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Bell's Octoberfest Beer | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

436 Reviews
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Bell's Octoberfest BeerBell's Octoberfest Beer

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hoppymeal on 09-11-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 436 | Ratings: 825
Photo of DocSkalski
4.63/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite Oktoberfest brews. It has all of the characteristics you've come to expect from a good fall lager: not too heavy, not too light, some bread like malty sweetness, balanced hop character and mild carbonation; everything that reminds you fall is here and the leaves are changing. Served in the proper glassware this makes for a wonderful fall evening.

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Photo of tapman
4.52/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Frothy, beige head that begins at 2 1/2 fingers and subsides rather quickly. Classic medium orange color and crystal clear. I would have preferred better head retention, but everything else is spot on.

Doughy bread, light toast, hint of chrysanthemum flowers and a clean lager yeast aroma.

Rich malt character of 15-30 Lovibond malt. Must be lots of Munich. After that initial taste there is a buttery melting sensation followed by a strong bitterness.

Light and bubbly, not over-carbonated or harsh. Smooth, but not watery.

I thought that this one was a good example of the style. My qualms are minimal: better head retention, maybe a tad less bitterness and some more hop in the aroma. The hoppy aroma is my American opinion so don't yell at me.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.48/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Slightly hazy golden brown pour with about a finger of white head.

S: Predominantly malty with some underlying hops.

T: Bread, crackers, malts, grain, mixed in with a bit more hoppiness than I was expecting and bam you have a great tasting beer. The taste is subtle, but refreshing.

MF: Finishes clean and dry, making you come back for more...and more and more...

O: Extremely drinkable, tasty, great representation of the style.

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Photo of evantwomey
4.48/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this beer gets no respect, no respect! I'd say this is the Rodney Dangerfield of Oktoberfests.

Pours with a beautiful, rusty-golden hue, small white head. Excellent clarity. Smell is very bready, toasty malt. Extremely clean. Not caramel-forward like in some other examples of the style. Taste is like liquid graham cracker. Big bready flavors. Really fantastic. Dry finish, but with enough malt backbone to provide plenty of balance. Everything I've ever read about what a traditional Oktoberfest should taste like is embodied in this beer (it also fits the BJCP guidelines exactly).

Seriously, a B- average? This is hands-down the best Oktoberfest I've had. Rather than coat my mouth with candy-like caramel flavors, Bell's has gone a more traditional route and focused on the toasty flavors.

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Photo of GavDomDadGH
4.45/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - a nice reddish orange. Small head that. Leaving a nice lacing on the glass.

S - rich in nutmeg, some malts and a hint of pumpkin

T - rich and creamy. Maybe a bad batch for those who thought it was thin. Great fall flavors as seen with most Oktoberfest beers.

M - again creamy, exactly what I expect from a good Bells beer

O - would recommend this to anybody wanting an overall good Oktoberfest

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is a cloudy, golden brown with an orange tint. Head fades quickly.

The smell is a fresh floral, with a hearty grain.

It has a strong grain flavor, with caramelized sugar and banana. The aftertaste is mildly acidic with hops and a slight metal.

The mouthfeel has a vibrant carbonation, but is very smooth. It is also very clean and refreshing.

Overall, it is a multidimensional, very flavorful, well-balanced beer.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.38/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a highly transparent autumn auburn color with little head retention. The nose is crisp and malty. Quite the common and expected for this style. The taste is great, maybe even excellent. Malty, bold, and rich, yet has an outstanding crispness and refreshment factor. Doesnt have the overpowering sweetness of some octoberfests. Nicely done.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and the adequate carbonation gives it an excellent crisp feel. An awesome drinker here. I dont know if it would ever get old before spring came around.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A= pours a total clean golden color with a nice huge two finger head that's creamy and a little rocky. It falls fast and didn't leave that much lacing on it but a decent amount.
S= sweet caramel grains comes through mostly. Really not much else. A little dough.
T= I really love the taste of this one. Sweet grains are balanced perfectly by the doughy bready flavor. It reminds me of eating some of that sweet hawaii bread. There's a slight hop bitterness in the middle but not much. Really tastes like sweet bread.
M= smooth and average for a fest beer. Really nothing impressive but there is a nice lingering taste toward the back of my tongue and into my troat I like.
D= awesome. Super delicious beer. I don't know why it isn't higher rated. Impressed me.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and slightly cloudy amber orange with lots of bubbles. Solid three finger white head with a decent retention. Lacing is pretty light.

