Hoss Oktoberfest Lager | Great Divide Brewing Company

very good
452 Reviews
Hoss Oktoberfest LagerHoss Oktoberfest Lager

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
HOSS is based on the Märzen lagers of Germany. Rich, layered malt notes, with hints of cherry and dark fruits, dominate, while the unique addition of rye imparts a slightly earthy, spicy character. Hoss finishes crisp and dry, and its brilliant red-orange color is a toast to the sunsets that make the perfect backdrop for this beer.

Added by rye726 on 08-05-2009

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 452 | Ratings: 1,062
Photo of corby112
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up today at The Foodery. 12oz bottled on 9/3/09.

Pours a clear dark golden orange color with lots of visible carbonation bubbling up and a .5 finger white head that quickly fades into a lasting ring.

Toasty malt aroma with hints of sweet caramel and rye along with some subtle spice and dark fruit. Slightly earthy with hints of sour dark cherry complimenting the roasted malt character.

Softly carbonated up front with a medium body that has a nice balance of roasted malt sweetness, earthy bitterness and sweet dark fruit. Very clean and crisp with a slightly dry finish. Toasted caramel malt with prominent rye flavor which is balance by a slight earthy tartness. Hints of sour dark cherry add to the sweetness and balances this beer out pretty nicely. The alcohol is well masked and none of the flavors are overpowering making this beer pretty quaffable. Decent "session" beer if you can call it that at 6.2%.

 923 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle pours a hazy, but radiant, orange body with a two finger beige head. Spiderweb lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma is bready and toasty caramel malt with hints of spicy hops and vague fruitiness.

Creamy mouthfeel has a medium body and carbonation.

Taste has sweetish and bready caramel malt that is nicely edged by spicy hops and earthy rye. Pumpernickle notes and a hint of fruity kiwi add a nice depth.

An interesting marzen that highlights the funky rye malts to good effect.

 493 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a pale amber orange tinted hue with a bright white head. I let this one warm a bit before cracking it and I think it's a good idea. Speckled lacing all around the edges of my chalice. Aroma has sweet honey drizzled biscuit and honey malt layers going on with spicy rye additions bringing out an earthy herbal character. Flavor is fantastic sweet with malts and rye more of that honey simple syrup flavor with a fruity apple and caramel drizzled tone. But the hops and the rye malt balance things out with a grassy, spicy herbal tea accent. Mouthfeel is a bit stickier with residual malts especially with the higher alcohol and the rye additions carbonation is pleasant and smooth the entire bottle. Definitely a medium body with the rye giving it a bit more girth than your average marzen. Drinkability is solid from the first sip to the last drops, a beer that strikes gold coming from such a known ale brewer to dabble with their twist on a great German style, I enjoy it and look forward to more next year.

 1,017 characters

Photo of CMiller683
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A deep brown/amber. Moderately carbonated with a thick head that dissipates quickly. Clear, bright and vibrant.

S - Light sweetness to it, a caramel. Faint scents of spice and pecans. A clean, crisp smell.

T - Thick with a crisp aftertaste. Very malty flavor. Slightly carbonated, popping feel. Definite notes of caramel.

M - Heavy, foamy, carbonated, thick feel. A fair balance between flat and over-carbonated.

D - A good beer for cool weekends. Not something I would return to. Just not my style of beer, but not a bad beer.

 535 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper body. Thin off white head. Sporadic rings of lace left on the glass walls as I drink. Nice malty aroma highlighted by vienna malt like toasted notes. Solid flavor. Nice maltiness. A mix of breadiness and toasted malts. Rye adds just a titch of spiciness which adds a little complexity to the flavor profile. Some dark fruits are noticeable. Very subtle dryness lingering. This isn't the thickest or richest marzen I've had, but it's very enjoyable. It's good all around.

 483 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle bottled on 04 Aug 09, so this is about 4 months old at this point.

In my Moonlight glass, this beer is gorgeous, copper in color with excellent clarity and a persistent and thin beige head that leaves some lace.

