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

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Bell's Octoberfest BeerBell's Octoberfest Beer

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

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by hoppymeal on 09-11-2006

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Reviews: 478 | Ratings: 1,004
Photo of peabody
1.78/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Pours out a clear reddish amber with hardly any suds. Mabey the growler doesn't have as much carbonation?
Smell is dirty water and soap suds. A hint of sour apple and some caramel sugars way in the back.
Taste is of dirty water and nothingness.
This is where this one goes very very bad. This is the worst beer I have had in a long time. I tried cleansing my palate but to no avail.

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Photo of KonigObHops
1.87/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.75

This beer poured a penny copper with a very thin whit head with no lacing.

I have never had as much difficulty discerning an aroma in a beer as I had with this beer. I guess there was a slight caramel smell.

Very thin bready taste up front, slight biscuity taste in the middle with a yeasty finish.

Mouthed feel was a bit gritty with below average carbonation.

Overall... I would not call this an Oktoberfest... Maybe they knew that and that's why they spelled it with a C. I ctully expected it to be an extremely hoppy version of an Oktoberfest because Bell's specializes in over-hopping everything, but this was just a very thin beer. I would call this the Michelob Ultra of Oktoberfests.

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Photo of aasher
1.94/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This one was poured into a Guinness pint glass. It poured light and kind of watery with the lightest of heads. It was a light, light orange that was very translucent. The smell was strange. It had both yeasty and lunchmeat aromas, yes, lunchmeat. I have no idea why it smelled like that, considering it's very, very fresh. The taste was bland and also had a slint tint of lunchmeat to it. What's happening? At least it was fresh and crisp but it was a little light. I don't know where Bell's went wrong on this one. I didn't think it was awful last year but this bottle was horrible. Not drinkable whatsoever.

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Photo of khiasmus
1.96/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I simply don't feel like writing my typical dissection review for this one. Marzen was originally crafted as a lightly malted, lightly hopped beer to drink in vast quantities. This fits those marks. Excellent clarity, minimal head, nutty malty nose, decent hop balance, lightly metallic note in the finish of the flavor, light mouthfeel, high carbonation, clean finish. Above average for the style but certainly not on par with spaten or even clawhammer.

That was on 12/22/2008. On the new batch, 2010, this beer has gotten far worse. The aroma is of cracker malt and almost an adjunct note, much like the nose of a yuengling or coors original, but with a little more biscuit and a hint of outhouse. Flavour is not better. tastes adjunct-ish, with stale crackers and stale hops. This is just bad. Drain pour. Come on, Bell's.

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Photo of claminat420
2.14/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- poured into a weizen glass. golden transparent with a great head that hangs for a bit.

S- dull basic macro lager scent.

T- reminds me of a basic macro lager (bud). nothing fancy.

M- alil carbonated. definitely note the malty side of the beer.

D- i would say easy to drink if you like those macro lagers.

Overall- I've been kinda disappointed with bells lately. this years batch of Octoberfest is definitely better then last years. i noticed they've been changing it over the years. last year it was 5abv and was terrible!! then the year before that (07) was around high 5's abv and was amazing. i'm not saying higher the abv the better but for this case it is.

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Photo of CRichardsMN
2.18/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours out a typical amber orange but with a pretty big head of pillowy foam that immediately falls.

Very mild malty sweetness with a bit of hops.

Hmm, disappointing. Has the traditional malty sweet tones from a Marzen but with the addition of a citrusy hops and overall weakness, this is unbecoming of such a festive style.

Light to medium body with a sharp fizziness that ends out too cleanly. Leaves no presence, kind of like an altered lager.

Yeah it's drinkable but not all too satisfying. The flavors are weak and the strength is low.

I was expecting more from Bell's on this one. Will just have to switch back to their other offerings...

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.26/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Pours an appropriate orange leaf color with a popcorn shaded head of 2 fingers. Leaves webs behind as it recedes.

Smells like a Budweiser with nutmeg. Floral and spicy notes collide with an amber malt backing.

