Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #357
Ranked #41,346
3.66 | pDev: 13.39%
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
United States
Notes: Our most popular beer, Märzen (Maert-zen) is a smooth, mildly sweet, auburn colored lager. This beer originated from Bavaria, where it was brewed in March (Marz in German) and stored in caves to be enjoyed during warmer weather. At the end of September, any remaining kegs of Märzen were consumed during the two week celebration which became famous as Oktoberfest. We hope you'll enjoy it year round.

18 IBU
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Reviews: 305 | Ratings: 810 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of NCSapiens
NCSapiens from Indiana

3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I used to really like this beer as a twenty one year old living in San Jose and before the craft beer craze. Got to go on a tour and it was my favorite beer tour of all time. The workers were great, gave us samples of beer just brewed and before it was filtered, gave us a six pack to go. Life long fan.

May 16, 2020
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sometimes life is funny. I think I've been drinking this beer since the mid 90s. Somehow made it over 4000 reviews though without reviewing it.

Anyways, she's a pretty marzen, prototypical appearance, deep amber color, 3/4" off white head, amazing retention. If you don't like this beer, don't let it be for its appearance, because I don't know how one could see it as anything less than really good. Had all the malty aroma of style. You know all the normative descriptors: caramel.

Taste is a smooth malty experience. Not for hopheads. But definitely for that person you drink with (or are trying to bang) that doesn't like bitter beer. For a lager yeast its pretty much a non entity. Doesn't do anything good nor bad relatively speaking. Its just a mild malty beer that has been pretty consistent all these years. Alternate toffee and caramel waves of grain. Very light sweetness to it when it warms. Its not for your nerdy collector 54 bottle count release friend, but it is for the one who might be more fun to be around.

Nov 20, 2019
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From notes 10/31/11: Bronze in color this brew is mildly hoppy yet quite malty in aroma and flavor with a crisp, dry finish. Very pleasant and an old favorite of this brewery.

Nov 20, 2019
Photo of CaptainHate
CaptainHate from Ohio

3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stopped at San Jose airport Brewpub and thought I'd try it even though it's way out of season (although in this terrain all bets are off). I hate to say this but it comes off as an old beer: small head and almost no carbonation. Smell was lacking and taste was ok but lacking in the type of caramel malts that I've come to expect from American versions of this style. I probably should've chosen the seasonal blonde bock.

Feb 13, 2019
Photo of Helluvaz
Helluvaz from California

3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Drank over tap in restaurant

Good oktoberfestbier with a beautiful amber color. Scent of malt is the first thing I noticed on this beer. Personally, I enjoyed this beer a lot. Not too much thinking in the drinking process, I just drank large chugs, muy bien.

Dec 09, 2018
Photo of Parmesan
Parmesan from Colorado

3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L:. Pours a clear copper gold color with a medium white head and very little lacing on the glass.

S:. Notes of sweet apple, caramel and toffee, with a very light floral hop.

T: Sweet apple, caramel and toffee, a slight baked bread taste.

F:. Medium body smooth carbonation.

O:. This is a pretty standard marzen.

Dec 08, 2018
Photo of WanderingRonin
WanderingRonin from Canada (AB)

3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear with a dark reddish auburn color with brown chestnut highlights, served with a nice two fingers of solid white head that had a good retention to it. Light but malty nose with a faintly nutty hint to it. Flavor was nicely malt forward with a mild sweetness and caramel and biscuit flavor to it, as well as faint nutty, toffee hints, body feels medium/ light with an average amount of carbonation to it and a nice smooth mouthfeel to it, easy drinking and not to heavy. Finish is lightly bitter with a light balancing touch of faintly noble hop back-end that still leave a faintly lingering caramel sweetness on the aftertaste. Not a bad example of a Märzen

Jun 28, 2018
Photo of Brolegario
Brolegario from Nevada

3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful deep amber with an off white white head. Decent retention. Aromas include dried fruits and roasted nuts. Notes of catamel. Upon taste the malts are the star of the show. Some hints of molasses. Not too heavy in the mouth with a light bitter finish. Would go great with some street tacos.