The nose is great, bready with spicy rye apparent, there's also some caramel sweetness and a prominent leafy hop character. Sweetness is complex, I also get some brown sugar. The palate opens with a surprisingly strong hop character, quite herbal and earthy with a little mineral-like character. Bitterness is low, and this allows the malt to shine, with a great caramel and burnt sugar character, along with the spicy rye character which especially dominates the mid-palate and towards the finish. Drying on the finish, this medium-light bodied beer has a moderate level of carbonation and a great mouthfeel, providing a little heft while remaining light. Enjoyable, I'd absolutely drink this again.

 927 characters

Photo of klewis
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 8/24/09

A: Pours a bright copper with a moderate foamy head. Light lacing.

S: Caramel with a slight pepper and spice aroma.

T: Nicely balanced with a lean towards the malty side. Much like the smell, caramel backbone with a subtle rye spiciness.

M: Crisp and light-bodied with light carbonation. Finishes clean and dry.

D: Pretty one-dimensional, yet tasty and quite quaffable. A great session beer.

 415 characters

Photo of riored4v
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 12/1/09

Poured into a Great Divide Goblet. 1 finger, tan head. Copper colored w/ hints of red. Clear.

Smell is malty w/ slight hints of caramel sweetness. Hints of dark fruit as well.

Taste had a nice balance of maltiness. Slightly caramely w/ a crisp, clean finish that is very very mildy bitter in the end. Subtle hints of spicey/earthiness from the rye. Just enough sweetness up front to balance it all.

Mouthfeel has a light body w/ a crisp and dry finish.

Drinkability was very good. Nice and light w/ a clean finish.

Overall it was a nice "Octoberfest" type beer. Nice maltiness but still finished crisp enough to drink easily.

 648 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- The crystal clear body has a brownish orange hue and a bubbly snow white head that is supported by a strong carbonation of big bubbles.
S- There is a light tin note to a soft dry brown malt aroma and some mineral qualities in the finish.
T- This beer has a smooth clean flavor with some soft sweat and brown malt notes followed by a dry spice hint. The finish has a soft bitter green hop note.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish.
D- This beer is soft and clean with little flavor but no off flavors.

 567 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up a t Goebel's in Wichita KS, bottled on Sep 03 09

Pours an effervescent amber with 2+ fingers of tan head. Pretty good lacing & minimal head retention

S: Slight breadyness & not much else

T: Slight caramel, plus breadyness up front along with some herbal hops & a bit of peppery spicyness. I get some slight fruittyness & some toffee, plus a touch of grassy hops as this warms, plus some more rye spicyness. Finishes dry, bready & with a touch of pepper & orchard fruit

MF: Medium bodied fairly low carbonation & decent balance

Drinks pretty easy, but not interesting enough to get all jacked up about. Hopefully I will get to try this a bit fresher next year

 678 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass. Bottled in sept 09, never had this one or heard of it.

Bright new penny copper with some hazy orange color mixed in. A clean looking beer with bubbles rising. Looks brighter than your normal lager/marzen whatever. A bright white semi off white in spots 1 and a half inches of creamy foam on top, it looks scrumptious. Loose patches of clingy layered lace.

The scent is not huge but what's advertised on the bottle shows up in the smell. Im first greeted by a fruit basket thats mainly filled with dark cherries and some plum action. Under that is a malt base giving off caramel and some sunday morning bread. Some earthy, spicy hops come out with warning with some rice pops up later too.

This is a tasty and well executioned lager, i was not expecting this much flavor. Matching the scent, hoss starts off with cherry juice and some underlining plum. The dark fruits in this are at a great level and is actually my favorite part of the beer. Under that the malts work their magic and bring forth a light sweetness and bready taste in the middle. While the rye did not hit my nose, it comes out in taste with some small earthy hopping, layered with some rice addition which does not detract from the taste. "Get Em, Hoss"- Black Thought

A nice medium body supports this well flavored quaff. Perfectly well balanced with each set of flavors coming right after one another in unison. I have no problems with the carbonation in Hoss, it's where it needs to be.Not any bitterness from the hops, just some earthy flavors dancing around the palete. Hoss is crisp and not to high in ABV making it easy to grab another. The drink on this is also top notch. To make it simpler, I should have grabbed a six pack of this as I want another right now. Great stuff.

