Schell's Oktoberfest | August Schell Brewing Company

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Schell's OktoberfestSchell's Oktoberfest

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Oktoberfest or Marzen (March) type of beer was originally brewed in March, and laid down in caves before the summer weather rendered brewing impossible. Stocks would be drawn upon heavily during the summer, and exhausted by October.

In Germany, this tradition has come to be associated with one specific style, Oktoberfest Bier. In keeping with true German tradition, August Schell Oktoberfest beer is brewed just once a year. Brewed with the perfect balance of Pale, Munich, and Cara Pils malt with Liberty and Perle hops to create a rich, smooth taste.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2002

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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 350
Photo of matcris
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber/red to light copper with plenty of carbonation rising, and 2 fingers of creamy, off white head that lasts, and leaves a thick lacing down the glass. The aroma is very bread crust like and caramel malt sweet. Also a grassy like note. Flavor is basically just like the aroma. Seems very balanced and not to sweet but the main flavor is that bready caramel malt. Some grassy notes there, too. Medium body and dry with average carbonation. I don't think this jumps out in any one direction for greatness, but it's a solid offering. Looks great in the glass with that lacing.

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Photo of MNAle
4.14/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear golden-amber with moderate carbonation. Tall off-white bubbly head, receding casually. Aroma is nicely assertive with bread, perhaps honey, earthy. Taste is spicy bread. Not too sweet. Moderate-to-creamy feel. There is a little malty sweetness in the beginning that transitions to a slightly hoppy, clean, crisp, dry finish. Bread and hops linger in the aftertaste. This is an excellent American-brewed German-style Oktoberfest beer. Schell's knows their German lagers, and this one is excellent.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Schell's Oktobertfest, 5.5% ABV, 25 IBU. Pours thin and orange, with four finger off-white head, and OK lacing. Nose is sweet malt, caramel, and a touch of alcohol. Taste is malt, sugary sweetness, caramel, a bit of grassiness, and a slight bitter close. Excellent mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. Very drinkable, overall excellent.

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Photo of dnmyrick
4.34/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the tap into a 16 oz. Boston Shaker glass at Pappy's Neighborhood Kitchen and Bar in Rochester, MN. Appearance: Copper color. 1 finger beige head that dissipates quickly with little lacing.
Smell: A very pleasant malty biscuity smell hits the nose immediately.
Taste: Very malty with a light hop presence.
Overall: This is an excellent example of the style.

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Photo of Evilyak
3.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

clear amber with a white head that fades quickly. little lacing.

smell is bread and yeast with something mildly acrid.

taste is sweet - honey and light brown sugar on biscuit.

feel is moderately carbonated, clean, and slick.

considering it's january, i'd still have another.

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Photo of superspak
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into dimpled mug, best before 12/13/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big honey, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big honey, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of honey, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Very clean on lager flavors with minimal yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth and creamy/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Oktoberfest style. All around impressive robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Rawwie
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This is what you would expect in a Oktoberfest beer. Close out at the liquor store by my house $7.99 for a 12 pack. Picked up a case to share with family on turkey day. Solid beer, cheers!

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Photo of Ri0
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a 12oz bottle into a stein glass. A amber orange color with a nice 2 finger creamy eggshell head. Leaved behind nice lacing. Nice aromas of bready yeast and malt along with hints of caramel. Starts off with the sweet caramel drizzled bread and finishes with some light noble hops. A lighter feel, with soft carbonation and a creamy finish. A clean and easy drinking Okto with plenty of fall flavor.

