Coney Island Freaktoberfest | Coney Island Brewing Company

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Coney Island FreaktoberfestConey Island Freaktoberfest
524 Ratings
Coney Island FreaktoberfestConey Island Freaktoberfest

Brewed by:
Coney Island Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 06-29-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 524 |  Reviews: 272
Photo of tpd975
2.78/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Got a free sample of this one yesterday and was not impressed. I have no idea why I purchased a full pint today.

A: Pours a very odd shade of neon red with an average sized pink head. Very little retention and no lace. If they were going for the shock factor they got it with this one.

S: Light sweet malt aromas mostly with hints of light fruit.

T: Very sweet, kind of like powered sugar or cotton candy. Just as I am about to savor the sweetness a rush of cough syrup overcomes me. Yuck! A bit of hop bitterness in the finish is not enough to save this one. Why did I buy a pint of this?

M: Medium to light in body with bubbly carbonation. Pretty dry finish.

D: The sample should have been enough to decide I am not a fan of this one. Wish I had passed on the pint.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.62/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into the BMS mug...

WTF with the red food coloring? If I didn't see them do this at EBF with their lager I would be a little wigged out right now - instead I'm a little annoyed that it's been sitting in this for a while. Besides that, it pours up a 1-finger head with decent lacing and relatively sparse carbonation.

Scent is quiet...moderate woody malt backbone with grassy hope profile - a little earth here but not a lot of spice or other background aroma

Full-flavored malt presence - oily, a little caramel and deep-bodied boiled/braised texture and character. Hops on deep background with grass and earth.

This warms the palate nicely with a full yet short finish. Makes greater impact in mouthfeel than in taste. Solid for a lager.

This is easy to drink once you get past the whack red food coloring. Enjoyable and mellow.

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Photo of tjbartjr
2.92/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The first thing I noticed about this beer, as other reviewers have stated, is the freakishly red color. It's almost disturbing. I thought it would be red like a Killian's Red, for example, but this stuff was nearly the same color as my wife's cranberry juice. The pink-hued head was a tad unsettling as well. I expected my first sip to taste like a) blood, b) cranberry juice, or c) something big and bold, but it was actually d) none of the above. It just tasted average, with a less than average mouth feel. Definitely not what I was expecting. If it was sold in 12 oz bottles, and could add it as a single in mix pack, I likely would, just for the sheer novelty of that color, but not in a bomber again.

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Photo of Slynger
2.16/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Ick. Deep rosey pink color, with a lid of the same tint.

Not much in the nose, some sweetness and some toasted graininess.

More stuff in the taste, but not really better. Toasted and lightly sugar-dusted grain with peppery spicy and bitter hops. Medium bodied with a decent feel, I guess, but it's difficult to get by the unpleasant flavors.

A unique beer that I will never try again unless drastic changes are made. Can't ever finish the bottle. What a waste of money.

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Photo of cbn
3.62/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is red(freaky) with a half-inch thick, tight pink head which receads quickly leaving a thin cap and some lacing.

Caramel sweetness and faint grassiness, clean.

Clean and sweet with a grassy bitterness. Quite good, very much in the lager profile.

Medium carbonation, smooth, with a medium-light body.

A very drinkable lager, thanks to Shmaltz for this seasonal offering.

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Photo of russpowell
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours claret/red with 2+ fingers of scary pink head. Above average lacing & zero head retention

S: Not much, some metallic hops

T: Metallic hops, grainyness & cranberry juice or is it pomegranate?? up front. A bit of booze burn as this warms, along with some grainyness & grapefruit hops. Finishes with some booze hotness, a bit juicy, with herbal & metallic hops

MF: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation & some juicyness

Drinks easy enough, this is a little too weird for me. More so the late showing up to party, amber profile, vice the crazy colors

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Photo of Maerzen
2.52/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Okay, first of all, it's RED. Had this at Dive Bar on 96th St during the craft beer fest (though I was not on the crawl). Did I mention that it's red? It's the end of September and I'm thinking, "Oh, here is a play on a Maerzen." Not quite. In fact, not at all. It didn't remind me of an Oktoberfest at all. Apparently, Freaktoberfest is just freaky with out the fest. Hops and Alcohol on the front of both the nose and the tongue. Reminded me more of a malt beverage (e.g. cooler) than a beer.

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Photo of Zorro
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

OK got to give this beer some Kudos for the FREAK factor, it is blood red with a bright pink head. Probably the only beer you will see except a Raspberry Lambic with the color of blood. Slight chill haze, it must be clotting!

Smell is sweet and quite grainy. Mild Nobel hop aroma, this is basically colored lager.

