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:
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: 455 | Ratings: 920
Photo of bonkers
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up in secret halloween 2011, thanks Michael. The pour is light amber, small white head, light lacing. The aroma is pretty typical fot the style, light toasted notes, some caramel sweetness. The flavor is toasted malt, some bready sweetness, light sweet finish. The body is full, good carbonation. Overall, a nice easy drinking fest beer.

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

12oz bottle purchased at International Beverage in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Pours a rich amber hue with one finger of cream coloured head and several strands of lacing on the lager glass.

Smell is deep doughy and bready malts (pumpernickel), toasted grains, earthy-leafy hops, brown sugar, wheat crackers, and a vinous, grape-like fruitiness with hints of apple and pear. Enticing aromas.

Flavour is light bready malts, mild caramel sweetness, touch of grape skin, grassy, leafy and earthy hop bitterness transitions to a fleeting aftertaste. Much tamer than the nose, though enjoyable nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, medium bodied, soft carbonation, modest Noble bitterness precedes an off-dry finish.

Overall, this aromatic märzen is an ideal fall-time quaffer. Not the craziest most robust example of the style but still a very solid rendition and one that I would purchase again. Recommended.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Bell's pint glass
A: Orange color; one-finger head that quickly dissipated
S: Faint toasted grain, maybe a hint of toffee.
T: Rich toasted malt/grain. Almost tastes like the smell of sticking your nose in a mash tun, which I like. Just a hint of hops comes through on the end.
M: Medium-bodied, a hint of carbonation.
O: Crisp, not bad; In general I like Bells, this just isn't impressing me as much as their beers normally do.

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Photo of Siegmund
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a Sam perfect pint

A - Mostly clear amber with a very slight haze in the thickest part of the glass. A 1cm bright white head formed, and died down to about a .5cm and stuck for a while. Constant rising bubbles from the etched ring on the bottom of the glass. Basically, this is what I picture "A beer" looking like.

S - Simple, malt forward aroma. Smells like fall. (I'm just the slightest bit stuffy today so if I ever get this beer again I'll give it another smell)

T - Very crisp. Again, malt forward with a solid sweetness to it. A little bitter from hops, but not much. Tastes bready on the finish.

M - Much thicker than I was expecting. Most Oktoberfests that I've had (Granted, a limit scope) have been on the thinner side. This had almost a creamy quality to it. Great beer on the tongue.

O - I haven't found an oktoberfest that blew me away, but Bell's comes the closest. I want to take this beer and sit on my dock in Maine and go through a six pack. This is a very good beer

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Photo of tykees88
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Copper clear color. Orangish brown hints of color. One finger head. Very pretty.

S- Smells like all those sweet and roasty malts that you would expect. Caramely.

T- Taste is good. It's mostly about the caramel malt sweetness. There is an earthy hop profile and that is nice too.

M- A medium bodied brew. Takes away from drinkability for me.

O- It's solid. Just a normal beer that bell's brewed pretty well.

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

A - Clear copper color with an average sized, creamy, foamy, bubbly, white head. Average retention leaving some patchy lace.

S - Toasted malt with bready and caramel aroma. More grainy than sweet. Touches of apple/orchard fruit. Hints of herbal hops.

T - Similar to the nose. A lot of malt flavors with bread and caramel leading the way. Again not overly sweet and quite grainy. Subtle fruitiness, particularly apple. Notes of herbal and grassy hops.

M - Light to medium body with average carbonation. Pretty crisp but not biting.

D - Well balanced with a pretty good body. Easy to drink a couple as the malt doesn't get too sweet and cloying.

Notes: So-so marzen. Plenty of toasted malt flavors with a good amount of caramel. Nice hints of fruit and herbal hops. Nothing too special but a decent autumn beer.

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Photo of fo5s
3.12/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a sam adams mug. Package date of 8/12/11 prominently displayed on the label (props to Bells for that).

A- pours a hearty gold. Minimal, crispy head.

S- clean, cereal malts. Present, but subdued.

T- bland, toasty malts. Slightly dry.

M- thin, but not too far off the median for the style.

O- a mediocre Octoberfest, and not up to snuff with Bell's other offerings. Not a bad option if choices are lacking, but there's much better out there.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer looks pretty good. Its a slightly hazy orange with a nice frothy head and leaves little bits of lacing on the glass. Carbonation just streaming from the bottom.

S: High hopes for this one sadly let me down.. not much of an aroma. I get a slight slight slight hint of sweet fruit, but thats it.

T: Where this beer lacked in aroma, it makes up for it in flavor. I get some awesome notes here: slight pear, caramel, dough,

M: Medium body and carbonation and a tad dry on the finish.

