Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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German Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #79
Ranked #29,719
3.77 | pDev: 10.34%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
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.
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Reviews: 164 | Ratings: 792 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Gajo74
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at 3rd Avenue Ale House, NYC.
Pours a clear amber color with a moderate and quickly dissipating head. Looks on par for the style.
Aroma opens cleanly. Soon there are notes of toasted malt, caramel and floral hops aromas.
The malt flavors evoke notes of toasted and biscuity malts, mostly dry with a light sweetness that dies not develop until further into the drink. Strongly hopped for the style, I feel like the hops flavors somewhat detract from and overpower the malt backbone. Notes of grassy, floral and lemony hops. The hops provide a good spice, however, the lemony flavor emits a tartness that is distracting.
Medium bodied with a crisp mouthfeel and lively carbonation. The finish is clean, short and dry.
OK for drinking, however, this is not my favorite effort from Firestone Walker. I felt like the hops to malt ratio was too unbalanced, with not enough malt flavors shining through.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Canned 8/11/16; drank 9/18/16 @ the Yarchives.

See-through orange/yellow appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE, noisy eggshell head; frothy lace.

Corn, rice & faint caramel notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Sweet rice & corn flavors up front; faint caramel notes on the finish.

Decent, but hardly worth the effort.

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Photo of Offa
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A good beer of the style but definitely with more of an obvious American character than a German/Czech character which I prefer.

Gold, big white head slowly shrinks.
Aroma is strong bread - white bread crust esp., apple, grain, some lemony-grassy hop, hints of metal.
Taste is gently assertive dominant peppery grassy hop bitterness, creamy grain, slightly creamy feel, overall nice.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75


On tap at Isaac Newton's.

LOOK: Light brown-yellow.
AROMA: is a meld of hops, barley, wood.
TASTE: Woody flavor. Touch of smoke. Barley, grass.
FEEL: smooth and mellow. Medium body, medium carbonation.

Very enjoyable.


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Photo of PatrickCT
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Perfectly amber and crystal clear body. 1 1/2 finger white soapy head.
The aroma is bready and grainy. A hint of floral hops.
Malty bready taste with an interesting hop profile. Citrusy, floral and with a hint of medicinal hops with a nice spiciness that wraps it up.
Round and creamy mouth feel without being heavy. Compliments the malts.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a mug. The appearance was a mostly transparent copper color with a rising carbonation to meet a slim finger’s white foamy head. Rings of melting foamy lace cling initially to the glass but slide into the beer. The aroma starts with sly twist of sweet oaky spice over sweet caramel and toffee malts. Crisp nuttiness blends nicely like a good Oktoberfest. Crisp semi-sweet to bitter grassy hops make a light presence. The flavor leans sweet through the malts allowing the spice to lightly come back with the hops, semi-bitter. Aftertaste seems to lean sticky sweet carrying on into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a nice sessionability about it. Carbonation rides fairly light, semi-sticky but allowing the spice to lightly hit in a fairly sharp sort of way. Overall, to date, this has got to be the absolute most interesting Oktoberfest. All qualities of the style show their presence yet Firestone Walker gives off their creative genius.

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Photo of pro45
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tall boy dated August 2016. Pours a clear gold with a billowing off white head. Smell is sweet malts, caramel, tea, some fruit, and grain. Taste is caramel, toffee, malts, sweetness, herbal, and stone fruit. Very light and refreshing with good carbonation. does down too easy. I was expecting a malt bomb due to the beer being around 6 months old. One of the better Marzens I've had. I'd love to try a fresh can. Didn't get any of the oak. Very enjoyable. Much preferred over Sam Adams' Octoberfest.

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Photo of tbryan5
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice take on the style. It is a little sweet balanced out by the slight bitterness of the oak. This beer is full bodied yet remains very crushable. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of Beejay
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Golden yellow in color with a soft white head on top.

S: Lots of malt goodness, with some light crisp fruity aroma as well.

