Oktoberfest | Port City Brewing

very good
31 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Port City Oktoberfest is a traditional Märzen style lager, brewed with all German malts and hops. This beer is amber in color, with malty, gently sweet flavors of crusty bread, leading to a clean dry finish with a touch of noble hops. Our Oktoberfest is unfiltered and completely naturally carbonated, served in the 'keller' or 'Zwickel' style.

Our Oktoberfest won a Silver Medal at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival for Vienna-style Lager! Prost!

Added by Chaney on 08-27-2011

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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 110
Photo of bmeehan
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer has a nice combination of spice and smoothness. It's not particularly memorable, and all in all, it's kind of...bland in a way, but it's a pleasant drink. Not bold in any way, but a good beer.

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Photo of Lethaldragyn
2.7/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Tap poured with minimal head. Amber brown in color with slight haze. Nose is malty with a tinge of hop. Suttle bubble feel and finishes with more malt than hopen and dry after taste. Standard oktoberfest beer, but does the trick.

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Photo of generallee
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a German style mug.

Appearance: The body has a dark amber color with good clarity. From the pour I had a light tan head of foam which slowly settles to a wispy thin film layer. Lacing is minimal and slick.

Smell: The aroma has you basic sweet malty character with hints of hops.

Taste/Palate: It’s malty up front and brings nice caramel and bready sweetness to the party. Mid way through hop bitterness comes in and adds some balance and light herbal spice. The feel is right about middle of the road and nicely carbonated.

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Photo of grover37
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the better American versions. Well balanced without being too sweet or too watery. Nice malt complexity without an apparent bitterness . Very clean. Moderate body, moderate carb. Well done.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Brewed in Alexandria, Virginia, this Oktoberfest is a traditional expression with Hallertau hops and sweetish German malt. It opens as a heavy froth that fills the glass, the cap topping the glass lip. Once settled, there is cloudy amber body. Moderate lacing is present at this point. The nose whips up a subtle brown sugar whiff while the palate is touched with a dab of toasty malt with a mild hint of nut at the end. The mouthfeel is crisp, dry and refreshing. A pretty decent version of that famous style. While it cannot compete with the Big Bavarian Four, it is a worthy effort. Jawohl!

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Photo of mpyle
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pale amber color, slightly cloudy (not filtered? respect). Nice tight white head, moderate in size with good retention.

Drinking fairly cold, so the aroma is muted. Very clean with a hint of malt.

A hint of maltiness in the flavor, but well attenuated and hopped, making it crisp and slightly bitter. Gentle bitterness carries into the finish.

Medium body, medium-high carbonation. No astringency or warming

The hops (variety) don't seem quite right, and could use a bit more of an initial malty hit, but overall a super drinkable and balanced lager, and probably a heck of a lot fresher than something that made the journey from Germany.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%

On tap:
Pours a rusty golden color. The pour was to the top, so I didn't get a look at the initial head, but the edges sustain a nicely with off-white foamy head. Lacing is light and fleeting.

Nose is fine and as expected. Malty with dark bread notes and toffee sweetness.

Taste follows the nose and is pretty much what I expect from an Oktoberfest. The feel is a bit light (but so is the ABV), and the dark bread nose comes off a little more like a dark-flour cracker. The carbonation is decent, not too much to mess with the smoothness of the beer.

A solid representation taste-wise, even if the feel is a bit light. Won't shy away from this in the future.

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Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%

Poured one and a half bottles into a half liter stein with a nice bright rich copper color and a large blooming head atop.German malts dominate the nose with just a hint of leafy hops.Mildly sweet bread dough at first on the palate with a decent dry dry finish,not quite as sweet as way to many of the style right now on the market in my opinion.A very good Fest beer,will go good with some of my homemade brats and sweet and sour braised bacon and onions.

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Photo of kellyej
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

A- Nice head, golden orange color; Looks like fall in a glass!
S- Clean, malty, biscuit
M- Smooth, yet bubbly; Clean, dry finish
T- Balanced, clean; sweet/malty notes take precedence, hint of citrus and flowers

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, cloudy, golden/copper color, with a finger of white head that slowly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Big aroma of malt and freshly baked bread. Spice notes of black pepper, cilantro, clover, caramel and brown sugar.

Taste: Like the aroma, very malty and bready up front, which then competes with some assertive, but beautifully balanced hoppy bitterness. Finally, there’s some good caramel-like sweetness. Great taste!