Smell: Lots of caramel and toasty malts with hints of toffee and biscuit. Also some wheat grains and some spicy, earthy noble hops in the background. Very caramel driven.

Taste: A fairly sweet taste of caramel, toffee, and toasted malts. A solid presence of wheat grains. Some slightly spicy and herbal hops linger around in the background. Malt driven but well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very creamy, crisp, and smooth.

Overall: A pretty good take on a Marzen. Full flavored and well balanced.

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Photo of PerroGrande
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours to a clear, golden color with a medium amount of foam. Foam hangs around nicely, leaving a nice wide lacing on the glass. Very nice appearance.

Smell: Nicely balanced aroma of hops, citrus, and malts.

Taste: Smooth, hoppy opening that is neutral to slightly bitter. Follows with a nice balance of malt, hops, and a touch of spice around the edges. Very tasty and a good gateway to fall -- my favorite season.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth. Light carbonation enters the feel a bit.

Drinkability: Very good. I like this beer and want another one... now! Very refreshing and good with food.

A nicely balanced brew that I really enjoyed.

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Photo of BierFan
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

Copper orange-red in color. An off-white head that disappeared too fast. Looks pretty dark for the style.

Smells sweet and malty. Roasted and caramel malty flavor that gives way to the bitter hops. Sweet and smooth.

I already can't wait to have my second of the sixer. Great Beer.

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Photo of nocheinsbitte
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this at the Carrboro Bev Company, my first time having this bier.

A: Pour a typical fest color, although it is a tad lighter than most. A good foam head that is thick and full; lasts for a couple minutes and yields consistent lacing on the glass--a good sign.
S: I must apologize, I am a little stuffed up at this point, but I can still get a little orange sweetness, malt, and coriander. Very inviting.
T: As opposed to the other American-made Festbiers, this is the fullest and richest one I have had to date. The taste follows the aroma very well and there are no surprise after tastes or the like. Very satisfying.
M: No harsh after-taste, no acid.
D: A good one, could have many of these without question.

Overall, this is my favorite American-made Oktoberfest bier. I was turned onto Bell's about 1.5 years ago and have not been disappointed in anything so far. Do yourself a favor and pick up many of these. Prosit!!

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Photo of Greggy
4.29/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- After a fairly aggressive pour, I get a 1 finger head that quickly recedes into a bubbly lacing. The body is a lovely orange with no sediment.

S- Nice floral maltiness on the nose with a nice mineral hop oil notes. Very reminiscent of fall.

T- Starts off very thick and malty with nice pear and apricot notes with a nice spice backbone as well. Finish is slightly dry with a nice long residual maltiness.

M- Big thick and malty mouthfeel. Very good.

D- I can't believe how big and thick and malty this is for 5%. One of the better fests I have had this year.

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Photo of dogger6253
4.28/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep orange in color with lots of carbonation bubbles rushing to the top. The head falls quickly to a film which dissapates to practically nothing.

There is a strong, corn-like lager smell going on up front. It isn't overpowering, but it most certainly makes it harder for the other scents to come forward. There is a little bit of cherry, caramel and apple that comes out. Please lager yeast! Let them flourish!

Immediately after sipping, I think 'cane sugar' There is a corn-like yeast flavor, bits of cherries, bits of hops, grapefruit, honey, lemon. This thing is pretty tasty. The flavors are very prominent, but work well in the harmony of overall flavor.