D: This beer drinks very nicely. It's delicious.

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Photo of heebes
3.04/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark golden with a finger and a half of foamy off white head. Nose is yeast, grain, grass, barley and some bready malt. Kind of a weak smell. Taste isn't any more impressive; thin on malt and leaning more toward a pilsner. Watery mouthfeel, medium bodied with a chewy finish.
Overall a let down in terms of style. It's crisp and refreshing and drinkable for sure but lacks taste wise.

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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 falloutsnow
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased from Hyvee in Council Bluffs, IA.
Bottled on 8/13/2011.

Poured into a standard US pint glass.

A generous pour produces a fluffy 2cm head of medium-sized, off-white bubbles that deflates within a minute, leaving no residual bubbles and no lacing: not even a ring around the glass. Weird, haven't seen this in a non-macro in a long time.

Aroma is of light malt sweetness, not breadiness, with a hint of lemon-lime or apple-like fruitiness. Fairly nondescript, not sure I like the fruit aspect either. I want some caramel, grain, and light bread scents if I'm drinking a marzen.

Taste opens lightly with some light malt flavors joined to a touch of herbal and spicy hop flavors and honey or fruit sweetness (from the yeast?). A very light taste, sort of a mix between a marzen and a wiesen, but I don't like the fruity sweetness here. Again, I'd appreciate some caramel, bread, and grain-like flavors in a marzen.

Medium-bodied with low to moderate carbonation makes this an easy sipper and generally pleasant. Finish is surprisingly dry, but in a sticky sort of way. Generally pleasant.

This is a fairly average to below average American attempt at an Oktoberfest. A bit disappointed with Bell's here; won't be checking this out again. Generally bland, kind of like an APWA of this style. Good if you wanted something simple, unremarkable, and unmemorable, but why bother? .... Why bother with anything?

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Photo of xnicknj
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at varga in philly

Pours a clear leafy brown color with some brighter amber hues. Thin beige head dissolves, leaving a few spots of lacing and little filmy retention.

Slight hoppiness in the nose, bready and biscuity malts. Touches of toffee and caramel. Somewhat muted overall.

Bready and citric up front with a faint touch of leafy hops. Bread crust and caramel in the malt. Some toffee sweetness. Finishes a little bitter and sweet.

Medium body, well carbonated, sticky and chewy on the tongue. Drinks pretty well, although nothing too explosive here.

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

bottled on 8/12/11, poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

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

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

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

m: easy fall drinking!

o: pretty good oktoberfest. Nothing that really stands out, but an enjoyable beer to drink.

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

A bottle into a Bell's glass on the latenight.

A- Copperish brown with a dark tan foamy head up above, slight stick on this. The head becomes a loose cap of nothing after a bit. Some small bubbles going up the glass.

S- Caramel, munich malt, grassy hops, simple, yet refined. The hop scent on this is apparent a month after bottling. Some dank biscuit in the nose.

T- One of the better balanced and flavorful octobers from the states in recent memories. Im smacked with a gob full of caramel, toasted malt, slight nutty appeal. A dab of fruit in the middle with some grassy hops, finishing clean as as can be.

M- Medium bodied,nicely carbed,this beer is alive on the palate and well balanced. After a bit the carb dies down giving way to insanely east drinking.

D- I think I really like this beer, Im not a huge oktoberfest guy, HOSS is my favorite from the states but this might just be my second. A six pack might be in order.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/19/11
*From notes

A: Bright, pale and rich golden amber. This is much lighter then I'd expected. A slight chill haze seems to be present. A good pour yields a 1.5 finger head, which fades rather quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

S: Hints of walnut shells, though what really stands out is a heavy amount of warm caramel.

T: Fairly low key. Somewhat sweet. Grainy. The back end of this is mild, and there's no lasting or discernible flavor on the finish.

M: No complaints here. It's heavy enough for those cooler autumn evenings. The carbonation is on point.

O: Bell's Octoberfest is an above average, yet slightly forgettable entry into the Märzen world. Nothing stands out here, yet it's easy to drink without much complaint. I certainly wouldn't pass one of these up, yet if given a choice, I'd rather have a Victory Festbier or Great Lakes O-Fest instead.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beerhan for this one.

Pours a fizzy 1 finger head that fades semi quickly, no real lacing, crystal clear slight orange amber yellow color.

Nose almost smells like fruit juice, like apple juice, with a bit of sweet malts, hint of reddish malts and caramel, plenty of fruity lager aromas, light crisp lager aromas, maybe the slightest hint of herbal earthy hops.

