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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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 469 | Ratings: 965
Photo of mpyle
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App - Nice amber color with brilliant clarity. Relatively small head without too much retention.

Aroma - subtle malt aroma, a bit of a copper penny smell. No hop - very clean.

Flavor - Nice malt flavors up front, but well attenuated and sufficiently bittered to not finish overly sweet. Finishes quite clean, with just a subtle reminder of the well-balanced beer. Actually maybe a little too bitter on the finish as it warms slightly.

MF - Medium body and carbonation. No astringency or warming - very gentle on the tongue.

O'all - A nicely balanced, malt oriented beer. The slightly bitter finish might annoy after a while, but it does keep it from becoming sickenly sweet.

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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.

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Photo of dfried
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear, crisp orangish amber in color, thin off white head settles as a ring. Crisp malty aroma with some caramel, a little toffee, and some subtle fruity notes of apple and pear. The taste is quite sweet, almost to the point of cloying up front. Apple peels and caramel. Medium to light bodied.

Overall: a simple, quite drinkable beer. Not exactly packed with flavor, not some grandiose experience, but not much to turn you off about it. It went well with a piece of pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

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Photo of getch
3.12/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a-very nice pour, has nice thick head, clear copper color with some shadow.
s-light malt smell
t-malt and oat taste, with a hint of fruit at the end, very good after taste

m-enjoyable, smooth

d-one of my favorite octoberfest beers, i will def have this again, will be looking for it on tap

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Photo of Winter
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bell's O'fest pours a clear copper in color with a khaki colored head. Aroma has hints of light caramel malt, some biscuit. I also get a hit of unexpected perfume that combines with a slight fruitiness... almost like apple. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and rather carbonated. The taste is malty on the forefront. Middle has a really odd seltzer like quality to it, which is unfortunate. The finish is harsher than expected for an Oktoberfest. Grainy and alcoholic, but mostly flavorless and dry.

I was disappointed in this offering. I've had plenty of great Bell's beers in the past and this was quite a letdown. Flavors were off and rather unenjoyable for an Oktoberfest beer. I kind of wish I didn't waste the money on a six pack of it.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent Oktoberfest. I've had better, but this one was definitely worth trying. The beer pours to a clear golden orange color. Decent carbonation. The head is fairly small and drops to a thin film in less than a minute. No lacing.

The smell is good. A good mix of biscuit and caramel malt aromas. A light bit of hops. Kind of an odd sweetness to it, accompanied by that distinct lagery aroma.

The taste is good as well. Biscuity up front followed by a gentle caramel sweetness in the early finish. Not quite as sweet as the nose suggests. The late finish shows the hops, albeit just a little. Just a touch of vegetal lager yeast flavors.

The mouthfeel is thin and crisp. Good balance between sweetness, toastiness, and bitter hops. Could stand to be just a tad bit more drinkable, but it was worth trying.

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Photo of Homerbag
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours darker red copper with a two finger thick foam head.

S- Some good malty, caramel arouma, not a strong smell like other O'fest

T- All around pretty good, subtle malt and caramel taste, nothing special.

M- Nice carbonation, leaves no after taste, invites more beer to be consumed

Overal a nice American O'fest, better than most of the US O'fest but still not up there with the originals from Munich.

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Photo of GRPunk
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a mug.

A- It poured a good amber color with a solid 1-1/2 inch off-white head that turned into a good lace. It was light to medium in carbonation.

S- The aroma was very malty with mostly caramel and bread tones.

T- It tasted very rich and malty. Again the flavor was of caramel and bread that was hinted in the scent.

M- It had a smooth, but full, mouthfeel.

D- A really easy drinker. I could see putting a couple of these back in an evening.

Overall- I thought it was a very solid representation of the style. While it didn't do a lot to set its self apart from other versions, I'd rank it up there with my other favorites from both American and German brewers.

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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 tavernjef
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber orange with a slim compact head of off-white foam residing for an few moments of foundation before fading to a tight collar. Minimal drippy lace in a few globs.

