Live Oak Brewing Company

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German Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #29
Ranked #18,342
3.86 | pDev: 10.1%
Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Very Good
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 159
Photo of mothmanscott
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one a gift for my good friend Tim Flanders. Thanks brother. Pours a clear coppery medium amber with a nice stream of effervescence arising from the bottom. The pour produces 3 fingers of beige, foamy, short-lived head that leaves little in the way of a surface cap, collar ring or lacing. Aroma is malty toast, burnt caramel and nuts. It is fruity and balanced with floral hops and a light citrus hint. Taste is of course malty but also fruity: toasted bread, heavy to burnt caramel/brown sugar and roasted nuts with a nice complement of floral, earthy herbal and spice with a nice hop bitterness in the finish which rolls over into the aftertaste becoming a lingering but thin bitterness. The lager yeast stands out on the fruit. This brew dries little in the finish, being sweet except in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, wet and mouth watering with the slightest prickle it becomes faintly drawing in the aftertaste. Another nice beer from this Austin, Texas brewery.

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Photo of JohnDon
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from draft into glass. Look is an orange amber, with practically no foam (assuming it was the bartender's fault). Smell is sweet malty notes. Taste is forst malty but is very well balanced with hops; the flavors that come through are pumpkin and oak, with a touch of some spiciness. Feel is medium body and low carbonation. Overall very good to excellent.

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Photo of detgfrsh
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewery. Orange color with some white head. Malty aromas. Medium feel. Malt-forward flavor with some yeast notes and lingering sweetness. A classic Oktoberfest, though the sweetness gets to me by the end of the pint. I don't think I could drink more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of Premo88
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

two 12 oz. cans poured into 25 oz. glass mug
(9/28/2017 packaged date)

L: murky copper topped with impressive (for this big mug) stack of beige foam, about 1-inch tall and thick; head lingers a bit, does not stick; just a few minutes after the pours and the beer is clearing up some, already better than 50-60% clear and looks like it will clear up more; lots of sediment in can and for these pours I tried to keep it out of the glass (lees tasted yummy ... yeasty yummy); no sticking, no lacing; stops clearing up at about 75-80% clear

S: toasted apricot, extra toasted apricot kolache ... also has a slight metallic twinge to it, like a super hot BBQ pit grill that's both meaty, salty and metallic ... could be something funny with my nose but it's definitely got some toasted oak wood thing going on, so the BBQ pit image makes at least some sense

T: earthy to start off with, a hellacious dirt-hop bite that digs in and lingers; even cold to start off with, though, you can taste an equally impressive load of toasted malt in the background, malt that gets sweet enough at times to call it bready or bread doughy; as it warms, the malt flavors start turning into a combination of toasted peach/toasted apricot/lightly toasted dried apricot mixed with oak tree bark ... a sweet-earthy mix that's almost bitter from the wood flavor ... nearly charred wood at times, other times just cured wood; it's packed with these notes, too ... the flavors are massive, like they shoved 50 pound bags of malt and hops into each can; as it warms more and we get about 2/5 into the glass, the hop bite starts turning from earthy to floral and the toasted malt note grows

F: relatively lightweight considering the gigantic flavors, good carbonation that does lots of helping, no hurting ... if it's not perfect, it's very close

O: this one's a champion of the more earthy-hop side of the marzen/octoberfest spectrum; there's some great malt flavor in it, and the more I get into these 24 ounces the more those malt flavors wake up and contribute, but the hops combined with the oak wood flavors are the show here ... and even those are evolving as we go from earthy dirt to start with to a bit more delicate and floral about a third into the glass; one very good beer

