Oktoberfest (2015)
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Oktoberfest (2015)Oktoberfest (2015)
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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
4.08 | pDev: 9.07%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Oktoberfest (2015)Oktoberfest (2015)
Notes: Brewed in collaboration with Brauhaus Riegle of Augsburg, Germany, this Oktoberfest lager is deep golden in color and rich with malt flavor from the use of traditional German Steffi barley.
Reviews: 267 | Ratings: 855 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by thebeers:
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear, light honey-orange color with a couple fingers of fluffy white head. Nice biscuity malt aroma with some floral hops for balance. Medium bodied, with similar flavors as the nose. Hints at being dry and crisp, but with some lingering sweetness in the aftertaste. Maybe not at the top of the style, but better than most.

Aug 24, 2015
More User Reviews:
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into an English pub glass. I couldn't justify a half full Seidel.

You know this beer is beautiful. You really can't mess with Sierra Nevada as far as beautiful beers. The carbonation rushes through the light copper body the way filtered water does in a fish tank. It's just nonstop and a sight to behold. The transparency is flawless, the head is a rich foam, sturdy enough to hold some weight and lacing is aplenty. 5

Very nice aroma there. Pilsner-like. Bright floral, grassy, and lemony notes and bready, sweet caramel malts. So fresh and so clean, clean. 4.25

Damn that's good. Feels a bit pilsner or helles-like with a grassy and floral hop flavor initially give way to a bready, sweet caramel flavor. I'm impressed at the balance and that this isn't a complete malt bomb. Very well done. 4.25

Sweet and rich, dry and bitter, it's both. Pilsner-like and bock-like. Tasty, refreshing, and far to easy to down. This is the beer people get in liter mugs and down in a gulp. I could enter a beer-chugging contest if this were the beer. 4.25

Aug 15, 2015
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz brown bottle, sample purchased at store.

Lively carbonation produces a great looking white head, perfect clarity with a golden amber hue. Bready semi-sweet malty nose with some herbal hop. Very crisp and smooth, full malt jacket with a semi-spicy herbal hop flavor and an ample hop bitterness for balance. Clean finish with some fresh grain and hop flavors lingering. Such an amazing beer, one of the best renditions of the style brewed in the US.

Oct 31, 2015
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steveh from Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Made my way thru half of a 12 pack of this new offering from SN, time for a focused review.

Packaged on 7.16.15, very nice.

A -- Pours a clear, very deep gold (the color reminds me of Pilsner Urquell) with a firm and dense white head that slowly settles to a good cap.

S -- DMS of the "fresh" sort up front, bready malts follow with some lightly spicy hops in the finish. Not a huge aroma, but a good one.

T -- Crackery to bready malts up front with spicy, lightly bitter hops in the middle, and the bready malts taking an encore bow at the finish. The spicy hops linger through the aftertaste.

F -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a dry finish and medium body.

O -- I mentioned in some posts about this beer that I was initially turned off by the hoppiness; I thought it was a little too much for the style -- and probably is for traditional Festbier. However, the distinctive malt character in this beer is unlike any American-brewed German-style beer I've ever had. Malt choice may be key, certainly freshness, and it marries very well with the German-style hops. And while the hops may be a bit big for a Festbier, they aren't so over-the-top that they make the beer so far from style to be a completely different beer.

I think the SN brewers' collaboration with Riegele is beyond successful and is a shining example of tradition meets innovation. My only regret, this will only be brewed once and the benchmark has been set very high for next year's collaboration. I can't wait!

Aug 05, 2015
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CO-Bloom from Colorado

4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Golden, copper hue with a good white head. As far as smell, I pick up bready, crackery and some semi-sweet malts. Don't pick up hardly any hop in the nose, maybe a tiny bit of floral but that could just be in my head. The taste is much like the nose, bready, crackery, semi-sweet malt. Not as caramel sweet as Sam Adams or the few other Oktoberfest, and drinks much more balanced as it is rounded out with some very slight grassy, floral hop bitterness toward the end. Starts balanced and smooth and finishes nice and crisp. Honestly I haven't had a lot in the style to compare it to - but it is one of my favorite lagers I have had so far, so there's that. Man, lagers have soooo much more to offer than I initially gave them credit for. Sierra Nevada could be the most well rounded brewery in existence, right now. Extremely tasty and a perfect late summer/fall beer.