Taste starts out sweet and strongly grain flavored with bit of scorched malt flavor. Decent bitterness in the after taste, this reminds me of New Belgium Fat Tire Ale.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Mediocre lager with a smile-producing look. Buy some for a joke or Halloween, but DON'T expect this to be as good as the rest of the Schmaltz beers.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber served in a pilsner glass. Poured an unnatural looking deep red with a finger of pink head. Fairly hoppy aroma, with a little fruit and a fair amount of caramel malt. Nice malty base. Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Bit of a hop bite. I didn't taste any red fruit, so the color must be artificial. Kind of fun to drink, but nothing earth shattering. I wouldn't call it an Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, what an insane red color this beer is; this is a bright, freakishly artificial read color. The head is a red stained, dark tan color and is initially a fat-two-fingers in height. The beer looks like cranberry juice. The beer smells like a malty lager though with toasted grain notes, ample biscuit character some caramelized malt notes and pretty much no hop character at all.

Lightly sweet tasting up front with a noticeable, clean bitterness that tends to linger on the palate after a sip. There is also a slightly herbal, astringent hop character that accentuates the perceived bitterness profile of this beer. This is malt focused though, it is just that the hop character stands out at first because I got no sense of it in the nose. Lots of toasted malt notes produce flavors of lightly browned saltine crackers, toasty biscuit flavors as well as some hearty, whole grain bread notes. Caramelized malt flavors add a touch of sweetness and accentuate something that is touch berry tasting.

As the beer warms up some light citrus hop notes become noticeable in the aroma; actually ruby-red grapefruit aromatics begin to play a fairly significant role in the nose. Now that I noticed those in the aroma the flavor starts to open up as well with some orange-zest flavors become noticeable. The hop character seems to switch roles with the malt and play the slightly more dominant role as this gets towards 60°F / 15.6°C.

Other than the freakish red color (their website would have you believe the color all comes from the malt choices), this is a good example of a malt focused Oktoberfest when drunk at 50°F / 10°C. Nothing particularly jumps out at in you in either the flavor or the aroma, but this is a pretty well balanced and put together beer. Very clean with lots of toasty, slightly caramelized malt notes make for a quaffable beer. Once the beer opens up it becomes a bit more interesting, but definitely starts to depart from the traditional Oktoberfest model. Though it can be a touch to astringent in its hop character at times. I would have loved to have seen the astringent hop character toned back a bit with more of a spicy / floral noble hop flavor (as opposed to the citrus character that does become noticeable) and aroma takings its place.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$4,99 22oz Bomber Arbor Place Beverage Douglasville, GA USA
Rather bizarre beer, indeed; certainly a Halloween novelty. Poured red. That's RED, like Red40 cherry soda dye red. I'd like to know how they achieved this. The colour is very, well, off-putting. Not that it's disturbing or anything, it just isn't "normal" to see a beer that looks like this, and my brain and tongue had a rather challenging time making the correlation. The smell was very modest and only after agitating what was left in the bomber that wouldn't fit into the pint glass on the first go-'round, was I able to detect anything worth mentioning. Even at that, it was only a mild sense of lightly toasted cereals and a tiny bit of fresh fruit. The taste really surprised me in that there was an imediate hop bitterness (okay, it was moderate at best, but hey, there were hops there!) followed by a mild mat character, then the hops again. Don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say here. There are scores and scores of better beers out there. The point I'm trying to make it this: The smell and appearance had me highly doubtful of there being any quality in the flavour of this beer. To my surprise, it was much better than I was expecting. I'm certainly glad I tried this one out, but I don't know if I'll purchase it again. Bizarre to say the least.

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Photo of asabreed
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Blood city. I love it. Blood-white head and a blood-colored body. I feel like I'm in a horror movie. And decent head retention also.

Smell: Not much. I hope there's not real blood in this. Malts with little balance and little hops and little everything.

Taste: Malt average aromas with not much else. The folks were right. Maybe they wanted blood without much else. Caramel malts. Some semblance of balance fleetingly. And then a bit of hops. Some citrus. Maybe blood. Maybe that's the point.

Mouthfeel: Decent mouthfeel for blood city I suppose. Aside from the look this is the best aspect that it has to offer, moderately carbonated. Medium mouthfeel. Best to feel.

Drinkability: I don't think they wanted it to be this way. Glad I got a bottle. Not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

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Photo of hurleymanvw
2.72/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Apperance was great. Nice bright red color with a thin white head. I thought the glass had been fill with a Lambic.

Aroma didn't have much going on at all i could smell a hint of sweet something but i could not attach anything to it.

Taste was more of the same not much going on. After eating and the beer warming up it did get a slight hop bite and the alchol was more up front.

Mouthfeel was light with high carbonation

Overall it was a good beer to SEE and not one i would go after again.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.07/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A. Bright red in color with pink head of 1/4". Hazy. The most unique looking beer I have had in quite some time.

