Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Ranked #139
Ranked #22,771
3.76 | pDev: 10.37%
Jun 09, 2022
Oct 02, 2008
Very Good
Notes: Oaktoberfest is a true German Marzen bier brewed with premium imported Pilsner and Vienna malts and is spiced with Bavarian hop from the mother land. Light Amber in color, soft malty profile, full bodied lager beer. Fermented with the famous Bavarian Augustiner Lager yeast from Munich. We utilized German Hallertauer Traditions for both bittering and aroma additions adding a rich, noble hop presence to this beer. Lagered in oak barrels.
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Rated: 3.79 by DOCRW from Washington

Jun 09, 2022
Photo of SLeffler27
Reviewed by SLeffler27 from New York

3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
A thin, off-white head floats above the almost clear, dark golden amber beer. Minimal to no lace forms on a Pretentious Glass Company dimpled mug.

The aroma is sweet with light graininess. There is a faint suggestion of oak against light toast with honey.

This is more bitter than I had expected, however, the bitterness is far from strong. Sweetness follows. In general, the flavor is less interesting than I had expected. In particular, there are no wood flavors. The finish is mild and long.

The body is medium to full with a hard, smooth texture. Slight metallic notes accentuate light astringency. Alcohol is as expected, barely noticeable. Carbonation in light and fizzy.

While this is a decent beer, I found nothing shines. Octoberfests do tend to be less flashy than other styles. However, I had expected the oak would be more pronounced and add some excitement.
Mar 20, 2022
Rated: 4.05 by DownyIsHungry from Minnesota

Feb 09, 2022
Rated: 3.4 by Bigmoist from West Virginia

Dec 27, 2021
Rated: 3.85 by Walnut from Missouri

Dec 12, 2021
Photo of TheBricenator
Reviewed by TheBricenator from Oregon

3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Look: Clear amber-orange with a lively off-white head that builds quickly and eventually settles to a lid, leaving good lacing behind
Aroma: Warm brown bread, melanoidin, oak notes, some earthy hops, and toffee
Taste: Toffee, melanoidin, and earthiness kick it off and quickly followed by waves of bready malt that pile up and join into the mix. Oak is present throughout and closes with the duo of bread and earthy hops
Mouthfeel: Full, very clean throughout, medium-high carbonation, and smooth, clean and soft but crisp on the finish
Overall: This is a delightful beer. This is my second time with this beer and didn’t see it last year but I feel like this is better than what I had two years ago and I liked that one too - apparently this year’s one is now actually oak-aged so that is probably why. The oak adds a nice layer to the Okto base and I’m a huge fan of using oak in/on/with beer so not too surprised I liked that aspect as well. Overall, a tasty Marzen that hits the spot on this cool evening
Dec 02, 2021
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Reviewed by JustinClarkHome

3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
This one is a little more delicate than I expected, restrained. Balanced but I get a bit more hop than malt which for me throws this one a bit off from expectations.
Nov 12, 2021
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Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Clear golden amber body with a white head. Aromas of oak with toasty malts, flowers, and bread dough. Taste is much the same, toast and oak naturally pair, dough, caramel malt, german yeast, and flowers round out well. Moderately crisp, decent carb, malty and oaky through out the whole sip. Nice twist with the oak
Nov 04, 2021
Rated: 3.95 by Coronaeus from Canada (ON)

Nov 04, 2021
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Reviewed by DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Bavarian-style marzen with an oakey twist. Deep gold pour, biscuit nose and grain flavor. Malty at first and throughout. This brew captures Bavarian simplicity and grace.
Oct 30, 2021
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Reviewed by cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours deep orange yellow with a small white head. Smells of caramelized grain with slight fruit notes. Tastes of sweet caramelized grain with a tad bit of fruit. Beer is light bodied and easy drinking, good carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.
Oct 30, 2021
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Reviewed by hoptheology from South Dakota

3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
12 oz bottle, dated 7/20/21. Parish Pint Glass.