Aroma is nice with a good malt complexity of sweet toned caramel, some toasted edges, and a bit of doughy breadyness. Has a wholesome quality and is easy to wiff in. Gains more of whole grain take as it warms.

Taste is favorable in malt and biscuity toasted stuff. Nice well rounded tone of paled down caramel sweetness and doughy bread centers. Nice ascents of toasted malt and grains. Smooth and semi silky with a malt laden goodness thats easy to drink and enjoy.

Feel is about medium with a malty, easy going smoothness, middle area is the only missing element and the finish could use a boost of length. But it definately suits the O-fest nature.

At 5% this is an easy one to have a bunch of.

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Photo of argock
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into clear pint glass

A: Pretty auburn color with thin off-white head with some sticky lace

S: Malty with a sharp grape and caramel smells, minimal hops contribution

T: Typical laid-back marzen flavor with deep fruity grape and raising flavors. Pleasantly, there is more hops presence that you'd expect from the aroma which leaves a sticky feel.

M: Smooth and nicely carbonated with sticky, dry finish.

D: Enjoyable fal offering from Bell's -- very smooth and builds some uniqueness into the classic marzen style.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.38/5  rDev +22.3%
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 Bighuge
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy blazing orange. (Of course it's not clear...it's Bell's!) Thin dirty white head. Little retention. Lace is sporadic. Really nice aroma. I like the emphasis on the toasted malt qualities on the nose. I also get some biscuit malt and a little caramel malt as well. The malts lay a pretty solid foundation. The toasted character isn't quite as prominent as it was on the nose, but it's there with the usual suspects (biscuit, caramel and yeasty doughiness). Carbonation lends a bit of a fizzy attribute to this medium bodied lager. Not a particularily bold Ofest, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$1.70 for a 12oz bottle at Jacks. OG=1.056. 5.5% ABV.

Crystal clear deep copper, forming a modest off-yellow rocky head with minimal retention and average lacing. Carbonation is moderate. No sediment in the bottle. Probably the first filtered Bell's that I've ever seen. The aroma is very, very weak. Barely able to discerne a nose here. There appears to be a mild caramel character and a touch of burnt rubber. That's about it. Mouthfeel is quite mild with a medium-light body. The taste is quite mild as well...there is initially a little hop flavor, then some mild burnt grain, then a touch of caramel and burnt rubber. Bitterness is moderate.

While this may be a very sessionable beer, it's because there is not much flavor here and it's lacking the character one would expect for an Oktoberfest. Overall though, it serves it's purpose...one could easily down a 6'er of these without much of a problem. Easy drinking.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Octoberfest pours an honest two fingers of foam over a clear scotch
colored brew. Carbonation is active and the nose is toasty malt with notes
of butterscotch. The flavor is rich sweetish malts up front with a pleasant
herbal noble hop finish for balance. The aftertaste is clean with a hint of
grain, and mouthfeel is surprisingly full for a lager. Your Octoberfests are
generally meant to be fairly big, easy drinking beers and this one is certainly
that . Get it while you can, it's a good one!

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours the lightest clear copper with a thin off white head.

S - Very light bicuity aroma but not much else.

T - Some bready biscuity malt with a slight lager twang but not much else.

M - Feels a little watery due to the slight lack of flavor.

D - Disappointing, especially for Bell's tasty lineup.

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Photo of Brent
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In reviewing this beer, I have to keep in mind that a Marzen is one of the original session beers, and, consequently, must be relatively easy-going. This beer does a nice job of managing to be interesting, and yet very mellow. Perhaps just a touch on the timid side - I'd like to see a bit more maltyness, but the drinkability is very good.

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Photo of rowew
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck. No date info. Label is very nice, with a close up of a turning leave serving as a background.

Appearance: Orange copper colored head, fades quickly.

Smell: Muted, just a bit of bready malt and some caramel.

Taste: Interesting - the malt flavors aren't nearly as strong as I would expect from an Oktoberfest .. and there is just a hint of something that is almost like pie spices. I imagine it is an offshoot of yeast, but its interesting.

Overall impression: A bit light for my tastes - doesn't quite have the malt backbone I would expect in an Oktoberfest. Despite this, it is highly drinkable and interesting enough that I'm sure I won't have a problem finishing the 6er.

