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

BA SCORE
81
good
1,005 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Bell's Octoberfest BeerBell's Octoberfest Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,005
Reviews:
478
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
12.57%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
92
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,005 |  Reviews: 478
Photo of boss302
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Oktoberfest, 12oz 5.5%abv

A Golden clear nice head to start.  A little lighter than some other O'fests, but appropriate for the style. 3.5 

S Malty with very little hint of hops. Clean.  3.5

T Some malt, but also some yeast. There is a pretty strong hop flavor in the finish that doesn't really show in the aroma. 4

M Medium body, carbonation is high. 4

D This a pretty good beer, and similar to the German O'fest beers I've had. I'd have another. 3.5  

 469 characters

Photo of Khazadum
2.58/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up while perusing the great store Archer Liquors.

A- Mild head formation, mixture of medium sized bubbles, microfines, and typical carbonation sized ones. Not much generation of a head, dissipates with acceptable time. Pale orange with hints of tangerines, possibly bread-like in its crusty colorations. Mild lacing on the edges of the glass.

S- Something phenolic... grape-like in character before an overwhelming blast of yeasty bread overwhelms the nose. It reminds me of a classic lager. Faint sweetness that I attribute to the malts. Backbone is ethanol that is thankfully buffed over by the other aromas.

T- Not as enjoyable as the nose. Tons of yeasty bread malts that are instantly rendered unpalatable by a bitter hops... its just bitter, I can't even call it hops style bitter. Its a chemical bitter that took me a few moments to realize was supposed to be the hop presence. There are moments of sweetness and grape hints, apple hints, but nothing like other oktoberfests have. The finish is that bitter generic hops flavor sticking to locations I wish it didn't.

M- Too much carbonation hinders the flavors and causes an annoyance. Thin body, not much to it. The only flavors that linger are the unappealing generic yeast hops combination I want to die in a fire.

D- This misses some of the key elements that I love in Marzens. It tastes more like a generic lager, and is even borderline adjunct lager in its interpretations. It could be so much better, and is a disappointment coming from Bell's.

 1,523 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.23/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass. Batch 9834.

Pours a very pale copper - almost more of a dark gold with hints of orange. Clear, with nice streams of effervescence. The initial head is almost non-existent, but after a few moments a nice, very long lasting fluffy white cap of about a finger shows up.

Nose is toasty, quite herbal, a bit bready - fairly one dimensional, but not bad.

Taste is very good - exactly how I love my Oktoberfests. Maltiness is bready, a bit toasty, rich without being overly sweet, and supported by a fantastic grassy hop character that lingers with a beautiful light bitterness on the long, full finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit of soft creaminess, and just enough carbonation bite to keep it clean.

Fantastic drinkability rounds out what I consider to be a world-class example of one of my favorite styles. This one hits many of the notes that Ayinger and Stoudt's Oktoberfests do, which puts it in elite company for me, and away from the big syrupy messes many American Oktoberfests end up being.

 1,045 characters

Photo of chickenflea
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not much going on with the aroma. The beer carries a very small white head that disappears quickly No noticeable lacing or retention. It displays a beautiful sparkly orange gold color. Taste is excellent. Crisp and clean with a bready lightly sweet taste. Slightly metallic aftertaste. Good carbonation. Medium light body. Overall, it is a light refreshing beer that goes down smooth. A pleasure to drink.

 405 characters

Photo of Lillenk
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was very nice dark tan into brown with a nice white head.

Smell was a little lacking. Not a whole lot going on at all.

Taste was good. Octoberfest not typically my favorite style but this had all the classic characterists done well.

Mouthfeel was good, but i wouldn't see myslef drinking very many of these.

 354 characters

Photo of herman77
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear, light honey/orange with a small white head that fades to a collar and cap. Hardly any lacing.

S: Cereal grains, lightly toasted malt and a little bit of carmel sweetness.

T: Malty carmel sweetness is the main flavor here, not as much as Summit's O-fest I had last night though. Lots of breadiness to it too, just a touch of hop bitterness, would be nice if it had more to balance all the malt flavors. Finishes somewhat crisp with a cereal grains.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation that feels pretty soft and slick. Nice.

D: Okay drinkability. A little too much one sided.

 589 characters

Photo of CMW
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - The beer pours a nice amber orange color that is just slightly darker than the label on the bottle. It is very clear with a nice amount of carbonation settling toward the top. The head is slightly off white and has good size, maybe an inch and a half. It settles slowly and leaves some nice sticky lacing.

S - My first observation is that the nose is somewhat muted. The caramel malt is present along with some nice biscuit nodes but much weaker than other Octoberfest beers. Must admit I am let down in this category.

