Oktoberfest (2016)
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Oktoberfest (2016)Oktoberfest (2016)
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Lager - Märzen
4 | pDev: 9.75%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Oktoberfest (2016)Oktoberfest (2016)
Notes: We've partnered with Mahrs Bräu, one of Germany's most highly regarded brewers, to create a golden-hued festival beer right here in the USA. Using traditional techniques, heritage German barley, and the Record hop varietal---a nearly forgotten German-grown hop---we've created the most authentic take on the style this side of the Atlantic.
Reviews: 201 | Ratings: 637 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 7/26/16; drank 9/10/16 @ the Yarchives.

See-through pale yellow appearance; champagne bubbles throughout.

A rough pour yielded a huge, noisy white head; frothy lace. A

utumn leaves & roasted corn notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Autumn leaves & faint brown sugar flavors up front; roasted corn notes on the finish.

A touch light in the loafers for a marzen, but easy to drink. Mildly enjoyable.

Jun 15, 2019
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Offa from California

4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Similar to the previous year's collaboration Oktoberfest and almost as good, just a touch sweeter and less complex. I eagerly await these every autumn and buy it up, hoping that ach year will be about as good as before and so far there has been no disappointment, although each year it varies noticeably in minor details (varying sweetness/bitterness, some thicker, some lighter, some leaner. etc) but all have been similarly outstanding, complex, balanced and drinkable.

Dark gold, big white head.

Lots of toasty bread, grain, some raisin, plenty of lemony herb hop.

Tastse is more malty and sweeter than the previosu year, touch more full and oily in the feel. Still, though, plenty of hop bitterness to carry the heavier malty sweetness.

Nov 05, 2018
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WesMantooth from Ohio

3.74/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Apparently forgot to review this one last year, but I had a 6 pack of it. It was a lighter, more blonde version with a lot more floral hops from beginning to end and not nearly as malty as the first version. The head retention wasn't as impressive either. Good beer, but not great.

Aug 20, 2017
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bump8628 from Oklahoma

4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The release of Sierra Nevada's 2017 Oktoberfest reminded me to go back and log my review of the 2016 version.

I thought this was a remarkable version of a fest beer. Complex layers of malt flavor yet still fairly crisp and easy. The lighter gold color was deceiving in the level of malt-driven intricacies this beer had. Hops were just a bit stepped up as one might expect from Sierra Nevada. Firmly bitter and herbal but still in balance with the rest of the beer and not overwhelming. Dry yet still full to the palate. The only thing it was missing was that thick, long-lasting head of foam that screams Oktoberfest. This one fizzled out a bit too quickly.

So far this Oktoberfest collaboration has been working out excellently for Sierra Nevada.

Aug 05, 2017
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MinerBob from Oklahoma

3.36/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy golden color with a small white head. Smell and taste nothing special good thing it's only brewed once. Nice mouth feel and smooth going down a session beer but just nothing special.

Apr 30, 2017
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Bread crumb, a little crust and spicy floral aromas rise from the glass. Malt aromas are medium and hop aromas are medium low. It is a clean ferment with no off aromas, very low alcohol and no dry biscuit or roast malt aromas.

T: Creamy beer fills the mouth with light bread crumb flavors, a rich malt profile and a fairly assertive bitterness for the style. The hop and malt balance are fairly even with the malt dominating the front end and the hops asserting themselves in the finish. A hint of initial sweetness dries by the finish leading to lingering gentle bitter and rich malt flavors.

F: This version of Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest has a creamy, medium to medium light body and a medium very fine soft carbonation.

Mar 31, 2017
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Davedrinkinbeer from Indiana

4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 6-pack at the store back around November, and kept a couple in my fridge until today 2 months later. Smell is good, not overpowering but a little honey scent is detected. Taste is very well blended after a couple of months, very good mix of hops from start to finish, and the bitterness has decreased over this period too. Finish is a nice aftertaste, and certainly is not dry or overcarbonated.

Definitely a must have again for me-- but the next time I know what to do-- put the beer in the fridge and sit on it for a couple of months before trying.

Jan 16, 2017
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ScaryEd from New Hampshire

4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a crystal clear golden color with a finger of off-white head. The head has good retention and leaves a fair amount of lacing.

The aroma brings notes of cereal grains, honey, sweet dough, and a touch of spicy hops.

The taste follows the nose exactly. Lots of roasted cereal grains, doughy bread and honey, some caramel, finished off by a subtle kiss of spicy hops.

