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 | 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

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Reviews: 437 | Ratings: 836
Photo of K-Dog
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well here we go again with octoberfest released in mid July when it's still hot as hell out. Kind of ridiculous if you ask me. Anyways a buddy mind offered me one and I accepted. This was just another average octoberfest. So many of them this time of year. A nice standard appearance for the style . It's not terrible but the only Octoberfest I even remotely like are sierra Nevada and Sam adams. The rest just all kind of blend together. Just an average beer for bells.

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Photo of steveh
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7 years from my first review, Bell's Octoberfest makes a return in the area. $11 a six-pack. Bottled 08/16/16 -- can't get much more fresh. Poured into my .3 liter Becher.

L -- Deep, clear golden-amber (reminiscent of Ayinger's Festbier) with a thick, cream colored head that settles slowly to a respectable cap.

S -- Doughy and crackery, bready notes, light hop spiciness back, but pretty thin overall.

T -- Good balance of grainy and bread crust flavors up front and through the middle, finishing with a nice balance of spicy hops that carries into the aftertaste. Bready sweetness also lingers at the back of the throat in the aftertaste.

F -- Mouthfeel is soft and slick to dry in the finish with a solid medium body.

O -- 2016 SN Okto lovers will like this one as its malt profile and bittering are very similar -- without the hop character being as up-front. It's a very nice Ami take on a Märzen Festbier without getting overly candy sweet *or* overly hoppy*.

*I notice that I found this beer too hoppy 6 years back, and I could probably say that with the 2016 rendition, but I guess I've had too many *overly* hopped takes on German styles recently that this one doesn't bother me as much anymore.

08-26-09 Review (coincidence?):
2009 Bottle -- bottled on August 18, 2009. Web site reports an ABV of 5.5 this year.

A -- Somewhat hazy, deep gold color with vague amber highlights -- more to the color of the current Wies'n offerings in Munich these days. Thick, off-white head.

S -- Bready yeast character with some mild DMS. Some cracker-like, even pretzel-like, graininess present. Spicy noble hops apparent with a good swirl -- even some mild sulfur, a sign of fresh Pils malt.

T -- Same cracker-like character in the first hit of flavor, with a quick balance of spicy, bitter hops. Even some mild citrus in the finish.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, even slightly syrupy to a point, with a medium body.

D -- Drinkability is good, but my overall impression of the beer to style is a little too hoppy. Albeit, very nice noble hop character, it seems to be a typical American micro take on the style. I'd have preferred more Munich malt with a sweeter character, but the freshness of this beer stands tall.

3.5 -- 3.5 -- 3 -- 3.5 -- 4

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Photo of Slack
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pale amber and clear with a ¼ inch of head and some lacing.

Smell is muted but I do get sweet malt

Taste is sweet malt, bread, and some bitters.

Mouthful is medium and smooth with medium carbonation.

Drinkable and ok.

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Photo of Totalpackage411
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty solid Oktoberfest beer, light and easy to drink with a rich Oktoberfest feel. Has a hint of fruitiness to it making these go down like candy. Solid beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at The Olney Place in Penn Yan, NY.

This pours an orange-ish copper, with a half inch head, and just a small amount of lacing.

Smells like caramel, bready malt, and a bit of slightly fruity lager yeast.

Tastes like a pretty typical and well constructed Octoberfest, some caramel, good amount of toasty malt, some dried fruit, and a little bit of hop character.

This is medium bodied, with a warm and toasty mouthfeel.

A nice domestic rendition of an Oktoberfest. Won't knock down the originals, but still quite good anyway.

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Photo of ARoman
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap, poured into a shaker. The aroma is a mild caramel and nuts blend. It pours a clear, light honey hue with a dense, gelatin, white foam that has moderate lace and a light retention. The taste is a medium sweet and light bitter. The smooth and oily texture has a fizzy carbonation and a medium body flavored with caramel malt and nuts. It finishes with a light spice zest and a smooth citrus with a mild aftertaste that's primarily roasted nuts, bread, and a slightly burnt note.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a growler via Jungle Jim's in a pint glass. This nice oktoberfest pours a super clear light orange with a nice head of white foam that settles to a thick ring, light pool of foam, and subtle lacing. Nose of rich caramel, fresh bread crust, and subtle hops. Flavors surpass the nose with caramel and rich bread crust flavors on all sides, followed by moderate grains to the middle and back, and finishing with sweet malts and very subtle hops to the back. Back is lingering in sweetness with light carbonation, medium body, and finishing very lightly on the dry side. Excellent homage to the fests of Germany. A solid brew.