T: Caramel and malt goodness with spicy, herbal and earthy hop flavors in the finish.. Moderate bitterness in this finish.

M: Medium light in body, with fairly high carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish. Makes it very drinkable.

O: Overall a darn tasty brew.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.29/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from can into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a golden-orange-amber color with a big billowy white head. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a good sum of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is mainly a mix of caramel and lightly roasted malt smells mixed with a rather decent oaky taste. Along with these smells comes some lighter aromas of spice with a little bit of nutmeg and some clove.

Taste – The taste begins with a toasted malt taste with a little bit of a caramel sweetness. Overall the sweetness is very light with it remaining so throughout the taste. While the sweetness remains lighter, the roastiness and some cracker tastes grow stronger as the taste moves forward. Along with these flavors comes some nice light oaky and woody tastes as well as a little bit of a herbal flavor, one is left with a slightly drier and toasted malt taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the slightly lighter side while the carbonation level is rather high. For the Oktoberfest style I was not all that impressed overall. Less carbonation and more body may have accentuated the malt and some of the roasted flavors a little bit better.

Overall – An alright Oktoberfest, but in my opinion, not really what an O’fest is supposed to taste like. Not enough maltinesss and sweetness all while having a little bit too much roast and wood/oak. OK, but not really a great Oktoberfest in my opinion.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is fruit, oak/slightly smoky and malts. The flavor is fruit/berries, mild oak/smoky, slight acidity, a bit of sweetness, malts and a dryish/tart finish.

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Photo of tone77
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts. Taste is very mild, grains, light malts. Feels medium/light bodied in the mouth and overall is a bit disappointing, not nearly as flavorful as this style should be.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear, deep orange gold beer with a pillowy white head that leaves sheets of lacing. The aroma has notes of earthy and floral hops with a delicate sweetness in the background. The taste is mildly sweet with toasted malt and best yeast with a hint of citrus filled by a complimentary bitterness with floral components. This is a finely crafted German beer.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz can poured into a pint glass

Pours clear and golden in color with a creamy white head that has good retention and leaves some lacing behind. Smells of spicy barvarian hop, Pilsner malt, toasted bread, a bit grassy. Tastes of spicy, earthy and grassy hops, followed by toasted brown bread & light caramel sweetness. Toasted finish with more spicy hope on the longer. Medium body with medium carbonation, foamy mouthfeel and a crisp finish. A bit holier than a traditional Oktoberfest, but I like it, high drinkability

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Photo of KTCamm
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

August 2016 - Pours copper medium, with a heavy ring of white foam. Oaky malted nose. Malty bitter flavor. Rich malt based flavor and firm backbone creeps in the back. A touch spicy too. Woodsy take on a classic oktober beer.

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Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid marzen, loads of flavour, true to style. Traditional toasted grains and subtle sweetness with earthy hop notes. A worthy selection for anyone looking to get their marzen fix.

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Photo of erk0607
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Crispy, deep gold with a soft, white, fluffy head.
Smell: Malt takes the stage here, and there is a sweet somewhat citrusy zest. Not very powerful though.
Flavor: Not very strong, super mild in fact. Malt makes itself known with toasty bread and toffee followed up by orange peel. Grassy muted noble hops.
Feel: Light carbonation, medium body for a Märzen, somewhat slick and creamy
Overall: If there was a time to use the word quaffable, this would probably be it. Not offensive, yet still flavorful enough to keep you interested.

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Photo of atr2605
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a straw soft copper color with a white head with decent retention
S-malty, honey, toasted biscuit, some floral hop notes
T-caramel, malty biscuit flavor, with spicy floral bitterness, and finishes a bit dry
M-medium bodied with average carbonation
O-very solid marzen, fits well within the style and is very sessionable

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Photo of Zythophile
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can Date: 8/22/16
Palate Contaminants: other beer

The look is a very clear medium amber with a good amount of head. I just keep looking, and it's so clear...

