Santa Fe Brewing Company

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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #445
Ranked #43,793
3.61 | pDev: 11.91%
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States
Notes: Though it is not necessary to drink this beer out of a mug that is larger than your head while dancing to polka music and wearing your lederhosen, you will find this lager's unbridled festivity difficult to resist. This ode to Germany's classic fall lagers is as clean, clear, and quaffable as any that has ever weighed down the table of a German Beer garden. The crisp maltiness of classic Munich malt compounded with the delicious notes of Bavarian hops gives this clean-finishing beer just the right flavor for the end of the summer.
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 204 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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ZenAgnostic from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can poured into Duvel tulip. BEST BEFORE 11/19/20 printed on bottom rim of can. So this still has 2.5 months left in it.

Appearance - Clear amber body. Medium 1 finger fine white head that easily regenerates with swirls. Decent to decent-low retention. Decent stick and lacing. 4.25

Smell - Faint nutty. Faint corn and grass as well. Thin in the nose overall. 4.25

Taste - Nutty. Caramel. Some bitter hop. Maybe a little more malty than a typical oktoberfest beer. Which I think actually works out if you're only having a couple, but if you're going to be downing a large oktoberfest-sized quantity of beer, this may be a little too sweet for the job. 4.25

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Slight astringency. Mostly clean finish. 4.25

Overall - Slightly above par across the board. Inoffensive. Drinkable. Not particularly interesting, but that may be due to the style and not the example. 4.25

Jul 30, 2020
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gvickery from Texas

4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks medium dark copper with a smallish tan head. Smells sweet, toasted, brown bread. Semisweet but finishes on the drier side. It has a residual toasted malt flavor that is not a drawback, at least for me. The abv is slightly high but if you pace yourself it would be easy to drink several of these. This is a great representation of the style. It has a semi dry finish and a medium mouthfeel.

Oct 19, 2019
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jwc215 from Arizona

4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can - Best before 01/03/20:

Pours orange hued with a head that descend to a lasting thin cover. Very nice color. Spotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of sweet bread with a hint of grassy noble hops. Smells like an O-fest.

The taste is of sweet grain/bread/lightly toasted biscuit and nuts. Finish is slightly dry for the style.

It is smooth - very smooth.

A nice autumnal lager to say the least. Very drinkable. Very smooth. I really like this one - The brewery took the style and made it their own while staying within the general style guidelines. Nice malt character with a bit of hops and slight alcohol warmth. Very enjoyable!


Oct 11, 2019
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sjdevel from Utah

3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

LOOK - very nice copper color and very clear - decent 2 finger head but the retention could have been better
SMELL - slight caramel and slight bread and yeast - not very aromatic at all - disappointing
TASTE - maybe a touch of hops at first - it gets dirty tasting - some earthy herbal notes - then there is a peanut/almond flavor that is off-putting - gets sweeter and some caramel and dark brown sugar come through
FEEL - medium mouthfeel - feels about right - slight oiliness - carbonation really trails off after a few minutes
OVERALL - this is just ok - it isn't horrible but there are so many Oktoberfest/Marzens out there that I won't bother with this one again - there is a slight off flavor here and there - after taste is like stale cracker jack - a bit odd but not bad

Oct 05, 2019
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MrGreensled from Colorado

3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours nice with a creamy fast rising head. Color and appearance
An okay German Märzen / Oktoberfest when compared side by side with other more traditional examples, though I certainly agree with the can's label, "A not exactly authentic German Märzen-style lager, brewed by very authentic New Mexicans."

Oct 14, 2018
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jkblr from Indiana

3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz undated can poured into a krug at fridge temp 6% ABV. The beer pours bright light honey amber in color with off white head. The head recedes to a thin film and ring. The aroma is Munich malt. The taste is very bready caramel with a firm (American) hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied, adequately carbonated and mostly dry in the finish. There is a metallic finish that is slightly distracting. Overall, good. A better beer than Oktoberfest. I'm not a fan of this much caramel or American hops in my Marzen.

Oct 07, 2018
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mjurney from Texas

3.19/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Amber, brilliant. Fast rising bubbles. Thick creamy head. Good head retention. Leaves a pretty good lacing behind.

Sweet pale malts, biscuit, caramel, clean lager yeast, faint spicy hops.

Sweet pale malts is dominant, biscuit, some caramel and toast. Some clean yeast character. Hop bitterness is very mild. Very dry aftertaste that lingers. Medium bodied, dry, medium carbonation, somewhat drinkable.

Not the best Marzen/Oktoberfest, it's fairly good.

Aug 26, 2018
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a clear gold color with a large white head.
Bread and sweet malt aroma.
Caramel taste. White bread toast.
Medium-bodied. On the sweet side.
Will buy this again.

Aug 21, 2018
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denver10 from New Mexico

4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with an off white head. Aroma is nutty, biscuity, a little grassy. Flavor follows suit. Medium bodied mouthful, moderate activity. Overall, initially I wasn't much a fan but began to like it more and more as I worked through my six pack. Perhaps its better with a few weeks of age to it than fresh from the tanks?

Jul 22, 2018
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Suds from Missouri

4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a can, this one is a clear, golden amber color. The aroma is bready, malty, and a little nutty. The taste is lightly toasty, with a semi-sweet balance. Caramel and low bitterness. Full in body and very nice.

Dec 02, 2017
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JLaw55 from Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a pleasant surprise and a great Oktoberfest. It hit all the right notes; roasted and toasted malt, caramel, toffee, earthy, somewhat sweet, and a kiss of hops to keep it all in check. And this one is surprisingly drinkable. Especially so for a 6% ABV brew. Just a great all around beer and an outstanding Oktoberfest.

