Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
472 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 472 | Ratings: 968
Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.53/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quite impressive.
Taste is well balanced and refreshing. Bitter, floral, grassy hops upfront. Notes of dried grains. Rich flavors of caramel apples, plums, toffee, fresh biscuits, and honey midpalate. Like any good Marzen, it's toasty and sweet with flavors of caramel and fruit but still maintains a dry, bitter finish to balance it out that leaves you somewhat parched after you take a drink; encouraging you to have another sip. Body is light with low carbonation. Moderate alcohol profile.

 493 characters

Photo of JohnnieB71
4.28/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a nice change for an American Oktoberfest marzen. A beautiful copper color. The smell reminds me of Bavarian nuts that you get at your local Oktoberfest. A nice crisp mouth feel and flavor round out this fantastic brew.

 232 characters

Photo of joeseppy
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another picturesque late fall sunset orangey yellow hues. Fruity hops, yeast, bready and malty. Taste is sweet malt, hoppy, caramel and yeasty dough rising. Bitterness in the back. Finish is heavy and sugars can seem sacchariny coating the mouth. Very solid brew fitting for the times. Nice fall walks in the forest with a sixer of these finishing off with a bourbon, and a nice fire.

 391 characters

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: It's a blend of all the oranges and reds in an autumn forest, or of the colors on the label. Seemingly pour head. The leaves have fallen early.

S: Floral hops. Subtle Doughnut batter like malty sweetness. Perhaps a little buttery.

M: Light crispness, light bodied.

T: Not too sweet with moderate bursts of carmelized nuts. Underlying grassiness. Bits of frostbite on the last remnants of summers lavender.

 415 characters

Photo of andrewjraab
3.94/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours the color of fall leaves - burn orange with a pillow of boney white head. Nice cling after each sip.

S - Grass, malts, caramel, grains.

T - Medium bodied, nice smooth feel on this. Opens malt forward, caramel, grains, yeast, grassy, bread dough, semi sweet, hops show up on the back end of the palate.

O - Solid for the style and glad to see Bell's is making this again as I'm not sure I've seen it bottled every year.

 437 characters

Photo of EMH73
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours amber in color with a well retained one inch head, no note on lacing as I poured it into a ceramic stein. Smells of malts, biscuits and slightly sweet. Taste follows the nose with the additions of slight nuttiness, caramel and a hint of spices. Light bodied, moderately carbonated. Very drinkable, good not great.

 323 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.04/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Frankly, even though it is only 09 Sept 2016, October cannot come quickly enough this year. This has been a swelteringly hot summer with one of the highest average temperatures on record. Fortunately, I am sammich-fed, beer-cooled, intrinsically-driven so my machine keeps going. I wish that I could say that this was a part of The CANQuest (tm), but alas, it is a mere bottle.

From the bottle: "Fall is my favorite time to drink beer. The weather turns cooler, there's a bounty of foods, and beer just seems to taste better. I hope you enjoy this traditional beer as much as I do. Prosit! [undersigned] Larry J. Bell".

I Pop!ped the cap and gave it a solid, if not aggro, pour which produced two fingers of dense, foamy, tawny head with decent retention. Color was Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity. This prompted a visit from The Gelt Gang of Mammon, Croesus & Midas, all anxious for a taste. Nose was lightly sweet, with a cereal-like quality. It was certainly malt-driven, but I have had richer versions of the style, especially from Germany. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, not exactly watery, but not much beyond it, either. The taste was mild, sweet, mildly sweet, but kind of lacking in Oooomph! I initially thought that this might be a new beer that they brought out, but it has been around for a decade. It seems that there is a reason that I have not bothered with it until now. Finish was semi-sweet, but it was about as memorable as the traffic that passes by Chez Woody. Once it's gone, it is forgotten. It was not a "bad" beer, per se, just lacking in any of the qualities that make the style a semi-annual treat.

 1,648 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, bottled 08/16/16 printed on the bottleneck. Grabbed a single bottle of this stuff from the local bottle shop, excited to try Bell's take on this traditional style!

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Crisp golden orange on the pour, finger or so of frothy off-white head of decent retention that leaves good fluffy frothy lacing behind. Body has nice clarity to it. Looks very nice.

S - Aroma is kind of one-dimensional as a sort of earthy cereal type graininess seems to pervade. Light crisp / bready maltiness / yeast presence is noted, though not particularly toasty.

T - Taste follows the nose: lots of earthy cereal graininess, with slight toasty / roasty / nuttiness present. Has a very traditional lager yeast sort of taste reminiscent of some bigger macros.

M - Feel is smooth, crisp, & creamy. Very light-bodied and easy drinking stuff.

Overall, an average representation of the style. Not deep, robust, or nutty enough for my liking, but a decent brew nonetheless.

Bell's Octoberfest Beer -----3.5/5

 1,035 characters

Photo of Dr_Bahmbay13
5/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Perfect Oktoberfest , The Perfect Brewery, from The Perfect State. Pours beautiful bright amazing perfectly clear and crisp looking PERFECT orange copper color. The smell is a PERFECT marzen character, a Bouquet of Perfect roasted malts, caramel, toffee, slight hops presence. The smell alone is PERFECTLY INTOXICATING! Taste?! Perfect, no other Oktoberfest I have had comes close to complexity of this Perfect Beer. The feel is absolutely Perfect, crisp, roasted , Perfect carbonation, every sip reminds me of fall , football, MSU kicking the shit out of ohio state (losers). fishing for salmon, bonfires,good food , and family.Do yourself a favor and try the Perfect OKTOBERFEST!

 686 characters

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.

 695 characters

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 8/15/2016. Pours fairly crystal clear orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of cracker, toasted biscuit, light caramel/nuttiness, herbal, grass, light pepper, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of bready malts and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of cracker, toasted biscuit, light caramel/nuttiness, herbal, grass, light pepper, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of cracker, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, pepper, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Slightly drying from bitterness as well. Very clean on lager flavors with zero yeast ester notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy/grainy, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5.5%. Overall this is a very nice Oktoberfest. All around nice robustness and balance of bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,422 characters

Photo of K-Dog
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 470 characters

Photo of steveh
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
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

 2,265 characters

Photo of Slack
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

 222 characters

Photo of Totalpackage411
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

 161 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

 535 characters

Photo of ARoman
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

 484 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
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.


 649 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | 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 in the middle, 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. hints of nuts and honey, almost like a granola or something there in the middle of this, but i am making it sound far more unique than it actually is. More filling and hearty for later fall, a little sturdy while its still hot out, makes sense, but this is nowhere near as compelling as other bells brews. i have not had many lagers from them, and while i like this pretty well in the right context, i would have expected something a little more noteworthy from bells for this time of year.

 1,055 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +11.7%

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.

 253 characters

Photo of MarkQ617
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

 222 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 549 characters

Photo of deebo
3.11/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

 713 characters

Photo of Kelsiemoeller
4/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

 322 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 1,132 characters

Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.58 out of 5 based on 968 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!