Oktoberfest Brau | Garrison Brewing Company

Oktoberfest BrauOktoberfest Brau
48 Ratings
Oktoberfest BrauOktoberfest Brau

Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Germany’s most popular fall beer, this “Oktoberfest Brau” is brewed in the traditional maerzen style. Pleasant toffee-like flavors, medium body and low hopping make this a seasonal lager worthy of celebration.

16 IBU

Added by Seanstoppable on 09-27-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 |  Reviews: 40
Photo of DreamDeath
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of DaPan
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of cfalovo97
2/5  rDev -43.2%

Photo of decimator
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 4.9%.

A - Poured a slightly hazy orange-brown with a foamy head. Foam reduces to a thin cap in a few minutes. Minimal lacing.

S - Caramel, toffee, some apple sour notes, sourness, some grass. As it warms there's metallic notes in the finish. The balance is definitely on the malty side.

T - Toffee/caramel upfront, some nondescript fruity sour notes, mild bitter finish.

M - Medium-high carbonation, medium body but finishes thin, smooth, sticky, a bit tangy.

O - Good beer. Easy to session on this one.

 551 characters

Photo of Kremlock
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Caramel colour, pours a nice head that then falls to a thin film that laces the glace a bit. Beer is a bit hazy yet only malt on their bill is Munich.

S: Hints of caramel with some lemon on the background.

T: Hints of pepper, bubblegum and soft toffee in the background.

M: Thin and to high of a carbonation. Carbonation feels acidic and distracts from the flavours of the beer.

O: Not impressed for a Garrison product. The mouthfeel takes away from the experience. Aromas are very light, Head does not stand and beer is not clear. There is a long lasting aftertaste that is not bitter nor malty.

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Photo of bcrocker
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%

Photo of SebD
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice cloudy golden/amber color to it. It has a nice beige head that dies down moderately and leaves next to no lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of dark fruit, bready/grainy malts, caramel and grassy hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has bready/grainy malts along with some sweet caramel/toffee, grassy hops and slight dark fruit. There's almost a sourness to this beer.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a somewhat light overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas. Probably not something I'll try again.

 637 characters

Photo of Molson2000
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of BGDrock
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes:

Appearance: nice amber/red hue; clear with a thick head

Aroma: some spice notes; light malt; not a strong aroma

Taste & Mouthfeel: smooth texture, almost creamy; lightly carbonated; grain or a slightly woodsy flavour; mild spice; pretty good balance with malt flavour on the caramel/toffee side

Overall: a good session beer, but fairly average taste and not much interesting

 390 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellow bodied with some retained head. Neutral aroma. Light mouthfeel, with above average carbonation. Fresh bottle from LCBO. Easy drinking, tastes a bit more bitter than its 16 IBU. Nice job to input flavour coinciding with lower abv. A little sweetness, would like a little more flavour, such as a touch of smoke to make this more enjoyable.

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Photo of TerryW
3.17/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark copper with a short white head. Leaves behind just a thin film before long.

Nose is bready with cooked sugar malt. That carries on through to the flavour, which is dominated by caramel and grain. I'm surprised at the mouthfeel which is soft and creamy like an ale. This beer isn't particularly pushy in anyway and you need to work a bit to find what's there.

Decent, evenhanded brew, but not overly exciting.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

big props to my BA in crime andrenaline for including this is our latest cross country swap
A - mostly clear amber copper colour, tall fluffy tan head dissipated slowly but consistently
S - a strong blood-like mineral odour with some grape fruitiness and grassy hops, reminds me more of a dunkel
T - caramel and light nutty malts, strong blood-like metallic flavour, light fruity and grassy flavour with a musty hint
M - medium body and a little on the flat side, somewhat creamy with a mineral feeling that lingers
O - a tasty treat from a brewer that I am generally pleased with, not an outstanding marzen by any means but worth picking up when the season arrives

 665 characters

Photo of PeerlessMark
2.1/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This is only the second Märzen style beer I've had, the first being the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen.