Flavor is uncooked pale grains, some dirt, then a nice roasted malt flavor, fading quickly though - in its place, wet paper (possibly oxidation), cardboard, some chemical, and then finally a sharp hop.

Feel is semi-sticky with a papery feel and semi-dry finish.

Overall, a major fail. I'd actually prefer the Budweiser over this. Blech.

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Photo of jpmclaug
2.28/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Orange body with little to no head on top

S - Weak sweet, grainy, bready aroma

T - Similar to the aroma, weak sweet bready flavor. No real discernible hop contribution

M - Thin bodied with an average amount of carbonation

D - I really expect more from Bells. This is one of the worst Oktoberfest beers I've ever had. Not much flavor and the flavor that is there really doesn't stand up to others in this style.

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Photo of thunderclops
2.32/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Great looking beer, very clean tan/orange color. However, no lacing whatsoever and no head.

S- Faintly resembles the smell of stale urine mixed with cheap beer, definitely not pleasing.

T- Taste is also associated with the smell of urine only with a light finish of light barley.

M - Very light and crisp, surprisingly pleasant.

D- Not good, I would not recommend this beer because of the bad smell and the taste which is not enjoyable whatsoever.

Severely disappointed.

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Photo of Jesse13713
2.33/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearence - A murky brown-orange with average carbonation. A finger or two of head on the pour.

Smell - There honestly isn't much happening on the nose. Light leafy smells and a bit of sweetness.

Taste - More carbonated than I expected. A bit of a tangy lemon zip sits atop malt. The malt isn't nearly as sweet as I expected. Leafy and grainy notes.

Mouth feel and overall - Very dry overall. Makes me thirst for water. Very natural and leafy tasting. Too dry and carbonated for my likings.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.35/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap in a shaker pint. Golden orange body with a wispy white head and sparse sticky lacing. Color is unexpectedly light.

The oddly tame nose (modest sweet and toasty malts) provides no hint of the scorching bitterness to follow. Hopped almost to the level of a west coast IPA, with the malts firmly in the background. Longish bitter finish. Way out of style for an Oktoberfest.

What a strange beer. It tasted nothing like it smelled, and the taste was completely out of style. Possibly the tap handle didn't match what was in the keg? Something definitely seemed amiss here. I hope to try this again sometime to see if the experience is different.

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Photo of CAP1868
2.38/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served out of a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A-Appearance was a light copper with a small foamy head that quickly disappeared.

S- The smell was a varying display of bitterness and maybe oranges

T- Awful, just really not into it at all, very bitter almost like scotch it seemed, not what I was looking for in an Oktoberfest brew

M- Mouthfeel was light and crisp, which is fine but the taste detsroyed this.

D- Sure you could drink a few, but I poured mine down the drain.

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Photo of semihobo
2.4/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 8610, bought this single at the general store in Kalamazoo.

Pours with a big creamy head, two fingers, and subsides to a respectable thin layer of white. Body is a dark amber or a very thin light brown. Minor bubbling.

Smells of caramel, more caramel apple than caramel malt. Maybe a little pale malt as well. Sweet. A little bit of wet woody hops.

Sugary taste, generic caramel. Like ordering iced tea at a diner in Georgia (what can I say, I'm a Yankee)... no nuance and too sweet. Hops kick in on the finish but it's too little too late. Slightly acidic finish, tree bark-like bitterness.

Fairly thick and creamy mouthfeel, adequate carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

Kind of disappointing, mix a generic malt profile with subpar hops and smudge the details, charge a little too much and here we are. One was plenty... a slightly below average Octoberfest.

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Photo of RickS95
2.45/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

It's a pale orange, just darker than ginger ale with very little head that doesn't stick around long.

There's not a lot of smell, but I swear I picked up pumpkin notes. There was a bit of spice, but nothing overwhelming.

A fair taste. There is some punch but I couldn't pick out any particular ingredients. Like the smell, it was spicy, I'm sure it's cloves and coriander, but all I could think of was pepper.