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Photo of Fuhrman
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Looks great, good aroma. Seems like it would have more taste in the spices, but has a basic characteristic taste with a quick finish. Also tastes slightly soapy from the keg. Stop ordering that.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Like most other Oktoberfests, the rich caramel malt dominates. There are hints of tart apple and pear, with some spice. No bitterness. feels a little heavy but still crisp and drinkable. Overall: One of the better Oktoberfests, somewhere between Sam Adams and Ayinger on the spectrum of ones I've had this year. In comparison, I'd call it a little drier and less sweet than the Sam Adams, but not quite as much spice as Ayinger.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

sometimes when breweries get famous for something, their other beer gets neglected a little bit. not the case with these guys, whose take on another classic style is as satisfying as the first, if a little less stunning perhaps than their hefe. its clear amber beer with a tall white head and a nose of sweeter german malt that has a toffee backbone and an autumnal feel. the lager yeast is robust in the finish, crackery and not all the way cleaning up the malt sugar, but getting as close as you can in the style i think. a slight wood profile to it too, which adds sweetness i think rather than mellowness. carbonation is way up, a feature i love in this style, and it is a beer that demands a lidded stein and traditional german oktoberfest garb. really solid seasonal here, texas beer is booming...

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Pours a clear dark amber with minimal head. Sweet malty aroma of bread, caramel and grain. Body follows the nose with a strong malt flavor upfront that is backed by just a hint of earthy hops. Light to medium bodied and finishes clean and crisp.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass in a bar in Austin, Texas. Reviewed from notes.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Head: Pours a half finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Not much lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is below average - about 40 seconds.

Body: Body is a clear translucent copper of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Pretty typical appearance for a festbier. Not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws here.

Sm: German in character. Cream. clean barley. Munich and pils malts. Grains. Has a minimal hop presence which is almost entirely floral in character. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

A pleasant aroma of average strength.

T: German malt character from the munich and pilsner malts. Grainy. Has a kiss of toasted character. Minimal hop presence here, and all of the hop notes are floral. Nice balance and build, with a style-typical simplicity. I like it. Cohesive but not gestalt. There's not much subtlety. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Crisp. Adequately carbonated. Nice body and presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile well, but doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to it.

Dr: Drinkable, but not impressive enough to warrant getting again - especially at this price. Good for the style, but not great. It's a likable festbier but it's not world class. This isn't Live Oak's strongest offering, but it's certainly above average.

High C+

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a Willi Becher pint. The appearance is phenomenal! It pours with perfect clarity, showing off moderate carbonation through the beautiful amber gold body, with rose-colored highlights throughout. This is all capped by a substantial peach-hued foam that shows true staying power. Very powerful, and absolutely perfect for the marzen style.

The aroma is just right for the style. Whiffs of honey malt, toasted bread, and a faint caramel sweetness all come together in the bouquet, and show that this beer is primarily focused on the rich malts put into the brew. Some hints of Noble hops are there as well, though clearly only as a supporting role.

Oaktoberfest possesses a sweet malt flavor, followed mid-palate by a gentle German hop bitterness that trails into the aftertaste. The medium bodied beer has ample carbonation for a German-style lager, and the finish is long and very smooth, with barely a hint of bitterness. The flavor carries notes of honey and caramel, almost so sweet that it seems to have a fruity quality, but it does not. The hop bitterness mid-palate has a grassy bite to it. The toasted malt flavor linger long into the aftertaste.

This is a delicious beer, with a solid malt profile that is evenly balanced with true Noble hop flavor and bitterness. It's very much in the style of an authentic German marzen, and I am impressed with this beer quite a bit. Far better than many other "Oktoberfest" beers out there. An almost perfect pint. Another solid German-style beer from Live Oak!

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Flying Saucer Addison

Pours a clear dark orange/copper with a slightly off white that is kinda soapy and falls down to a thin film with good retention.

The aroma is rich in malt character with caramel, toasted bread, toffee and some spicy and herbal hop. The spice and bread come off as rye like which my be in there.

Big bready spicy taste on this. Touch of sweetness with the caramel and toffee.

Clean lager finish. Crisp and medium bodied.

I love this brewery for crafting well made German styles in my home state. This goes towards the top of the list of Oktoberfest biers for me.

