OktoberFish | Flying Fish Brewing Company

139 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Flying Fish Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GeoffFromSJ on 09-13-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 380
Photo of thebrood1987
4.82/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very nice smell of bready caramel sweetness with some fruitiness from the hops and a slight soapy sudsy smell. Very smooth and rich sweet caramel with a slight fruity hop bite. Absolutely delicious malts in this one. Bread tastes evolve with the yeast and then the hop fruitiness comes back at the end for a slight bitterness to balance out the rich sweet malts.

I really like this one just as much as Samuel Adams Octoberfest. It has that same delicious Octoberfest taste. It has a great creamy texture to it and is a full bodied octoberfest. Also some candy sweet toffee evolves from the malts. Pretty complex malts on this one. Right up there with the best in my opinion and should be mentioned a lot more often around this time of year. Underrated beer.

 760 characters

Photo of BeerLover48Fan
4.6/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber with a strong head that lasts quite a while and leaves good lacing

Smell: Mild toffee aromatics

Taste: Starts with a biscuity flavor followed by modest earthy hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: On style, with a nice malt profile and delicate hopping

Yet another good beer produced in my home state of NJ by the Flying Fish Brewing Co.

 407 characters

Photo of tjd112
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is actually an Altbier, I can confirm that as I took the brewery tour.

I got this with a microbrew pack in the Manahawkin, New Jersey Spirits Unlimited. This beer pours a brown colour with half-finger white head with some lacing. The smell is fruity with a hint of caramel/toffee, a subtle citrus/apple taste with a hoppy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and its a very drinkable smooth beer, especially with fall seasonal food.

 443 characters

Photo of ski271
4.27/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a medium brown-amber with a medium-sized, foamy, off-white head that doesn’t stick around too long. Malts are dominant in the nose, of course, with aromas of caramel, butterscotch, nuts and hints of fruit. It has a very nice malty flavor with a light lemony bitterness to back it up. Pear and white wine notes in there as well. The finish is dry with a lingering light sweetness late. It has a medium body and moderate carbonation. I really enjoyed this one, one of the more impressive Oktoberfest seasonals I’ve had this year. Enough character and body to keep me interested, but still highly sessionable. I’d buy it again if I could get it in this area.

 667 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.26/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber with a strong head that lasts quite a while and leaves good lacing

Smell: Mild toffee aromatics

Taste: Starts with a biscuity flavor followed by modest earthy hops; nice spicy elements provide a contrast to the malt after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: On style, with a nice malt profile (not overbearing as some can be) and delicate hopping

 420 characters

Photo of mynie
4.21/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Something oddly cute about this bottle. Maybe I'm just a little loopy after reading Foucault for the past 4 hours. I dunno. Little weird fishbone airplane thing made me giggle like it was a kitten.

Pours is sorta meh for a marzen. Darkish foggy amber, small white head that dies away quickly.

Smells a lot better than meh, I'll tell you what. Big east coast malt smell. (What the hell is that? That super mellow, sweet earthiness that I only come across in session-strength beers from back east? Geary's and Magic Hat and Brooklyn all have it. It's the malt, right? Or is the water just different? It's a malty smell, nonetheless. I think it's the malt. I make an ass out of you and me thinking it's the malt, but I still think it's the malt). That's blended with lightly zippy, very chocolately and caramely bock yeast and a light, spicy hops. Very nice.

Doesn't taste quite as good as it smells. Full malt profile, like ten different kinds of bread at once. Light hints of milk chocolate, butterless biscuits, that damn, delicious east coast mystery flavor, and then some lightly spicy hops finishing it off. Nice and complex with a lingering bitterness.

 1,161 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear and deep dark amber-red body, alive with fine streams of carbonation. A couple fingers of level just-off-white foam. Looks very inviting. Decent circular lacing.

Nose has a few loaves of fresh bread and a hint of herbal hoppiness. Good depth.

Very good malty start. Sweet yes, but not cloying. Some dark chocolate notes, and the wonderful sense of depth that I seek in an Octoberfest. Enough of a hop bite to balance, and leave a bit of a spicy, tingly reminder of earthy goodiness as the beer slowly fades away.

Mouthfeel is dead on, nice and middle of the road. Suitable for all varieties of autumnal weather.

Easy drinking, good drinking.

A very pleasant surprise, and easily my favorite Flying Fish brew. Good stuff regardless of ale or lager. Don't geek, drink.

 790 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.17/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Dominion Octoberfest.

A: Slightly hazy amber wit two-finger, white, creamy head that diminished in a couple of minutes. Okay lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt. Spicy hops.

T: Light sweetness and light bitterness. Very nice grain flavor. Oats maybe. Not sure, but I like it.

M: Medium bodied and smooth with fizzy carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O: Solid Oktoberfest. Not the greatest looking, but a pleasure to drink. I liked this better than the Dominion.