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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For bells this isn't all that impressive. It has a proper copper orange color, clear, and holding an inch of white suds for a few minutes before settling. Aroma is sweet and rich, autumnal, bigger in grain character than most of these, sweeter too, but seems alright. Minimally hoppy in nose and taste, these could be increased a little for balance and depth. Toffee and lager yeast in the flavor, long flavor too, but lacking nuance. Because it's a little bolder than others, it's hard to drink a whole lot of it, but maybe that's part of its charm. More filling and hearty for later fall, makes sense, but this is nowhere near as compelling as other bells brews.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Bready aromas and flavors, crystal clear orange-ish gold with a 2 finger head with good lacing on the glass. Very rich malty flavors, malt driven like an Oktoberfest. Good body and carbonation, with rich foam. The malt balances well with the bitterness.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

This was a decent, but not great Octoberfest. Picked up a growler, poured into a mug. Good color, lighter orange. Light molasses marzen flavor, definite biscuit notes...but a little bland. Very mild white head. Pretty OK.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Typical Marzen dark copper but it was so clean that it looked artificial. The head was thick mounted stiffly and collared slowly.

The scent was simply too weak to rate particularly high. A sweet malt and grain tone was evident but it was not profound.

The flavors, too, were weak but what I did catch was a nice grain, bran and caramel malt. Some low-like sweetness there was a dry bready texture.

I feel like Bells products are typically more solid than this was. What I did get was awfully good but it simply did not assert itself as it should.

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Photo of deebo
3.11/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pint in tap at Lowry in MPLS

A-a nice amber color with ruby highlights. Completely clear served with a ringing of white head.

S-not a ton going on. Some caramel malt Marzen goodness with a fair amount of alcohol aroma and a bit of cooked corn-lager style

T-much better than the smell as the alcohol and DMS taste is much weaker than the aroma and the typical caramel toasted barley malt comes to the forefront. A bit of that taste is noted on the back end which hurts this beer

M-medium bodied with average carbonation and a adjunct lager finish

O-I'm afraid I've come to expect more from Bells but this is just an average attempt from an American brewer at the German Marzen. Many better options out there.

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Photo of Kelsiemoeller
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: bright organge and amber that is clear when held up to light.

smell: not much there, some sweet malt but very faint

taste: nice sweetness up front and some breadiness is in there.

mouthfeel: easy fall drinking, full body, taste in every part of mouth

overall: pretty good oktoberfest beer, favorite so far.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served an amber-orange colored brew with a small white head. The head had a moderate persistence fading over time to give a light level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is bready and toasted malt with some spice and caramel sweetness as well. Rounding out the aroma is a very light orange citrus smell.

Taste – The taste begins of a nice lightly toasted malt aroma mixed with some stronger flavors of caramel and spice. As the taste advances it dries some a small amount as some of the caramel dissipates in strength and the roasted bready malts increase. While the caramel fades some a light citrus sweetness comes to the tongue and rounds out the flavor. At the end some lighter hop flavors of a citrus and earthy nature arrive at the tongue to leave a roasted light bitter flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side with a carbonation level that is on par. Both good for the flavors and drinkability of the brew.

Overall – Rather sweet and malty with a great flavor profile and wonderful transitions. Drinkable and quite favorable.

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Photo of WynnO
3.17/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice view. A little too light for my eyes, but all in all, it's passable.

Smell was almost non-existent. Inhaling as if hyperventilating finally revealed some Caramel. No where near what it should be though.

Taste - a very nice front end, but it tapers off rapidly and becomes dry midway. Although...thinking...a half pint has increased the linger time :-) slightly more hops than other Marzens I have tried. Interesting.

It seems a little bright to me. Maybe Ayinger's version has tainted my palette too much??

Overall? I am increasing my scores a little now as this beer has gained respect as I have reached further down.

Try this one! YMMV but in my parts Marzens are a bit rare. I try every one I see. It's not world class, but Bells had done a decent job here.

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Photo of cagocubs
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange that clarifies and retains a nice white head. Beer laces the glass and remains sticky in appearance.

S: Caramel malts, sweet nuances, some hop play, and good wheat characteristic.

T: Another solid style from a great brewery. Nice sweetness from malts all the way through. Good caramel tastes and impressive hop play from a marzen.

M: Wet and smooth flow. Good warming and aftertaste. Very drinkable.

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Photo of paulginva
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured from a tap into a pint glass, produced a white 1" head that dissipated slowly leaving good head lacing. Carbonation was lively in a slightly hazy gold body.

AROMA: Not as much aroma as I expected. I detected a very slight bit of malt and a little fruity hops. That's all.

TASTE: Taste is much better than expected, particularly given the aroma (or maybe my nose -- who knows?). A light cereal grain taste together with some caramel and a light taste of fruit.

MOUTHFEEL: This beer had a light to medium body with a smooth texture, moderate carbonation and good body lacing that dissipated slowly. The initial flavor was moderately sweet with a slightly dry bitter finish that lasted for a moderate length of time.

DRINKABILITY: Nice balance to this one. The firm flavor was quite welcome after the modest aroma. This beer was repeatable, easy to drink and priced right -- three important characteristics for a beer calling itself "Oktoberfest." It's definitely not in the upper ranks of Märzens -- more around the middle, I'd say, but for spending a nice fall afternoon watching baseball, football or whatever your fall sports weakness is, you could do a lot worse.