Would drink again: Yes
Would purchase again: Yes

Oct 25, 2017
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Fuhrman from Texas

4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the can into a pint glass. Very nice color and aroma. Light-ish taste, but good flavor. Good head retention and wine-like legs through the whole drink.

Sep 17, 2017
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matcris from Arizona

3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A clear amber in color, with a finger of white foam that settles to a thin layer, and leaves a fair lacing down the glass. The aroma is of lightly toasted grain, or sunflower seeds, a bit of caramel sweetness, and a mild spiciness. Same with the flavor. The feel is average carbonation, a little sticky on the lips, but dry on the finish, and medium body. Overall, pretty nice brew. And I'll pick up a six pack next time.

Sep 12, 2017
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Chavito1977 from New Mexico

5/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best Oktoberfest beer I've tasted. This one drinks well no matter if we're having a hot or cold October. Very versatile flavor allows it to pair well with many types of food, but especially with green chile from NM.

Apr 09, 2017
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akolb from Colorado

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

A: sweet, bready, hints of floral hops.
T: The taste starts of with a biscuit note. Very toasty, light bread, yeast, a faint funkiness. Spicy. An off flavor in the background that some have identified as tomato soup. That doesn't quite seem right, but there's definitely something odd there.
This is a decent, average Oktoberfest but there are plenty of better options.

Sep 06, 2016
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Premo88 from Texas

3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into tight nonic
(11/22/16 best by date printed on bottom of can)

L: bronze-gold ... just a shade lighter than copper though there's lots of amber in this gold; minimal head, less than 1/4-inch of offwhite foam; keeps a thin but consistently noticeable collar of white/offwhite foam

S: sweet and earthy ... malt pushes up some good sweetness through the dirt-hop foundation; grain; creamed corn

T: earthy just to the point of medicinal with a lot of toasted malt sweetness ... grain ... can taste like creamed corn at times, and gets much sweeter as it warms

F: fantastic ... light, crisp, easy to handle but not watery

O: a solid Oktoberfest and good enough that I'll try some more beers from Santa Fe; the creamed corn flavor in beer generally puts me off but here it seems to be mixing nicely with the earthy hop flavor and toasted malt flavors

Aug 26, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

2.65/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Very lagerish, not entirely unpleasant, but not memorable either. More cereal grain, than sweet malt. Slight malt finish. Could use a little bit more malt to increase the heft.

Dec 21, 2015
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NolaHopHead from Louisiana

3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can. Clean copper amber color with white head that fades quickly. Mild malty aroma. Solid Octoberfest taste with buttery malt sweetness and touch of hops. Like the flavor because it's not too sweet, just right for the style. Medium mouthfeel, nice clean dry finish. Very drinkable.

Dec 10, 2015
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OKbrew89 from Oklahoma

3.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Pours copper color with a frothy white head that recedes moderately and leaves a quarter inch of lacing. Subtle aroma of roasted grain and floral hops. Smooth taste of roasted grain and yeast with subtle caramel notes before a slightly spiced, floral hop finish. Medium body and medium-light carbonation with a nice, crisp finish. Very quaffable and easy to drink.
It's a deceptively subtle Oktoberfest. The taste hits the notes you expect, but it feels delicate. It's unusually quaffable for the style and pretty easy to drink a couple of.

Oct 15, 2015
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arizcards from North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in mid-September for $1.99. No freshness date.

Beer poured a honey brown with a nice white head upon the initial pour.

Nose is faint of toasted grains.

Taste is pretty true to the style, toasted bready malt balanced nicely with some euro hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and kind of refreshing and smooth.

Overall a nice beer that represents the style well.

Oct 15, 2015
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cbe1961 from South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Who knew I liked Oktoberfest brews? This is the one that got me started. I've liked other Santa Fe brews, but I confess I grabbed this one because of the can.

Oct 07, 2015
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Can. What a can. Looks great. Very bold. Checkers to the face. Pours a light, clear brown. Aroma is sweet amd more basic than some Marzens. It alsmost smells like an ale instead of its normal denomination. Flavor is of sweet caramel, faint bread and the like. Not the most complex of the style. Lighter bodied. Reasonably drinkable. Pretty basic. Training wheels. I wish it tasted as good as the can looked.

Sep 26, 2015
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JuicesFlowing from Kansas

2.83/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a dimpled mug.

Look: Slightly hazy copper color with a white head that recedes way too fast. Only a collar and slight wisp remain. No lacing.

Aroma: Bready malts with a slightly sour hop component -- smells like tomato soup.

Taste: Spicy hops dominate and overtake any sweet malts. It's a very spicy brew and the tomato soup thing is in the taste as well.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, carbonated.

Overall: I'm afraid this was a huge disappointment. It was sharp, sour ... did't even taste like a marzen really.

Sep 13, 2015
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mdcrouser from Missouri

3.13/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Much lighter in color than most 'fests - it's just a shade darker than a full-bodied pilsner, hinting more toward gold than the traditional deeper orange and toasty brown.

Very little on the nose other than a light toastiness in the malt.

Thin, grainy (not really enough to be bready though), a bit of astringency, somewhat yeasty.

Crisp, salty and clean in the mouth.

Drinkable, but not near my favorite Oktoberfest.

Sep 13, 2015
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BrewAskew from Oklahoma

4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a thin white head that lasts and ties to lace. Aroma is toasty, malty with slight grassy hop note. Flavor is explosive munich malt, pale malts and subtle balancing bitterness. Long, malty finish. Light on the MF, the flavors melt in your mouth. Overall very good.

Sep 13, 2015
Oktoberfest from Santa Fe Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 204 ratings