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Photo of morimech
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange/copper color with a fluffy white head. The head doesn't hang around for long and there isn't much lacing. It smells like bread and yeast but it is really subdued. The taste is of sweet malt and bread. Not much else there. Decent carbonation but it has thin mouthfeel. If there was such a thing as Light Oktoberfest beer this would be it. Very sessionable but not big on flavor. Would make a good beer garden offering.

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Photo of bahumutx
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours copper with a small head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Malt, bread, and caramel.

Taste: Malt flavor throughout. Also hints of bread and a slight sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could have a few of these in a sitting.

Another good offering from Bells. Keep up the good work.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got a six pack of this beer at Whole Food's Market in Alexandria, Va and poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: A translucent red and orange amber colored body, a white head that was fluffy with a lot of carbonation, little lacing and poor retention.
Smell: Little aroma, actually kind of watery. I didn't realize water had a smell, but that's what I got.
Taste: A sour malty taste. Again I was conused because the sour taste was malty, not the malty taste was sweet. It made for an interesting mix.
Mouthfeel: A nice smooth mouthfeel, a bit out of character, but nice none the less.
Drinkability: Lots of flaws, but all and all it was right down the middle.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of ZAP
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a session-style o-fest which is what I think they are supposed to be anyways. You certainly won't confuse the richness of taste and body with that of say Summit which checks in at 7.4% and is truly more of a Marzen imho.

Pours a burnt orange color...not particularly clear...an interesting and inviting bready aroma...taste continues with the bready characteristics....also some mild caramel on the taste...

Body is on the light side of medium...at times it feels almost a little watery...

A lighter style o-fest. If you're looking for a big malty, rich, big o-fest this isn't it. This is subtle, but tasty in its own way. Personally I would chose several others in the future over this because I prefer a bigger o-fest but I could see this appealing to a lot of people looking for something a little lighter.

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Photo of nortmand
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a substantial head that quickly fizzles away.

Hay dominates the aroma and is accompanied by a subtly biscuit maltiness. Lots of grassiness as well.

Fruity caramel notes up front, ends with an unpleasant tannic quality. Also some subtle bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Medium body, a decent beer, easy to drink, but nothing special for the style.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a transparent, dead-on amber color with nearly two fingers of head that dissipates moderately.

S: Biscuity malt with a kind of musty aroma, perhaps from the yeast. Hops are at a minimum in the nose, only faintly making an appearance.

T: Mostly a bready kind of malt, not much hop character at all. Very much in the marzen style, just not enough of a flavor profile to keep it interesting, I feel.

M: Carbonation is at an agreeable level, mouthfeel is at an adequate crispness.

D: Even for a subtle style like a marzen, this beer seemed to lack a personality of its own, which is unexpected from a brewery like Bell's. Nevertheless, it could be a lot worse. This one is easily drinkable, but there's not enough excitement to keep you coming back.

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Photo of prototypic
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's a clear copper color. Head is a very modest one finger deep. Slightly off-white in color. Very short retention and lacing was minimal.

Smell: It's light on the nose. Light scents of caramel and toasted malts give it a sweet scent. Those are the focal points. There's a very light hop aroma, but it's very faint. Tough to pick up. It has a slight yeasty aroma to it toward the end. Above average, but barely.

Taste: Primarily, it's malty and sweet. It's a mix of toasted and caramel malts. It has a prominent yeasty/breadlike taste. Hops are nearly non-existent. It has no punch whatsoever. There's some light fruit flavors that emerge toward the end. Again, it's okay, but pretty bland to be honest.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and features a decent, smooth feel. Carbonation is light and it goes down easy. Feel is easily this beer's best attribute. It's nice and drinkable for what it is. If it had more flavor to it, drinkability would be off the charts.

This is one of my least favorite releases from Bell's. It's just very ho-hum compared to their other releases. It could stand a little hop punch and more flavor overall. It's not a bad beer, but it is a letdown considering it is Bell's after all.

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Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.58 out of 5 based on 965 ratings.
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