The feel is medium bodied with pretty good carbonation. Exceptionally creamy and smooth.

Overall, a very good marzen that is very flavorful yet easy drinking. I wish I could get this year round.

Jan 04, 2017
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frkonalsh2003 from California

4.83/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My most consumed beer of 2016. I only wish I had this on tap. I did have a sample as a part of the tour at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico.

Loved the malt character of this beer and the record hops were a perfect balance as they spice it up a bit. Smooth at 6% ABV

Dec 30, 2016
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breadwinner from California

4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love the brewers involved, love the result, lots of grainy pils malt goodness, ample body, and a spicy kick of hops. I thought the hops a touch too spicy when this was fresh, but after a month or two in the bottle, it really hit its stride. Tasty indeed.

Dec 28, 2016
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edward_boumil from New York

3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Golden, bright, clear beer. Excellent head retention.
S: Honey, cereal grains, light spicy hops
T: Repeat of the nose, with a dry hop finish. Hops are peppery
F: Smooth. Not quite easy drinking some some lagers, a little heavier, but still drinkable.
O: Pretty solid brew. Definitely up there with some of the imports.

Dec 23, 2016
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ikapaMK from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely wonderful taste. Neither crisp nor bitter, it has, instead, a thick, malty feel, almost like one's mouth is full of bread, or clouds, and a sweet, tea-biscuit taste to boot. A very smooth drinker. If I could find it again, I'd down it in a heartbeat

Nov 29, 2016
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KTCamm from New Jersey

4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

10/2/16...pours very light , clear, golden color with white layered foam. Mellow malty straw nose, smooth and clean. Smooth layered/nuanced malt flavor. Light sweetness balanced by a crisp hop bitter. Quite chewy. Caramel and breads. Excellent.

Nov 26, 2016
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ordybill from Georgia

3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the tap into a 20 OZ mug at the Taco Mac in Atlanta. The appearance is a clear golden color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is a slight hop and malt blend. an average Oktoberfest style beer.

Nov 23, 2016
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Parmesan from Colorado

3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: Hazy straw gold color with a small white head and a little lacing on the glass.

S: Sweet cereal grain, bread and cracker malt, a very nice berry/floral hop. Slight bit of caramel and apple.

T: Bread, sweet cereal grain, a slight bit of caramel and apple. A nice floral hop in the background. A little sweet.

F: Easy drinking and lighter body, very good month feel.

O: A very solid Oktoberfest beer.

Nov 23, 2016
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Beric from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving: Bottle into mason jar
Served: 24 Sept 2016

Another solid brew from Sierra Nevada, but by no means a world changer. This beer is more of a normal color than last year's collaboration, which was on the lighter side. The flavor is solid- good bready and crackery notes, but missing some of the subtle caramel flavors from the exemplars. A solid märzen, but nothing to write home about.

Nov 20, 2016
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beergoot from Colorado

3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soft, golden hued body topped with a thick, fluffy, white head. Toasty malt aroma with a sweet, fruity quality; suggestions of apple and pear. Toasted cereal grain flavors with a biscuit-like quality overall; slowly developing hop bitterness builds midway through the sip and builds in intensity at the finish. Medium body; gently warm on the palate; crisp; mostly dry finish.

A solid pilsner bringing a nice, balanced blend of malts and hops together.

Nov 19, 2016
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oktoberfest pours a golden color with a small head. Mellow but sweet aroma. Taste is creamy and sweet, with a mellow spice note. Good feel. Overall sweeter, but solid.

Nov 14, 2016
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 11/6/16

A: Deep gold with some caramel tones - nicely clear - pours with a medium size, white head, fades to a few wisps of a cap, leaves a few streaks of lacing

S: Nicely malty with some nice fruitiness - caramel malt, pale malt, caramel grains - toasted malt, toast, biscuits, hearty bread - lager yeast - some grassy and leafy hops - some light fruits - light sweetness

T: Liquid biscuits - malty sweetness and more candy-like sweetness, with some caramel and dark caramel - toast, toasted biscuits, some dark bread, cereal - herbal, grassy hops - toffee - lager yeast, spice - some light fruits, hints of apple and pear

M: Medium body, smooth, finishing with some lingering sweetness

O: Until next year

I had this a few times on tap, and it was stellar. Alone, without food, it loses some of the charm, but it's still a great Oktoberfest. I'm tempted to pour three bottles of this into a 1L stein and go to town.