I can easily say this is the worst MärzenI've ever had, more than that though it totally disagreed with me on many levels and I hated drinking this beer, will never try it again and probably will avoid Garrison Brewing Company in general.

It pours fine, average head that dissipates into a thin white collar. The smell is pleasant, suggests some honey and the general smell impression I had was that of "clean and crisp".

The initial flavour is fresh and made me optimistic but I was severely let down when the flavour rolled like a dirty fog over my tongue.

At first I got very tart cucumber. That's just not a flavour I welcome in my beer. Next I got assailed with an overipe honeydew flavour, but not the dark sweet part of the honeydew melon... more like the white part that is very close to the rind but far worse than that. It mixes with a cloyingly gross reminder of the worst medicine you had to take when you were little. I'm so grateful I'm no longer a child, and as I'm certain there are no medicinal properties in this swill I threw the rest of this out.

I gave it a few more sips just to make sure I hadn't missed out on some redeeming quality further in, but it kept getting nastier. I am introducing friends to new craft beers and one of them couldn't stomach anymore either, his girlfriend liked it and drank the rest so it apparently does suit at least one person's pallette. Not mine.

It has been a long time since I threw out a fresh beer. Avoid this.

 1,589 characters

Photo of
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - burnt amber in colour with beautiful cap of white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell - very biscuity with a mild spicy hop character and a dry minerality.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Medium-light bodied and aggressively carbonated. A little bit on the thin side. Flavours of biscuit, mineral, very light caramel, mineral water, and a trace of bitterness on the finish.

 385 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of oldp0rt
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of thehyperduck
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; packaged Aug. 25, 2011.

Pours a beautiful orange-copper colour, bright and clear. Seated atop the liquid is a creamy light beige head, about two-fingers thick at first but it soon settles down to a thin, equally-creamy cap. The malty aroma is pleasant but a bit weak in intensity. It consists mostly of toasted nuts, fresh bread and biscuits with some caramel or brown sugar notes as well.

Good firm malty backbone, lots of toasted bread with some nutty notes, sweet biscuits and brown sugar as well. Some light plum-like fruitiness in the finish, as well as some grassy bitterness that lingers briefly with sweet malts in the aftertaste. Medium-thin bodied, with fairly mild carbonation, just enough to make it feel a bit crisp. Very drinkable; probably easy to throw back but I'd rather enjoy it at a slower pace.

Good stuff, easy to like/drink but not worth the price in Ontario when there are equally good marzens being made locally. I'd drink this again no question, but it's not really spiffy enough to warrant seeking out.

 1,062 characters

Photo of jimctin
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a bright clear copper color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of caramelized malt is enjoyable though not overly complex. Taste is really dominated by loads of caramel malt with not much else to report though that is kind of the point of the style. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not the greatest interpretation of the style but quite enjoyable nonetheless.

 447 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oktoberfest Brau has a toasty, nutty, orange-y colour, relative clarity, and a candle-like glow. The bottom of the glass is lined with what looks like quinoa but is, in fact, bubbles, which one by one take turns emancipating themselves from the base only to meet again in the thin white web of the surface. Eventually it goes completely flat.

The aroma showcases sufficient Munich malt to instill thoughts of bread and toasty bread crusts. There's no real caramel or butterscotch flavour present, but it is lightly sugary, enough so as to impart a good deal of sweetness in any case. The big and uncontested presence of maltiness gives it the definitive 'beer' smell.

The flavour is entangled in a thicket of bready malt and toasted nutty sweetness. It's like someone took the grain and stuck it in the toaster at a low temperature, just enough to lightly caramelize it and bring out nutty crunch. There's even some Noble hop spiciness that might evade less experienced palates. Despite the simplicity, this style offers a breadth of flavour and an easy quietness that only a lager could possess.

The Oktoberfest style is a bit of a curiosity: somehow limitless drinkability unfolds out of a rich, tremendously flavourful beer. This much malt would normally bog the drinker down, but not here: ample carbonation and an overall 'smooth' disposition makes it quite approachable. People who like bolder lagers have met their match.

