Oktoberfest | Berghoff Brewery

102 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Berghoff Brewery
Illinois, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Oktoberfest beer as we know it has been a part of classic Bavarian lager repertoire for over 150 years, although the celebration itself dates back to 1816. The familiar rich amber lager we now know by this name originated in Vienna and migrated to Bavaria by the 1850s. Like the classics, our version is deeply malty, with just enough hops to provide a sense of balance. But our version lightens up the body a little to avoid being too sweet, making for a crisper drinking experience. We start with the classic Vienna and Munich malts, and use a few other types as well, for greater complexity as well as an easy drinkability. Slightly more hop bitterness as well as some pleasing hop aroma gives the Berghoff Oktoberfest a bit more punch and personality than the original.

Added by Todd on 09-02-2001

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 102
Photo of Beginner2
3.48/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Berghoff restaurant in Chicago's Loop. (And to make it totally authentic, the bar had an um-pa band playing Oktoberfest music.)
This looks like the standard O-fest, but a bit darker, orange-like. Malty, even sweet, in the nose. But not too sweet to the taste as it is crisp like a lager.
There are many choices for an O-fest, but if you can find Berghoff's, try it.
I don't understand the low ratings this beer has from others. I enjoyed mine.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.83/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Amber colored pour, lots of clarity, kinda thin. 1/6" head. Nutty, sweet aroma.

Immediately noticed the bitterness, not to style, somewhat sweet and metallic.

Below average for style.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.34/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured out as a decent looking brown color with a cream colored head on top. The retention is minimal and the lacing wasn't all the great either. The smell of the beer had some earthy malts on the nose along with some caramel aromas. The taste of the beer has a sweetness upfront that finishes a little on the bitter/tart side. Slightly acidic which isn't something I'd expect from this style. There is a mellow bitter finish to the beer but the balance isn't all that good. The mouthfeel was alright, medium bodied with a pretty good carbonation. Overall this beer wasn't anything special, it's better than many of the other Minhas beers out there but still not something I'd expect people to seek out.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
2.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Watching the game with my bro, and apparently he's sparing no expenses on the beverage front. Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A) Darker than any O-Fest I can recall. Aggressive pour led to very little head. This is sitting in my glass looking like a cola.

S) Darker roasted malt, quite earthy, like a dirty pile of wet leaves. There is definitely some sweetness on the nose.

T) Pretty much follows the nose, with exception of some light hop bitterness on the backend.

M) Lighter medium body with ample carbonation. A pretty crisp brew. Poor aftertaste does not help.

O) There are so many exceptional Oktoberfest beers to choose from this time of year, that you should absolutely steer clear of this offering. In fact, if you see pretty much anything from Minhas it would likely be in your best interst to avoid.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.85/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz twist-off bottle poured into a nonic.

A - Berghoff Oktoberfest is one of the darkest pouring beers of the style I've ever seen. Full-on shimmering rusted amber in color, it pours with a fleeting off-white head that leaves the pint above it naked.

S - Berghoff's Oktoberfest has a potent grainy malt aroma reminiscent of, say, a malt liquor with Vienna and Munich malts for a dense bread note. Thick kettle caramelization adds sticky sweetness with little hop, especially German noble hop interaction or balance. The finish adds a honey-draped nut aroma that's not bad, but odd for the style.

T - Like an extension of the aroma, the flavor showcases huge maltiness with very grainy, cheap-tasting effect. Bread and caramel undertones show some quality throughout and hops manage to add their two cents of light earthiness and herbal attributes. The biggest problem with the flavor though, is the beer's lingering fruity yeast esters. These should rarely be present in a lager, and never in an Oktoberfest.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth at first, a wave of carbonation lightens the feel moderately while the grainy malt gives the feel a harshness which combines with the dry finish for a sweetness-killing bite.

O - Berghoff Oktoberfest seems to take Minhas' standard lager and beef it up with some specialty grains and a light dose of hops for a disappointing outcome. Ignoring the clear problem with the beer's fruity yeast undertones, this smells and tastes like a cheap beer with lingering sweetness. With all the options out there during this time of year, skip this one and grab something else.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.07/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewed from session notes.