Mouthfeel: Medium with some really good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.5%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Damn great beer! One of the best American versions of an Oktoberfest that I’ve had this year in fact. I really like the great balance between the malt and the hops. This is definitely going onto my Oktoberfest beer rotation!

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer is a cloudy pale amber. Smell and taste are overly hoppy for the style. Hop bitterness is a citrus and tropical note that overwhelms the caramel malts a bit. Taste is pretty and interesting. Body is medium but on the heavier side. Really unusual oktoberfest.

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Photo of delta490
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12 oz bottle into Sam Adams glass. Has a bright copper color with a big foamy white head which lasts well into the beer. Aroma is simple has nice notes of spice and caramel. The taste mirrors it with a little hop bitterness on the finish. It is moderately carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel. A great American take on a classic German style.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
5.5% ABV, no date.

Thanks to Chaney for another brew from the monster box he sent!

A - Tight bubbles form a tall pillow off white head which doesn't hesitate to almost overflow. A few gobs of lace remain on the glass after the beer plateaus to a lop-sided pile above the clear golden amber-hued beer.

S - Port City's Oktoberfest has an inviting, crisp, clean aroma with up-front toasted Vienna malts and a trace of Munich sweetness. The beer is laced with a crisp snap of hops though; faint citrus and tight herbal notes almost mask this very dull yeast nose; the smell of straight-up yeast from a smack-pack with a touch of sulfur. Thankfully it's small enough it doesn't distract from the rest of the beer.

T - Like the aroma before it, the flavor is very plain and simple but don't consider that an insult. This beer sticks closely to the German classics with malt at the forefront; toast and sweetness the main two components. Hops finish with a trickle of herbal qualities and nice dryness. The doesn't appear to continue into flavor but a pinch of that sulfur (also common to German varieties) remains.

M - Crisp feeling and clean with a medium-light body, Port City's Oktoberfest has a great hop dryness that balances the malt very well on the palate. It's very drinkable indeed.

O - Another thirst-quenching Oktoberfest, Port City's close-to-classic brew puts drinkability above all with nice malt flavor that's balanced very well by European hops. Aside from a bit of yeastiness (evident with quite a bit of haze at the bottom of the bottle) this is a great seasonal offering.

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Photo of HopsandPots
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12oz bottle brought up from the brewery. Bottling code is 2432 A1 1231, whatever that means.... Poured into a pint glass

A- Copper with plenty of carbonation inside the beer. Not much of a head at all.

S- Smells of lightly toasted malt and a bit of caramel sweetness

T- A mild hop bitterness upfront, overtaken by the sweet and biscuit.

M- Probably a bit overly carbonated, but washes away quick for a dry finish.

Overall- It's a fine Oktoberfest. It doesn't blow me away, but I won't turn the next one down.... Isn't that the point?

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Photo of Rukasu
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into glass

A - Clear orangey tan, with a dense white two-finger head that settles by half

S - Toasted grain, grass, earthy

T - Nice dry beer, slight malty sweetness with fruit and smooth hop finish.

M - Smooth and creamy, full but mild flavor with significant carbonation

O - Nice, well rounded maerzen. Easy-drinking and fun to try for the season but a six pack is probably more than I needed.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quick review cause I'm tired.

Smells like a traditional oktoberfest bier. Toffe and nuts all up in my nose!

In color, its a slightly hazy orange with a just-off-white head that provides generous lacing.

Nuts and biscuits, very malt-forward. It's very satisfying, light bodied with moderate carbonation. Its easy to drink, and pretty darn tasty. Glad I have a local Marzen as a go-to for the style.

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Photo of jak3676
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Port City - Oktoberfest

Another local brew bottled in Alexandria, VA.

It's a nice golden-amber color, but quite hazy - no where near as clear as most. Slightly hoppy and malty, they got the flavor right, and it's a nice and smooth 5.5% ABV. I'd put it in the top half of those I've tried so far, but nothing really that stood out.

It's another beer that I'd happily have again, but probably not good enough that I'll remember to look for it again at the store. No sign of a bottling date anywhere.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at H st festival dc. Plastic clear solo cup.

Golden amber body, with lots of visible rising white carbonation. Head is bit creamy pulls a little thin, off white and faint tan.

Nose is slight mix of toasty malt and classic toffee stickiness, but subdued.