T - Caramel malts come through first and even add some nice sweetness to the normal grainy flavor. Hops are present but subdued and have a floral taste. There is a nice kick of spice in the finish that helps mix up the flavors. It finishes crisp and clean that makes this easy to drink.

M - Light and thin.

D - Easy to drink because the alcohol is not noticeable at all in the finish, possibly due to the low 5.5% abv.

 946 characters

Photo of innersanctum
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, judging by some of the reviews of Bell's O'fest it seems to be love or hate in a 12 oz bottle.

I'll take love on this one because sometime simple is better. Compared to some of the better German Marzen's it is lighter, but it remains very true to the style. For a lagger with a touch more kick Bell's hit the bulls eye.

This pours a bit darker than a traditional lagger with little head, its definately a session brew and I'd take several of these down at a tailgate. The finish contains pronounced tones of malt and some peppery hop will dance on the back of your tongue.

 580 characters

Photo of RickS95
2.45/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

It's a pale orange, just darker than ginger ale with very little head that doesn't stick around long.

There's not a lot of smell, but I swear I picked up pumpkin notes. There was a bit of spice, but nothing overwhelming.

A fair taste. There is some punch but I couldn't pick out any particular ingredients. Like the smell, it was spicy, I'm sure it's cloves and coriander, but all I could think of was pepper.

There's some bitterness all the way through. In the end, the malts try to sweeten the experience, but it's not a great effort.

Nothing really great about this beer. One of Bell's weaker attempts.

 609 characters

Photo of gunnerman
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass pours a rustic brown with a minimal white head no lace on the glass. Smell is pretty thin with a bit of malt and bread through the nose. On taste is was expecting more of a bread malt type taste but was happy that this was nicely balanced. This beer went down very smoothly and I truly enjoyed this, overall probably one of the bester marzen styles I have ever had.

 390 characters

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

Pours a clear, very deep gold with very little slightly off-white head. The nose is pretty faint, but there's some apple cider, slight bready yeast, and grainy sweetness. Nice feel and the finish is really clean, but the taste is pretty blah. There's some bready yeast along with a slightly metallic taste as well as a faint hops note. But really, there's just not a lot of taste here. Goes down like water. I'm not really a fan of the style and this did nothing to change my opinion.

 484 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light shade of copper with a two-finger off white head and a bit of spotty lacing. Nose brings caramel, bread, and a bit of earthiness. Taste adds in a bit of European hops but is comprised mainly of a general bread dough character with a hint of grain. Feel is light and moderately carbonated. Drinks alright, but is not one of my favorite offerings from them.

 391 characters

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

Pick size beer, im excited, let's see how this turns out.

A - Golden in color a bout a finger of bubbley head that disappeates very quickley

S - Smells like a tradiitonal oktberfest ale, cold, yeasty bready

T - In my naivity i have barely any words to describe the taste, not much to distinguish this beer. not very flavorful, if i had to say one thing i would saythat it taste like the taste f generic beer.

M - its served very cold so the chill hits the tongue first but the finsih is very smooth.

D - since the flavor isnt really all there ant the mouth feel is pretty smooth, the drink ability is pretty good, this is a gulping beer.

overall this doesnt hit me a sucha great craft beer, but its something that can be drunk somewhat liberally but with a taste of craft beer.

 783 characters

Photo of billab914
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. It poured a clear, light amber color with a thin, white and spotty head to it. The head faded after a minute or so and didn't leave much for lacing.

The aroma is crisp with some lighter, toasty malt and caramel flavors to it. The taste is similar to the nose with a bit more caramel flavors in the finish. It also has a lager crispness to it in the finish.

The mouthfeel is light and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is good, it's a pretty good beer of the style. It was a lighter, easy drinking beer but still had some good malty flavors to it. It wasn't anything outstanding, but more of a good and easy drinking beer. I thought it was pretty good version of the style as well.

 744 characters

Photo of wowbragger
3.17/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured thin, with a minimal head. Had a distinct caramel color to it.

S - Very light malt scent, and not much else.

T - Had it served up a little colder than I think it should have been, slight hop taste but mostly a gentle malt flavor.

M - Very middle of the road, medium body. Not heavy, not too light.

D - Very easy to drink, goes down very nicely on it's own or with whatever you're having. Probably not something I'll seek out specifically in the future, as while there's nothing wrong with the drink there's nothing that particularly stood out in it either.

 571 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a nice amber, lighter than I expected, with a nice white foamy head.

S - Toasty malts and caramel in the nose. smells good.

T - Pretty good. Tastes pretty balanced, you get the caramel and toasty with a touch of bready. Slightly more bitter than I wanted but it was good.

M - Medium bodied and nice to drink.

D - Well a good Oktoberfest overall and a great beer by bells but I liked other Oktoberfest's more. Good beer overall.

 442 characters

Photo of FredTheSeal
4.24/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz into a pint glass.