Update, 10/7/17: I saved one of these for a year and wow... Amazing. I hope Sierra Nevada reaches out to Mahrs again in the future, because even a year-old bottle of this blows away the 2017 iteration (with all due respect to Miltenberger).

Nov 07, 2016
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Raime from Greenland

3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After last years amazing collaboration and ranking amongst my top Oktoberfest beers ever, I figured there was absolutely no way I could miss this years release. Hopefully it lives up.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle hard poured into a pint glass. Pours a crystal clear golden with a thick head that demands you slow down and commence the pour once again after a few seconds. Clarity is completely see through. Head eventually recedes to a thin ring amongst the top with a break in the middle. Carbonation appears moderate.

Smell - Ultra clean for the most part with some of that obvious German esque scent level. Borderline skunky but not quite there. Smells far less depth driven than last years.

Taste - Yeah it reminds me a lot of Weihenstephaners Oktoberfest. Bits and pieces of noble hop with a moderate bready aspect but mostly just clean, typical German lager. A touch spicy as you proceed into the brew with an almost hit of slight skunk but not offensive in any way.

Feel - Rather thin with low carbonation and a lightly creamy head. Flavors all retain exactly the same and it swallows as easy as can possibly be.

Overall - I don't like this nearly as much as last years variation. It isn't bad, but I've always been partial to American Oktoberfest beers that generally have a lot more to offer. If you like the traditional German style, you'll like this. It is better than most German Oktoberfests, but nothing spectacular. Easy drinking without a lot of frills.

Nov 04, 2016
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Gatch from Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Unique light golden-yellow color with a bright white, quickly-fading head. Not overly sweet and malty like many tend to be. Super crisp, insanely drinkable, great finish. Honestly, I'm not sure an Oktoberfest can get better. Maybe because this beer is more on the Helles side of the style and I'm biased as Helles is my favorite German style of beer. But this seems to be a fantastic collab, with the Mahrs contribution really standing out. I could literally drink 1L mug after mug of this stuff, especially if I were in Europe in a festive mood. I should have reviewed sooner, as the first bottle I had from the six-pack was way back in September and was noticeably better as the date on the bottle is 07/14/16. Regardless, and three and half months later, it's still delicious.

In summary...this is beer.

Nov 03, 2016
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Benish from Wisconsin

4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: poured a straw-hay color with a very dense and rich foamy head. Honestly not the kind of foam I expected in an Oktoberfest.

Smell: very bready and buiscuity with subtle fruit undertones.

Flavors: superb toasted malt. The malt is deep and heavy with strong notes of roast or toasted grain. The sweetness of the malt comes second from the roasty character. Love this, this is a heavy Oktoberfest.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied and almost creamy.

Overall: an Oktoberfest that has been made amazingly well. Maybe I wish for the beer to be a little darker in color the taste and mouthfeel makes up for it!

Oct 27, 2016
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mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a custom pint glass: color is straw gold, head is brighter white and presents about 1/2 inch thick; head dissipates to a ring with light lacing; head bubbles are fine to medium.

Smell is strong malt, biscuit, bready but not of the wheat kind; fairly strong hop character with light fruitiness.

Taste is similar with a strong malt character (vienna?) with bread/biscuit flavors prominent; subtle fruitiness from either the malt or the hop choice is pear/apple.

Mouthfeel is crisp, a bit stronger sweet character than noticed initially in the taste; fairly strong lingering bitterness.

Overall a pale, vienna style oktoberfest with moderate hoppiness and moderate malty flavor. It is good and different than many other oktoberfests but just a touch bitter.

Oct 26, 2016
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kitch from Hong Kong

3.27/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A 12 fl oz bottle packaged on 14th July 2016 and poured into a Mikkeller pint glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear golden colour with a less than one finger white head that dissipated quickly with minimal sparse lacing.

Aroma: Grassy, hay, grain, sweet bready and maybe a touch of honey.

Taste: Grassy, grain, slightly sweet honey, pilsner malt, lightly floral and bready.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light to medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Slightly sweet for me, and I was expecting more carbonation, but not bad.

Oct 24, 2016
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metter98 from New York

3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high dense white head that gradually died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of toasted malts and fruity hops—pears seem to stand out—are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts off with flavors of toasted malts but has pleasant fruity notes of green apples and pears from the hops
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This Oktoberfest has a very interesting and unique hop profile—instead of the typical noble and spicy hop characteristics there is an soft and subtle amount of fruitness.

Serving type: bottle

Oct 23, 2016
Oktoberfest (2016) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 637 ratings