Oktoberfest | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by canucklehead on 10-05-2010

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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 176
Photo of 2melow
4.45/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden/bronze -ish color with a nice white head. Rich and malty hits the mouth right away. Very slight hops in this one it seems more a nice bready maltiness with slight honey flavor. A great USA "Marzen" beer style from a New Mexican brewer. And it's in a can. Hopefully this one stays in the lineup, it's a solid seasonal beer. Will buy again for sure.

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Photo of cbe1961
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
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.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - very inviting light amber/orangeish color with a nice amount of head on top.

S - smells of lite hops, sweet malt, apricots, a touch of vanilla and wheat.

T - great flavor, but a little weaker than I was expecting. In other words, it's good, but that German Oktoberfest flavor isn't as prominent as I'm used to.

M - perfect carbonation, very smooth, nice combination of flavors.

D - this really is a beer you could drink all night. Refreshing, flavorful and perfect ABV %.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.21/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

There are about a dozen hardcore supporters of The CANQuest (TM) and indiapaleale is on of them! His trades/contributions are AbFab and I always try to help him when I CAN. On the verge of CAN # 400, I salute you for your invaluable assistance. CAN you dig it?

From the CAN: "Celebrate the season for no reason." I loved the blue and white diamond pattern with a wee, tiny pretzel in the center as this CAN's design. What a great homage to King Ludwig and the crossed-hands-over-heart tradition that the two represent! For those that are used to plastic-y pretzels made by big companies and extruded from steel pipes, let me know and I will turn you on to some fantastic pretzels, including some hand-fashioned by ladies wearing prayer caps. No boostin', yo! The PA Dutch (Deutch) and pretzels are damn near synonymous and I have easy access to any brand you could want to go with a beer.

Crack & Glug time: As is the wont of most beers, my pour style allows for two-plus fingers of head as well as the release of aromas into the surrounding air. The head was an off-white, thick, foamy, with good retention. Color was an orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was really clean with a really lovely lager sweetness. Mouthfeel was slightly thin with a dryer taste than one might expect from the style, but as regular readers of my reviews know, I am not a sweet beer fan and so this was right up my alley. Finish was semi-sweet, unobtrusive and really ripe for a pretzel. I am now reaching into my bag of Hammond's Pretzels and contemplating that initial salty crunch to accompany a most excellent beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Can
Best By: 12/07/16

Pours a pretty nice clean/clear dark golden orangey color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy two-finger off-white head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, nice sweetness. The taste is malty, sweet. Medium body. Overall, a very tasty brew, a nice thirst quencher.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

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Photo of UnionMade
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stopped at my favorite local shop today and was surprised to see this in the cooler. Something new, which I always like. Santa Fe's can packaging is terrific in its minimalism. The bold simplicity jumps out at you in the sea of color.
Pours a brilliant orange gold color, perfectly clear, pretty spot on for one of the lighter Munich versions of Oktoberfest lager. A big poof of white head forms with the pour, but dies out very quickly. Just a dusting after a few minutes, and nothing left halfway through the glass. The head is a little disappointing, but that could be my only complaint with this beer.
Smells pretty damn good. Caramel malt and a touch of noble hops. That's it. More in line with real Munich Oktoberfest lager than most american craft versions, which are way heavy on the malt. Clean and surprisingly authentic.
The flavor opens up baby sweet and stays that way. Big bodied and malty, but stays well shy of overbearing. Lots of caramel, doughy and full of grain goodness. A bit of grassy esters, but well lagered and surprisingly authentic. Mild bitterness, in the lighter, hoppier Munich style. Think Spaten or Hofbrau's Oktoberfest. Sweet and gentle overall, with floral, bavarian hops finishing things out. Clean and dry, without much aftertaste. Good stuff!
For the style, this is something I would seek out. I've only had a handful of Santa Fe's beers, but all have been well above average. This one really blew me away, as it's a style that easily gets overbearing. Elegant and understated, while maintaining heaps of flavor. Well done.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - dark golden in color with some nice little bubbles streaming upwards making a thin white head. This settles pretty quickly with a ring of white and some lacy webbing.

Aroma - brown bread, bread dough, malt, caramel and hints of dark fruit.

