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Berkshire Oktoberfest Lager | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

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very good
202 Reviews
Berkshire Oktoberfest LagerBerkshire Oktoberfest Lager

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 09-27-2002

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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 374
Photo of johnnnniee
2.95/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle at America on Tap
Slightly hazy deep golden color. Aromas of sweet bready malt and plenty of diacytyl. A bit too sweet and the butterscotch doesn't do this style any favors.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy, fuzzy, dark orange coloration, slim fizziness above.
Herbal, vegetal nose, malty, some caramel tones showing, as well, though ultimately, it's on the mild side.
Big, juicy fruit blasts the tongue on first swallow, then softly slips away. Bit over-carbonated. Bold, sparkling, and a small bit sour. Very unusual mouthfeel. Nowhere near as smooth as we'd prefer. Bracing puckeration at first sip, then it fizzes against the tongue undcomfortably.
I had every hope in the world for this, but it's not a pleasant drinking experience, a regular chore to finish. It's like a Jolly Rancher dropped in a bottle of Mike's Hard Cranberry...or something like that. Needs more malt, less fizz...as I near the end of the bomber, I find that I'm not liking it any better, and I yearn for a more satisfying brew. Up the malt, tone down the carbonation, maybe a touch less alcohol, but if they do the first two, it won't be necessary...perhaps...perhaps then, it will be a better brew. Just my 2/5 of a nickel...

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Photo of MasterSki
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Reagan1984. Served in a Struise cervoise.

A - A finger of white foam settles to a thin cap and thicker collar, leaving negligible lacework. Transparent dark orange-brown body.

S - Slightly buttery biscuits, toasted malts, some fruity notes that come out as the beer warms up. Clean lager taste, and on point for the style.

T - Taste is better, with stronger malt, biscuit, and toffee flavors, mingling with fruity notes and a bit of hop character in the finish. A nice solid Oktoberfest.

M - Smooth texture, lightly sticky medium body, medium-low carbonation, and no obvious alcohol. Pretty much what I want from this style.

D - One of the better offerings I've had from Berkshire, and competitive with the better local Oktoberfests I've had. Still, it'd be hard to pick out of a lineup.

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Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BBC bomber bottle, with freshness dating notched onto the label. Pours a rich almond shade, off white head and just leaves a minor amount of fine lacing. Nose of light rum, raisins and malt. This a rich, strong, full flavor O'fest brew. Full of malty layers of creamy smoothness. Vanilla, oak, caramel all picked up. I had a chance to sample this brew on tap as well. It was wonderfully creamy and smooth. Fine creation, well worth seeking out and enjoying this fall season

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Photo of tempest
2.96/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had the same problem as Jwaks (see below). The diacetyl is out of control for an Oktoberfest Lager. This tastes like a sweet Ringwood ale from Middle Ages or Shipyard. Still, behind that is a big dry toffee and cherry malt character that I really wish stood out more. This seems like a case of good beer gone bad.

UPDATE: This batch was recalled. Next time I get a bottle, I'll have to re-review.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a beautiful amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, pilsner and Munich malt scent along with a fruity lager yeast aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a very nice malt profile that boasts of pilsner, crystal, and Munich malts. It has a light sweetness along with a dry bready character. It goes down easy with a dry, malty finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a well brewed Marzen. It's tasty and easy drinking; a damn fine seasonal.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

Pours a nice hazy golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slight yeast, very slight spice, with some caramel. The taste is big on caramel malts, slight yeast. Medium body. Drinkable, this is still a tasty brew. Thanks Wayne.

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Photo of biegaman
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The brewers weren't kidding when they said its hue was reminiscent of fall foliage. Indeed, this is a blazing, multi-toned ensemble of orange-amber tones that burns quite brightly. Despite the bright colour, its body is too dense to permit transparency. Its head is essentially non-existent but little sudsy spatters manage to dot the glass somehow.

The aroma is rather dynamic and I think, although I could be wrong, more than a little bit of it can be attributed to the extra couple notches of alcohol. There is a spicy, ethanol-induced flare to the beer that normally isn't found in lagers of these types. For the most part, it seems to crowd out most of the sticky, fruity, sweet maltiness.

I wouldn't say Berkshire's Oktoberfest is hard to drink but it definitely doesn't have that same level of limitless quaffability that the bests of the style do. As already noted, the extra alcohol does not go unnoticed. Where as most of these lagers sooth the palate like a massage chair, this one throws you down the stairs.

And in large part this 'roughness' is perceived because of a lack of flavour. It does offer a worthy plate of plum pudding, over-ripened pear and apple, a splash of Gran Marnier liqueur, muscat grapes and some freshly made caramel syrup. But it certainly isn't sweet, which is typical of the style, and instead drinks thin with a cringing spike of alcohol.

What makes an Oktoberfest so different from other lagers is a full bodied, chewy, biscuity, intense maltiness. This simply does not have that. Lagers are typically plain and brainless - but that's what makes them drinkable. An Oktoberfest should have that quality as well as the added dimension of lively flavour. Again, this does not.