May 06, 2018
Photo of Jbbdrinker
Jbbdrinker from Texas

4.34/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Begins with a sweet malt smell and short, sharp carbination. Deep copper color with an off white head. It has a medium body, but with an ample bread-like malt backbone. Hops are bitter and do a nice job of balancing the liquorice flavored malt.

Mar 16, 2018
Photo of arizcards
arizcards from Arizona

3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had a 4 Black Friday growler of the week coupons given to me by a friend recently so i picked up a Marzen growler 2-26-18 that i shared with another friend at the Coyotes-Senators game on 3-3-18.

Beer poured amber with a solid off white head with the initial pour.

Nose was toasted malt forward.

Taste was on the sweeter side that is toasted malt and nutty forward but with a decent amount of hops to keep the sweetness at bay.

Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied and fairly refreshing.

Overall a nice lager and a good change of pace from IPAs and Stouts.

Mar 04, 2018
Photo of puck1225
puck1225 from Texas

3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had it while visiting New Orleans. On tap into a 0.25l glass, nice golden orange color. Good head and lacing. Nice bready smell and taste with an agreeable sweetness. Nice beer.

Jul 23, 2017
Photo of teromous
teromous from Virginia

2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From the back label: "BOTTLE ON: 09:50 259 04/05/17"

Appearance: Amazing clarity with a very beautifully colored body sporting hues of deep orange, red, and dark brown. When held to the light there is a nice golden-amber color. The head is thick and creamy textured with great retention and lacing.

Aroma: There isn't much aroma with the exception of an extremely light noble hop scent that is barely there.

Taste: There is a very light flavors of toasted caramel. There is a subtle presence of burnt coal and a gentle bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: The flavor and body of the beer feels watered down. The body is light and it does have a nice bitterness at the end.

Overall: It isn't a very impressive Märzen. The flavors seem too watered down and while there is not a lot of malt flavor. It feels about average for a run-of-the-mill Märzen but it doesn't hold a candle to some of the better preserved imports or competing U.S. craft beers. I really wouldn't recommend it and I wouldn't buy it again. I would drink it if a friend offered it.

Jun 04, 2017
Photo of Libeertarian
Libeertarian from Montana

3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From notes taken 12/29/16:

Fairly clear orange-amber with thick tannish head of foam, Moderate retention with no lacing. Sweet aroma, mostly grain and caramel, a pinch of something juniper-like. A little weird, both for the style and in that pine is better. To palate, more so caramel than grain, even a little toffee and dark fruit character. Some booze spiciness throughout, as well as more of that juniper way in the back, overall bordering on peppery with retro-olfaction. Medium-bodied, watery. Carbonation is semi-flat sudsiness to mild effervescent and mellows a lot very quickly.

Dec 31, 2016
Photo of Guppy314
Guppy314 from District of Columbia

3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant - McLean (Tysons Corner), listed at ABV=5.7% & IBU=18, pours a clear light brown with an off-white head that quickly dissipated leaving a slight lacy-ness. Aroma of malt and perhaps caramel. The flavors are very malt-forward with a roasted caramel and (very slight) hops on the back end. Carbonation is decent, but the mouth feel is weak leaving an overall not quite satisfying impression.

Aug 22, 2016
Photo of StArnoldFan
StArnoldFan from Texas

2.53/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Terrible, just terrible. Has a sour taste hat I've never ever had on any Marzen I have ever tried. I will never reach for this again. If they say this is their most popular beer, I have no interest to try anything else by them.

