Octoberfest Beer
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Octoberfest BeerOctoberfest Beer
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #362
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
83
Ranked #42,374
Avg:
3.66 | pDev: 11.75%
Reviews:
583
Ratings:
1,302
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  43
Gots
  132
SCORE
83
Good
Octoberfest BeerOctoberfest Beer
Notes: Crafted as a flavorful session beer and perfect for autumn, Octoberfest spends a full six weeks fermenting.

With herbal hop aromas, this balanced amber lager focuses on lightly toasted malt that lends body without too much sweetness. Perfect for a week-long wedding celebration in Germany or the start of the Michigan autumn.
Reviews: 583 | Ratings: 1,302 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light orangish pour has a slight tan-off white head, flimsy in structure, frothy in nature, and standing one half inch high. The head was quick to dissipate, with a very light carbonation factor. The vessel walls remained clean.

S: Warm baked grains and toasted bread first appear on the nose, bringing an earthy bakery feel. Soft touches of toasted orange peel, earthy flowery hops, grain juice of moderate strength. Great malt forward influence, warm and toasty to style.

T: The flavor was sweet caramel and Vienna grains, toasted bread, and toasted orange peel sweetness. Noble flowery hops bring a fresh sense, warm, and provide an offset and balance to the malt sweetness. Spicy and flowery, dark sugar malts and a dry toasted grain leave.

M: Sticky and full malt body. Almost no carbonation. Feels a bit heavy per style, more American fullness, then German light and crispness.

O: A great drinking, sturdy, and full Octoberfest, malty, ready for consumption in mass quantities. Sweet and toasty warm, noble flowers, great drinkability well suited per style. A nice grainy base and leave off the tongue, slightly dry and bready, warm toasted grains. The flavor very well mimics great German examples. Respect for the lager.

Nov 07, 2020
Photo of BigIronH
BigIronH from Michigan

4.04/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Excellent octoberfest renditon. Allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey highlight the flavors. Nose is mostly cinnamon and allspice. I always hunt for this around that time of year.

Oct 27, 2020
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78 from Illinois

3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle
PKG 08/12/2020
L: thick, foamy ivory head holds great retention atop a crystal clear copper colored lager bier
S: lightly toasted & caramelized grain, herbal hops, faint skunk
T: herbal hops, light caramel, toasty bread crust, spicy finish
F: medium body, moderate carbonation, very dry finish that is too bitter in my opinion
O: last time I had this was 11 years ago and I wasn’t a fan; same holds true this year

Oct 16, 2020
Photo of mikeinportc
mikeinportc from New York

3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy orange-amber, with a half-finger of pale tan head.

Smell is mostly light caramel, with a slight melted butter+toast aroma.

Taste is mostly caramel & toffee, slightly burnt/singed , plus a brief fruity sweet squash flavor ( think of a particularly sweet specimen of buttercup squash, for example) , then some noble hop spiciness, finishing with a lingering drying bitterness. At times the overall impression given is that of butter+maple on french toast, but without any cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

Feel is medium, with moderate soft carbonation tingle.

An odd duck of an Octoberfest, but overall, I like it.

Oct 09, 2020
Photo of BubbleBobble
BubbleBobble from New York

3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden amber, two-inch head that settles to a thick quarter-inch foamy ring. Aroma is light noble hops, light malt, cracker, biscuit, and a touch of grass/hay/lemon. Taste gears towards the bitter end - not overly so, but the malt doesn't pop through - but midway through biscuity, light cracker is prominent. Finishes rather dry with more lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is very smooth and refreshing. A light-drinking, bitter take on the style.

Sep 26, 2020
Photo of realJohnnyHobo
realJohnnyHobo from Maryland

3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Hue'd more in the way of a tent beir Bell's Octoberfest hit the shelves (in my area) - package date in late July - nearly at the end of the trdational celebration time. A marzen by taste the mouthfeel is light-bodied, decently carbonated, and just the right ratio of spicy hop character and malts to please even a Bavarian.