Whether it's the alcohol or simple displeasure, I am (literally) stumbling to the finish of this bomber. I have to admit I was anxious about a double-sized serving of an Oktoberfest but it turns out that this isn't exactly what I had in mind. Even the best breweries have occasional hiccups and we'll chalk this one up to an off batch. Thanks mcBrewsAlot!

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Photo of puboflyons
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on September 20, 2012.

Poured into a tall German stein. It has a decent looking medium amber, copper-orange tone with a significant, long lasting fluffy head and slow moving carbonation.

The nose is full of traditional Oktoberfest aromas including sweet caramel malts, yeast, toffee, and biscuit.

The body is creamy and smooth and falls into just under the medium range.

The taste starts out sweet and malty like a good Oktoberfest/Marzen should but then an unexpected earthy bitterness flies in from out of left field and takes it all over. That bitterness lingers. Overall, the beer is quite drinkable.

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Photo of rudzud
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split with JLindros. Reviewed from notes.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear light copper hue with a good one finger off white head that faded to leave a light creamy blanket.

S - Aroma is fairly typical for an oktoberfest. A bit on the malty/bready side for me.

T - Taste is more of the same, caramel (lots of it), sweeter malts, biscuits, slight toffee. Again, a bit too sweet for my tastes.

M - Mouthfeel was fairly solid. Nicer carbonation here little sharp on the tongue.

O - Overall, slightly unimpressed by this one. Its a decent Oktoberfest, but just a bit too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a shiny copper color. Head is foamy and off-white. Head is smaller and it retains its thin stature. Inconsistent lacing rings. Body is mostly clear.

S-Sturdy Marzen nose with a slight Pumpkin Ale twist to it (spices are the culprit). Hops are herbal and quite light. Lots of rich, sweet toast. A ton of caramel too. Almost buttery. A bit of booze.

T-A robust Marzen flavor too.Autumn spices and toasted nuts. Biscuit and toast. Sweet, lightly burnt caramel. Light grassy hops. A bit of alcohol. Cola notes too. A really nice overall flavor for the style.

M-Heavier bodied for the style. Light, tingly carbonation. A bit too brash with the alcohol, but I'll take it.

O/D-One of the best Marzens I have run across. Actually, this one probably is my favorite. Berkshire has some great brews. Happy to have tried it. The style is weak, but this one is a star.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22ozer bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a dense 1 1/2" tan head above a dark copper ale. Laces excellently. Aroma is lightly of caramel malts and hops, but wish it was a bit more intense. Taste is malty, with minimal hops presence, and a small kick of alcohol at the end. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is excellent. Seems they've satisfied both worlds here, a flavorful beer which lends itself to the Oktoberfest sessions. Search it out and decide yourself.

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Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, coppery amber with a fine, off-white cap. Sticky lace. Malty aroma, a bit of biscuit and berry sweetness, floral, light citrusy lemon. Balanced bitterness, biscuity malt, toasty, with a bit of lemon and grassy hop flavour. There was a hint of buttery sweetness as well. Medium to light bodied, lowish carbonation, fine texture. Solid. Balanced and tasty.

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Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, brownish red in color, hazy, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, faint spices, and grain

Taste: toasted malt, grain, some cinnamon

Mouthfeel: sweet with a tad bit of bitterness, high carbonation, light bodied

Drinkability: This to me is an average Octoberfest in every sense. I like the maltiness but am not sure if I would get this again. I like several of Berkshire's offerings a lot better.

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Photo of Brad007
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-copper color with a one-finger head and minimal carbonation.

Aroma is of sweet malt with a bit of smokiness and breadiness in the nose.

Taste is very sweet upfront with some smokiness from the malt. Bready in the middle. Mild hop bitterness but otherwise, a smooth lager.

Mouthfeel is sweet and smoky with hop bitterness at the far back of the mouth.

Easy to drink and enjoy. If you want a decent beer for Oktoberfest, this wouldn't be a bad choice. I'd probably choose it over an imported German version based on freshness alone.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint. Poured the color of unpasteurized apple cider; brownish red and a bit hazy. Nose was very malty sweet with a hint of spice. Taste consistent with nose - is there such a thing as an imperial marzen? Mouthfeel fell between light-and medium-bodied with a consistent background effervescence. One of the more drinkable Oktoberfest beers in my opinion. Fairly decent complexity for the style, but a bit sweeter than one would anticipate.

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Photo of cbutova
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Reddish brown with a white cap that builds and falls just as fast. A small ring and tiny cloud remain. Lace does not exist. Ends up with the juice look.

S- A good mix of caramel and nutty malt. Some Autumn spice notes. Slightly toasty.

T- Malty and sweet. Light caramel malt, nutty malt. Some dark fruit hints. Some spice. Some floral and earthy hops, sort of like German ones.

MF- Amazingly creamy moderate body. The carbonation is just like pure cream making it very smooth.

DB- A good example of the style. Nice balance of Fall flavors and some fruit notes. The mouthfeel is damn good. I can't say I love the style but this one is enjoyable for cetrain.

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Photo of glid02
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra from ampzilla. Thank you good sir.

