Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

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Weihenstephaner OktoberfestbierWeihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier

Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full rich bodied, hoppy, seasonal lager. Especially brewed for the Festbier season. This beer truly represents the Bavarian way of celebrating. Deep gold color, great mouth-feel and lots of flavor. Prost!

Added by mzwolinski on 10-27-2002

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Reviews: 618 | Ratings: 1,535
Photo of BeerSox
2.78/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into nonic

The hue of this beer is a little more towards the yellow side (lighter) compared to other beers in this style, with a little bit of haze to it. The head is about one finger tall and off-white.

The aroma is a lighter malt with some of the standard dark candy hints. There is a smell that reminds me of a witbier, with a little bit of orange peel and coriander. It's something I haven't found yet in an Oktoberfest. There isn't much hop aroma to speak of.

Pretty much standard lager flavors with no strong characteristics that describe an Oktoberfest (caramel, dark hard candy sugar). It's mostly soft grain with pretty much no hop flavor. The body is on the lighter side with higher carbonation, making the beer a little fizzy. The finish is just grain.

I found this one a little bit boring. I probably would have preferred a regular All-Malt Lager or Vienna Lager or something. It may be a Festbier, but it's not one I would seek. Not recommended.

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Photo of Mryup
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A very clear golden yellow. The "yellowest" beer I have ever seen. Small, pure white head that soon fades to transparent sheet with blotches, islands or groupings of slightly thicker head. The above average lacing points to this beers heritage and is the first indication of a superior macro lager.

S: The noble hops dominate with malt, grass and the classic lager smell in the background.

T: A very mild cacophony of noble hops with malt and grass hinting in the background. It sets itself apart from other lagers (its technically malt liquor) with the hop domination but still retains its roots. Very clean, simple and in some respects sophisticated for its class.

M: A medium/light bodied beer with hints of heaviness that petition to enlighten the drinker of its "more than meets the eye" quality. CO2 is par.

D: An extremely drinkable beer for its slightly higher ABV.

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Photo of jar2574
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle with a wreath as decoration. I didn't know that Germans celebrated Octoberfest with wreaths. Must be missing something here.

Average appearance. Decent head, light yellow color. Lacing clings to the glass on the way down. Average carbonation.

Smells of hops and honey. Some bitterness to the smell as well.

Blend of hops and malts and honey in the taste, pretty smooth and drinkable. But not enough to keep me coming back for more. It's a very mellow beer. Not bad, but not great.

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Photo of scoobybrew
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was poured into a pilsner flute from the bottle.

A - light clear golden color with a small white foamy head that is well retained. It leaves a nice lacing.

S - light delicate malt and slight noble hop scent

T - dominate noble hop profile balanced nicely by the malt, finishes crisp

M - medium-light body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a very nice Festbier along the lines of a German pilsner. It's very tasty - another great beer from Weihenstephan. I disagree with the Marzen classification.

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Photo of edskirk3
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An Oktoberfest beer from the world's oldest brewery. This ought to be good, right?

From a 12 oz brown bottle (code stamped on the back is "2257") it pours bright gold into the glass. Wait a minute, bright gold?!

Yeah, bright gold with a three-finger white head. Very active carbonation. Noble hop aroma, of course. Spritzy and lemony, like that of the Saaz variety.

The palate is light and zesty, with a little bit of tang from the malt. A twinge of bitterness lingers. A light, yet creamy mouthfeel.

As far as the color goes, I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the 967-year-old Bavarian brewery. So it isn't copper like all the other 'Fests... I could still see myself partying with a few of these.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
2.42/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 500ml. bottle. Leaves less than one finger of a white head that quickly dissappears, and leaves very small trace amounts of lacing. Body is clear gold, looking like a Helles Lager or Euro-Lager rather than a Marzen with a Marzen's characteristic orange-amber hue.

Smell - cooked veggies, slight aroma of toasted malt biscuits. Not promising. I smell a disappointing Euro-Lager here.

Taste - as promised by the nose, which is to say not much. Cooked veggies with a faint hint of toasty malt biscuits, washed with some sour grassy hops. This tastes like a mediocre, mass produced Euro-lager, and nowhere near a Marzen. Disappointing.

Mouthfeel - medium to thin bodied.

Drinkability - This is certainly not a Marzen, and it is not very good, not even as a Euro Lager.