In a sea of oktoberfest available stateside, Hoss stands seperate from the pack with something different.

 1,911 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright orangy amber color, full frothy offwhite head with minimal retention and lacing. Smell is of bready and sweet malts, slight roasted nut charachter, lager twang. Taste is of your basic marzen lager (sweet malts) with slight hints of fruits and a faint earthyness to it (probably from the rye). Body is medium, slightly slick and oily feeling, which i did not like for the style, minmal carbonation as well. A good Octoberfest style lager, which trumps its American counterparts, but does not stand up to the clean and earthy European counterparts.

 561 characters

Photo of trbergman
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Aggressive pour yields a one inch off-white head atop this copper beer.

S - Bready, caramel malts, a whiff of fruit, and some earthy hop aroma.

T - Crisp and balanced, with bready malt flavor playing off a light, floral and earthy hop flavor. There is a subtle fruitiness and a touch of spice from the use of rye. Bitterness is on the higher side for the style, but not outlandishly so.

M - Light-medium body, just about right for the style. More crisp, though, than the creamy mouthfeel of Hacker-Pschorr or Paulaner.

D - Overall, a very nice American interpretation. Having tried Surlyfest last year, I'm really pleased with this trend of rye Marzens. Worth seeking out.

 720 characters

Photo of matjack85
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this single 12oz brown bottle at Binny;s in Glen Ellyn, IL for $1.99. Bottled on date is clearly marked as July 31, 2009. Hoss is only distributed in August and September, so I might have found one of the last bottles from this year's batch.

The beer pours a nice golden orange color, but it made just a 1 finger white head that left only a minimal amount of lacing.

The smell wasn't strong but it was pleasant- an earthy rye smell mixed with fruity hops.

Surprising amount of malt in here as I didn't pick any up in the smell. This is a nicely balanced marzen. It has a cherry-like fruitiness to it, some earthy rye spiciness, plenty of malty sweetness, and enough hop bitterness to keep it interesting. Can't see anyone not liking this.

Light to medium body with fairly high carbonation to keep this crisp and refreshing. Finishes dry but with a spicy and alcoholic aftertaste.

 889 characters

Photo of BMoney575
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 11-19-09
Bottled on 8-24-09

Pours a very clear red/orange color, with a sizable off-white head that settles to a nice thin layer. Looks very refreshing.

Smell is slightly earthy, followed by a kick of sweet and fruity hops. You can tell the hops are bitter, and the rye is there to give a boost in just the right place.

Taste is very balanced, subtle malt with a pleasant rye bite at first, then fruity hops and a bitterness that evens things out.

Mouthfeel is good, extremely smooth, with the absolute perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is very good, light and refreshing while still flavorful and interesting.

Overall, this is an awesome session beer. It would be a great choice for warmer weather.

 726 characters

Photo of GPHarris
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a pint glass that left sticky lace and sheeting throughout. the body was a bright orange-amber color.
s - slightly sweet with hints of caramel and apples along with other dark fruits. hint of breadiness.
t - fruity with a little hop kick. rye with a sweeter finish.
m - smooth and lightly creamy.
d - great beer.

 357 characters

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

orange/copper color, very slight chill haze. very nice, thick light tan head is lasting. bready, light caramel malts and some earthy hops in the nose. taste is clean, lightly sweet bready caramelly malts. some spiciness and hop bitterness bring perfect balance. finishes almost dry. nicely carbonated-frothy and lively. finishes crisp and clean with some lingering bitterness/spiciness. light/medium in body. drinkable, enough going on to stay interesting.

 456 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice Marzen, nothing boring about this one..probably as a result of the rye.

Freshness date of August 24. Drank on November 17 out of my trusty Weeping Radish Brewery pint glass.

Pours an almost clear orange / amber color with a medium size white head. Average retention and light lacing.

Smell is malty, not that strong or complex.

Taste is good. Solid malty beer up front without being too sweet. The rye kicks in then with some bitterness and spiciness. A nice taste, more robust than many Marzens.