Has a beautiful light amber glow, skewing strawberry-blonde, with a creamy buttered head of 1 finger. Leaves lace as it recedes. Marvelous!

Aroma brings me back to the days of reviewing my first beers on here. Same time of year, too. Wet mash, toasted grain, some hop sharpness rounding it all out...some deeper descriptors I wouldn't have picked up on back then would be apricot, caramel, crisp apple, and flower bed.

Man it's been awhile since I've had a good Marzen. This one was a great re-entry. Lots and lots of toasty, crisp munich and caramunich malts open this up, creating a bed for herbal hops and dry grass. Lemon peel and slight citrusy brine wrap up the finish.

Carbonated feel with slight parch and moderate to strong resins. Alcohol is detectable at only 5.2% but it's permissible as appropriate warmth since certain areas of the world would be experiencing colder temperatures already at the end of September.

Overall, a very delightful take on the Marzen and one I'd be glad to have again. I wish we got Firestone Walker here in South Dakota, but I suppose like all other breweries their stuff would sit and rot as very few people buy beer here.

I would buy it again should I be within FW distro around Sept-Oct.

$1.66 @ Binny's in Peoria, IL
Oct 29, 2021
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Reviewed by Mark-Leggett from Missouri

4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Poured from a bottle. Golden in color with a white head and a little lacing. Smells of malt, bread, caramel and honey. Flavor follows the smell and all comes together nicely. Flavor is very good, exactly what you want in an Octoberfest beer.
Oct 26, 2021
Rated: 3.81 by Humanusfermentum from Virginia

Oct 24, 2021
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Reviewed by AccipiterofBeer from New York

4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured into a tulip pint. This looks really nice.

L: 4. Light marzen coloration. Polished copper. Ample carbonation with a lingering head.
S: 3.75. Give it a few minutes and it really opens up at you. Malty. Spicy. There's a honey like sweetness to it but that dissipates as it breathes.
T: 4.25. My favorite of the season so far. It has a nice spicy bite to it.
F: 4. I think the oak aging worked wonders. Nice and smooth. Light and mellow mouthfeel.
O: 4. A solid 4. It doesn't fill you up like other Marzens might. Very good oktoberfest lager.
Oct 19, 2021
Rated: 3.87 by wisegreensoul from Idaho

Oct 19, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by cryptichead from Illinois

Oct 18, 2021
Rated: 4.31 by evanwoertz from California

Oct 17, 2021
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Reviewed by emerge077 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Brassy gold tone, ample foam and spotty lacing. Aroma is malt forward and grainy.

Taste is malty and easygoing, light crackery grains and a hint of apple. The oak is very understated, but it’s there. Lighter feel but still fairly substantial. Good carb level, smoothly textured. Overall pretty solid, lighter and less sweet than most American Märzens.
Oct 13, 2021
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Reviewed by Manta200 from Kentucky

3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
2 bottles shipped from Half Time
Light amber color with a thick foamy head, good retention.
Toasted, bready aroma with a subtle hop note.
Taste is very balanced between the malt and the hops. Subtle sweetness, finishes dry.
I like it.
Oct 12, 2021
Rated: 3.5 by Hellpop65 from Kansas

Oct 10, 2021
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Rated by izraelc from New York

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Pours a light amber. Light malt aroma. Very mild Oktoberfest flavor. Doesn't taste oakey at all. Easy to drink but not very exciting.
Oct 10, 2021
Rated: 4.12 by chrishiker1409 from New York

Oct 07, 2021
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Reviewed by sulldaddy from Connecticut