Palate hits with a good feel, mix of good carbonation and faint creamy. Aftertaste is a bit hoppy for the style, strangely, very light caramel on finish.

A respectable Marzen, worth trying.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy orange with a white foamy head.

The smell was malty and sweet, with caramel and some hop earthiness.

The taste was sweet and malty but had a good level of hop bitterness to it. Very well balanced.

The mouth feel was quite chewy, medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall an easy drinking excellent Oktoberfest. This example was more bitter than other Oktoberfests I have tried and it worked very well. The Port City Oktoberfest tasted almost like an English IPA.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Mad Fox glass. Bright amber in color with a thin white head barely covering the top of it. Very nice clarity and color.

The aroma mixes crisp fruits with toasted malts. There is some notes of apple with a little grape in it. There is a little bit of a caramel sweetness in it as well. The toasted malts are very nice. Good balance to it.

The taste follows through with more of the crisp, slightly tart fruits coming through up front. The finish is where more of the toasty, bready malts show. The sweet, crisp and tart flavors are all well balanced, and the toasted malts are well done.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with moderate carbonation. Overall, I thought it was a very good beer of the style. Well balanced, nicely flavored and easy drinking. Very solid beer overall, easily my favorite Port City seasonal so far.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 09/30/11 notes. Been meaning to try this one and finally picked up a 32 oz. growler of it at the Whole Foods in Clarendon, VA. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark hazy copper orange color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of fruity malts and bready malts, light hops, and some nutiness.

t - Tastes of bready malts, caramel malts, fruit, light puts, and light citrus hops.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good Oktoberfest beer. Very glad to see Port City starting to do some seasonals and this is up there with their porter as their best beer. Girlfriend loved it too, would definitely buy it again.

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Photo of localone703
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber color off-white head.

Aromas of caramel malts and a whiff of earthy hops.

Earthy hop flavor swims upstream against a sweet malt character that I found a bit amateurish - fruity off notes not right for a lager. I wanted the refined toffee notes to an otherwise barely off-dry maltiness, but this one was too sweet with the flavors a bit too loose.

Medium body that finishes on a fruity sweet maltiness I found a bit cloying for the style.

You can take an Old Dominion brewer, give him some Old Dominion equipment, but he just can't hit the same mark. This stuff aint doing Virginia any favors - kinda like Old Dominion in their later years.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 64oz growler to nonic pint glass on 9/13/11
*From notes

A: Nice amber hue. Clean. A good pour yields a 1.75 finger head and really respectable lacing.

S: Malty grain and a touch of earth. A bit green.

T: This is a damn smooth and delicious O-Fest. Grainy and crisp without being too cloying or sweet. The finsih is a bit toasty and quite rich.

M: Über-creamy. The texture is right on, it's big and bold without being offputting. The carbonation is right where it should be.

O: Port City's Octoberfest is hands down their best brew yet. It's exactly what I expect out of a top shelf Märzen and then some. If nothing else, this proves without a doubt that the Port City crew can lager with the best of them.

Keep 'em coming, Bill!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

The beer has a fabulous appearance. Clear and orange with a towering head after an aggressive pour. Head retention is lasting and there's plenty of lacing to be found on the pint glass. The aroma is subtle, bordering on weak. Non-offensive, but quite mild. The taste is superb. I consumed half of the 64 oz. growler, and could've easily had more. Really smooth and easy drinking, with a simple and delicious malt presence. Hints of nuts, and just ever so slightly sweet. A fabulous example of an Oktoberfest, I definitely recommend this.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Take this Chaney. Growler poured into a Port City shaker pint glass because I can. Shared with the other Matt at his place last night.

Beer is copper / amber with a mild haze, huge head (rough pour) of offwhite bubbles that leaves a little lacing on the glass, head has some retention to it and the carbonation is steady and nice. Looks good.

Aroma is a little weak, mildly sweet, some lager yeast character in there, mild nuttiness, could be more pronounced.

Beer is medium to light in body, easy drinking, nice lead off sweetness. Very nice lager right here, mildly bitter but not overly so on the finish, a really great beer. I kept drinking and drinking, basically killing half the growler alone. I would have more of this if offered. Make more lagers Port City, this is the best beer you've made so far by a lot.

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Oktoberfest from Port City Brewing
3.87 out of 5 based on 110 ratings.
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