Mouthfeel is rich and crisp, my complaint with some Marzens is they can be watery.

Drinkability is very good. A bit high in the abv department for a Marzen, but a very tasty beer. I could drink a lot of this.

 718 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a reddish amber color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is toasted malts and hints of spicy rye notes as well.

T- The taste features toasted malts, dark fruits and a dry and slightly spicy finish from the rye. There is also a touch of earthy hops in the finish as well.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I was excited to see another new rye beer on the market. This one isnt too bad. Worth a shot.

 472 characters

Photo of Lolli1315
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Very light amber color with a little less than a finger of head. Head disappears slowly with lacing clinging nicely to the glass. Nice look for a marzen.

S- Dominating bready, grain smell with an underlying malty sweetness. Nothing else that is quite jumping out.

T- The bread taste comes out here as well with last effects of the rye on the palate. Malt comes out pretty well in this beer, a little sweeter than what one is used to in a Marzen.

M- Very thin mouthfeel, crisp and refreshing.

D- Easy to drink, nice and light with a little different taste than a traditional marzen. I could have another of these, but I would prefer to change beers if I could.

 666 characters

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a reddish gold with a finger of white head. Bready malt aroma with a little noble hops. Medium bodied with a solid malt base. Bit of spice from the rye. Sweet malt on the start, crisp hop bite in the finish. Easy drinking, nothing earth shattering.

 293 characters

Photo of jkrich
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with freshness date.

Poured clear copper with orange highlights. The head is slightly off-white, fluffy and short-lived.

Strong spicy aroma for an oktoberfest style lager. Some soft, perfumy aroma evident after the pour into my stein.

The first sip reveals a tnagy sweetness - I am sure the addition of rye plays a role in the tangy, sharp flavor. The hops keep the lager refreshing, but this one is predominantly sweet.

Medium bodied with lively carbonation, yet soft on the palate; there is a lingering sweetness coats the mouth.

This one is very easy to quaff, and this is a unique take on the oktoberfest style. This is a good lager, but it is simply too sweet for me to drink a couple in one session

 725 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amazingly clear copper color with a tight and clingy egg-shell colored head. Some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is quite faint, not picking up much. Perhaps some caramel malt with a light sourness. The taste is of a caramel malt backbone with no buttery flavor (woohoo), a light rye sour/spice which plays well with the malt, light metal notes in the end. American marzen style, do not see much german characteristics in this one. The feel is light to moderate, with an airy carbonation, finishes well balanced and clean. Dang, this is a pretty good marzen. The caramel malt with the touch of rye work really well. The beer drinks extraordinarily well and goes down easy. A must try if you like the style.

 720 characters

Photo of argock
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. Freshness date stamped on front label. SIngle purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $2.20.

A: Rustic amber with beautiful clarity and 1-2 fingers of foamy, light beige head with good retention and a nice crusty ring of lace at the top of the mug.

S: Very light and what is detectable is pretty grainy. A very small helping of herbal hops combined with the usual sweet caramel marzen aromas are there but are slammed by a pretty harsh and dirty grainiess that has some spiciness but is pretty one-dimensional. I think of a marzen as an easy-going style -- the aroma that is evident is not.

T: Features of the marzen style are there but are pretty strongly trumped by the grainy character of the rye. IT doesn't drink too badly though -- the sweet elements have got to be the result of prodigious malting with caramel and pale malts. Some herbal hoppiness is there but it's muddied by the rye.

M: Solidly medium-bodied and not overly carbonated -- just enough to show off the nice look without detracting from the feel.

D: A good not great brew and probably my lowest rated from GD. You have to really love rye to like this beer a lot. The value of this brew is far below other marzens, but it's worth a try.

 1,282 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, orange color with a small, yet thick tan head. It left behind minimal lace.

S - It smelled of malt and rye with mild floral notes.

T - It tasted quite malty and bready with hints of rye. It had a nice spice hop bite.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied lager.

D - This is a unique twist on the marzen/oktoberfest style. Quite good and quite drinkable.

 413 characters

Hoss Oktoberfest Lager from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,062 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.