S. Sweet and malty, no hop profile to speak of. Maybe it because of the color, but it smells sweet of cherries.

T. Sweet and malty, but the alcohol taste overwhelms it. Lightly bitter from the hops. A little bit of a robatussin taste in there too that is a tad off putting.

M. Medium in the mouth and high carbonation.

D. Too much boozy taste but definitely a treat to try!! I definitely wouldn't seek it out, but a good experience.

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Photo of TerjUGA
2.3/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- beer looks awesome, very dark red with pink head! sadly enough this was probably the best thing about the beer.

S- smelled a bit sweet but pretty boring.

T- a little dry, it was almost sweet but then not, kind of artificial, finished with a metallic taste. not to much going on here.

M- Pretty thin, again the metal taste and feel, pretty boring.

D-pretty easy drink, wouldnt buy it again, maybe if i wanted to show someone the color. had much better.

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Photo of rajendra82
2.89/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The shocking red appearance was enough to make me yell "what the hell is this", but that was nothing compared to the pink foam forming above the body. Alright, now that I was done with this part of the review, I could turn off the lights so that I could get myself to drink this. The smell was not quite as weird as the looks, but the cooked vegetable matter hidden under the hops made this somewhat unappealing in that regard as well. The taste was a decent blend of hops and malts, but felt a little bland. The aftertaste was initially metallic, but improved as the beer warmed up. The beer felt pretty good in the mouth with a medium thick but sticky palette. This did not turn out to be the drain pour that I was afraid it might be, after I first laid my eyes on it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.74/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Okay, this beer is red and has a freakin' pink head! Not very marzen-like, but plenty freaky!

Word ahead: I glanced at the reviews before my own reviewing, something I rarely do. Doesn't look promising.

Appearance, clear, red, and pink, as previously noted.

Aroma: a little sweet, but...nothing else, really.

Tasting it:...sweet, but not from malt, I suspect. Artificial rosy-ness...Very little body. Very little substantial flavor. Incredibly boring. And artificial feeling.

I've enjoyed every Schmaltz offering yet, whether He'brew or Coney Island. This is just not good at all.

Empty. Hollow. Feeling more like a fake "alco-pop", or "malternative", than any kind of real brew. If they intended on a "Freak" Oktoberfest, they succeeded, but in entirely the wrong way.

Where did they go wrong? Maybe in adding artificial color and flavor. Maybe in not having an actual, full-bodied marzen underneath the freaky trappings.
It makes me feel dumb for having drunk it, let alone paying $6 for the bottle. How about putting a real beer in here, fellas?

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Photo of kkipple
2.07/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

My friend yelled and stepped back upon seeing this Icee-red beer splash into his glass. I chuckled, but upon further inspection became more than a little disturbed. This beer looks like cherry Kool-Aid, Hi-C punch and every other artificial red-dye drink you quaffed as a hyperactive child. There is NO indication on the bottle that you're buying something so blatantly dyed. Reinheitsgebot, my buttocks! In sum: this is fake, bright red fizzy beer that has no reason to be.

Smells like... well, not a whole lot. Vague bitter hops, not citrusy or piny, just bitter. Boring and lifeless as the Dead Sea.

Even closing your eyes as you drink this crap doesn't help; this is flat-out awful. Thin, watery and bitter with an absolutely uninteresting, timid malt profile -- is this some sort of Yiddish joke on us Gents? By the rod of Moses, what is going on here? Shmaltz is capable of making good beer (Lenny's, etc) but this is an embarrassment.

Mouthfeel -- oh, why bother? You don't want this beer any more than I did. It's a gimmick beer that fails miserably.

I honestly think Shmaltz had a batch fail on 'em and rather than dump it, they simply dyed it red and shuffled it out the door. Shameful.

Note to Shmaltz brewers: If you're going to make an off the wall red-40 beer, at least make something worth drinking. Dank!

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Photo of phisig137
1.49/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A- Bomber pours into my pint glass a deep red, with a one finger bright pink head. Poor retention, no lace. Looks like mildly carbonated Kool-aid. Why?

S- Not a whole lot going on here. Zero hop presence, and only a faint whiff of stale malt. Again, disappointing.

T- Much like the aroma... not much going on. Thin and insipid in the beginning and middle. Finish is harsh, metallic, and an odd chemical flavor as well. Its almost like all you can taste are the defects.

M- thin, under carbonated, boring.

D- I'm about half way through my first glass, and I think the rest might be a drain pour.

Extraordinarily disappointing beer from a brewery that usually produces extremely good seasonal and anniversary beers. If their other beers weren't so good, I'd expect this. But this is an abomination compared to everything else they make. I want my $4.99 back.

