Sierra Nevada Octoberfest | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
214 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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


Added by Boilermaker88 on 10-13-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 214 | Ratings: 997
Reviews by GCBrewingCo:
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer arrived on the table crystal clear medium brown with and off-white frothy head which lasted very well to lace the glass.

The aroma was nutty with a bit of an earthy presence. Also notable was a light malt character with caramel thrown in for good measure.

The flavor was nutty wtih a light earhty presence and a bit of chocolate. The chocolate was accompanied by more caramel and other malts that may have been Munich or Vienna. The flavor was lightly estery and not very clean.

The finish was dry with a lasting bit of nuttiness into the aftertaste. The body was medium. The beer was a bit over bittered for an Oktoberfest and too much chocolate malt (why use any?) was present. A more malty presence and a cleaner flavor would have closer approximated a true Oktoberfest.

Draft at Ruby's BBQ in Asheville.

 828 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of McStagger
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. Slightly darker than your standard macro, bordering somewhere between copper and straw. Vigorous carbonation forms a finger of off white head.

S: Hay, slightly honeyed malt, crisp almost apple like quality. Green grape, slightly herbal.

T: Good size surge of malt up front. Very bready, like a loaf of something fresh out of the overn. Mid palate takes on a slightly sweeter characteristic of heather honey, where the hops splash a dollop of bitterness on the palate. Bitterness is herbal and slightly woody. FInishes with the slightly sweetened grain, almost like sorghum that fades to milled grain on the finish.

M: Very pleasant. The vigorous carbonation in the glass is more subdued on the tongue. Just a slight pop of sharpness in the mid palate before body reasserts itself. Slightly full bodied than its paler counterparts, it is still in no way heavy or unctuous. Exceptionally balanced.

O: A killer of a marzen, which is a style I'm not overly fond of. This one is exceptionally balanced, with an absolutely amazing finish. Will buy again.

 1,109 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

In celebration of all of the fall festivals that grace the German landscape, there's no way that American brewers are going to miss the party; replicating those beers in varying degrees of authenticity and bringing the party to their fans are the capable Sierra Nevada brewers.

Their Oktoberfest pours the desires bright golden amber color, well capped with a creamy white froth. Its supple aromas are toasted, nutty, grainy and decorated with floral hop spices. To taste, the malt-centric beer is sweet with light caramel, mild honey and toasted pecan.

The middle is juicy with malt sweetness and toasty character, rewarding the palate with its faint caramel and honey charm. As the floral upstart fades away, the majority of taste is driven by savory and elegant vienne and bready pilsner. As the flavors fade, the lager begins to dry while also showing a tepid hop balance late.

Its finish is malty-dry with a light minty presence from hops. Spicy but light bitterness lurks in the recesses and never intends to fully balance the malt, but rather take an edge off of its sweetness with a somber offset. Its a perfect taste for the fall festivities and to usher in cooler weather. Paired with grilled pork sausages and the tastebuds are transported to the land of lederhosen regardless of where you drink.

 1,310 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -7%

Packaged 7/7/14.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, toast, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, caramel, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of earthy and malty qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

 554 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Lightly hazed, copper-y brown color, slight beige head, leaving some lace.

Aroma: cereal, grains, rich, dark maltiness, a touch of brown sugar and caramel.

Taste: mild hop presence, classic marzen malt flavors. A modicum of malt sweetness, but expertly balanced. Just rich enough, with that brown sugar and molasses touch coming back with every new sip, staying clean and lean. Wonderfully crafted for the season.

I've said before that I am at a loss at times when describing Oktoberfests. They are what they are, and they don't have a lot of variations in the style. A good one has what it has to have, a bad one simply doesn't. This one, like all good ones, goes all the way, gives you just enough flavor to please you all the way through the pint, and not too much to keep you from getting another.

Here's what the label tells us: "Our take on the classic festival beer has a silky malt flavor with an initial sweetness that sets up the interplay of mild toffee-like notes and floral hops." Also, this: "Everyone loves a great party, and there are few quite as famous as Germany's Oktoberfest. Inspired by that rollicking celebration, we bring you our variation on that classic festival beer. Oktoberfest is medium-bodied and rich with malt flavor, but maintains a crisp finish marked by floral hops."

 1,308 characters

Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

One and a half bottles into a stein produce a dark deep bronze color with a fluffy light beige head atop,a decent crown.Sweet caramel in the nose over top of some lightly spicy hops,a little sweet smelling.Buttery caramel flavors along with some sweet pizza dough notes before a smattering of herbal hops come into play.An above average O-fest beer but maybe just a little sweet.

 379 characters

Photo of Rand_Schoeb
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

 244 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest has a very thick, frothy, crackling, beige head, a clear, somewhat bubbly, copper appearance, and moderate-to-heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of semi-sweet, medium-roasted malt, some syrup, and slight caramel. Taste is of those elements, with brown bread crust, and fairly mild hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and a bit slick, and Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest finishes crisp and refreshing.


 437 characters

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

I really like this beer, a good change from the mostly hopped up stuff I usually drink. Deep golden color, not much on the nose which isn't unusual for me. Taste is beady and a little bitter. I'm on my 2nd six pack & it's just the beginning of September, I think I'll be buying more.

 283 characters

Photo of ElJacobian
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Doesn't smell like much at all. Was hoping for a stronger smell like most of the Sierra Nevada's. The taste is ok - pretty balanced - but overall there's just not much there. It's an empty beer: nothing is bad but there's no quality worth praising either.

 255 characters

Photo of Shawnadams330
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Turbo
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of midiguru
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Tiernan
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of woodchipper
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of SanFranJake
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of gemery554
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.1/5  rDev +7%

Pours a lovely, dark copper with a tan head. It looks like autumn in a glass. Leaves behind a nice amount of lacing.
The aroma is malt-dominated, as it should be. Bread and caramel lead the way with a hint of fruit.
This beer tastes wonderful. Dark, rich bread, a hint of sweet caramel and a play of dark fruit across the tongue.
The mouthfeel is medium and a touch creamy.
Overall, a wonderful beer and among My Favorite Marzens.

 431 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of generallee
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a dimpled mug. The label has a brief description of the beer and it lists the abv at 6.2% abv.

Appearance: The body has a nice deep coppery amber color with good clarity and some visible carbonation. From the slow pour I got a tall three finger head. It’s just off white in color slow fading. It also leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: It’s aroma is fairly light but brings all the classic Oktoberfest/Marzen notes to the nose. Sweet malty caramel, medium roasted grain and earthy/leafy hops.

Taste / Palate: The flavor is packed with sweet caramel and whole grain bready maltiness up front. The middle adds a bready nutty character and then this is all backed up with a firm earthy/spicy/leafy hop presence. The hops add a good balance of hop bitterness as well. The palate feels firm and well rounded. It’s carbonation is right on and keeps things lively and very drinkable even at 6.2% abv.

 986 characters

Photo of Fcip78
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Doomcifer
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Torey
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -21.7%

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Sierra Nevada Octoberfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 997 ratings.
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