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Photo of GMB
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The name of this beer is a pun that plays on the name of the brewery ("Live Oak") and that of the German festival ("Oktoberfest") that has come to be synonymous with the beer's style (Märzen). I expected the beer itself to accord with its name; that is, I expected it to offer a slight spin on a traditional Oktoberfest.

The bartender handed me a pint of dark pumpkin-orange brew with very little head; so far so good. A few streams of bubbles appeared as I lifted the beer towards the ceiling lights. The lights brought out some yellow and red tones in the body. It was not until I reached the halfway point in my pint that I was able to produce a nice frothy off-white foam, which remained in place for a few seconds and slowly began to fall.

I wasn't able to detect any hops in the nose; I expect as much from an Oktoberfest. The aroma of roasted malt and mild lager yeast was familiar and pleasing.

The taste more or less followed the nose: Sweet medium-toasted malts, mild lager yeast flavors, and a clean finish. The flavor is sweet and malty, but not strong. Indeed, I had to take a second sip before I could begin to form an opinion about the beer's taste. I never tasted or smelled any aroma hops, but did begin to pick up the effect of the bittering hops as I moved on to the second half of the pint. The warmth and flavors of the alcohol were palpable in my last two sips. If this beer has an oakstanding characteristic--forgive the pun-ishment--it is its finish, which is slightly drier and cleaner than most commercially available American Oktoberfest beers.

The beer's mouthfeel improved as it warmed. Medium-bodied at first, it managed to toss up some creamy, full-bodied froth as the beer warmed. The creamy foam was a better match for the rich malty character of the beer, and as a result, the second half of the pint was more enjoyable in than the first.

This beer let me down in some ways. Its playful, witty name led me to expect a similarly playful rendition of the style, which it is not. But it is a solid, well-executed, and delicious Oktoberfest beer. It is nicely balanced and has the sweet maltiness and full-bodied feel that I expect from a good Märzen. There are no fireworks here, but perhaps the beer's simple deliciousness deserves more credit than my score affords.

My pint of Live Oak Oaktoberfest paired well with my lunch of smoked meat, sweet pickles, onions, and barbecue sauce.

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Photo of chocosushi
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at the Mellow Mushroom in Austin
A ~ Pours a filtered copper with some lacing. Marginal head that ceases a quarter way through

S ~ Cereal grains, wheat toast, with subtle field-like aromatics.

T ~ Very dry toast & oatmeal w/ sugar with ripe yellow apple & notes of leaves/herby greens on the finish. Hint of pear at room temp.

M ~ Smooth & slightly nutty feel with subtle carbonation & a clean crisp finish.

D ~ Great American Marzen. Tasted very fresh & had a clean finish, unlike many other American Oktoberfests. Was hoping to have the Hefe that was listed on the drink menu, but this was a great substitute. that did not disappoint. Easy drinking, Went great with Pizza.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the flying saucer in Addison. Pours beautiful deep clear bourbon amber, very clear like a lager. Dark, barely clear brown. No head or lacing. Aroma of sweet malt backbone and some mild fruit. Sweet oak aroma. Taste is full, sweet, juicy, reminds me slightly of fall. Flavor is apple, malt, a little tart and not too nutty, thank goodness. Finish is toasted oat. Medium body, pretty smooth. Kinda of bitter finish which is full and tastes a little like a typical harvest brew.

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Photo of jamescain
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at the Flying Saucer

Appearance: Orange-red with a white head about a finger thick which fades into a ring around the side of the glass.

Aroma: Sweet malts, toffee and caramel are the dominate aromas.

Taste: A little too sweet for my liking and not balanced enough. I don’t mind malty beers, but this one is a little too malty and unbalanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and medium body with a sweet finish.

Overall: Pretty typical German Oktoberfest beer, more German than most American versions. I’m not a big fan of mäzen style beers, but this one does match up with the style.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Addison Flying Saucer.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is classic Marzen. I get a whole lot of toffee and bread as well as some grapes - which I get in almost every German lager. The flavor is more of the same with a ton of malt. This is a malt bomb of a beer. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Another very nice beer from Live Oak.