Taste starts lighter, with light pilsner malts, slight reddish malt flavor, hint of caramel and some light toasty malts, doesn't really get straw flavor but nice toasty earthy malt flavors. Plenty of crisp lager flavors, lots of lager fruit again almost apple juice like flavor but not really bad apple flavor, the yeast may have been slightly stressed but it's not bad. Some light hops do come through, touch of herbal and slight earthy floral hops bringing a hint of bitterness and spicy taste. Finish is a bit sticky so not very clean, but somewhat crisp, more fruit juice and hint of light malt flavors.

Mouth is a bit lighter bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, surprisingly not loaded with caramel and reddish malts which is a nice change, nice light toasty malts, hops are barely there and nice additions so a bit more of those would have been better, and the other big thing is the tons of fruit juice, which comes from the yeast probably fermenting a bit to hot and stressed, but not too bad.

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Photo of philbe311
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A finger's worth of fairly standard slightly off-white colored head... Modest retention gives why to a near identical full thick lace... The color is a light to medium copper with a distinctive amber hue... Loaded with swirling small bubbled carbonation throughout... An ever so slight haze...

S - Toasted malts... English toffee... Caramel... A touch of nuttiness... Some light bready notes as well... Spot on for the style...

T - The malty goodness greats you as expected... More bready than sweet, but tasty none the less... Also noted is some orange zest... Some noble hops rise on the finish... There are also some faint medicinal notes that lingers...

M - Medium bodied... Oddly dense... Very light carbonation... Sleek... A bit of a dry finish...

D - An average Oktoberfest... Solid appearance and aroma... The taste and mouthfeel are a bit of a let down... There are several other style counterparts that I would opt for and recommend over this Bell's offering...

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Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
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 jayhawk73
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice gold color w/ an off white one finger head. Good carbonation and lacing on the glass. Beer has a little cloudy vibe to it. Nose is mostly toasted malt, w/ a hint of caramel. A little thin and one dimensional for me. Taste is the same as the nose. A little disappointing. Feel is medium w/ a little touch of honey aftertaste. Definitely not the best thing I've had from this brewery, but a good beer if you don't want to think about what you're drinking.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear darker amber color with two fingers of fluffy off-white head that is well retained.

The scent is of dominant roasted caramel malt.

The taste is also of prominent roasted caramel malt, there is also a moderate hop bitterness.

Medium body, very smooth, low to moderate carbonation.

This was a good representation of this style, a well balanced flavorful beer. I would drink this again.

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Photo of Dave128
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip from an orange festive looking bottle with bottle date 8-18-11 printed on the side.

A - A rigorous pour yields a less than average 1 finger or so head on top of a golden amber body. Lacing pretty much nonexistent.

S - Smells a little musty at first then I get a smell of some lighter malts, but not really the deep caramely maltiness that I look for in such a beer. alcohol is detected pretty easily.

T - Much better than the nose. Quite complex for this style of beer as far as malt profile. I get a fruity taste on some sips seems to be a yeast affect. I can't really taste much hops, but their bitterness is certainly there in the finish.

M - At first by the head and lacing of this beer, I thought the body was going to be a little to light and not full enough for a marzen, but it was well medium bodied and not overcarbonated.

O - An average Marzen. Certainly not disappointed but not too impressed either.

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Photo of jtingue
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint.

Appearance. Pours a beautiful clear amber with a finger and a half of head, which quickly dissipates to a nice layer on top of the beer.

Smell. Lots of malty notes with caramel and some honey. Very faint herbal hop aromas underneath as well.

Taste. Starts with a slightly bitter heabal hop flavor. This is then accompanied by some nice sweet caramely malts. This is followed by some tartness. THe finish is very clean and refreshing. There is a clean but noticeable yeast presence throughout.

Mouthfeel. Thin body with minimal carbonation. Makes the beer quite quaffable. Appropriate for the style.

Not a complex beer by any means, but a very sessional one. Very simple and straightforward taste that is enjoyable.

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Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.27/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lovely clear amber liquid full of carbonation bubbles sits beneath a billowing head that stands tall above the rim of the glass. Very attractive. The smell leaves much to be desired however, as the grain scents are very weak. The taste is primarily biscuit, though hops make their presence known with a floral/herbal flavor in the finish. Nothing special going on in the mouthfeel, though carbonation is just right. Not one of Bell's better brews.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.48/5  rDev +25.1%
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
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - light ornage with slowly rising carbonation bubbles and a long-lived white head.

Smell - Very Germanic, and typical of this style - lots of malts, biscuit, and spicy hops.

Taste - Sweet but balanced maltiness with just enough bitterness to balance it out.

Refreshing and flavourful.

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Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.58 out of 5 based on 920 ratings.
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