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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Ratings: 1,005 |  Reviews: 478
Photo of zeledonia
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 10552, bottled 16 August 2011.

Pours a clear deep orange amber with one finger of orange-tinted whitish head. Head fades fast, but leaves a nice cap and some good lacing. A bit of carbonation visible in the glass.

Smell is lots of biscuity toasted malts. A little noble-ish vegetable hop aroma sneaks through all that cookie. Decent, but not a ton of depth.

Taste is lighter on the toast than the smell, with more sweetness. It's still mostly bready. Finish passes quickly, but there's nothing notable about it. It's not really dry, it just sort of disappears.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, kinda thin for the style, with tons of very fine carbonation (like pop rocks). It feels a little like a carbonated soda - rather watery but brought up by the carbonation. Finish continues to tingle on the tongue as it fades away.

Not my favorite Bell's beer. Thin and rather soft on flavor. Decent, but not great.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very light amber color with great 2 finger, foamy head that dissipates very slowly. Good looking Octoberfest here.

S - Lots of malt here, bread, some caramel sweetness, a tinge of grassy hops.

T - Good full flavor. Wow. A nice bit of sweet caramel up front that fades into a full mouth of breadyness, wrapping up with some hop bitterness. Actually very impressed by this marzen.

M - Full bodied, yet crisp. Leaves the mouth ever so dry.

Overall - I thought this was one of the better Octoberfest beers I've had. I've never found marzens to be particularly complex, but this one actually displays some nice complexity. Well done by Bell's.

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Photo of pzrhsau
3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer did not have a very good head, it poured a weak white color and never really stuck to the glass. The body has a nice pale autumn orange color.
S: The beer has a nice sweet dark malt flavor that reminds me of a fall night.
T: The flavor is rich bread and dark chocolate/roasted malt. The flavor is very basic for the style but there isn't much depth to the flavor as a whole.
M/O: Crisp and rich flavor, the beer has a great carbonation. Overall a decent interpretation of the style.

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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 VncentLIFE
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark straw color into a Pilsner Flute. Minimal head with no lacing. Rather average if you ask me.

Smells sweet, like a good Oktoberfest should smell. Very one-sided with the malt.

Taste is rather reminiscent of Great Lakes Oktoberfest, but more sweet. The malt is rather dominant, to a fault. I hoed for a little balance and smoothness, but what I got was all smoothness and no balance. Still good for an Oktoberfest, but there are many better.

Leaves the sweet flavor with a slightly astringent bite on the tongue.

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Photo of wingman14
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich copper with a frothy off white head. The smell is mostly malt with spice undertones. The smell isn't very potent, but very inviting. The taste is nice, not as sweet as other oktoberfests, but very enjoyable. The malt is the focus and plays out very nice. The mouthfeel is medium, nice carbonation, good balance and depth to the flavor. Overall an enjoyable oktoberfest, only a few minor differences to set itself apart from the rest, but still enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of Kromes
2.96/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Slightly hazy light copper color with a thin line of bubbles on top.

S: A sweet malt aroma with some metallic tones.

T: A sweet malt flavor with a little bit of bitterness and a mineral off flavor.

M: Light body with higher than normal carbonation.

O: An average octoberfest with an unfortunate mineral flavor that lingers.

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Photo of Star80
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love grabbing the first seasonals I see on the shelf because I know they are fresh. This one pours out a bright copper color with cream colored head. The smell is rich and malty, with bready aromas like pumpernickel, with some faint herbal hops. The taste is rich and slightly sweet, but with a nice herbal hops balance. I detect some faint toffee flavors from the roasted malts. I am not a huge fan of the style since I favor hoppier beers but this one is quite nice. I am afraid that a lot of the German imports could be pasteurized, sure they meet Reinheitsgebot but what about *after* they are brewed? To that point I may never know what a real Oktobefest beer tastes like, but I think Larry Bell has put together a very nice, drinkable one. Prosit!

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Photo of Jammies
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- poured into a tulip glass. Golden orange with an inch of foam that slowly dissipates.