3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Sampling a chilled 12 oz stubby bottle date stamp of 07/20210704 B2.
Pouring the beer into my .5L dimple mug. The beer exhibits a bright clear copper color with a fizzy eggshell white head of about 1.5 cm. This foam fades to a sturdy edge layering and some wispy islands spinning around the surface. Several active streams of carbonation rise to the surface.
the aroma is a little bit of toasted bread and some light fruit, raisin I believe. I get a little bit of a wooden note like a popsicle stick, but this is mild and buried in the background. The nose has definitely got a bit of a sweeter vibe going on, but its not overpowering.
The first sip reveals a medium to light body with very fine carbonation. Texture is a little sticky on my palate and lips. Feels like a thin film after each sip.
Flavor starts sweeter with a little caramel and toasted bread and a little sweetness, but moves to some slightly bitter hops with a floral character and dries out on the swallow.
I think the impact of the oak barrels is minimal in my opinion, but does add something. The beer is drinkable and I like that there is some hop balance on the finish. Nice brew.
Oct 04, 2021
Rated: 3.63 by CisPiece88 from Nebraska

Oct 04, 2021
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Reviewed by UrbanCaveman from Ohio

3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
12 oz can, poured into a willi becher at ~40 degrees F.

L: Poured a crystal clear reddish honey-amber, and formed a couple fingers of white head with good retention. Some visible carbonation in the beer, but not an o'erweening amount.

S: Toasty indeed, and redolent with sweet caramel alongside notes reminiscent of cherry and fig. A bit of sticky bun.

T: Significantly less sweet than the nose had led me to believe it might be, this opens as a darker variety of toast, with a heavy earthy underlay. That earthen character swells as the sip proceeds, taking center stage by midway and developing some herbaceous and nigh-tannic qualities as it does. The finish lingers as that herbal earth, with faint tinges of toasted grains around the edges.

F: Medium, and fairly lively.

O: A fairly tasty and drinkable marzen, if perhaps a tad more "noble" than I'd personally prefer. Not a bad one by any stretch, however.
Oct 02, 2021
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Reviewed by Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bought a 6-pack bottles $10.39 Tamuras
56 days old
Smell of wheat, faint vanilla
Clear golden-amber color
Medium mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Taste of malts, light caramel sweetness, faint vanilla
Overall a good sessionable beer to celebrate Oktoberfest.
Oct 02, 2021
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Reviewed by blazerkor from Nevada

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
That's about as skunky smelling as possible. Past that there is some malty sweetness.

The taste is watery with some diluted malts and absolutely no hint of wood of any kind.

It's thin with medium fizzy carbonation. The finish is sweet and then just clean.

Not much in the way of a bold beer. Just clean and refreshing. Overall I give it 4.5 out of 6.
Oct 02, 2021
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Reviewed by cjgiant from District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A beer that grew on me as I sipped through a tall glass. It seemed a little light and timid initially, but it settled into a groove nearer the end of the glass. A clear amber body and escaping head yields a melanoidin toast and tea-like aroma. Taste brings this and eventually some reed grass and woody bitterness. The bitter notes linger lightly beyond each sip, if I allow them. I think a little more forthright (German) hop profile would benefit this beer.
Sep 30, 2021
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Reviewed by Chickenhawk9932 from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Pours a light amber with an off white head that hangs around.

Nutty, malty, caramel, toasted whole grain bread, oak, and dry herb.

Oaky and nutty up front giving way to bitter herb and toasted whole grain bread with a touch of caramel malt.
Sep 29, 2021
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Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Some of the reviews think that FW tweaked this recently. Oaktoberfest has been on BA for 12 years; so that helps explain the low average ratings. I think FW distinguishes itself from the field in this style much like it does in other styles: FW thoughtfully adds something new in a modest range, rarely tempted to go extreme on its fans' palates.

So it is with Oaktoberfest. The barrel-aging is subtle. The color is lighter than the typical amber. The yeast is less lively. The off-flavors nonexistent. It's almost as if this O-Fest was distilled.