The finish does linger a bit and the IBU's would be in the mid 20's if I were a betting man (Bell's has a thing against listing their IBU's so perhaps I am wrong or right?). Bell's rendition is a bit too clean and carbonated for me to think of this as a Bavarain style, and its lingering hop character reminds me of other tent beers - Serria Nevada's 2020 Oktoberfest was very hoppy too in the finish (which is what I expect out of their beers), but this is an example of an Americanised take on the classic. Good, yes, and highly drinkable just very carbonated.

So you may ask yourself you're contradiciting your opinions, and yes I am. I feel as if this beer has all the great qualities and flavoring I'd desire but damn if this isn't nearly close cousins to sparkling water in its carbonation. There is also something else. Something "pumpkin" about this beer. I am unsure if the Pumpkin beer style uses a marzen base to make the beer or what but I feel 'pumpkin'.

Sep 26, 2020
Photo of dcscientist
dcscientist from Colorado

3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At first I thought this was too light, but it grew on me a bit as I drank it and it warmed up in the glass. I like my Oktoberfests to be very malty and biscuity, and this one doesn't quite get there, but the overall flavor is pretty good. This would definitely go well with a Michigan autumn.

Sep 25, 2020
Photo of Zorro
Zorro from California

3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored ale with a small white head.

Smells malty. Caramel and toasted grain. Lots of yeast scent and a touch of smoke. Hops are grassy and hay like.

Starts out sweetish with lots of caramel and an assertive hop bite. Sharp hop bite to this one and astringent. Basic Oktoberfest taste. This one is on the high side for bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a good Oktoberfest on the high hop bitterness end of the scale.

Sep 25, 2020
Photo of highdesertdrinker
highdesertdrinker from Arizona

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a medium copper gold with decent head. Not much on the smell other than faint aromas of toasted malt and maybe a little apple. The taste is clean and crisper and drier than a marzen with some nuttiness, toasted malt, and a little fruit in the background. The malt is not heavy nor complex but it doesn’t offend. Drinks a lot like an amber, tbh. Not a memorable beer by any stretch and probably at the crossroads of a few different styles but it’s an easy one to drink and would be good to wash down a meal with, cheers!

Sep 20, 2020
Photo of Bluecrow
Bluecrow from New York

4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell’s Oktoberfest presents as a clear amber Marzen with a 1 cm foam cap.
The aroma is light with sweet malt notes.
The flavor is full with bready, woody and nutty aspects.
The finish is somewhat dry and the body is medium-light.
This is a fully-flavored brew of appropriate weight.

Sep 19, 2020
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle it pours a lovely clear amber color evoking fall. A wisp of a head immediate dissipates however, although it does yield a ring lacing

The aroma is malt forward with toasty notes of brown bread, biscuit and sweet notes of caramel and toffee. There is a faint aroma of fruity and floral hops.

Opens with a crisp and clean flavor. The medium body, however, feels quite thin for the style. Lively carbonation with a dry and crisp finish. To its credit, the malt flavors slightly open up to reveal a caramelized malt sweetness. Flavors of amber toasted malts, bready and biscuity, are balanced with sweet fruity/floral hops, redolent of apples, and mildly peppery spices. The hops yield
a touch of earthy bitterness, however, it doesn’t feel fully integrated and at harmony with the malts.

Disappointing overall and frankly a bit shocked given the high standards Bell’s usually outstanding output. Too thin bodied and oddly balanced . Was it an old bottle?

Sep 19, 2020
Photo of Amendm
Amendm from Rhode Island

3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A sturdy pour from a 12-oz. bottle into a dimpled mug produced a finger of off-white soapy foam with a creamy center, a ring and cap persist with spots of lace. The color is a cross between a new penny and gold, yellow gold in bright light.

Rising dough and toasted multi-grain bread greet the nose. Herbal a floral hops are mild with cracker and toasted wheat.

Neutral on the sweetness with above average bitterness (a little peppery), toasted grainy malt leads the taste with the hops on its heals. Apple appears without being juicy or cider-like. Light caramel malt attempts to be sweet. The finish is quick with the a slight drying astringency, bitterness lingers for a short while.

Medium bodied, a little to big for a crisp finish (no complaints here). Carbonation is right in the slot, soft and lasting.
Smooth, session-able and true to style. It states "Marzen" on the label, however, I see this Beer as in between a Marzen and a Festbier. Not a bad place to be.