Poured out amber with reddish shading around the fringes, the same disappearing white fizzy collar that all the other Berghoffs in the session had, faint aromas of caramel malts and a whisper of earthy / spice hopping. I get surprised by a strong (and somewhat distracting) presence of hard mineral water in the flavor that I had not been able to detect in the nose. Before that hits you, however, there is a light toasted nuttiness and honest-to-goodness earthy hop balance that actually works well. Mouthfeel is medium thick, carbonation has no issues. Also, for some reason, this one seems to lack the weird medicinal off-flavor that other Minhas brews tend to have. Instead, this brew's major flaws are head presentation and an excess of mineral content.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Got nothing for a preamble here, so here goes: It pours a clear tan-amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, light orange peel, and a touch of mineral water. The taste brings in more of the same, but with a more powerful orange character, still in the shadow of the caramel. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a mostly smooth feel. Overall, a decent O-Fest, but nothing all that great. I could see drinking more of this, just not excitedly.

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Photo of dhannes
4.31/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 update: This was the standard I was comparing other märzens to, so I thought I'd revisit (ironically, none of the other domestics I've tried lived up to my recollection of how good the Berghoff was). Shunned the Capital Autumnal Fire at $10.49 a sixer for the Berghoff at $4.99.

A=Still a 4.5--deep honey gold with a hint of red.

S=Still a 3.5--Detected honey and caramel, with some cinnamon perhaps.

T=Still a 4.0...not quite as flavorful as I recalled, but better than most. Update (1/6/12): Flavor is coming out now...a bit too sweet, but increased to 4.5.

M=Increased to 5.0--very drinkable, light carbonation.

O=Now that I've sampled a half dozen or so others, this is better than all I've had to date, so I am increasing the overall to 4.5.

2010: Using the Sam Adams' lager glass, the pour resulted in a nicely thick head that lasted a good minute; the color was a lighter amber, while the smell was faint. The taste was a bit tangy with a slight hint of orange peel. Not my most favorite Oktoberfest, but a very nice change of pace. The somewhat sharper/zingy taste takes a while to get used to, but all-in-all a decent beer if Spaten is not available.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.85/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

One of the many WI beers scored at Koppa's in Milwaukee.

Thin light amber brown pour, almost no head. A slight nutty aroma, but not much.

Taste, very thin, slight roasting, too much bitterness for style, and not from hops either. As if it got it from a metal holding tank. Sweetness in the mouthfeel comes out of nowhere. Can't recommend this to you.

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Photo of WJVII
3.11/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a nice burnt orange color with a 2 finger thick frothy head that quickly settles to a nice cap leaving some good lacing. The aroma is faint but some caramel malts, slight ginger spice and doughiness is present. The taste is slightly sweet with brown sugar and molasses coming to mind. This is a medium body brew with light carbonation but the subtleness is pleasant but not as crisp and clean as the top marzens you can find. Moderate example at best but was worth it to try a six pack.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.3/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for the trade.

(A)- Pours a clear orange amber color that produced an off-white, quickly dissipating head.

(S)- Very sweet cider-like aroma with bits of nutty honey.

(T)- Dry, with a light nutty-like honey maltiness. Finishes in a weird minerality.

(M)- Good carbonation level and balance. Very crisp, if it werent for the minerality, this would be solid.

(D)- Not a bad okto, it just could be so much better though. It is however, a refreshing beverage. Would not be my first choice when grabbing for an Oktoberfest.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.3/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BeerFMAndy for havin us over for some fest beers. Then for droppin off the all the extras at my house.

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a rusty red orange with about a half inch of beige head that leaves a touch of lace.

The aroma is fairly muted. Slighly malty and spicy but not much nose at all.

The flavor is a slight step up from the nose. Malty and earthy. Spices and fresh cut grass with a black dirt like finish. Hints of wheat and bread.

