little more Marzen, it could be a perfect mix.

Aug 21, 2016
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tekstr1der from New Hampshire

3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin, light yellow color - looks unimpressive. Aroma has a dankness from a hop style of which I'm not a huge fan. Same comes through in the flavor, which while uninteresting, is fairly smooth. Pretty disappointing overall.

Dec 27, 2015
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Libeertarian from Montana

3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is not the 2015 version.

From notes:

Very dark copper, mostly clear, wispy tannish head of medium retention. Smells sweet, of caramel, small amounts of dark fruit and sugar even, and then twinge of herbal, tea-like hops. Taste is much the same, very good. Almost like taking a bite out of rum cake, with the mildest bitter, spicy finish. Medium-bodied, packed with carbonation, though gentle and sudsy, almost taking it from syrupy to creamy. Crisp, even slightly astringent and warming.

Dec 15, 2015
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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beer poured into a pint glass. Beer pours maroon red with a fluffy off white head. Smells of dark roasted grain with slight caramel and berries. Tastes of dark roasted grain with slight caramel taste. Beer is fizzy but not overly carbonated, light bodied and easy drinking. Overall, a very good beer.

Nov 29, 2015
Photo of JeffBlue
JeffBlue from California

2.5/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(12oz bottle) White wineish aroma, grassy hay aftertaste, pretty bold tasting and consistent throughout. Overall, not really my style of beer at this point. Stopped drinking "octoberfests" in the late 90s and this is yet another example as why I might not try another for awhile.

Nov 02, 2015
Photo of M_C_Hampton
M_C_Hampton from Georgia

3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, amber colored with an off white head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing, clear

S: malt, bread, toffee

T: slightly sweet up front, caramel, toffee, finishes with noble hops and light sweetness, light flavor of spice

M: slightly syrupy

O: flavor is bold for the style

Oct 23, 2015
Photo of KLHBB
KLHBB from Colorado

3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Snagged from the "build your own sixpack" at the store. Pours a golden amber, almost orange. Taste of light hops, citrus, crackers, pepper. Medium mouth feel, light carbonation. Refreshing after all the pumpkin sweetness I've been drinking lately. Octoberfest!

Oct 21, 2015
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burnerfinger from Texas

3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this when my wife! asked for some octoberfrest:

A crisp, clear, lite amber - pours a decent two finger head that's whilte like a macro.
decent but not great, clean lacing.

S EZ on the nose - a bit more hoppy than I expected for an octoberfest

T yes stong on the hops, malty backbone

m clean and clear

D good for sessions I say

Oct 20, 2015
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obrike from Texas

3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My mother in law left a few singles in the fridge the other day. Who am I to not imbibe.

Pours much lighter than other Octoberfests I've had. Head dissipates pretty quickly without much lace.

Fresh sweet malty scent. Taste follows. A malty treat for those looking to take a break from hops every now and then. Very smooth finish. Quite easy to put these away quickly.

Kudos SN on a tasty Octoberfest.

Oct 17, 2015
Photo of hopsgiveumoobs
hopsgiveumoobs from South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a really solid take on an octoberfest-style beer and a great option if you're looking for malty smoothness rather than a ton of hoppy bitterness. The beer pours a yellow-orange, with a substantial head and some visible carbonation, although not leaving too much lacing. The smell may be my favorite aspect of the beer - very inviting, sweet, and bready. The taste pretty much follows suit, with a great bready maltiness that is balanced nicely with a bit of bitterness from the hops. Overall a very well-executed, enjoyable beer that I would definitely have again and recommend trying.

Oct 16, 2015
Photo of Auraan
Auraan from Arizona

5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a rich, deep golden body with three fingers of thick, creamy white head. Overall impression of appearance is of a perfect example of a German festbier, the image that comes to mind when one thinks of the style. Scents of rich, bready German malt, a pleasantly sweet grainy malt aroma in the background and a light toasted malt presence. Overall impression of aroma is of a malt dominated, crisp, clean lager aroma. Very befitting an Oktoberfest and extremely pleasant. Flavor begins malty sweet with flavors of sweet grainy and bready German malt and a light toasted malt flavor and a light noble hop derived bitterness. Middle raises hop bitterness to medium-light and toasted aspects become slightly more noticeable. Finish is lightly dry with moderate hop bitterness and notes of toasted and bready malt. Aftertaste begins with a moderate bitterness but gains biscuity and bready malt flavors with a soft sweetness. Overall impression of flavor is of a wonderful Oktoberfest, very malt forward and true to what the style should be, with a soft, complex maltiness backed by enough bitterness to avoid being cloying. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a smooth, clean feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a perfect lager. Overall this is the best Oktoberfest I have ever had. It hits the style perfectly and is a simply amazing malt-forward beer. Well worth getting.

Oct 15, 2015
Octoberfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1040 ratings