Aug 01, 2015
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120minuteman from New York

4.61/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A delicious beer and a fantastic example of the style. This beer doesn't overdo it with the hops, and is very well balanced. It has a nice crisp finish and an interstice malt character that has a hint of maple syrup. Golden color with some hints of orange. A great beer for drinking on a fall night. Each time I have this beer, I look forwards to having it again! The only thing that could improve this beer would be a bit more carbonation. Other than that, this beer is flawless.

Sep 26, 2015
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AndyAvalanche from Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a smaller handled stein. Nice golden straw to orange color with nice clarity. Pretty thick head that's frothy with small bubbles after a hard pour. Average lacing.

Smell is good, very wheaty though. Sweet bready tones with some toasted toffee and caramel malts. A bit of grassy hops in the background.

Tastes better than it smells. Stronger notes of sweet breadiness, not too hearty and grainy though, like soft/warm/fresh bread if that makes sense. Nice earthy hop finish in the back. Really nice tasting fall beer regardless of style.

Mouthfeel is probably the best part. Heavy medium in body with a perfect carbonation level providing just the right amount of bite. Great initial sweetness with a clean, fresh, dry, bitter finish. Really one of the cleanest feeling beers out there. Great drinkability, I like it a lot. Very curious to see how the rest of these collaborations turn out. In the mean time, strong work Sierra Nevada! I hope they keep this up.

Oct 27, 2015
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RJB66 from Wisconsin

4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not a bad Oktoberfest brew, really clear and crisp super easy drinking. It's easy to see why this is the top rated Oktoberfest beer in BA. I'm glad I grabbed a sixer. I need to compare it to my favorite Oktoberfest; Staghorn from New Glarus. I recommend this brew.

Sep 20, 2015
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whatthehull from California

4.87/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a wine/snifter/tulip glass from a 12oz bottle

A - a very pretty golden sunset color -- beautiful and vibrant. One finger very light white head and little to no legs/lacing

S - very sweet, homemade baked wheat sweet bread, grass, fall/winter desert spices, musky hops, toasted/roasted malt and grains, lager and Belgian yeast notes, fallen flower petals, fresh soil, crisp mountain spring stream, lots a green/brown earth tones,

T - very crisp, sweet, floral hops, fresh baked buttered bread, has the same roasted/toasted malts/grains, slight caramel, very fresh/crisp water, nice carbonation, soil, earth, not burnt but baked wood, the taste has the lager like yeast but more of a pilsner yeast as well -- less banana for sure.

M - medium plus body, very nice medium plus carbonation, medium plus acidity, very nicely balanced, great complexity and a very nice sweet to malty/hop to sweet finish.

D/O - This may be one of the better Oktoberfest beers I have ever had. Very refreshing wonderful flavors and drinks like a meal without filling you up like one. Perfect for the "dog days of summer" and through winter. Helps you remember why this time of year through winter can be the best of the seasons. Just an all around great beer/ale

Final thoughts - Sierra Nevada proves once again why they are one of the worlds best breweries. At $10 a sixer, 6.0% abv and an incredible overall experience I am saddened that this is a once in a lifetime brew -- at the same time excited to be apart of the few that got to this really nice beer.

Aug 01, 2015
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crob3888 from California

5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful golden color with a nice fluffy head; small amount of lacing left on the glass. But the smell and flavor! Dry bread crust, slightly toasted sourdough bread, a hint of honey sweetness, and a balancing pepper spiciness. Floral noble hops. Superior depth of malt character, a slight hint of caramel but nothing like the American versions of this beer that you'd expect. Mostly rich bread flavors and crackers and crust. Just exactly what you'd want from an Oktoberfest beer. Sierra Nevada have made a masterpiece.

Aug 20, 2015
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hopflyer from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Crystal clear bright orange with decent head which leaves half a film and ring throughout.

Nose is fresh cut grass/hay/barnyard with white cracker like malts

Taste follows with the German malt profile and carries some light caramel sweetness and euro like hops carrying some spice tones. Don't like to use this term but it is "earthy" and herbal.

Light medium body with ample carbonation. semi dry, and crisp as expected but it does linger a little.

Not much experience in this category but it's not hard to tell this is well crafted. All the flavors compliment each other well.

Sep 05, 2015
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spark3148857 from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Sierra Nevada tour tasting room:

I've been starved for great Marzens ever since I moved out of Great Lakes territory and no longer had access to GLBC Oktoberfest. Last year my go to was FW Oaktoberfest, but this year Sierra Nevada's one off entry collab with Brauhaus Riegele will be my go to. Perfectly executed Marzen, great caramel and toasty aroma with characteristically clean lager yeast. Balanced flavor with caramel sweetness but a nice dry finish. Well done.