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Photo of spdyfire83
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

178th Review
Served in a half pint
On-draft at the mothership itself in Kalamazoo!

From notes.

A: Looks a proper autumn color - bold orange-red-brown (it'd be like mixing water colors to achieve the tint of this beer). Half (slightly frothy, white) fingernail head.

S: Nuttiness and caramel sweetness come through at the front followed by hints of malt, hops, and spice.

T: Follows the smell bit by bit, but I mostly get roasted caramel malt from this. Hint of sweetness, but that's about it. Wish there was a bit more flavor here, but it is not all that bad.

M: Medium bodied and well carbonated.

O: This beer is good, but not great. Decent for the style and enjoyable all-around.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear amber/copper colored, nice initial head which quickly vanished to a few bubbles around the perimeter of the glass

S - sweet malts, a hint of orange/citrus

T - a sweet sort of smokey flavor, never tasted anything like this before.. followed by a sweet honey-like taste

M - very easy flowing, smooth, crisp, refreshing

O - this is a phenomenal beer in all aspects.. i'm having it a little late since it's january and it was bottled in august, but i think it allowed for some of the more complex flavors to kick in.. maybe? i don't know, if this is what it's like not fresh, then maybe that's how i want it!

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Photo of FosterJM
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1015th Review on BA
Bottle to Mug
12 oz

No date on this one.

Thanks to erikkoppin for this one.

App- A good hazy murky orange color with some faint gold/yellow towards the edges and bottom. A nice fluffy two finger slow receding head. A very faint amount of cling and lace.

Smell- A little bit malty, a little bit spiced, a little bit bready, a faint damp orange juice note.

Taste- A unique spin to me for an Octoberfest. Not as malt driven or spicy as some I have had. More doughy and citrus driven with a bit of orange juice keeping with the nose.

Mouth- A weird aftertaste is creeping in on this one, which is bringing down the mouth. A lighter medium body with a lighter medium carbonation. Can't place the residual flavors but not digging it all that much.

Drink- Thanks Erik for an Octoberfest I wouldve never had before. This was pretty flavorful with a very odd aftertaste. I would have this one again next year if I were in MI for fall.

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Photo of ncketchum
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in an imperial pint glass

A - Pours a dark orange/red, big light brown head initially, fades quickly to minimal head, some lacing, sight carbonation

S - sweet bread and malt, caramel

T - malty, more lager-ish with a hint of marzen than the aroma had led me to believe.

M - smooth, nice medium amount of carbonation, slight bite of alcohol in the end

D - good drinkability, not the top of the list for me as far as the style goes, but not bad overall. Another solid offering from Bell's.

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Photo of n2185
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very slightly hazy orange with three fingers of white head that recedes into a thin cap with a little lacing.

S: Munich and pilsner-like aromas up front followed by some light, sweet citrus notes. The finish smells of lightly sweet biscuits.

T: Similar to the aroma, malty flavors at first before a light, dry bitterness kicks in with some faint pine notes. Biscuit flavors follow, again with a lightly bitter dryness.

M: Fairly light body with mid-high carbonation, this beer is crisp, dry, and clean.

O: A good Marzen with nice, elegant simplicity. Not extremely complex, but no Marzens are.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Oktoberfest has an orangish-brown body with a soapy, off-white head. Retention is OK, and scattered lacing remains on my glass as I drink.

The aroma has lightly toasted malt with some sweetness. A hint of grassy hops are in the background.

Bell's Oktoberfest isn't especially powerful in any department, but it does have a good balance of yeast, hops and malt (must be beer?). Up front is lightly toasted malt with a lot of bread flavors, and a little bit of sweet caramel in the background. Next comes a small dose of grassy hops and a modicum of bitterness. Somewhere in the between there is a lot of generically fruity yeast flavors also.

The mouthfeel is good for the style, landing in the middle in both body and carbonation.

Bell's Oktoberfest is definitely a beer that you can drink a few of, but it doesn't really distinguish itself in any way. Good, but not great.

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Photo of shand
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Average looking for the style, a red-orange with a tiny head. Aroma is sweet, nutty caramel malts and grains. Solid. The taste is also good - props go out to Bells for a domestic Oktoberfest that's not too sweet. Instead, it goes down not tasting too much like anything at first, a bit of graininess but not too much else. Some toastiness comes in for the finish too. Drinkability and mouthfeel are both about what you'd expect for the style, a bit more carbonation wouldn't hurt though. Overall, it could be better, but kicks the pants off of most of the domestic O-Fests I've had this year. I probably like the Heavy Seas Marzen a bit more, but this is still good.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured out with a nice look golden orange color with a fizzy white head on top that doesn't lace too much. The smell of the beer has some nice aromas of grains and hints of autumn spice. The taste of the beer was pretty good, it had some decent caramel notes and some decent autumn flavors in there. The mouthfeel of the beer was typical, it got to be a little flat by the end though. Overall it's not my favorite Fest beer but it's not a bad one to try.

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Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 437 ratings.
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