 505 characters

Photo of memory
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was very impressed last year after tasting a number of Octoberfest beers, and with FF offering, so I picked up a sixtel.
Appears slight cloudy haze, nice head
Smells mildly sweet, slightly spicey wintergreen/biscuit.
Tastes like it smells but with more malty biscuit that lingers long on the palate without prominent hop presence.
I had tasted Sam Adams Octoberfest on tap recently which I thought was very,very good and had a hard time deciding between these two.
I think the Sam's is more intense, but this was a few bucks less and I still think it's a damn fine Octoberfest.

 579 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Strangely, while this one is brewed in state about 45 minutes away, it is quite difficult to find in my area each year, although other Flying Fish brews are readily available just about everywhere. Weird.

Anyway, it pours a surprisingly nice crisp amber colour with a creamy off-white head that leaves a nice amout of residue on the glass.

The smell is primarily malty with some hop oils seeped through into the aroma. There is a pinch of fruitiness thrown into the mix as well.

The flavour is more of the same, although theres a bit more of a juicy hope kick in the taste as well as some sweet caramel notes. There's a nice bit of alcohol warmth as well throughout this one. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and just right for the style.

Overall, I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I found it to be a nice sessional brew and a nice take on the style. This is one of my favourites from the folks at Flying Fish.

 919 characters

Photo of Scoats
4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

O-fests are meant to be session beers. Beers to be drunk on a lazy afternoon with friends and music. This beer lives up to those standards perfectly. Very tasty, very drinkable, hearty but not too heavy.

Slightly hoppier than what I've come to consider the type German marzen style, but for me that is a good thing.

Another amazing seasonal from the Fish folks.

 368 characters

Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper-ish color, with a tan head which leaves a good lace. On the nose the aromas are of bread or toast and slight caramel. On the palate more of the same, light toasted bread, a touch of caramel, lightly hopped, slight bitterness, followed by more malts…emm one of my favorite beers of the night at the Grey Lodge...

 332 characters

Photo of tzieser
4.07/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice deep amber/copper color with a decent head that settled into a nice covering. not very carbonated (as it should be).

Smelled great. lots and lots of sweet and biscuity malts up front...i can barely pickup the note of hops in the background. i can tell i'm probably going to love this, because the smells of all the toasted malts is making my mouth water

tastes as good as i was hoping. lots of sweet malts cover the palate. the malts are very rich and are used perfectly. a tad bit of hops at the end give this beer great balance. has a nice, subtly sweet malt aftertaste. outstanding.

mouthfeel is good-- not too carbonated, but still has enough to remind you that you're drinking beer.

drinkability is incredible. i could drink these all night long

overall-- marzens are probably my favorite style of beer, so I was surprised that I enjoyed this as much as I did-- especially for a US marzen. Sam Adam's Octoberfest is usually my go-to for US made Marzens-- but now I'd have to go with the OktoberFish if they were sitting side by side. However-- this wouldn't keep me from getting a German made (i.e Paulaner) Marzen.

I love this beer. Buy it if you can.

PS- I love the Bavarian flag background on the label!

 1,234 characters

Photo of lord2464
4.07/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a fine "fest" or is it? The bottle says that this is an ale. Wait Marzen is suppose to be Lager. Searched the web site - they are using a kolsche yeast to produce this. No wonder it's more complex then most "fest" beer.

Usually I am a purist and I must say if I could rate this on style I would have to knock it down a few steps for not following guidlines. Fortunatly that isn't part of the rating system! I love the flavor and I will make an exception based on pure taste.

I recomend buying soon as it is very limited. Something different - a real treat!

 570 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.07/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, mine says 5.3% ABV,

A: Pours a classic orange with a light white head. Solid retention per the style, no lace.

S: Sweet Munich malt, lemon zest, some cracked grains.

T: A nice balance of husky grain and sweetness. A subtle note of bittersweet chocolate in the mid-palate adds an interesting element. The caramel flavour in the finish is very enjoyable. Bright crisp hopping adds to the balance.

M: Light to medium-bodied, crisp carbonation, light aftertaste.

O: A really good festbier, and it's nice to see another East Coast version of this style in CA, they seem to do it well. It has a freshness that's hard to find with a version from across the pond.

 675 characters

Photo of Fish113d
4.04/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled into a tulip glass from a bottle.

Slight hazy copper color w/ 1/2" of eggshell color head that quickly turns into an oily surface layer.

Aroma reminds me of crisp sour apples along with some slight sweet caramel and roastiness, along with some earthen hops. Decent.

Flavor is slightly tart/sour citus flavors along with some apple flavor (apple peel actually) along with a bit of pine hops on the finish. Very tasty IMO and enjoyable.

Feel is nice. Well balanced between the smoothness and crispness along with the carbonation. No alcohol detected. Nice all around IMO.

I dropped the drinkability off a bit here, because I found this one to be rather sweet to which I enjoyed. However, I know not all people enjoy sweet brews, so I decided that I doubt I could drink a growler of it, so hence, a lower score here. However, I liked it for the most part.