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Photo of racer2k
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance = A cloudy golden ale color with light carbonation. Not your typical Oktoberfest beer from Germany. Thin beer for sure. Looks like a Pilsner

Smell = hints of sour dough, grains, and a waft of earthy tones. Moderate aroma of hops is present

Taste = Smooth with some hoppy flavor but not overwhelming. I can taste the grains and a moderate malty finish. This is not like the traditional sweeter German Oktoberfest beers

Mouthfeel = Very clean with low carbonation. Nice complexity of flavors.

Drinkability = Nice session beer with plenty of drinkability. Thin and light beer

Overall = I like it. This is a nice departure from the US craft Oktoberfest beers and a bit different then your 1516 purity law offerings. Very good.

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Photo of matty
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow with average nose.Pleasant sweet taste with what appears to be honey.Aftertaste also of honey.Good stuff I enjoyed this and would recommend to anybody.A bit pricey so I will be buying six packs of this not cases.Good job by the "world's oldest brewery"

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Photo of Sleestak
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok so I picked up a bunch of sixers of different oktoberfest beers last week at my local BevMo, this being one of them. Weihenstephaner being a respected brewer, I thought I'd give this one a shot. Pours a... pale gold?! This is supposed to be a marzen right? Smells clean and malty. Tastes honey sweet. I am a bit dissapointed with the lack of caramel/toffee sweetness that usually comes with this style. Not much hop bitterness. This is a smooth and clean malty beer, just not what I was expecting in an oktoberfest/marzen.

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Photo of eberkman
3.02/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful crystal-clear golden hue with a rush of carbonation bubbles racing to the service. The head was quite short, but had nice staying power. A very inviting looking brew. Looks more like a pilsner than my image of a marzen, but still appealing visually. The smell, however, was quite skunky up front with some faint malt and spice sweetness lingering in the background. The taste was very sweet up front -- lots of sugary, honeylike malts with the slightest bite at the finish. Not a lot of balance here. A good, crisp, carbonated mouthfeel would make this a heck of a refresher if the beer wasn't so sweet. Average drinkability -- easy to handle, but a little too off balance to crave this in multiples.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very clear golden yellow color with at least a 1" head of tight white bubbles that stuck around for every bit of a minute, and never really fell completely. After the foam fell back into the beer there was a considerable amount of lacing left on the glass.

Aroma: The aroma has a considerable hop presence and that was the predominant thing that caught my attention after I first poured it. After the head fell, there is a whole lot more toasty notes coming out so that you can pick up the more traditonal O-Fest aromatics.

Taste: The flavor is really clean and hardly boasts the hops that I originally picked up in the aroma. There is a whole host of toasty notes in this beer, and it is so malty that it remindes me a bit of a milkshake. The water is clean and doesn't impart any off flavors to the beer at all. There is a little bit of a honey-like sweetness that I pick up more toward the middle of the profile, and this stays with the toasty notes well into the finish. The alcohol is very reserved in this beer, and only after drinking most of the beer can I tell that there is any real alcohol here. As the beer warms, the hops are coming out more as a fresh floral presence.

Opinion: This is a really good beer. For being such a light beer, it has a whole lot of flavor. I am a little surprised that the hops were such a big part of the aroma, but ended up taking such a passive role in the overall presentation. I would definitely drink this beer again...but it is hard to go wrong with anything from Weihenstephan.

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Photo of billysj
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours as a light golden yellow with a thin layer head.

Smells grassy with a hint of sweet malt.

Has a grainy malty flavor and is slighty hoppy. Definitely remind me of a pilsner.

A very crisp mouthfeel. Smooth and a nice carbonation feel.

I could see myself drinking this one again. It's very tasty and refreshing.

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Photo of rohrbachsfan
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light golden color (looks like a pilsner not like an oktoberfest). Nice lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Fruity hops, sweet malt.

Taste: Malty with medium hops bitterness, Not as sweet as other Oktoberfest offerings.

Mouthfeel: Crisp.

Drinkability: This is a very good tasting beer but doesn't come across as an Oktoberfest style beer. I think that Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest-Märzen is a much better German import example of this style.

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Photo of jwc215
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden (regrettably, not the orangish tradition color, but this has been the trend in the past few years, of the Bavarian O-fests, with some exceptions) with a white fluffy head that leaves a bit of lacing.

The smell is of sweet grain with hay and some mustiness. Smells like a Helles Lager.