Listen up Shmaltz... the next time I see a beer this color from you, it had better be from the pomegranates . So disappointed...

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Photo of bashiba
2.13/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured a strange fake red color with a bright pink head. Looks fake and terrible. Fruit Punch like.

The nose has just a touch of toasted malt with a hint of floral hops.

The taste is very one dimensional has a light bit toasted malt, but then is quickly taken over by a strong coppery bitterness that lingers on and on and covers all the other flavors up.

Mouthfeel is oily and coating leaving the unpleasant flavor soaking into your tongue.

Not good, I would pass on this with the highlight being the nifty label.

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Photo of chemmie
2.96/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Whew! Some harsh reviews so far.

I had mine in a bottle poured into a snifter.

Freaktoberfest... Just from the name, you know this is going to be a wierd one. It pours a crystal clear redish/orange color. I would suppose food coloring was used to get this color. I actually like it. The bottle labeling lets you know to expect something freaky, and it delivers with the color. Not much head on it and it is gone quickly.

The smell is of a little hops, a little malt and just a little bit of skunk.

The taste reminds me a lot of a Helles style. A lot of the Euro-pilsner flavor in this one. A lot of malt in there and a nice kick of bitterness at the end. Again, just a little of the skunk in there, reminding me of Europe.

Overall, I'm not a big fan of European Pilsners and this has a lot of the same taste features. It isn't bad as the other reviewers suggest. Even though I don't really like the style, the bitterness at the end is enjoyable. I'm going to buy a couple more bottles and give it a couple more trys.

Not bad. I'll try it again and I praise the Shmaltz guys for trying something new with the color.

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Photo of gonzo46and2
1.78/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a fruit punchy red with a pink head. Not at all a long lasting head.

Smell isn't what you'd expect for the appearance or the style of beer it is. I get a not so special pale ale aroma of dust, funk, dark malt and hops. Gets a bit medicinal as well.

Taste is a bit bitter with a hop profile a bit of malt sweetness. Gets to an unpleasant bitter towards the end.

Mouthfeel is thick and has medium carbonation. Long bitter finish.

Drinkability. Tough to call. This may go down the drain. I have a 1pt 6oz bottle only a quarter the way down.

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Photo of BBM
2.77/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I usually enjoy the Coney Island beers, but this one was a bit too weird for me. For one, it's a reddish-pink with a pink head. I found myself asking "why?" more than "how?". It throws off your sensibilities. In my humble opinion, if it ain't a lambic, it shouldn't be red or pink. But I digress.

The nose is slightly malty with a burnt bread quality and some bitter hops... odd but not entirely enjoyable. The taste is a bit more of that. Really burnt malt flavor mixed with a hop bitterness that does little to give the beer dimension. It's certainly drinkable, just unremarkable. On one hand I enjoyed the fact it was unique and couldn't be pigeonholed into a genre. On the other hand, it wasn't really great in any regard. Mouthfeel is somewhat full and mildly carbonated. I was done after one with no desire to go back.

B+ for originality, C for execution.

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Photo of shbobdb
2.78/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had just finished some Ayinger Maerzen and I figured, why not give the Freaktoberfest a try? Boy does this beer fail at being a maerzen, or even a mocktoberfest.

The beer pours a deep, bad lipstick red. This is a strange color for a beer, and the fact that the head is also an unnatural light pink suggests that perhaps a dye was used.

The smell and taste aren't bad, but they have about as much to do with "Oktoberfest" as my kittens' litter box. The smell has a light graininess to it and there is a little bit of citrus from pacific northwest hops.

The taste follows that initial impression. There is a nice toffee presence from the two-row pale malt, some biscuit malt, and maybe a darker crystal malt. The American hops are present, but restrained. There really is a nice toasted biscuit flavor to it. Then the finish is sort of a mess. I'm not sure what is wrong with it, precisely. It is somewhat chalky, mixed with lemon and pineapple, and another charactertistic that I really can't identify but is always present when I drink cheap beers.

Speaking of cheap beers, you know what? This beer actually really reminds me of Leinie's Red. Now, given proper circumstances, I am confident that I could tell those beers apart in a blind tasting, but if I were in, say, a smokey tavern playing pool with some buddies and they switched one for the other . . . I don't really think I'd notice. It tastes like a bargin bin beer. A good bargin bin beer, but a bargin bin beer. Big letdown, especially since I thought some other members of the Coney Island series were quite good.

I dunno, if I approached it as "any beer" would I be as harsh? Probably, actually. But especially if it is trying to claim to be an Oktoberfest style beer, and the name does make that claim. So the drinker is let down on two accounts: 1) it is an average-at-best beer and 2) it most certainly isn't a maerzen.

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Coney Island Freaktoberfest from Coney Island Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.27 out of 5 with 524 ratings