Medium to light body. Mild carbonation.

Overall yet another marzen that can't seperate itself from all the rest. Drinkalble soley since the flavor is bland.

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Photo of crossovert
3.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another American Oktoberfest. With a different label than the one shown. No date on bottle but I know it is fresh.

Pours a dark amber, darker than the German offerings but still looks nice, the head is a full 3 fingers.

The aroma is soft, hint of rootbeer in there, but mostly malt with a kiss of hops.

The beer has nits of adjunct, slight cooked vegetables, but also some nutty malts and bitter hops. Nice sweetness and light body. Again, traces of rootbeer int he flavor. It is better than SA or Leinenkugel's despite the macro nature of it however. It is a unique flavor though that has Oktoberfest characteristics, but a few other additional flavors.

The mouthfeel isn't bad, it has good carbonation and the flavors are delivered in a reasonable fashion as they are able to permeate the tongue.

Overall it's taste could be better but the rest of this beer isn't bad, not the first thing I would grab during the Oktoberfest season though. It is a unique take on an Oktoberfest

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Photo of AgentZero
3.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Served from a keg into a plastic cup at a downtown Okbotberfest in Chicago. Very dark-amber, but clear. No head on this one intentionally done by the server I'm sure.

S - Caramel malts and minor hops. Really can't smell much of anything on this.

T - This is not a bad tasting beer, but it is not good at all for this style. Very mild, not full of flavor at all. Some malts and some hops, but not a whole lot going on here.

M - Decent carbonation but quite light bodied for this type of beer.

D - This stuff is easy to throw down and probably has a lot of appeal for those who are not into craft beer but want to drink an Oktoberfest. It doesn't taste bad, just not a great beer for this type. Could easily drink a lot of it and not mind, but nothing I'd ever seek out.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.13/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a clear, deep amber body with a frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Mild, understated nose of lightly toasty malts with some lesser notes spicy hops and somewhat inappropriate notes of caramel and fruit.

Taste: Lightly toasty Munich maltiness with a small amount of mild caramel sweetness. A few fruity esters roaming the background. Spicy, lightly floral hops with a low amount of cleansing bitterness. The finish is both drying and lightly crisp.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A simple, light-tasting, no-brainer Oktoberfest beer. It's just one of those very average, middle-of-the-beer type beers that, without scratching down a few notes on it, I would completely forget about it.

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Photo of pmcadamis
2.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A relatively aggressive pour yields a one finger cap of dense khaki foam, and the beer beneath is a slightly hazy deep burnished bronze. Head retention is quite good, and lots of spattery lace is left around the glass. A quick whip around the glass builds up a bigger head than the initial pour.

S - Buttery diacyetl notes are the first thing that I notice, followed by butterscotch malt notes. Imagine a big heap of real butter combined with salt. Sort of odd, but not entirely unpleasant.

T - Again, thick creamy salty butter is the dominant force here. Caramel and butterscotch are also lead players, and a crisp hop flash at the end keeps things from getting to malty-sweet. There is a plastic-y salt flavor that seems a bit our of place, but it's not stopping me from enjoying this one.

M - Light bodied, especially for the style which should be solidly medium bodied and chewy-malty. Moderate carbonation and a neutral finish make this one an easy drinker. Butterscotch and salt are left on my palate after the swallow.

D - Honestly, this is probably the best brew from Berghoff (a brewery that I've been less than impressed with). This is solidly in their territory though... they are known for their German-American lagerishness and this style suits them well. Not bad, not bad. Berghoff beers are usually cheap around here, and I would pick this up as a no-nonsense session sixer.