S- Light and slighty nutty/caramelly

T- Tastes sweet with a subtle caramel. Delicious

M- Light and smooth. Coats the tongue very well. Almost like a liquid candy

O- Absolutely delicious. Overall just a fantastic beer. I was worried about the lack of retention and thought the taste would be diluted. I was wrong.

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

Appearance: Slightly hazy light amber color with a nice head. Decent retention.

Nose: Faint floral tones.

Taste: I thought the flavors were a bit grainy. Toast and some orange zest dominate. For me, it's a little too dry for this style and could really use a bit more maltiness.

Overall: Nice beer, but there are better examples of this style.

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

Octoberfest season... oh how I love you!

A: Poured a solid orange color, bright orange even, with a slightly cloudy disposition and about a half finger head or so that stuck around throughout the session.

S: Sort of a metallic bread scent. Not very potent, just sort of meh...

T: I honestly think this is much too sweet for an Octoberfest. Literally, the German malt breadiness (typical of the style) was absolutely buried by the sweetness.

M: Lingering sweetness for sure, without much German influence.... more like a ripoff American-style Marzen. Low-moderate lacing.

O: I've heard this beer wasn't up to snuff before but wanted to give it a fair shake. So average that I think I'll avoid this one during the harvest season in the future.


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Photo of lookitsmp
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a smooth burnt orange color with flashes of red and yellow and a small thin white head that dissipates to nearly nothing. Some fairly nice carbonation floats to the top. The appearance of this beer really captures the essence of autumn in my opinion.

Smell: Very malty smelling beer that gives it sort of a biscuit quality in the nose with hints of caramel malts that give it a slight sweet scent. The aromas are really faint which is a bit disappointing.

Taste: I bit of a curve ball considering the way it smelled: this beer is actually fairly hop forward brew. Like the nose there are biscuit, caramel, and spice notes throughout but with a decent floral hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Very drinkable.

Overall: This is a pretty nice beer overall that I would drink again. I think the fact that it's underwhelming in the nose department really brings it down. Part of the experience is the aromatics and this beer leaves a lot to be desired. However its a good tasting beer that would go well on a fall day. It's worth checking out at least once.

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Photo of Brunite
2.85/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very clear orange body with little to no head on top....tons of carbonation.

S - Weakly sweet,,,,not much malt.

T - WOW. No malt...very bitter...way too hoppy for the style.

M - Thin bodied with a very high level of carbonation

D - I really expect more from Bells. This is a poor rendition of an Oktoberfest beer IMHO.others in this style.

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Photo of Ehrnstrom
3.22/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: golden color, little head, low head retention.

smell: crisp, clean, hints of spice. definitely a fall beer.

taste: although moderate in alcohol content, this beer is much better at colder temperatures. moderate body, with hop taste coming through in the aftertaste. some subtle fruit notes (coriander/orange peel possibly).

mouthfeel: good carbonation. drinkable, but feels like it would improve if it were paired with food.

notes: for Bell's, this is middle of the pack. better than lager of the lakes and third coast beer, and on par with oberon.

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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 rundocrun
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a rich coppery orange color with a finger of white head that fades somewhat fast. No noticeable lacing on the glass.

S - Lots of bready, toasty malt in the nose as well as some lemony hop aroma. Mild hints of darker roasted grains and caramel.

T - Has a big pale malt presence. Clean and crisp with an aftertaste of homemade bread crust. Hop bitterness is mild-to-moderate with only a slight lingering of bitterness toward the finish. Mild flavors of caramel and chocolate are barely perceptible in the aftertaste.

M - Carbonation is bright and crisp. Very good for the style. Medium body with a slightly sticky mouthfeel.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From my notes:

A: light orange color with one finger head that dissipates quickly.

S: Light fruity smell with a light bread/yeast notes.

T: Not overwhelming in any one flavor; light ale/lager effect with slight yeasty taste. Slight bitterness that blends fairly well.

M: Not too carbonated, but smooth feel in the mouth.