The carbonation is pretty heavy and the body is fairly light. Very juicy, very refreshing. This beer is easy to sip, but makes for a great session beer. I would not only get this again, but I would drink it year-round. A tremendous beer to say the least.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a lighter amber color with an off-white head that sticks around nicely. The aroma is exceptionally clean with hay and biscuit notes upfront, along with caramel and toffee, and some floral hops. The flavor starts off with toasted bread, caramel, toffee, musty hay, floral and tea-like hops, and a bit of alcohol. The mouthfeel is smooth and drinkability is excellent. This is one of my favorite marzens, and arguably the best American interpretation (along with Victory's).

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Photo of DeeMented
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a glass beer mug.

The beer poured a clear, orange-copper color with a thin, white head. There was some soapsud lacing, but not much.

The aroma was a bit sweet, slightly buttery, earthy and malty.

I'd call the mouthfeel medium-bodied. Not overly carbonated, not overly watery. Very nice, in fact.

The taste was very clean. It started with some yeasty, toasted malts and ended with a dry, just right hoppy finish, with a trace of spice that lingered afterward.

An excellent Oktoberfest. Easily drinkable, and a good introduction to fall.

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Photo of FredTheSeal
4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz into a pint glass.

A - Pours with a thin fizzy white head that dissipates quickly. Crystal clear dark golden color.

S - Malty, slightly spicey/estery. Smells like a German beer but slightly more mild than one imported from Germany (if that makes any sense)

T - Has a great German malty sweetness! Hop bitterness comes in towards the end but it's definitely muted. I've had more assertive oktoberfests but I'm enjoying the mildness.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. As it rolls off the tongue the malt flavors change.

D - I'm typically not crazy over oktoberfests but I really like this one. The mildness makes it very drinkable but it still boasts plenty of flavor. I could easily go through a 6 pack.

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Oktoberfest beer so far this year.

A: a light orange color, average head with light lacing...

S: not much nose on this one, but... the smell it does have is nice. It smells fresh, toasty and malty.

T: Very well balanced Oktoberfest flavor, toasted/caramel malts and earthy floral flavors up front with a decent amount of hops on the back end. It is a bit hoppier than the other beers this season...

M/D: Medium body, very delightful feel. It does dry your mouth out a bit though... I think the drinkability is great. Like I said above, its my favorite so far this year.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass. Batch 9834.

Pours a very pale copper - almost more of a dark gold with hints of orange. Clear, with nice streams of effervescence. The initial head is almost non-existent, but after a few moments a nice, very long lasting fluffy white cap of about a finger shows up.

Nose is toasty, quite herbal, a bit bready - fairly one dimensional, but not bad.

Taste is very good - exactly how I love my Oktoberfests. Maltiness is bready, a bit toasty, rich without being overly sweet, and supported by a fantastic grassy hop character that lingers with a beautiful light bitterness on the long, full finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit of soft creaminess, and just enough carbonation bite to keep it clean.

Fantastic drinkability rounds out what I consider to be a world-class example of one of my favorite styles. This one hits many of the notes that Ayinger and Stoudt's Oktoberfests do, which puts it in elite company for me, and away from the big syrupy messes many American Oktoberfests end up being.

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Photo of quinnsi
4.17/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Sheffield's

The first thing that struck me about this beer is the hop aroma, which is was not expecting to get from an Octoberfest beer. Getting past that, a further sniff reveals that there is also significant malt smells as well.

The beer tastes as you would expect from the nose...and that's a good thing! I am by no means a hop addict, but the balance here is very well done. Unlike the nose, the malt is more present in the mouth, with the hops playing a great supporting role.

Mouthfeel is fine, if every so slightly thin. Carbonation is fairly high wich, along with the hops, provides a nice tingle on the tongue.

This may not be the most to-style Octoberfest out there, but who cares - it's damn good. Do yourself a favor and try one.