The taste is of sweet grain and some must. A very slight metallic tinge is there. Light Continental-type hop (Hallertau?) balance smooths out the malty sweetness to a degree. Some nutty flavor mingles in. A touch of raw alcohol is noticeable. Finishes rather abruptly.

Light-bodied, though not fizzy. Fairly smooth.

This is a Helles Lager with a touch more alcohol - a fair one at that. Oddly, I enjoyed other offerings of this brewery much more, including the great lager that they make. This one seems like a mediocre-ish lager with a touch more alcohol. As an O-fest, it's passable, but pretty lame.

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Photo of asabreed
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Oddly enough, this looks more like a pilsner than any kind of darker fest beer, or what I'm assuming to be more of a darker fest beer. Still, it's not bad looking, with a golden hue and bubbles gurgling to the top. Wish the head was a little more billowing, as it dissipates quickly.

Smell: Looking for more of a complex fall sweetness, but again, there's more of a floral pilsner bite with semi-oily hop aromas and sweet malt. Not as complex as I would've liked.

Taste: Though this isn't the most complex beer of the style I've ever had, there's a weird pilsner fest balance of floral hops and malt that keeps me going back. Lip-smacking and enough to be light and for fall, though I could see this being a good summer beer too.

Mouthfeel: Not too bad, but there's some oily slickness that I wish were more subdued to let the carbonation and other flavors come more to the surface.

Drinkability: This is certainly not what I was expecting, and I'm sure with others it's probably been the same. Paid around $13 for the 6-pack, and though I'm glad I tried it, I'd probably stick to the Weihenstephaner Hefe varieties in the future.

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Photo of whiplash3825
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll start off by saying I don't think this is a true Marzen/O'fest, and I think by them putting what appears like a Christmas wreath on the label that neither does Weihenstephan... but that doesn't explain why it tastes like an easy-drinking Summer pils! Curious!

Pours a crystal-clear pale yellow (totally unexpected) with a nice two-finger head which quickly dissappears... nice lacing though.

Smell is all noble hops, grassy and floral, with nary a malt smell!

Taste is about the same... hops with just a hint of malts to balance it out. The flavor is good, but just not the maltiness I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is good, if average.

Drinkability is very good, in the way a good pils is. No offending traits overall make it easily quaffable! And maybe that's where the fest label comes from... it'd be easy to drink a ton of these.

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Photo of JBogan
2.69/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very light and somewhat hazy pale yellow. No head whatsoever with no lacing. No visible carbonation either. Very unremarkable appearance.

A light grassy aroma, some hint of citrus and hops.

Tasted a bit better than it looked and smelled. A little bite at the finish with mostly citrus present.

Decent mouthfeel. Judging from the appearance I was expecting much less but overall not bad.

It was an easy to drink beer, just not something that I'd go back to. I prefer the other offerings from this brewer.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A mellow, grassy aroma previews the buttery malt note, mild caramel and slightly sweet, slightly bready graininess of the drinkable and inoffensive palate. The vegetal hoppiness is solid and balances well. The mouthfeel is just a tad thicker than medium-bodied and features a sort of silkiness. Grainy finish.

Very nice, drinkable and very well balanced with a surprisingly nice mouthfeel.


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Photo of cokes
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crystalline yellow hued with a frothy stark white rise.
Scented of sourdough rolls and oily prairie grasses.
The maltiness start in the sere direction of a pils- full of toast and saltine crackers- then blooms into a fuller and sweeter expression of wildflower honey, white grape, and pear. A more expansive breadiness ensues, and precedes a clover and dried herb hop closure that carries some weight.
Medium-light bodied, but taut and streamlined in structure.
Obviously, the helles-like appearance will freak out those that have never seen a paler version stateside, and many of them are more accustomed to o'fests that could pass for bocks (or doppelbocks) with their maltiness. This is all about finesse. And, actually, tradition...and not just because a person could drink a bathtub of this.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

6 pack purchased at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. for $8.99 (approx.) in September 2007.

Pours a light golden with a small head and active carbonation. Not at all looking like the dozens of marzens/oktoberfests I've tried, this looks more like a Helles.

Aroma is crisp hops (light and pleasant, not overpowering) sitting over a moderately sweet malt base. Nice.

Flavor starts to approach the marzens I am familiar with, as the sweet malts are in that region. But it doesn't look like a marzen? What's going on?