Jul 27, 2015
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doktorhops from Australia

4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From “The Other SN” to “The SN” or TSN, or better yet: SN. Sierra Nevada are of course so well known that next year’s single batch will be brewed with the Sirius star system brewery as a cross galactic collaboration. This time however they’re collaborating with Brauhaus Riegele of Augsburg, a brewer I am unacquainted with. Märzens, a beer style which I imagine would have the catchphrase (if beer styles had catchphrases) “Märzens: Familiar with them?” I am. I relish a decent Märzen come Oktober. Märzen is of course German for ‘March’ the brewing start date. They’re a Lager with hefty malt kick and body. They have upwards of 6% ABV and taste more like your typical Ale than a Lager, which is probably why I like them so much (I’m definitely an Ale person).

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a stein.

A: Clear light golden with a white cappuccino foam 1 cm head that holds well, as far as Märzens go this is on the lighter side (they can range from a Lager gold to an Ale amber/brown IME). 8/10.

S: Sweet with a slight fruity note - honey and overripe nectarines with a touch of cider apples. So far, so excellent. 8/10.

T: As above: Honey, overripe nectarines and cider apples, très tasty! All that delightfulness, that mead-like abandon, has a not so delicate side with a granular cereal centre, however this is a side detour in what is a really, really tasty Märzen. Finish is crisp enough to make any Lederhosen wearing Bavarian a happy man [I’m not being sexist - only men wear Lederhosen]. 9/10.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, with a light - almost flat (Märzens aren’t renowned for having a great amount of) carbonation. Pretty much spot-on here. 8/10.

D: I wish SN would make this a permanent addition to their line-up [Dammit SN make this a permanent addition to your line-up... evil bastards]. Overall this brew contains the Bavarian spirit of a Märzen with lecker (Google some German ppl) flavour, a crisp Helles finish and that American geist of experimentation to produce a beer that is ‘old world meets new whilst remaining true to the essence of the old’, and if you’re looking for a tagline for the next label on this brew Sierra Nevada you have my permission to use that... evil bastards. 8/10.

Food match: Insert Bavarian barbequed meats here, oder grosse wurst mit senf und brezel.

Nov 05, 2015
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kisthekids from California

1.86/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A - Deep dark golden/amber color, head goes away moderately fast. As should be expected for the style.
S - light caramel malt.
T - An effervescent-in-your face aluminum cheap hoppiness following by a lingering sweet caramel. While this is well balanced in the malt vs hops vs sweetness characters, it has the unmistakable over-carbonated soda-pop-ish taste of a mid-level beer like Blue Moon, Shock Top, Stella, etc.
F - This overly light, overly carbonated mouthfeel keeps one from quaffing, while not having enough body to be a slow sipper anyway.... The mouth-feel more than the other characteristics is what makes drinking this beer unenlightened and pointless.
O - This tastes like an American mid-level beer. I'm sure most entry-level drinkers would think this is a great beer because it has a relatively deeper and more balanced flavor than average beer, and has the kind of accessibility of a Blue Moon, but this is simply a cheap, mass-produced american take on a German classic. I tried this one cause of the "91" rating here, but I definitely think it belongs more around 80. Try Ayinger or Hacker-Pschorr or Paulaner or HofBrau or Weihenstephan to get the real experience.

Sep 27, 2015
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dar482 from New York

4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a light orange amber color with some head.

The aroma offers sweet floral, toasty malts, breadiness, sweet biscuit, light apple and fruits.

The flavor follows with a spicy herbal and floral hop quality up front, then dominated by toasty malts, sweet honeyed biscuit, crisp fresh apples, rounded bittering throughout the palate with medium plus herbal bitterness on the finish. The carbonation is lively and prickly.

The winner in a test against Ayinger and Paulaner.

Sep 14, 2015
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emwilke from Nevada

4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nov 27, 2015
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Benjolovesbeer from Michigan

4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aug 12, 2017
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kotzbauerm from Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sep 11, 2015
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LouDogg114 from Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aug 29, 2015
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emeyer from West Virginia

4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 09, 2015
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Kwright from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jan 24, 2019
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tykechandler from Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aug 09, 2015
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khargro2 from Tennessee

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan 10, 2016
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FalconOne from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aug 14, 2015
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1971bernat from Virginia

3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jan 03, 2018
Oktoberfest (2015) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 855 ratings