At the end of my reviews, I like to offer some new insight into a brewer. But at 18 uniques and a whole lot of them repeated, it is too much work for me to dig and find something new on FW. But I do want to visit them on my next trip to California. They are on my Bucket List.
Sep 29, 2021
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Reviewed by Chiropractorbeerwhore from California

4.74/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
I'm on an Oktoberfest drink-off!! This my third or fourth variety and so far this is the best so far. Taste, mouthfeel and finish are spectacular. I wish they brewed this year round!!
Sep 29, 2021
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Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.11/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Bottled 7/20/21

And so the Oktoberfest tasting carries on. What do we have here, an oak aged Märzen? Hell yeah! This sounds like it’ll be awesome. Firestone Walker has impressed me in the past though I haven’t had much from them before. Yet another beer from the mixed 12 pack from Half Time. Let’s crack it open and see what it’s all about

Pours a clear gold with 2 fingers of creamy white head that quickly fades to a cap and leaves minimal lacing

Ok, now we're finally getting back into a groove with the style. Unlike my last few, this one has a nice snap to it, at least in the nose (so far). I'm picking up on aromas of orange zest, herbal hops, fresh cut grass, sticky toffee, woody spruce, pithy grapefruit, pale malt, light vanilla, and toasted grain

Just as I suspected upon first whiff, this carries a subtle yet assertive bitterness, keeping this nicely in check, even better than the aroma. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting woody spruce, earthy hops, general citrus, caramel, bready malt, and toasted grain. The swallow brings notes of toasted grain, sticky caramel, pear skin, herbal hops, orange zest, and light bready malt

A light medium body pairs with moderate carbonation, resulting in an ultra crisp beer. Finishes off dry with a balanced sweetness

Wow, I don't know if I'm more impressed by how solid it is or if I'm surprised by how low some of these ratings are. It seems like it was reformulated semi-recently, so that could be the cause of that. Great beer, I'll definitely pick more up if I see it
Sep 28, 2021
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Reviewed by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Clear amber appearance with a small white head and decent lacing. Earthy aroma imparts a cracker-like quality but the woody notes are faint. Clean, crisp taste that signals a good balance of bready malts and herbal, floral hops. Aftertaste is where I'm finding more of the oaks' influence. Well carbonated, medium bodied mouthfeel.
Sep 23, 2021
Rated: 3.78 by einman from Minnesota

Sep 22, 2021
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Reviewed by FBarber from Illinois

3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Pours a crystal clear bronze color.Thin white, sudsy head forms on the beer. Aroma has notes of lightly toasted malts, crusty bread with a slight sweetness. There is a distinct woody/oakiness to the aroma of the beer.

Taste follows the nose with notes of bready malts, that have a lightly toasted character. A touch of sweetness is present in the beer. Then, again, there is that woody, oakiness that came through on the nose towards the back end of the profile. Feel is surprisingly light - almost too light for a märzen. Moderately prickly carbonation.

Overall its a unique take on a märzen from FW, but the resulting beer is an enjoyable one.
Sep 22, 2021
Rated: 4 by SMH_NWI from Texas

Sep 22, 2021
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Reviewed by dcotom from Iowa

4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I'm not sure how I've managed to miss out on this one for, lo, these many years. At least now it won't be a stranger. Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a vintage hollow-stemmed goblet. Slight gusher upon opening the bottle, which surprisingly did not translate into much of a head when poured. Color is a clear amber, with the finger or so of white head leaving scant lacing as it settled. Aromas of bready malts, herbal and grassy hops, and a hint of cat piss (not a bad thing, BTW). This has a spicy hop bite, lots of bitterness, and notes of citrus and tart apple. This is not overly sweet, and it finishes dry with some tannic astringency. I found this to be an outstanding accompaniment to fatty food. What more could you want from an Oktoberfest Märzen?
Sep 22, 2021
Rated: 3.5 by JLaw55 from Missouri

Sep 19, 2021
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Reviewed by Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Clear light amber pouring. I did an aggressive pour, so there was a 5 finger white head. The head is quite fluffy, and frothy. The retention was pretty good, but no lacing on the glass.
The nose is a pleasing aroma of malts, which is a bread biscuit aroma. I also get a good amount of oak on the aroma.
The flavor is very malt forward, as expected. A bread, biscuit malty sweetness. This is balanced by a hint of the oak used in the production of this beer that provides an earthy, woody flavor.
The body is light, crisp, and clean.
Solid beer, and a change up on the standard Oktoberfest beer.
Sep 19, 2021
Oaktoberfest from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 865 ratings