So I'm confused about style, but hey- do I like it? Yes I do, and in fact it's an easy drinker. Seems like it would be very good sitting in a tent in Munich (hopefully some day!).

So I recommend it.

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Photo of jkrich
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with 2257 printed on back label - does this mean the 225th day of 2007? If so, this is fresh.
The festbier poured a deep gold much like a helles or pilsner. There is some lacing on the glass from the sustained 1/8 inch head. While this beer may appear like an ordinary helles, the spicy, bready aroma certainly indicates that this is a full-bodied beer. The spicy hop flavor is evident from the first taste while the bready malt flavors balance everything. Plenty of carbonation in the mouthfeel. Like another pale, German festbier, Hofbrauhaus, this one also has a slight sour taste much like a wine.

This is truly a very unique beer to enjoy anytime of the year.

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Photo of jvdineen
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 1 1/2 bottles into a Hofbrau 500 ml dimpled mug. White head, yellow body could pass for any of those pictures from Oktoberfest except the head dissipates quickly. Unbelievably drinkable and malty though it's so yellow. A quarter inch head follows the brew down the glass. Lightly hopped and a great gateway beer for your BMC buddies.

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Photo of HotterThanHell
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent beer from Weihenstephan. Called a Marzen here for style, but upon pouring it, smelling it, and drinking it, I pretty sure it is not. Its a FestBeer!?

Pours a pretty golden/straw and unfiltered with tiny bubbles rising to the top. The head was a solid 1 1/2 inches and stayed with me for quite a while.

Smells like a Pils which is a bit confusing, because it taste like a malty Pils/Helles combo. Very nice indeed and very drinkable.

Although I'm not sure what gives the beer its complex flavor, a bit sweet at first with a bready/hint of sour finish, but I can tell to pick one up if you get the chance. Should be a the brewery in 3 weeks so maybe I'll ask.

MarienPlatz here we come again!

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Photo of sraimondi
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Before I get into my review; I wanted to impart some additional info on to all.

Perhaps this has been pointed out earlier in this thread, and if so, I apologize for repeating it here, but I think that some in this thread have viewed this beer negatively, indicating that it is not really an O'Fest. In a nutshell, this beer actually does fall into the category of a German Octoberfest/Oktoberfest or Festbier, notwithstanding the BA style description (please see various books authored by people such as Roger Protz & Garrett Oliver, who provide a very accurate history of the genesis of this style). However, it is not a traditional Marzen (which has wrongly been equated to a German O'Fest style), as has been pointed out in some other posts to this thread. Marzen beers are the traditional German beers, which are first tapped at the annual O'Fest in Munich. Marzen beers are those with a reddish/copper hue & malty character. Vienna (red) malts, brought into prominence by Anton Dreher, were utilized by Gabriel Sedlmayr at his Spaten brewery, and some other seminal Marzen brewers in Munich, when Marzens were first produced on a commercial scale. O'Fests/Festbiers on the other hand are normally paler (straw colored mostly) but also very malty brews. Usually stronger than a Helles, but also usually more malty (and less balanced) than a Helles, not a Helles at all, really; and definitely not a Pils. In any event, both styles are quite good when executed properly. Another good example of a German O'Fest imported into the USA is Lowenbrau. I hope this helps to differentiate between these styles.

On to my review.

2007 version. Poured with about a 1/2" head, which sticks around for awhile. Very little spot lacing. Color is a light straw. Smell is of faint bread/yeast, actually a bit more bready than some US versions of a Marzen. Taste is malt all the way, with a very pleasant sweetness in the finish without any cloying character. Mouthfeel excels here, very soft. This is a very good session O'Fest and a very good representation of the O'Fest/Festbier style, IMO.


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Photo of JayQue
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not bad but not a Marzen either. This is a Helles Lager or a Pils. Pours a clear yellow gold pils color with a medium size head that fades to a covering. There is some light lacing. Actually has a mild hops / grassy smell which is an improvement over BMC type beers.Taste is not a whole lot better than BMC lagers..definitely a bit of corn here. The mouthfeel puts it in front of BMC products. Light and crisp but not at all watery or thin. Just right for a light style. Drinkability is good as a lawnmower beer or session beer. I doubt I would choose it over Yeungling, but the mouthfeel makes it better than BMC lagers. All in all, fairly average.

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Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
3.7 out of 5 based on 1,535 ratings.
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