Jun 25, 2016
Photo of ByronDBeer
ByronDBeer from California

4.31/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brown, clear, nice.
S: N/A
T: Dark with good malts providing enough taste, but not overpowering, and crisp and refreshing like a lager should be.
F: Crisp and refreshing

May 15, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never had a Gordon Biersch brew, despite living in the Bay Area for 10 years and visiting often since then. Always nice to find a brewer who understands the craft beer market. And it is good sign that this brewpub got distribution in LA where I found it.
This is a nice Marzen. Malty, but balanced and comes off as a dry finish.
I enjoyed this more as it warmed as the malt stood out more.
12/27/17 Had again on tap at their San Jose restaurant. Reduced score slightly.

Reviewed in MJ's 1999 edition "Pocket Guide", he gave it 3 of 4 stars and proclaimed it "a smooth, malty,amber and slightly dry for the style."

Mar 13, 2016
Photo of Troy-Hawaii
Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a variety 12-pack $13.49 Foodland
Amber color
Medium carbonation
Medium-heavy mouth feel
Smooth caramel taste
Overall the best of the bottled Gordon Biersch beers. On tap is even better.

Mar 05, 2016
Photo of DJChaseTheBase
DJChaseTheBase from Illinois

3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I really just wasn't feeling this beer. Good taste initially, but the aftertaste (well it just didn't do it for me). They had plenty of other beers at the brewery that I like though, although this one I just wasn't feel. Maybe I got the end of the keg....

Mar 04, 2016
Photo of gautch726
gautch726 from Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful golden orange with a moderate head with decent foaminess. Sweet, toasty aroma that is a nice introduction. The taste is malty and strong. Definitely a beer for when you are in the mood for BEER. Weakest point is the mouthfeel is a bit on the shallow side.

Very enjoyable overall.

Mar 02, 2016
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Atlanta brewpub. Served colder than ideal temperature.

Look: deep amber body with excellent clarity and a creamy tan head.

Aroma: mild mix of malts and hops, with notes of caramel.

Flavor: follows the aroma. Very clean but a bit milder than ideal.

Mouthfeel: near medium body and carbonation. Nicely smooth.

Overall: Compares well to a bunch of Bavarian marzens I have had lately from a Xmas Advent beer calendar.

Dec 19, 2015
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Gordon Biersch, San Francisco Airport Terminal 3

A: The beer is clear deep amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that died down, leaving a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sweet, toasted malts are present in the smell along with a bit of caramel.
T: The taste has flavors of toasted malts along with bits of malty sweetness and a light amount of bitterness. There are also some hints of spicy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a rich and malty Oktoberfest. It isn't a bad representation of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

Nov 02, 2015
Photo of MacMalt
MacMalt from New Jersey

3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this on draught. The color is an attractive dark amber with a thin, milk-white head and lacing which quickly disappeared. The smell was malty, bready, with some sweet caramel and fruit. The initial taste is quite sweet, with fruit, molasses, and malt. There is a slight bitterness at the finish. This ale is medium-bodied, but refreshing and very easy to drink. It is lightly carbonated. Overall, it is a very nice example of this style, perfect for a mid-fall afternoon, and it paired very well with a pulled port sandwich with barbecue sauce.

Oct 12, 2015
Photo of thebeers
thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber, approaching brown, with a finger of tan-tinted head. Roasty, bready, sweet aroma. Sweet and slightly nutty tasting, with hints of bourbon in the background. Fairly light bodied and somewhat creamy. Middle of the road Oktoberfest.

Oct 02, 2015
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

2.87/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap at the pub in San Fran airport.

Very small head, clear auburn red color.

Nose mild sweet malts, fruity esters, very fruity, unhappy lager, mild metallic note, sweet candy, meh.

Taste is like a macro lager, some toasted reddish candy malts, otherwise pour lager, minerals, unhappy lager yeast esters, fruity, messy, icky skunky like lager, caramel, sweet candy, and even sticky finish, herbal hops, etc.

Mouth med bod, sticky syrupy, light carb even for draft.

Sep 20, 2015
Märzen from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 810 ratings