 882 characters

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.04/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The 2004 version of this beer is an ale, not a lager. Hence, the new entry.

It has a beautiful amber color which pour with no head but a lace. The lace quickly goes down.

The smell is wonderfully malty, quite exceptional.

The beer has a very good malt taste with some bitterness at the end. But I can't tell if the bitterness is an alcohol taste or some hops.

There is a little bit of an astringent mouthfeel, probably due to the alcohol.

 450 characters

Photo of sraimondi
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised at sampling this one, as the 2003 version reviews were mediocre. While I'm not sure this meets the usual "requirements" of an Oktoberfest; it is damn good. The mouthfeel is especially intriguing--I wasn't sure I liked it all that much, until I had sampled a couple. In taste, I think it rivals the O'fests from Germany, which are available in the USA? Unfortunately, I can't get this one in CT; but got a six in NJ visiting the in-laws this past weekend. Will ask them to get some more for me. This is definitely one to try, if you can find it. Good job to the folks in Cherry Hill, NJ.

 613 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/23/2010 at The Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, lager yeast, some hops and some fruit.

T: The taste is very bready with flavors of a hearty malt character and lager yeast up front. Then some caramel and fruit sweetness comes in. The hops presence is good for the style and brings a nice balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer that is worth drinking of a long time if you're the mood for an Oktoberfest beer.

 831 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a FF pint glass @ Ri Ra in AC, followed up a couple more times a my local joint.

A- Dark copper/amber color with a 1 finger head, minimal or no lacing. Beautiful, clear and clean.

S- Dark roasted bready malts. There is a touch of sweetness and alcohol, too. Very nice.

T- Like it smells, roasted and sweet bready malts.

M- Medium body and good carbonation.It has the Marzen 'snap'. Malty sweet and bready dry finish...how do they do that?

O- An excellent NJ made representation of the style. Spot on.

 516 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass, color is transparent amber, head color is off white and dissipates quickly to a ring; nice marzen color and clean head and carbonation.

Smell is nice and malty, seems to be mostly vienna or munich, hops are grassy and seem fresh.

Taste is nicely malty, not caramely, good vienna/munich flavors (hints of grape or light fruitiness comes through from these malts). Hops are clean, fresh, light grassiness.

Mouthfeel is a little crisp, lightly strong on the tongue, but good carbonation and balance for a marzen style.

Overall, a solid, good tasting oktoberfestbier. Very good malt flavors and not too sweet, good hosp and nice mouthfeel. Would like to have a steinfull.

 695 characters

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber color with no head to speak of and no lacing.

Smell: The only thing I smell is malts.

Taste: Caramel malt with not much sweeetness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with no real hint of hops.

Overall: Nice beer but just not an oustanding version of an Octoberfest.

 277 characters

Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good one.

Pours rich copper with a torrent of carbonation, which created a decent bubbly head and nice lacing. The smell is clean, crisp and malty, with a little toffee edge. the flavor is toffee-like, a little sugary with a pleasant malty burn on the finish. The mouthfeel is surprisingly rich with a big bite of carbonation.

 329 characters

Photo of drtth
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pilsner style glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a bright clear copper color with dozens of small streams of bubbles rising to the ½" thick white head that recedes some but persists for quite a while, leaving some nice rings and lacing. Even towards the end of the beer sipping leaves some small patches and speckles of foam and lacing.

Smell: The aroma is fresh and clean with some sweet light caramel and bisquity malt. The spicy herbal hops are content to remain in the background.

Taste: The rich light caramel malt and bisquity flavor has some light toffee sweetness that is balanced by a just hint of spicy, herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is light to medium-bodied with persistent gentle carbonation throughout most of the beer. The finish is medium in length and the malt sweetness just fades away to leave some moderately bitter dryness at the end.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable beer in that it goes down easily, is quite satisfying to drink and I'm always ready for another sip. I could easily drink a few of these back to back in an evening. I'm also pleasantly surprised at how well this beer goes with the various cheeses on this mixed cheese plate which I started nibbling on about halfway through the beer.

 1,332 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 version. "Not the ordinary Fest beer! Savory malt profile, generous hop finish." This beer is intended for draft only, although I tried it in both cask version and bottle today. It's very deep copper - almost brown in color - with a foamy light tan head that holds very well and leaves some very good lace. The aroma is mainly of a toasty Munich malt - very clean and nice. There is a light fruitiness, but it doesn't seem out of character for a dark lager beer. The body is medium-light and the carbonation is standard, but it definitely has a presence in the mouth! The flavor starts with a Munich maltiness, followed by a nice, light hop flavor - almost unoticeable at first - but then reveals a moderate bitterness and finishes fairly dry. The hop flavor and bitterness are present but don't really go any further than that. A nice beer with an interesting toasted malt profile; but not overly exciting compared to standard Oktoberfests. Still, an enjoyable quaff for the fall season.

 993 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
OktoberFish from Flying Fish Brewing Company
3.53 out of 5 based on 380 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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