There's some bitterness all the way through. In the end, the malts try to sweeten the experience, but it's not a great effort.

Nothing really great about this beer. One of Bell's weaker attempts.

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Photo of adamette
2.51/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I bought as a single last week from Save-On in Mentor, Ohio for $1.68 into my “The Second City” Weizen glass. “10552 PKG 8/16/11” stamped on the bottom of the back label. This is my 29th review from Bell’s Brewery, a midwest classic craft brewery.

A Creamy very light brown head over a translucent caramel colored body with only minimal carbonation rising up from the bottom. Rather basic look really. 3.0

S Distant smell. It took some “swishing” but I was able to pick up the barley malt. I am dissapointed that the smell is not more obvious as I look for it from this style. 2.0

T Barley malt taste is moderate and there is a slight hops taste that I do not really care for. Not there is a strong barley malt taste and the slightly bitter hops drives down the drinkability for me. 2.5

M A bit too harsh when it comes to this style. I look for (and often find) and exceedingly drinkable, smooth beer. I have found that in Great Lakes Oktoberfest and Victory Festbier to name two. 2.5

D/O Drinkability is only fair due to the relative harshness (when compared to other beers in the style) and overall I am left wanting more. 3.0

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Photo of NolanGTI
2.56/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not one of Bell's best.

Appearance is standard for the style, nose does not produce anything even remotely interesting. A bit of mettalic hops taste on the finish. Medium malt backbone and a thin mouthfell round out a dissapointing beer form a brewery that normally nails it.

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Photo of charliedango
2.56/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This isn't a Märzen and this isn't a pumpkin ale, so why does Bells label this as an Oktoberfest beer? When it comes to seasonal beers, especially Oktoberfest, I expect something other than the standard fair of beer. If this is what Bells considers Oktoberfest then I must say it's a muted, almost unreasonable beer. I suppose I can't really say it's a letdown as from previous experience with Bells I haven't found a single style that they excel at. This is just another beer that I feel is a result of the craft beer explosion in which hype matters more than product.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.57/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 9/21/11

Packaged 8/16/11

Clear shade of burnt amber; it's a hue of medium-depth. One finger of fizzy foam reduces to 1/8th in layer in short order. Thin retention. Only two globs of lace.

Toasted grain aromas with a touch of floral sweetness to back it up; pollen-like. Hints of prairie grass. Not really much for caramel. Tame but pleasant. Sipping reveals a moderate amount of earthy hops that kick toward the finish. Toasted grains comprise the malt bill. As with the aroma - not picking out any caramel. Medium-thin body; a bit too fizzy. The feel doesn't beef up over time, either. The finish is a bit coating.

I like that the beer is dry, but I could use more malt sweetness to give it some depth. I'm glad I only picked up a single; there are better examples of the style to be had just as easily. I finished just over half the bottle.

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Photo of Khazadum
2.58/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up while perusing the great store Archer Liquors.

A- Mild head formation, mixture of medium sized bubbles, microfines, and typical carbonation sized ones. Not much generation of a head, dissipates with acceptable time. Pale orange with hints of tangerines, possibly bread-like in its crusty colorations. Mild lacing on the edges of the glass.

S- Something phenolic... grape-like in character before an overwhelming blast of yeasty bread overwhelms the nose. It reminds me of a classic lager. Faint sweetness that I attribute to the malts. Backbone is ethanol that is thankfully buffed over by the other aromas.

T- Not as enjoyable as the nose. Tons of yeasty bread malts that are instantly rendered unpalatable by a bitter hops... its just bitter, I can't even call it hops style bitter. Its a chemical bitter that took me a few moments to realize was supposed to be the hop presence. There are moments of sweetness and grape hints, apple hints, but nothing like other oktoberfests have. The finish is that bitter generic hops flavor sticking to locations I wish it didn't.

M- Too much carbonation hinders the flavors and causes an annoyance. Thin body, not much to it. The only flavors that linger are the unappealing generic yeast hops combination I want to die in a fire.

