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Oktoberfest Brau | Garrison Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 48
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 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.

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

Poured in to pint glass.

A - Poured a light to medium amber colour with one finger of thin, bubbly white head that quickly receded to a small ring around the glass. Translucent.

S - Bready/grainy matl notes with some sweet brown sugar and a very slight hop aroma in the background.

T - Sweet bready malt notes dominate the palate. Some caramel and brown sugar are present as well along with a slight hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Light body, moderate to high carbonation.

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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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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my father for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a cherry red color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is dark fruit, cherries, toffee and some bready malt. The flavor is bread, peanuts, toffee and some sugary, sweet malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I am somewhat surprised by the low ratings because this is one of the better Oktoberfests that I have tried.

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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.

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

A: Copper-amber, off-white head, some retention, good lacing.

S: Floral with a light spicing; Caramel & bready malt.

T: Bread, caramel, floral & spice with a hint of sulfur. Balanced bitterness.

M: Moderate body is smooth; hint of residual sweetness (good for the style).

D: A good drinker.

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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.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into pint glass oct6 2010

A clear deep amber with plenty of bubbles feeding a fast falling off white head that left no lace

S malty dry cereal with some caramel

T lots of burnt brown sugar with some raisin bread and a hint of rum, a little sweet but quite enjoyable

M medium bodied leaning towards full for the color, silky at first then the carbonation whips it up a bit

D for under 5% it has some good flavors and I could drink a few of them without getting board

decent brew that's worth trying, not the best offering from Garrison but something I'd drink again

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Photo of bylerteck
3.84/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle brought back from Fredricton by a good friend.

A - Copper body with red notes. Lot's of carbonation and a fizzy, snap, crackle, pop, off-white head.

S - Rich malts leading to nice burnt sugar and toffee-like aromas. Dominated by sweet malt aromas. Inviting.

T - Sweetness up front with nice caramel in the body and a really nice rich, smooth and tasty toasted malt finish that lingers nicely.

M - Light body with a good amount of carbonation to keep it moving.

D - Pretty high on this. For the style this seems pretty bang-on. Oktoberfests aren't my favourite but I could down a few of these no problem.

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Photo of Viggo
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle, thanks to pubstyle for sharing.

Pours a clear amber/copper, thin white head forms, slowly drops to a thin ring, few lace spots stick to the glass, nice clarity. Smell is alright, malty, minerals/iron, bready malt, biscuit, lightly fruity, some oranges, caramel, pretty clean but uninspiring. Taste is similar, nicely malty, caramel sweetness and some dry biscuit, iron and a touch of mineral, lightly floral, balanced finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. A decent marzen but unexciting. Thanks Troy!

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Photo of papat444
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SlovakSniper (ratebeer) for this one. Enjoyed last night and shared with my wife.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle.

Appearance: Lots of head, a clear amber-red body with the same color mildly reflected in the foam.

Smell: Spices, malt, herbs and some caramel. Fresh and sprightly.

Taste: Good caramel malt backbone withe herbs that are not overdone. Flavorful and really good. Liking this a lot.

Mouthfeel: Light yet satisfying with low carbonation and medium body.

Drinkability: Easy to put back. A seasonal i would come back to for sure.

Overall: A pleasant fall beer that conjures images of fallen leaves, brisk autumn breezes and spices cooking in a pot. I highly recommend this top notch brew.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.67/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light amber colopur, finger of head with decent retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Musty brown sugar and biscuit notes.

T - Leafy hops notes amidst a sugary caramel and a solid bitter finish with a bold biscuit malt lingering.

M - Medium bodied, goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - A tasty marzen and a solid take on the style. Nothing spectacular but certainly worth a try. If I had to drink this a litre at a time, it certainly wouldnt be a problem.

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Photo of peensteen
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper amber colour, 1.5 fingers of white head, sticky, good amount of lace left behind. Smell is swet and biscuity, malty, floral earthy qualities, lemon and lime, toffee and baked bread. Taste is biscuity and malty, caramel and toffee come through, lightly bitter, dry and earthy, lemon notes in the aftertaste. Med-high prickly carbonation, lightly creamy, medium body, nice feel. Not bad stuff, fairly drinkable and quite flavourful, not the best oktoberfest beer I have had but it does the trick.

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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

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

Garrison have done a nice job on this 500ml bottle, decorating it with light blue and white checks. I popped the cap and shared it with my wife.

Pours a rich copper and immediately kicks up a creamy off-white head, which gradually drops to a collar, and leaves only a few spots of lace. Certainly not the best appearance in show, but there is a nice radiance to the body, which I like. This average to slightly-above-average performance is continued in the nose. At first the aroma is metallic and mineral heavy, but some warmth and a swirl brings out some deep fruit tones, which combine with caramel and bready malts to give a more appropriate märzen feel.

Malts dominate throughout the flavour, and the hops only make the briefest of appearances in a floral finish. A nice amount of bread combines with caramel, biscuit and spice to provide a solid platform. Unfortunately the beer fails to build on that, leaving us with a decent, but unexceptional, oktoberfest. Perhaps it could have redeemed itself by amping up the malt base, but that's not the route Garrison chose to go. The medium-light body could do with a little more heft to fill it out, but the carbonation is about where it should be.

This isn't what I would call a beer lover's oktoberfest, but its still a nice beer, and one that I can appreciate. There's not a lot of complexity going on, and its certainly more suited to the moments when you're not dwelling on the nature of beer. If I had the choice to have it again I think it would make a good session option at the bar, or a nice brewski for the game. Sometimes that's all you want in a beer.

Thanks to BBrianBoogie for sending me the bottle as part of CanCon BIF!

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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.

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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.

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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 allergictomacros
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear amber-red. Thick white head. Looks pretty good.
S - Barely there hints of roasted grain, hints of fruit.
T - Moderately dry with strong acidity. hints of coffee and toasted grain. Nondescript hops and moderately bitter finish.
M - Light,crisp mouthfeel
D - Too much acidity up front for my taste. Wouldn't try this one again.

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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.

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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.

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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 korguy123
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into my 1L Paulaner mug. Bottled Aug 25, 2011

A- Brown / copper pour. Booming four finger soapy eggshell head that recedes to finger width cap after a couple minutes. Lacing is spotty.

S- Sweet bread, peanuts and light yeast. It almost has a cardboard smell to it. But fresh baked bread pushes that aside quickly.

T- Slight metallic taste in the back. Fresh baked bread and a cardboard taste. Not bad just needs getting used to.

M- Thin to medium bodied, refreshing carbonation.

O- Tis the season for marzens and this is something I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of Long813
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark amber body with two fingers of white bubbly head. Retention is minimal and leaves no lacing.

S: Nice blend of caramel malts, spice and some breadiness.

T: Well balanced mix of caramel and bread. Some spice, but it's very weak.

M: Medium-light bodied with low carbonation. Texture is very water like and it leaves a bit of a caramel finish.

O: Well done on this beer. It was a little bland at time, but it is very refreshing and an easy drink.

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Oktoberfest Brau from Garrison Brewing Company
3.52 out of 5 based on 48 ratings.
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