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
Reviews by oriolesfan4:
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oriolesfan4 from Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.7%

Aug 16, 2014
More User Reviews:
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McStagger from California

4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Jul 24, 2015
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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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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.56/5  rDev -6.8%

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.

Aug 23, 2014
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
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."

Apr 08, 2015
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Oct 09, 2015
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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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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

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.


Sep 11, 2014
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ElJacobian from Texas

3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Oct 03, 2015
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goingbrokeonbeer from South Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Sep 07, 2015
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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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oberon from North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Sep 22, 2014
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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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spycow from Illinois

3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aug 26, 2015
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MammothTarantula from Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Sep 24, 2014
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dankjohn from Georgia

3.1/5  rDev -18.8%

Sep 29, 2014
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Antc2382 from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oct 04, 2015
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generallee from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

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.

Sep 03, 2014
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Stobin from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +4.7%

Oct 12, 2014
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BrandonZp5 from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Sep 23, 2014
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ta_hagen from Minnesota

4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jul 02, 2015
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BirdsandHops from Oregon

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aug 09, 2015
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Bito401 from Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Sep 21, 2014
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offthelevel_bytheplumb from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Aug 17, 2014
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tim007007 from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 31, 2015
Octoberfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1040 ratings