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Photo of Duttonic
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes 09/30/10, on tap at Dancing Bear Pub

A- Copper, little to no head, mild bubbling.

S- Faint brown sugar, nutty, bready, malt.

T/M- Malty, bready, light/medium bodied, watery.

D- Disappointing. Live Oak usually has great offerings, this was thin and watery with not much going for it. Sadness.

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Photo of whoneeds8
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass Orange with a thin white head. Good lacing all the way down.

I was in a bar, so my already weak nose can't give a review of this.

The taste was full of malts with a nice orange spice. The end of the palatte had a nice hop bitterness to finish.

The body was very full for the style which was a nice bonus.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Notes from a while ago. Had it on tap at the Draught House here in Austin.

A: Amber, a little hazy but for the most part clear. Off white head, not much lacing to it though.

S: Clean, malty, sweet. Pretty solid aroma, very yeasty.

T: Followed the aroma. Pretty neutral, a little spice, but mostly just some nice malts coming through.

M: Middle of the road body and carbonation. Very solid.

D: Not hard to drink, but doesn't have and "it" factor that would keep me around drinking it.

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Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is mostly of sweet malt

T - Follows the nose with sweet malt some caramel

M - This beer has a smooth lighter body with light carbonation to it

D - Yet another very good beer from Live Oak and one of the better ofests out this beer has a good taste thats worth trying if you see it on tap

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Photo of sprucetip
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes, on tap at Gngerman in Austin on $3 Texas pint night. Dark-ish amber/orange-ish, not much head, no lacing, clear. SMELL bit of booze, grainy, caramel malty, yeasty. Nice. TASTE alot like the nose. Smooth and balanced. Best Octo I've had in a while. FEEL thin side of medium body, pleasant, clean finish. OVERALL very easy drinking, tasty, not too big.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose is sweet and malty with some cooked veg and grain. Smells pretty good.

Pours deep copper clear with mild head. Looks pretty good.

Flavor follows nose with solid grain and cooked veg notions. Softly sweet. Mildly spicy - autumn-like spices. Sweetness grows slightly. Soft bitterness. Very soft hops - noble and bittering. Tastes pretty good. Feels pretty good. Good drinkability.

Not bad, pretty good. Kind of unmemorable.

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Photo of natelocc787
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Highly drinkable and good example of the style. Same color as classic Oktoberfests. Not sure where the "oak" in the name comes from as I didn't taste anything close to it. However it was malty with clove, nutmeg and caramel toffee. Did I say the body was orange? Nice head color of the lightest shade of orange. Very tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of RobeyStreet
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at two locations last week during my trip to Texas. The first pint I had was at the Flying Saucer in San Antonio.

The beer was surprisingly smooth and had a malty flavor with a hint of caramel. Although I wasn't having it with food, I think it would have gone quite nicely with a burger or meat, maybe a stew even.

I'm not typically into most "Oktoberfest" brews, but this one was very drinkable.

The second place I had it was at the Shady Grove in Austin. Just as good as the first time, I was very impressed with it.

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Photo of Riccymon
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at B.B. Rover's in Austin. Arrived in a pint glass a clear, orangey-red with a thin layer of head; reported to be the last glass from the keg. For an octoberfest, the smell surprised me with notes of vanilla, bread, and lightly sweet malt.

Taste continues the same theme of a subtly sweet beer with honey, vanilla, a little clove, and call me influenced by the name, but almost a gentle woody note. Even tasted a little bubble gum from time to time. This Octoberfest isn't thick and syrupy sweet, like some, nor is it more pale lager than octoberfest, like others. Body is smooth and refreshing the whole sip through.

Really a drinkable beer. I'll have to try it again, but the flavors were just excellent.

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Oaktoberfest from Live Oak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 159 ratings