Sep 19, 2020
Photo of sethmeister
sethmeister from New Hampshire

3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From bottle marked PKG 07/30/2020 PRN 30239

Hard pour yields finger and a half of creamy bubbly ecru colored foam atop a clear glowing brass body. Good retention and some attractive lace. Great looking brew.

Scent is caramel, warm bread dough, herbal hops. Possibly a hint of fruit (apple) but you have to hunt for it.

Taste is bready and nutty with a hint of a pleasing mineral note as of spring water. Hint of apples. Good clean bitter finish. Hops have a German flavor and scent to them and are perhaps a touch more prominent than a German Marzen. Neither overly sweet nor overly dry/bitter.

Mouth - although I quite like it - is perhaps a touch heavy for a proper Marzen. Good prickly carbonation up front with a nice dry finish.

Drinkability is quite good though not as easy as say a Hacker-Pschorr. I don't know that I could easily quaff a litre of this in a sitting.

This is really a very good lager. A little bigger bodied and heavier than style dictates but it is very much to my taste. Best American Marzen I've tried this year.

Sep 16, 2020
Photo of BJB13
BJB13 from Maryland

3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a dimpled mug.
Bottled 08/12/20

Clear and medium amber to copper in color and showing a bit of visual carbonation. The one finger cream-white head has good retention and leaves a little lacing. The nose is subdued spicy hops, biscuit and caramel malt. Tasting as the nose indicates with balanced mild sweetness and bitterness finishing with a rising woody bitterness. The mostly smooth medium-light body is moderately carbonated. Decent Marzen.

Sep 13, 2020
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper color with a small off-white head. No lace.
Aroma of toast and sweet malt.
Taste of caramel and toast. Late herbal hops.
On the dry side.
A nice Octoberfest.

Sep 12, 2020
Photo of maxpower
maxpower from Missouri

3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle pours a clear copper color with a decent off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Caramel, nutty aromas. Grainy, nutty and caramel flavors. Medium bodied with a crisp and carbonated mouthfeel, a well done Oktoberfest, will have no problem drinking the other five.

Sep 05, 2020
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
CDBeerDisappear from Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Mostly clear amber with two-finger head, visible slow rising carbonation
Aroma: Roasted barley mostly a bread crust aroma some herbal and grassy notes as well
Taste: Slightly sweet on the tip of the tongue then modesty bitterness
Flavor: Strong malt presence. Follows the nose; roasted barley, bread crust, herbal and grassy There is a richness that is typical of German beers.
Feel: Very substantial, chewy full mouthfeel, soft carbonation.
Overall: This is wonderful. I will drink it again. It tastes pretty authentic to me. I’m thinking oom-pah bands and Lederhosen.

Sep 03, 2020
Photo of wmscottsimpsonjr
wmscottsimpsonjr from Missouri

3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear amber with one finger head. Bready malt, caramel, toast, honey, floral noble hops, bit of cherry and apple, almost like oxidation, on nose. Flavor very much follows. Caramel, toast, and fruit linger in the aftertaste. Sweet sensation, not quite balanced by bitterness. Medium body.

Aug 31, 2020
Photo of Dr_Gonzo
Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky

3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Color is a deep, clear bronze, more than a finger's worth of creamy head with good retention and lacing.

Aroma of roasted nuts and malts, dough, biscuit, yeast, caramel, molasses, honey, a little bit of toast, herbal and floral hops, and apples.

Really tasting the roasted malts/nuts and bready flavors with the yeast. The caramel and apple both together provide a somewhat notable contrast to the former, while the other notes come altogether subtly. Body is medium-light.

Aug 31, 2020
Photo of defunksta
defunksta from North Dakota

3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2020:

Appearance: Pours a deep, broze orange color with a creamy, milky off-white head that clings to the side of the glass. SRM of 14 (4.25)

Aroma: Mild aromas here. Mostly toasted bread with only hints of caramel and even less cinnamon. Mildly bready. A light touch of tropical orange underneath. Faint bread mostly, but it's there. It get's breadier as it warms. (3.25)

Flavor: Flavor follows with mild flavors. Bready and creamy. A rubbery yeast in the middle, before it finishes with more bread and cream. Slightly earthy, but not really. Finishes bready and smooth with a bit of cream. Mild, nicely subtle, but underwhelming. (3.50)

Feel: Bready, full, and creamy. Medium-carbonation and creamy. Finishes full. (4.00)

Compared to Sierra Nevada's Oktoberfest 2020 8/30/20: Pours a slightly darker color. Milder aromas. Less orange and pine soap. More bready overall, but milder.