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Photo of budgood1
2.28/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pours out a clear copper colour, with a thin tight head propped up by a lot of over active carbonation. some thin lace present as well. overwhelmingly fruity in the nose... apples, pears, and tangerines are all aromas that aren't supposed to be in my o-fest. weird. the taste is strangely artificially sweet. there is a bunch of out of place fruity notes running amok in the flavour profile; like candy corn or some other artificially flavoured breakfast cereal. there is some nice, appopriate, earthy hop spiciness to try to balance out the wacked out soury sweetness, but i've already come to the conclusion that this is just a second rate attempt to sell a cheapened version of a popular style. blech. the body of this beer is definitely on the light side and the metallic mouthfeel reinforces the fact that this is a watered down version of an o-fest. drinkability suffers because of the obvious lack of integrity in the craftmanship of this offering.

this is a fruit loop of a beer. almost bordering on some sort of malternative concoction. terrible for the style and inappropriate for a craft brew.

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Photo of hopdog
3.07/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium and slightly hazy amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of toasted malts, caramel, and nuts. Toasted nuts. Tastes on the thin and weak side; toasted malts, light bread and nutty. Metalic finish. Thin body.

Notes from 11/30/06

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Photo of SykDoc
2.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this from a bottle into a pint glass. It gives a large initial head that is off-white. This slowly decreased to a healthy foam. The beer is a transparent amber color.

The smell caught me off guard. It has very minimal hints of caramel and hops, although I stress "very minimal."

The taste is again, very mild. You can catch hints of malt and minimal hops again. The taste does no linger particularly long either.

The mouthfeel is fair. It is reasonably light for an oktoberfest with mild body and mild/moderate carbonation. Overall, this beer could have performed a lot better. I would be curious to see how it ages.

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Photo of nickynick
3.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Berghoff Oktoberfest beer poured a nice amber color with a nice white head. Smell was on the sweet side, and was a little faint. Seemed almost to sweet on the nose. Taste started sweet with malt. Followed by the just a hint of hops. Overall the sweetness was stronger then the hops, but showed Ok balance. Overall the taste was on the lighter side, lacked the full flavor that most O-fests show. Mouthfeel was Ok, a little to much carbonation. Drinkability was good. Went down well and at 5.2 ABV you can easily session this beer. Overall not a bad O-fest. A easy to drink beer, with some decent flavors but not overly complex. Would drink again.

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Photo of Soneast
2.66/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Light coppery color. Less than one finger width of fizzy off-white head. Very minimal lacing.

Light caramel scent. Slight hoppiness.

Flavor is pretty watered down. Slight caramelized malt. Metallic after taste, that sticks with ya for awhile.

Mouthfeel: very carbonated, not unlike a soda-pop. Not at all what I'd like from an Oktoberfest.

Mediocre Oktoberfest. Plain and simple.

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Photo of Slynger
2.56/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice, lightly rubied amber color with a lid of fizzy off-white.

Not much of a nose, a bit of pale sweetness with some light, herbal hops.

Flavors are not much better. Light pale sweetness along with a bit of lightly toasted, crackerish grains. Herbal, tea-ish, hops don't help much. Thin watered down light-medium body with pretty unimpressive carb and feel.

Very mild, very much lacking o-fest.

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Photo of ibashmuck
3.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured a small foamy head on an amber body. Smell of caramel, hops, maybe honey in there, which may be the origin of the sweetness. Taste follows the smells, with a medium bitterness, and an above average carbonation. It's a pretty good beer, but having just recently enjoyed Capital's Oktoberfest, this really doesn't come close. Not bad though.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper color with modest slightly off white head. Poor retention.

Smell shows some caramel notes, but very restrained.

Taste also shows some nice caramel sensation, but very restrained.

Leaves a nice taste in the mouth, but not very long-lasting.

A very middle-of-the-road oktoberfest. Very refreshing, but nothing outstanding.

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Photo of biggred1
3.33/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Hazy copper with a nice pillowy cream colored head with impressive lacing.

S-Pleasant toasty grains and maltiness slight whiff of citrus hops.

T-Sweet toffee malty flavor with a hint of orange juice and bubblegum in the finish.

M-Medium slick mouthfeel that has a slight watery quality.

D-This would be a great quaffer with salty German fare I'm sure,and an excellent value at less than the price of the big macros.

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Oktoberfest from Berghoff Brewery
3.15 out of 5 based on 102 ratings.
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