Pours a slightly hazy brown color with amber highlights and a two-finger off-white head. The head sticks around forever, there's still a half-finger left by the time I finish the beer as there are constant streams of bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells good. Toasted malt, sweet malt, and a combination of caramel and chocolate.

Tastes even better than it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front, followed shortly by a rugged chocolate flavor that segues nicely into mild caramel. The chocolate taste lingers for a bit.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness for an Oktoberfest and the carbonation is subtle. Very smooth.

Drinkability is good. This isn't exactly a classic Oktoberfest, but it goes down very easily. I had no problem polishing off a bomber of this.

Overall this is a very good beer with some excellent flavors not normally associated with the style. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, thanks for the trade brewfan, enjoyed in my hotel room in Lake Geneva

appearance: pours a hazy amber-copper into a pint glass...thick creamy beige head with pretty solid retention

smell: aromas are faint...light caramel sweetness, toasted grain/malt, faint hopping

taste: big and flavourful...rich and thick caramel malt, creamy body, nice light booze comes through which is extraordinarily complimentary, buttery biscuit, toffee, light hopping...one of the more interesting oktoberfests i have had this year

mouthfeel: very creamy and rich, smooth

drinkability: high

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark reddish color with a bubbly pure white head.

S-pale malts, lightly toasted grain, caramel, hay like hops with a touch of citrus.

T-light pale malts with a touch of grain and lots of malt sweetness. notes of caramel and apple with a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar. light herbal hops and citrus with a fair bit of bitterenss.

M-medium body very clean and crisp.

D-very sweet and tasty, well balanced and easy to drink.

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Photo of Durge
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This chilled bomber yields a medium amber colored brew with a quick dying, off-white head and decent spotty lacing. The aroma is a pleasant maple and cider with a little tangy bite. The first swig offers an unusual sort of light whiskey alcohol and nutty pumpkin wheat. It has a medium feel for the style with lots of peppery carbonation. Not much special but an OK Octoberfest that is definitely worth a try. I would welcome a glass anytime, especially in October!

Update September 2010 - A deep orange-ish brown color with a fair off-white head and modest lacing. The aroma is big time caramel apple and cinnamon malt. A tad sour and very deserving of the October sensibilities. The flavor is in keeping with the aroma. A bold tart allspice apple with tons of caramel malt. I even get an odd licorice edge. Very woodsy, swampy malt. I think it's neat, something that truly fits the season. It's medium plus bodied with pleasant carbonation. A substantial somewhat cidery feel. A good mouthful and one of the more enjoyable and interesting Octoberfests I've had. Now I hear they're taking it off the shelves because they're not pleased with the results. I don't get that.

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Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by 03/16 I believe, a bit of an old bottle (last year's).

A: Dark red pour with a small tan head. Head fades pretty quickly. No lacing.

S: Lots of sweet caramel and a bit of toast. A light hit of herbal hops.

T: Oh yeah. Nice sweet caramel and toffee up front. Hints of toasted malt with light grassy and herbal hops. Very light though, this one is almost pure malt.

M: Medium bodied, soft and easy drinking.

O: Pretty much exactly what an Oktoberfest should be. Super drinkable with great mild malt flavors and just a touch of hoppiness. Sweet but not cloying. Very nice.

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Photo of KTCamm
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap as guest beer at SBC in Southport. Served in a pint glass.

Medium dark amber, lightly brown, some white foam. This is a malt bomb for sure - in the nose and in the taste, Quite buttery to boot. There are hints of caramel and toffee in the mix as well. Lighter carbonation on the mouthfeel.

Solid Octoberfest brew and real good on tap.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this pint at Bukowski's on Dalton Street.

The pint came with really no head to speak of. The beer was a reddish amber color and very clear. Very little to no lacing left behind.

Aroma was nice and mostly sweet with a slight malt or bread like aroma to it.

Sweet punch followed by a bread like taste in the middle (nice malt flavor) that then moves to a slight fruity nature and ends with a very subtle hop tone to balance the sweetness. I like the bread like nature of this. Wish is was slightly less sweet. But still good.
Mouth feel was medium/light in body and very smooth. Almost silky.

Drinkability was quite nice and I wish I had enough time to enjoy a 2nd pint.

Good representation of an Octoberfest

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Photo of Bierman9
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this Bier this past Sunday, on a glorious late summer afternoon outside. Poured from a 22oz bottle, which had a best before area on the label yet nothing was notched.

Pours a deep copper color; very rich and solid, with a slight haze within. Low, steady carbonation rises up, towards the creamy, 1" tannish hued head. Said head slowly ebbs, to about a steady 1/4", with decent lacing sticking around. Aroma has bready, crackery malt; not overly strong yet still solid. Minimal hops evident. Body a medium all the way, yet with a bit of prickliness on the tongue without being distracting.

Flavor has a reasonable amount of malt, though less than suggested by the aroma. Shortly after a slight, subtle fruitiness becomes evident. Sort of a green apple aspect, which actually lingers a bit, much more than any malt. Found this to be an odd component of an OFest. Not bad, but nothing like the Spaten (vom Faß) I had the previous day.


overall: 3.8
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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Berkshire Oktoberfest Lager from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
3.95 out of 5 based on 374 ratings.
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