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Photo of cabsandking
4.16/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper/orange color with a white cap that fades pretty quickly. Complex nose of florals, soft to bright fruits, orange cream, vanilla, banana, and light caramel. Nutty earthy malty grains balanced well by hop flavors of orange citrus, slightly tangy, tea herbals and some spicy to bitter notes lay on the tongue just before it finishes. Mild to medium carbonation is just crisp enough, mouthfeel is thin but is a nice smoothness. The finish is dryer, grainy, and some tart that all hangs around long enough for the next sip. A very quaffable fall selection.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pale orange with a thin, frothy white head that stays around for the duration atop armies of big rising bubbles.

Smells of fresh grains, caramel, subtle spicy hops, with hints of pear and apple.

Taste is similar to the nose with sweet grain up front and a smooth transtion to a mildly bitter hoppy finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied,soft and encouraging.

A very well made, flavorful example of an octoberfest. I would definately pick this up over a lot of others.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes as this was enjoyed by me on-tap 15 days ago at The Buckeye Beer Engine.

Served in a standard pint glass. This beer is a clear golden/orange/amber color. Nice white head 1 inch thick when served to me. Settles to 1/4 inch and eventually to a decent surface coating with a nice white ring lining the inside of the glass. Sweet, malty aroma with some caramel notes an bits of spice. The taste is pretty much the same, Sweet caramel and malt flavor with some spicy hints. Rounded out with a little bit of citrus hops. Good indeed. Has a crisp, smooth, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. easy to drinkt he way a good beer needs to be. I think I did enjoy this one a bit more out of the bottle though.


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Photo of kkipple
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So one of my friends, who I won't mention here, but is actually Khiasmus, constantly gives me grief about my reviews, how I score too low, etc, etc. So Joe, I hope you are out there reading this review to see how I can go against the grain (lol) when I feel there is a wrong to be righted.

There is no way this Bell's Octoberfest I'm drinking is a B- beer. There just ain't. Vintage 2009, bottled on August 18th.

First off, it looks swell: a lacy, fat and happy looking foamy white head sits on a clear, early autumn-amber beer that looks downright tasty. Not as dark as many American Ofests, this looks more like the lighter German Marzens are wont to be. High marks.

Let this warm up a bit to around maybe 57 degrees, and things really start to shine. Very clean all around, and well blended. There is a light, yet complex, grainy nose, all sweet and honeyed with hints of vanilla, nutty, toasted malt and hints of toffee. Yes, I know the BJCP says the last is inappropriate. Screw them, this is good smelling beer.

Flavor follows suit. A grainy, fresh and clean malt profile that boasts a really nice depth, avoids being overly bitterly hopped, (or too strong), and is really easy to drink. Layers of light malt sweetness pipe up and are just barely tempered with some pleasant noble-tasting hop. Finishes toasty and dry, gently bitter. Medium body and carbonation aid a "soft" feeling the mouth. I can and will drink this very fast.
I want another bottle, but alas, I only have the one.

I had this right after a Brooklyn Ofest and the Bell's simply blows it out of the water, drags the corpse to land and proceeds to defile it in all manner of hideous ways. This may be my favorite American Octoberfest to date. It almost... and I hesitate to say this, but it must be said... almost reminds me of the Holy Grail of Marzens: Ayinger. "No he didn't!" Yes. Yes, I did.

So to sum: Bell's Octoberfest is just shy of being superb and it's a crime the score on this site is so low. I rate fairly and my ratings are correct. Eat your heart out, Joe.

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Photo of dstc
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby amber color with a foamy tan head that falls slow. Decent lace.

Nice malt nose with obvious hops present. Rather earthy aroma.

Nice sweet malt taste with a slightly hoppy bitter aftertaste. Quite a bit of flavor.

Medium bodied in the mouth with moderate carbonation and a slight bite.

Rather decent brew. Nice hops and good flavor. Very drinkable.

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Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.
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