Taste - very crisp and quite refreshing on the palate. The sweet maltiness that you can expect from this style is nicely balanced by the dry finish and the carbonation. Brown sugar and caramel are left on the tongue but fade quickly which makes your brain tell your hand to quickly replenish your mouth with more beer!

Overall - not an easy style to work with and yet Santa Fe has pulled it off nicely. Great flavor and very easy drinking. A six-pack of these would get you through a few sing-a-longs in good fashion that is for sure. Prosit!

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. A very drinkable dark lager with plenty of character but not too heavy. I'd love to have easier access to this brewery's canned beers.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid Oktoberfest from Santa Fe here, replete with a wonderful blast of fresh lager yeast in the nose, clean and refreshing. Palate is not so much bready, or even crackery, as just sort of "malty" -- a touch sweet, but not overbearing. There's just a hair of hop bitterness in the finish to keep this from being too wet. Definitely not as dried out as some other Ofests, though. Overall, really quite drinkable and a solid stab at the style.

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Photo of Tone
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of hops, hint of pine, sweet malt, slight pale malt, yeast, and a hint of banana. Fits the style of an Oktoberfest. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, sweet malt, yeast, and slight hops. Overall, a simple and pure representation of the style.

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Photo of Rayek
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug, in the Oktoberfest spirit. Santa Fe's offering emerges a straight amber hue with great clarity and vigorous carbonation. A small eggshell cap quickly falls to a ring at the beer's edge. Leaves no lace.

Bittersweet toffee and toasted sweetbread are the primary theme here. Hops are mild and carry a lemon and cut grass theme. Toffee returns for the finish. The beer's light body makes it go down easy. Carbonation is right on.

Overall, this is a nice Oktoberfest. I'm glad I picked it up.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can pours a crystal clear medium gold color with a standard off-white head. Average retention and lace.

Nose is honeyed grains and lagery yeast. Not a whole lot going on in the nose...smells like it is somewhere in between a marzen and a festbier.

Malts have a nice 'fresh-crushed' flavor to them and stay light...touch of toast and honey, not unlike eating some Golden Grahams. It is not as dark and richly malted as most American Oktoberfests, this one goes for more balance as a slight grassy bitterness creeps up after a few gulps. It is a highly drinkable offering and I am really digging it. I could drink a ton of these, it is very clean and refreshing. I can see multiple repeat purchases in my future.

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Photo of meeekyh
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beer for Oktoberfest from Sante Fe - The beer is poured from a 12oz can into a belled beer glass. There is a golden color, just about the color of light honey with a light off-white head.

Smell is sweet and malty with a tart hop note. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming. There is a berry smell I imagine is from the yeast but I am a bit flummoxed. I am drinking this beer cold enough to be masking some of the complexity so as it warms I will add notes.

Taste is clean biscuity malt and crisp floral hops with a great balance. The malt is not too toasty or caramel-sweet and the hops are big enough to make a nice round mouthful.

Mouthfeel is on the big side of medium while the finish is a lingering, caramel, not over sweet but not dry enough to be called clean.

So overall this beer gets good marks. It is bigger than most lager styles and not anything like the dopplebocks that is isn't. It is a Marzen as well as I am able to define it. There are things about this beer I really like: the balance, the choice of malts and hops, the carbonation level, the price, and a few things I would change; mostly the overly alcoholic nose that obscures the olfactory complexity.

Oktoberfest from New Mexico? Yes, and it is good.

Prost and Slainte.

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Photo of dcloeren
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very pale copper color with a finger of white head. Standard Oktoberfest aroma... Malt forward with a very slight hop presence. Toasted bread and caramel make up the rest of the aroma and taste.

Medium bodied with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Very easy drinking as mine is already almost gone and I didn't even realize it.

Overall, worth picking up a sixer if you like Oktoberfest brews. Nothing special but still tasty and very easy to drink.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can poured into a can-shaped glass.

Good lacing, bright copper-colored brew with pristine clarity.

Biscuity aroma with light touches of floral hops. Caramel notes creep in.

Light caramel initially, then biscuity and crackery, and then floral hop notes work their way in. Caramelly flavors linger with a nib of bitterness.

A bit burlier than desirable and thick with caramel, but still a bit bitter and drinkable.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Copper brown in color with a half inch of off white head. Light Brussels lacing. Sourdough bread is exactly how I would did robe the aroma. The flavor closely mimics the aroma with the sourdough bread flavor with a hint of saltiness. The mouth is lightly carbonated and with a salty crispness.