Overall: Like last year this is a milder version of an Oktoberfest Marzen. The It is bready, creamy, and smooth. Could use more spice as it is quite simple and fails to define itself a flavor. Mildly bready, but it's there. Not bad, but I want a bit more here. (Final Rating: 3.54)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019:
Appearance: Pours a deep fiery orange, amber color with a creamy, white head that is lattice, lacy, and clinging to the sides of the glass. SRM of 14. The color looks very similar to the label on the bottle which is interesting (4.25)

Aroma: Aromas of lemon, honey, and lots of corn. Very much like an adjunct lager or cream ale. A touch of grass but no breaded malts like I would expect. (3.25)

Flavor: Flavors follows the nose well with lemonflower, honeysuckle. Drinks like a cheap American or Czech-style pilsner. Slight bread but no toasted flavors at all. Finishes relatively dry. (2.50)

Feel: Medium-bodied for the style. Creamy and low to moderate carbonation. (3.50)

Overall: This is a let down of an Oktoberfest as some others have mentioned. Drinks like a slightly heavier, cheap American lager. Could also be mistaken for a blonde or cream ale. Not an Oktoberfest or Marzen. It malts taste like cheap adjunct malt flavors. Very simple beer. Maybe a cheap Vienna lager at best. I don't really know what there is here to appreciate. (2.99)

Aug 30, 2020
Photo of Mikemcgrath4
Mikemcgrath4 from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Noble hop nose. malty, slight toffee, slightly sweet but well balanced and light. very drinkable. Crisp finish. Could drink a 6 pack of this. Represents the style very well.

Aug 17, 2020
Photo of HorseheadsHophead
HorseheadsHophead from New York

3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear copper color with a small white head. Good retention and lacing.
Aroma of toasty malt, caramel, and apples.
Tastes like toasted bread crust, sweet red apple, caramel, faint cinnamon and clove.
Medium feel. Well carbonated. Crisp, clean, lightly sweet with some residual stickiness.
A decent Marzen. A good representation of the style.

Aug 13, 2020
Photo of timon
timon from California

3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

The look and smell are nothing special. Looks hazy copper, little head or lacing, smells similar to Old-E. BUT, the taste is on point and so is the mouthfeel. Very boozy, malty taste and nice creamy mouthfeel. Drankable, but not exceptional.

Mar 13, 2020
Photo of Franziskaner
Franziskaner from Missouri

3.24/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Golden colored with a heavy amount of light sediment suspended within. There’s a fingernail of off white around the rim and covering most of the top. The aroma is of caramel and baked bread. I’m tasting muddled caramel. The mouth is light and quaffable. It was bottled on 8/7/19. I’m not sure if this didn’t age well or what. I will probably seek it out again next year to see if my opinion was valid.

Jan 03, 2020
Photo of GarrettB
GarrettB from Colorado

3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

October 5th, 2015 - It's that time of year, where we transition from one slightly overwrought trend (pumpkin beer) to one more tailored for my tastes: Oktoberfest. I know Bell's darker beers are quite famous, but this is the first time I've spotted one of their seasonal lagers. In the glass it is a brightly lit orange brew, with the smell of a corn maze. It's a sweeter aroma than many Oktoberbests, but not too sweet, evocative of glazed carrots and a little fresh glue. The body is moderately full, with enough heft to carry some malt, but thin enough to be fresh and drinkable. The aftertaste coasts for a long time with a clear, swee pumpkin flavor (oh, the irony), and a more general vegetal and squash taste. Overall, this take on the Oktoberfest feels well balanced. Even if it leans to the sweeter side of things, it still expresses as a well balanced brew.

Dec 01, 2019
Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 1302 ratings