A - Pours with a thin fizzy white head that dissipates quickly. Crystal clear dark golden color.

S - Malty, slightly spicey/estery. Smells like a German beer but slightly more mild than one imported from Germany (if that makes any sense)

T - Has a great German malty sweetness! Hop bitterness comes in towards the end but it's definitely muted. I've had more assertive oktoberfests but I'm enjoying the mildness.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. As it rolls off the tongue the malt flavors change.

D - I'm typically not crazy over oktoberfests but I really like this one. The mildness makes it very drinkable but it still boasts plenty of flavor. I could easily go through a 6 pack.

 730 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: not a typical marzen color, pours light

smell: not much, typical lager liek smell

taste: low bitterness, low caramel and typical marzen smell. this is weak

mouthfeel: light-medium body

drinkability: by far the worst Bell's beer Ive had. This was not made for BA's

 279 characters

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 10-03-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Poured one finger of foam, carbonation present, cloudy orange color

S - Roasted malts, caramel, citrus notes and a hop aroma lingering about but not too strong

T/M - Medium bodied a sweet smooth flavor.

D - Another good tasting brew from Bell's. A touch lighter for a Marzen but still very enjoyable, good seasonal brew. I recommend picking up a 6 pack before the season ends!

 444 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.96/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had a couple pitchers of this at the hamilton street pub, thanks to keith for sharing with me. Poured from a pitcher into a standard pint glass.

A- This one pours that signature marzen coppery caramel with a thin white head the dissipated fairly fast.

S- Not too much going on expect for some slightly roasted malts and a slight amount of hops.

T- This one starts off with caramel malts, some bread aromas come out once it warms up and the hops was hardly noticeable. On par with most in its style.

M- Just right for the style, very crisp and refreshing, with good carbonation.

D- This beer was very drinkable, only planed on having one pitcher of it but after the first one went down so fast, we had to get another one and one after that to end the night.This beer went down very easy and had enough flavor to keep me coming back for more.

Overall i believe Bell's did a good job on this beer, nothing too crazy or bold going on here, but its an October fest and its not meant to be bold, just tasty and drinkable and this beer succeeds at both. Having had many bottles of this beer it was nice to try it on tap and i thought i was slightly better. My go to local octoberfest.

 1,184 characters

Photo of MNJR
4.09/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer. The color is pale golden/orange, typical of the style. What makes this more drinkable than a lot of Octoberfests is the lack of cloying sweetness and syrupy mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is supple and rich - someone below said creamy, and I agree. The carbonation is thin but not lacking sharpness. The flavor is rich, malty, with hints of vanilla and honey. This is good stuff. It goes down very smoothly and with the relatively low ABV for the style you can enjoy a few of these. Excellent effort from Bell's. I'm looking to try the 25th anniversary beer, but $18 a six pack seems a bit steep. This one is a fall seasonal winner for sure.

 663 characters

Photo of kirkmichel
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a nice deep gold, the color of clear apple cider, with a thin white head.

S- Not much on the nose - malty: apple cider, a hint of citrus but I really had to try to get those two.

T- A little malt, but not much taste at all, really. Bitter finish. It kind of tastes like nothing.

M- Smooth and well carbonated, with a little zing on the tip of the toungue.

D- I probably won't have another; I'm a big fan of this style but this leaves a lot to be desired and there are a lot of better choices out there. This isn't bad, it just doesn't taste like much of anything.

 623 characters

Photo of drcarver
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep amber color with a soft white head that fades quickly. No real lacing appears.

S - There is no real aroma to speak of. A bit of malt.

T/M - This is the really disappointing part. I usually enjoy Bell's but there is no flavor at all. Slight sweetness. Medium body feel with a clean feel and finish.

D - Goes down easy but it doesn't mean its good.

 358 characters

Photo of cichief
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a tasting glass.

A- Pours a nice deep gold, with a nice white head, very clear.

S- Malty with a nice subtle hops nose.

T- Malty but clean, not too hoppy, but finishes nicely.

M- Smooth, almost creamy, well carbonated, but not effervescent.

D- Very nice, maybe the best Octoberfest I have had this year.

 338 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle. Batch 9833. Poured into a tupil glass. Appearance is a golden orange clear color with a 1 finger white head that coasters. Matly, pumpkin, squash type of aromas eminating in the nose. Oh, eeh, mmm, not really a fan of this one I'm sorry to report. Starts with a little carbonated medium mouthfeel that then develops into a slight bready pumpkin type flavor with some metallic notes. The bitterness from the noble hops are there but not until the very end and then go on to linger in the mouth. Some lace as forms as I drink away. Overall, I think this is just OK. Being from MI, I expedct a lot from a hometowm brew and this one just lets me down a touch. Oh well, most everything else they do is great!

 711 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More