Once upon a time the Germans thumped down a flag and proclaimed that the official drink of fall would be this smooth but rich malty lager and the rest of the world mapped out the style accordingly, including this Nova Scotian brewery. Garrison Oktoberfest Brau would pass any Germans' litmus test - it's a beer remade exactly in their image.

 1,775 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle

Appearance – Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy off white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation visible and there is a fair amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, grains, hops, cereal, straw

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and some grains. There is also a bit of an earthiness and some straw/hay flavour and a light amount of hop bitterness. It ends with a malty caramel sweet aftertaste.

Overall – I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. It's not the most exciting style of beer, but they did a good job with it and it fits the season nicely and it tasted really fresh. The price might be a bit high for what you get, but I'm happy I gave it a try.

 815 characters

Photo of NightINgale
3.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. I was happy to find this at an LCBO store in Toronto, because I'm always eager to try beer from Nova Scotia.

A - Really nice colour to the beer; I can describe it as mahogany, deep amber, or ruby-red. The head was very dissapointing, though! At first there was a 2-finger caramel head, but it fizzled away in no time; the sound made me think of soda. Strange.

S - Smellls like a proper marzen: toffee, bread, toasted malts, and a bit of dark fruit.

T - The first sip made me thing of a regular Vienna lager (which is very similar to marzens, anyway). However, the after-taste let me know I'm drinking something more than that. This beer starts out grainy, crisp and slightly sweet and then goes further on, treating you to some nice toffee and fruit notes. As I was drinking it, I began tasting a certain tartness to its fruity qualities. Hints of sour cherry, plum. The sweetness is there, but, perhaps, it is a little modest for a marzen. Some bitterness in the finish.

M - For a 4.9% beer it seems a little heavy, as far as the body goes. Medium-to-full body, perhaps made heavier by the high level of carbonation. It really isn't the session beer it's supposed to be.

O - All in all, it is still a proper marzen and a pretty worthy seasonal brew. I would prefer a little less carbonation (yet more head retention) and, perhaps, just a little more sweetness to it. Still, I'm happy to have tried it.

 1,422 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful dark amber colour, completely unexpected for the style but a pleasure to look at. Faint aroma of caramelized malts plus grains. Flavours are also milder than I expected: not as sweet, grainy or grassy as I'd expect for a Maerzen. Still a sweet and malty beer, but not my favourite Garrison product.

 310 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Last day of Oktoberfest in Kitchener - couldn't have found a more fitting brew to close off the festival. That, and I'll drink anything from Garrison.

Poured into a dimpled mug. Deep copper-caramel brew, sturdy half inch of head, survives as a thick crescent of foam. Some lacy bits.

Nose is malty, a bit of caramel, a bit of grain.

Typical marzen flavor - lots of malty sweetness, some caramel and brown sugar, and a bit of acidic grape flavor that I've also encountered in a few other Garrison brews.

Thin bodied, zippy carbonation.

Not a bad marzen, nothing particularly special (though it's a style that's yet to really wow me, so I can't really sure I know what I'm looking for). Solid festering brew - always good to see Garrison on LCBO shelves!

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Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a pint glass. Bottled H2511 (August 25, 2011 I'll assume).

Poured a brown-ish copper, with some offwhite creamy head. Moderate retention with only a little bit of lacing. Nose has some light dark fruits, toffee and a hint of caramel. Modest bready malts (darker breads) and lager yeast. Taste has more of the same, some dark fruits and bread, sweet malts with an interesting floral/fruity character that I can't identify; slightly peculiar but still pleasant. Hints of some lightly toasted/smoked malts. Medium body that's creamy at times, although I can taste a bit of alcohol which isn't too desirable at this ABV, bringing the feel down a half-point. A good beer with some interesting qualities, maintains some good drinkability. I'd like to say I'd buy this more often, but the pricing on this in Ontario is a bit prohibitive.

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Oktoberfest Brau from Garrison Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.52 out of 5 with 48 ratings
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