D: Easy to drink and characteristic of a good octoberfest beer. Solid offering.

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Photo of rings
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale orange in color, it has a caramel aroma and thin, quickly disappearing head, but opens up big and malty at the first sip, with a full barley mouth feel and soft, but crisp finishing hop upon the swallow. This is a beer lover's beer, unafraid to fill the mouth with malty sweetness and a pronounced grainy flavor that is proud uncorrupted by roasting or other flavors. Although slightly over-carbonated in the bottle, it's actually one of the few efforts that have reminded me of the Vaterland.

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Photo of prdstmnky
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

*review from notes on 9/26/10*

Batch #9832

Pours clear, with a lighter amber body and a finger of quickly fading head. Malty nose, with a touch of pumpkin too. Not digging the taste of this Marzen...There are some sweet bready and toasted malt flavors, but also some odd metallic notes that I cant get past. Also a very bitter finish that was unexpected. Lighter in the body for the style with adequate carbonation.

I tried this twice during the fall and just not a fan of it - not bad, just others I enjoy much more.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tap from various bars and 12oz bottles into pint glass. Pours a clear light amber with a big three finger off white head and spotty lacing. Nose is yeasty biscuits, grass and caramel malt. Taste is sweet fruit, caramel malt and nuts with a dry grassy slightly bitter finish. Medium mouth feel. Not a favorite style, but a fairly decent brew. I prefer tap over bottle.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: This beer pours an amazingly clear orange body with a good size white, creamy head. There is also loads of visible carbonation.

S: A decent aroma of sweet toasted caramel malts, biscuits/bread, grains, and hints of floral hops.

T: Initial upfront flavor is are dry grainy malts, followed by sweet caramel notes and a light hoppy flavor. Long lasting finish.

M: Lively carbonation, medium-light body, & a smooth and crisp texture.

D: Another very solid beer from Bell's. Not the most impressive for this style, but very easy to drink and could definitely drink 4-6 of these easy.

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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 SickGnar
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Short, just off-white cap o' foam on a mug of golden trending slightly copper beer. Bright, but less than crystal clear with rather minimal lacing.

S: Toasty, bready, a bit grainy with just a touch of sweetness and a hint of darker stuff. Actually any sweetness seems to be more fruity and tied in with a yeasty note. Those aren't euro-lager ester. In fact, shot me if this wasn't done with a kolsch type yeast / process or something similar. There is a distinct vinous, slightly yeasty note here that I associate with some Kolsch type beers. Intriguing. There are also some minty hops wafting around in the background.

T: The yeasty, bready, vinous character with even a grape peel edge provides a background for everything else. There is quite a bit more of a juicy grainy sweetness than in the nose, almost verging toward cookie dough, that is rounded out by toasty malt that is more Vienna than munich. A reasonably firm bitterness comes through as minty and herbal with a slight medicinal edge.

M: Medium body, but it seems more due to the lively yet gentle, soft, and lusciously mouth filling carbonation. Semi-dry, but not crisp.

D: This pretty good beer and has some interesting things going on, but exemplifying the octoberfest style is not one of them. It has some of the right elements. Malts are toward the lighter end, but reasonably rich and toasty with some juicy malt sweetness. Hops are noble if a tad forward. But what is up with the vinous, fruity ester, bready yeast character? What is this? A Vienna Kolsch hybrid? A KolschFest? It is interesting, but I'm not sure it works.

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Photo of Sammy
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Champagne Cellars. This was spot on the style but not all that drinkable. Sweet, fast disapearing foaming head on copper fruity coloured body. Malty pleasant aroma. Middling mouthfeel. Not unpleasant, just not something I could finish.Understated hops (nobel).

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

I poured into a pint glass to a half inch of off white head. The beer is orange in color. The aroma is caramel malt. The taste is also caramel malt with just enough hops to balance it out. I used to really dig this style, but my palate is evolving toward bigger, more flavorful beers. This isn't a bad beer. It is just a little plain for me.

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Bell's Octoberfest Beer from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.58 out of 5 based on 1,005 ratings.
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