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Photo of Domingo
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There aren't too many Oktoberfest beers in cans, so this is a welcome sight.
Pours a deep golden color with a big fluffy white head. The look of this one definitely appears to be along the lines of the more modern Märzen beers served at the Wies'n these days.
The flavor profile matches that as well. Rich and malty, but definitely more of a pale malt. Earthy hops are there to keep that bready sweetness under control, but that's still the primary flavor profile. Lager-based honey flavor shows up here and there, too. It reminds me a little bit of the Hofbräu version of the style, and that's certainly a compliment for a US brewer. There's just a tiny sulfuric note on the (fairly muted) nose, which would really be the only thing off about it.
I admittedly prefer the darker malt versions of the style, but these versions have grown on me a bit. Plus, because of how the fest beers are at the moment, this version is actually extremely authentic.
Good take on the style, and I love the cans, too.
Not my favorite or anything, but still one I'll keep buying.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pour is initially aggressive, but head quickly fades. Brew is brilliantly clear orange with slight pink tint. Not much lacing to speak of... Head builds nicely when swirled.

S - Very light. much like a miller light.

T - Awesome! Great light flavor. Nothing is aggressive. Perfect for the style!

M - Great 5.0

O - Just as a Marzen should be... Light. airy. delicious. refreshing! Another great can from SFB, keep em coming!!!

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Photo of amcmaho1
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh can poured into an imperial pint glass...

Appearance: Not a whole lot going on visually, the beer's a nice golden amber color. Pours with a small head which doesn't retain for very long, except for a small ring. There's plenty of visual carbonation going on. It's a nice, relatively subdued beer so far.

Smell: I get some spicy yeast notes initially, along with some really prevalent malt presence. Some nice sweetness which is balanced out by some earthier hop presence. Classic lager smell, which is fairly omnideminsional and somewhat complex.

Taste: Initially, there's a brightness with the malt presence and some nice dry, earthy bitter notes on the finish. There are some really nice esters from the yeast which certainly don't go unnoticed, and work really well with the other predominant flavors.

Mouthfeel: This is a really easy drinking beer due in large part to it's carbonation; relatively light, but still effervescent to keep the beer interesting. I feel it to be a really sessionable 6% beer, for the fact that it sits so light on the palatte.

Overall: Another nice seasonal offering available in cans, and available very fresh. Is it their strongest offering? Perhaps not, but it's an extremely inviting beer, and certainly does a great job of not going overboard flavor or alcohol wise. For a style that i'm otherwise indifferent towards, I find myself gravitating to this more and more...

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Photo of arizcards
3.65/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can, simple label design - procured at a King Soopers in Denver last week.

This beer pours a clear, pale copper amber hue, with four flabby fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves some well-spaced runic script lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of crisp, crackery, and sort of biscuity caramel malt, a muddled oily nuttiness, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is more gritty, grainy, and lightly biscuity pale and caramel malt, an astringent and almost stale nuttiness, weedy, leafy, and slightly floral hops, and the suggestion of an uptick in alcohol presence.

The carbonation is active in a sort of baiting frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and generally smooth, a small lilting creaminess arising as things warm. It finishes off-dry, the bready, and still laudably biscuity caramel malt starting to trample over the lingering noble hops.

A decent enough rendering of the seasonal style, one of the few that I have yet come across in this (easily transportable) packaging format. Malty, understatedly hoppy, and a little sassy - good stuff!

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Photo of OKbrew89
3.61/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: Light orange copper body with small white head clear with some streaming bubbles.

S: Toasted salty caramel, pilsner malt, figs, apple peels and spicy noble hops.

T/M: Spiced apple peels layered with toasted caramel, dry grains, wood, spiced pound cake and timid cherry alcohol. Spicy carbonation in a medium body. Finishes dry and numbing lingering musty spiced fruit.

O: I love the design of this can. I also really enjoyed consuming it. Nicely balanced, easy drinking and simple straight forward flavoring. I went through this can rather quickly. Cheers!

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Photo of Premo88
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
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

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Oktoberfest from Santa Fe Brewing Company
3.58 out of 5 based on 176 ratings.
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