The smell is a nice lemon, grainy smell that I expect out of a marzen. It has a little honey, too. The ceiling isn't high, but it matches the archetype I have in my mind.

The lemon hangs around a bit in the taste, but the main flavor is a nice canvas of mellow, savory grain and light wood. It might not be sharp, but it is distinct. It tastes like autumn should. I suppose it might hit some tongues as honeydew melon or white raisins. There's also a minor lactic element to it all. For me, again, it's about as well as this style can be executed.

The grainy sweetness is most of what the aftertaste is for me, and the carbonation takes a little effort to stir out. The savoriness also hangs around with the cereals.

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Photo of Harrison8
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear yellow with a slight dark tinge. Head formation is a finger and a half of off-white foam. Retention is good, with a gracious amount of lacing left behind. Aroma is sweet and smooth, with notes of bread, clove, and yeast spices. The taste is nice, with notes of banana, clove, bread, and some yeast, spicy easters in the back. Mouth feel is smooth, and filling for being a medium-thick consistency. Overall, a great brew that is well-assembled across the board.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I am in the midst of the #OktoberfestChallenge2016 and while the bulk of the entries are in bottle form, I am proud to CANtinue The CANQuest (tm) whenever possible.

From the CAN: "Fall Release"; "Paso Marzen Bier"; "Beer Before Glory (tm))".

I was faced with another "1 Pint (16 fl. oz.)" CAN, but in this case I had no CANpunctions about an inverted Glug following the Crack! My madness resulted in just under three fingers of foamy, soapy, rocky, bone-white head which quickly faded to wisps. Color was a solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was more in keeping with what I expect in the style - a sweet maltiness with notes of honey & maple syrup. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was drier than the nose had led me to expect. Instead of being totally sweet, it had a light grassiness to accompany a more biscuity maltiness. Still, the name was (perhaps) misleading. Had it been aged in oak or with oak chips? It certainly did not taste like it. Finish was semi-dry, biscuity, grassy, refreshing. Again, it is not generally my style of choice, but I could see giving these CANs some space in the cooler.

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Photo of 57md
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dirty straw color with a finger of head. The nose has notes of wood. The flavor has an oaky essence with some light toasted malt character, as well. The finish is dry. Not quite in line with either a traditional Marzen or an American Oktoberfest but tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.46/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a Dogfish tulip glass.

Look is a clear light golden amber with a thick 2inch head.

Lots of biscuit caramel malts on the aroma.

Taste is light and refreshing same toasted biscuit malt in the aroma in the flavor with earthy grassy continental hops at the end.

Delicious beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. "Oktoberfest"
16 fl. oz. can, "BEST BY 09/DEC/16" and sampled on 14/OCT/16
$3.29 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Look: Oktoberfest pours a beautiful, clear golden-amber-orange body beneath a creamy head of white that holds well and leaves some very nice lacing.

Smell: The aroma displays grainy malt with a hint of spicy and floral hops. It's clean, pleasant and welcoming, but not particularly what I'd expect from a Märzen as it lacks depth.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma in the same way with the addition of a little bit of toastiness to the malt. It's nice, but the it lacks some character and richness. The minor floral and spicy hops work well, and there's a pleasant spicy dryness to the finish. It's really well-balanced and drinkable.

Feel: Medium bodied and crisp with a standard carbonation.

Overall: The Vienna/Märzen/Oktoberfest is pretty varied, especially when you're calling it an Oktoberfest, so it certainly can't be said that it's not brewed to style. There are certainly examples coming out of Germany that are similar (Warsteiner Oktoberfest for one), although there are also far more that offer a richer maltiness. At least it's not overdone and "sticky". Highly drinkable.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a golden orange body with one-finger head that stuck around for a while. Get that dry, bitter lagerness in the aroma but also hints of sweet malts and some oakiness. Dry, crisp, biting body that is smooth thanks to wood and bits of yeast and balanced the earthy hops with a bit of malt sweetness and then a dry, clean finish.

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Oaktoberfest from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 792 ratings