D- This misses some of the key elements that I love in Marzens. It tastes more like a generic lager, and is even borderline adjunct lager in its interpretations. It could be so much better, and is a disappointment coming from Bell's.

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Photo of williamt
2.58/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer started out pretty good for me with a nice gold to amber color and 1" tanish foam head. Aroma was more of overdone toast not the bready melnoidans of better oktos. Aftertaste left an undesirable bitterness or flavor that shouldn't have been there either, and was more noticeable in the last quarter of the glass. I'd say mouthfeel was as it should be, just a little on the thick side. All in all Bells makes mostly great beers, this is just not one of them.

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Photo of Jishguy
2.6/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Poured a clear, deep, ruby red colored body. Very thin and minimal one finger head, which dissipates quickly. Literally no lacing on the glass.

T-Bread and caramel malts barely poke through behind the very unpleasant skunkiness that dominates the aroma. The overall aroma almost reminds me of a wet dog. There is also a tiny bit of earthy hops.

T- Much of an improvement from the aroma. Sweet caramel and bread/cracker-like malts. There is a tiny hint of earthy hop bitterness in the backbone. The finish is dry, and slightly tart.

M- Average. A bit thin, but not too much. Carbonation is pretty spot on. Just could have a bit more in the body.

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Photo of hooliganlife
2.62/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

pours nice bright copper with a great inch+ of frothy head. great retention!

i was not getting any scents at all, maybe some slight malts

i picked up metallic flavors which threw me off. light malts, lightly sweet, a very light hop presence. overall, this is very mellow and not much really coming out of it. a slight bitterness.

fairly full with nice carbonation

i was a bit let down with this. i hate knocking a beer and i love bells but there was nothing dominant about this, nothing really stood out. im pretty sure this is rather fresh as we JUST started getting their oktoberfest this year.

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Photo of budgood1
2.65/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours out a clear orange copper colour. a thin fine head reduces to very little lacing. sweet fruity aroma, lightly malty with a hint of must. taste is a fairly simple caramel maltiness, a dry sweetness mixes with a fairly benign fruitiness...reminding me of apples and pears, but ever so slightly. a touch of bitter hops to round it all out. mouthfeel is a touch prickly, just about right for this particular beer. the body is on the lighter end for an o-fest, making it quite sessionable, or fest worthy. drinkability is ok due to the easy going nature of this o-fest. but as far as the "interest" level, it's actually not very "interesting". just bland and boring.

well, most everything bell's is usually a hit with me, but i'd say this one is a miss. the extra eight bucks a case over the other o-fests definitely isn't worth it. there are better offerings to be had. this one ranks with leinenkugel's o-fest and michelob marzen when it comes to being uninspired.

 968 characters

Photo of glazeman
2.67/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Can't believe it is fall already.

A: This beer pours a golden straw color with a 2 finger white head. Excellent head retention and great lacing.

S: Perhaps I don't have a very refined nose, or much experience with this style, but this just smells like BMC to me. Actually, it's probably more intense smelling than BMC, it smells more like malt liquor.

T: I somewhat enjoyed the taste of this, maybe just because I was outside on a fall day. I get a little bitterness and straw up front with a tad bit of pumpkin and sweetness at the end. Still, it tastes similar to mass produced beer.

M: Okay. Nice level of carbonation and appropriate viscosity.

D: Ehhhh. I guess I could have a few of these, but it really was quite boring.

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Photo of gatornation
2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

was in my local beer store today and bells octoberfest was on the shelf i bought a single and was glad i only purchased 1... it pours a slightly hazy off orange color with the typical big head that bell brews has ... the smell was ok it was stale and musty smelling the taste was malty with spice and hops... im not impressed at all its ok will not buy again bells needs to rework this marzen its just not good..year after year... i also think bells has become to big and expanded to to many states and has become a macro/micro brewery and has lost some of their small batch quality not drinking to much of their brews like i used to

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Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.58 out of 5 based on 1,004 ratings.
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