Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #236
Ranked #33,098
3.74 | pDev: 10.96%
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Notes: This is our version of Oktoberfest/Marzen bier. Made with Munich malt, this traditional red lager is smooth, malty, with a clean finish. Anyone looking for a “red beer” has found what they are looking for.
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 30 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Kuhnhenn Fest has a beautiful terra cotta colour, like red clay was dissolved in water. It has an impressively sized head, especially for something that spent nearly a week in the growler. It is clear but has very striking highlights and a deep, rich tone. Simply beautiful.

Nutty malts make for wholesome notes of biscuits, toasted bread and a trace of pumpkin flesh. While the richness of quality German malts isn't displayed quite as extravagantly on the nose as it is on the palate, it's clear that this has both confidence and copious amounts of flavour.

The taste has a distinctively biscuity maltiness; it reminds me of tea wafers and has a similar vanilla-almond-like flavour. The malts are incredibly nutty and rich! They provide a wealth of grainy flavour that is topped with just a small (could be my imagination) taste of pumpkin pie.

The mouthfeel provides a lot of herbal hoppiness; it's like someone dumped grass clippings into my glass. This agreeable bitterness balances all the nutty sweetness and avoids any caramel or butterscotch impressions from developing. The finish is almost spicy with a baking spice-like tinge.

Kuhnhenn Fest is a near perfect Märzen every which way you slice it; this rich and malty, considerably bittered, super approachable and refreshing ale is a quintessential example of the style. Kuhnhenn typically get's attention for their unique high gravity stuff but this offering reminds us they are adept, well-rounded brewers with as much technical skill as imagination.

Oct 04, 2013
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TheBrewo from New York

4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This brew was served from the tap at the Kuhnhenn Brewing Company taproom in Warren, Michigan. It arrived in a generic pint glass, showing a ruddy bronze coloring, and sporting a one finger head of khaki colored bubbles. This showed nice retention, leaving geographic lacing all around the glass, and a tight film across the top of the liquid. A chill haze cut clarity, but no sediment was otherwise noted. Carbonation appeared to be active. The aroma was fresh and full of autumn, with gingerbread, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper spiciness skirting along a base of amber and pale malts, bulgur wheat, adjuncty metallics, baker’s yeast, brown sugar, white flour, straw, and faintly citric, grapefruity hops far in the distance. Our first impression was very much the same, in that the flavoring also beautifully elicited a clear picture of fall, in all of its warmth and spice. As we sipped, the taste began with the bite of amber malts, crisply toasted pale malts, hot almond oil, vanilla extract, light booze, crumbled maple leaves, earthen hops, baker’s yeast, and black pepper spiciness. Spice crashes in at the peak, giving warmed gingerbread, cinnamon apple cider, oat, booze, nutmeg, allspice, continued amber malts, tinny metallics, and lactic acidity. The ending wash came with more sweetness of red apples and white sugar to meet the warmth and spice, with additional notes of vanilla bean, dirty grassiness, muddy mineral, a curious chocolate malt warmth, toasted almonds, dried apricot, and newspaper ink. The aftertaste breathed of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, tree resins and maple sap, moss, pencil woodiness, phenolic plastics, light banana esters, and dirty pale metallics. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, with the mouth left warmed, coated, and satiated. This gave eventually crispy and lightly floured dryness, but in the absence of puck. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its authenticity of spice and cleanliness through both the aroma and the flavoring. The nose gave bright spice, but not so much as to knock you off your seat, or in any attempt to be over the top. Rather it was used as an accent, helping to blend with and clean up the malts around their rougher edges. The flavoring followed suit, with easy-drinking clarity and deliberate use of each component. Again, nothing was overly utilized or inappropriately represented. This is the type of beer you look for warmth in, just at the turn of the season.

Sep 02, 2013
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tectactoe from Michigan

3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Kuhnhenn's brewpub in Warren. Kuhnhenn's Fest pours the color of rich honey; some limbo between amber and copper. Mild clarity throughout, with a slight bit of haze that cuts through the center that clears a little bit as the brew warms up. The head fades rather quickly although the ring that it recedes to lasts all the way down the glass and actually leaves behind some decent lace rings.

I love the malty, sweet, bready, caramely, and robust aroma profiles that usually come along with beers of this style, although Kuhnhenn's take on it seems a bit lackluster in stature. I gave the beer adequate time to warm up a bit, but it was only a partial remedy. The aromas I was able to pull out, however, were quite nice; caramel, toffee, toasted bread, thick yeast, and a very faint brushing of citric-like hops adding a little lemon zest twinge in the end. Not bad, but why isn't it just a bit more lively?

Not knowing what to expect after the somewhat underpowered aroma, I was surprised to find that the beer is much more boisterous on the palate - it certainly steps things up a notch and really rejuvenates my hopes for the brew. Smooth caramel up front with some traces of sticky toffee, followed by an abundance of buttery toast and heavy biscuit-like malts and yeast. Much sweeter than the aroma would lead on, but miles from cloying. I'm starting to like this a bit more.

Somewhere around the middle of the brew, there's a touch of graininess that comes coupled with a very mild fruitiness that carries a striking resemblance to red grapes. Sounds like a strange combination with the malts that are present, but its relatively low quantity as compared to the other flavors makes it work beautifully. Herbal hops are generally not noticeable into the finish, where a light bitterness finally strikes but is still secondary to the sweet malts. Medium bodied, medium carbonation; smooth mouth feel, lightly creamy and slick.

Very strange how the aroma and flavor seemed to be on completely opposite ends of the spectrum when considering their potency. Great big flavor, heavy-handed on the malts and yeast which is typically how O-fests should be. I just wish the nose was as big and robust as the flavor. Very easy drinking, I'd definitely have this one again.

May 31, 2013
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ryantho00 from Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red with good carbonation and a 2 finger head that disappears quickly. I get a sweet malty nose, noble hops, some dried dark fruit (plum or blackberry?), and a small touch of grain.

This has a nice fresh and crisp medium body with tastes of sweet malt, grain, spicy hops, some subtle citrus, a breadiness, biscuit. Nice overall mouthfeel and great crisp finish with a hint of dryness.

Overall a nice take on the oktoberfest style, lots of well balanced flavors. Tasted better on tap, growlers seem to lose carbonation fast. Tasty brew that's easy to drink.


May 12, 2012
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TurdFurgison from Ohio

3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at the brewpub, September 2011. The menu description: -This is our version of Oktoberfest/Marzen bier. Made with Munich malt, this traditional red lager is smooth & malty with a clean finish. Anyone looking for a "red beer" has found what they're looking for.-

The beer is dark copper color and clear, with about a finger of off-white foam that settles quickly to a thickish ring. There are some weizen notes in the aroma which are strange, some bubblegum and clove of all things, but just a little. Maybe the tap lines were crossed at some point? Otherwise a clean malt aroma with some worty characteristics.

It tastes like a bit of a marzen/weizen hybrid, like a Bavarian free-for-all. Mostly a solidly malty flavor, toasty and flavorful, with an odd amount of esters in the aftertaste. Strange but tasty.

Thick bodied, especially for a 4.74% ABV this is thick, a coating mouthfeel. This is strange overall, thicker than the ABV would indicate yet lighter ABV than marzens normally go for. Meh.

Sep 13, 2011
Fest from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 30 ratings