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Photo of Boto
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ Liberty’s. This one pours a clear fairly amber color. There was some off-white head that left a little lacing. Decent aroma. Malty, with some breadiness, earthiness and spices. Minimal sweetness. The taste is good. Malts, some spices, very smooth. A decent Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Bluegrass49
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank from the bottle. Would have preferred a glass. Very smooth and refreshing. Easy to down 2 or 3 during the game. Had this before trying a Reisdorf Kolsh. No comparison...Schell's won hands down.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

from a single (from a sixer enjoyed over the course of a beautiful midwestern fall) into a nonic, tasted side-by-side with Paulaner's marzen. Strange, but my opinion of this one seems to wax and wane depending on context. It pours a lovely glowing amber with a nice off-white head, has a spicy and bready nose...on this particular day, I'm getting a little hung up on a kind of pumpkiny flavor that doesn't show up big in the nose but really becomes distracting in the taste. It isn't bad, but next to the Paulaner, it suffers. Strange because I didn't get that as much with the earlier bottles. The feel is really great, with a little more hoppy bite and a more substantial body than is typical for the style.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.21/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, dark amber with a creamy, slightly off-white head and a fair amount of lacing.
The aroma is bread and caramel with a hint of spice.
Taste is bready and spicy with a bit of caramel and a nicely crisp and bitter finish that leaves a bit of lingering spice on the tongue.
Mouthfeel is medium and almost creamy.
An outstanding American example of a Marzen. Well-crafted, flavorful and refreshing.

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Photo of TyFluth
4.43/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best, most true Oktoberfest out there. Love the malt-forward nature of this Oktoberfest. This offering by Schell's, and their FireBrick are exeptional!

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Brilliant amber with a light garnet tint under a thin white foam collar that produces splotchy lace.
S: Light bread aromas.
T: Rich bready malt flavors – not toasty, roasty or carmelly. Malt forward, initially sweet but dries on the finish with a lingering hop note.
F: Medium light body and medium to medium high carbonation.
O: Refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.01/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is an all around solid Oktoberfest beer. The color is a coppery Amber and it pours with a one finger head that quickly dissolves into a thin cap of ivory foam. The aroma is biscuity and lightly caramel. The flavor follows the mows with just a touch more caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel is of a medium body with little to no astringency on the tongue and moderate carbonation .

Overall: a very high quality German-style Marzen that owes much to its Bavarian roots. Would I buy it again? Next week!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.29/5  rDev -8.9%

Oktoberfest, here we come! Even though it's the dead of summer heat and I just finished mowing my overgrown lawn, I feel like a fall beer. I've been dying to try this one. So here we go :

Serving style : 12 oz glass bottle, miller fortune glass for appearance

Appearance (3.5) : The color of autumn leaves! Extra points for the festive color. Golden copper color with a touch of light amber. Nice sticky head that laces and stays.

Smell (3.5) : You know that smell when you carve out the inside of a pumpkin? Yeah...that one. And earth. Caramel notes. A little bit of apple and spice. Man this smells great. So festive!

Taste (3.25) : Oh yes! Smooth, with earthy flavors and spice, leaving a slight carbon-flavored finish. Some honey, moist earth, smoked wood. Distant hints of pumpkin seed and sap, and then strong pine cone. Ends piney and honey-bitter.

Mouthfeel (3.5) : Underbelly of carbonation with a slick finish. Jabs of prickliness make it lively and exciting.

Overall (3.29) : This is a nice beer for a one-off or to share with friends to tell them you care. A great storytelling around the fire pit beer and a nice crisp refresher on a crisp night (I imagine - nights are still hot here). Not a whole lot wrong to say about this beer, other than it finishes a little more piney-bitter than I'd like. It's definitely captured the essence of harvest and brings in that seasonal flavor! Would I buy it again? For a special event. I'm convinced there are some smoother pumpkin beers out there, so I'm still looking for "that one". Don't think I'd personally grab a sixer unless I was having company.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours orange red with a small white head. Smells of nice darker roasted malts, typical for oktoberfest beers, a little weak, but nice. Tastes of caramel, little molasses, dark roasted grain, very slight fruit. Beer is sessionable, light bodied, nicely carbonated. Overall, a pretty good beer.

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Photo of savaship
2.77/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Upon opening this beer I poured it into a clear tulip glass to maximize the aroma. The beer appeared fairly red, and mostly transparent but with a little bit of haze.

The aroma was full, lots of beta acids gave off esters over the malty mixture. The odor was that of hops and malts more weight on the hops.

When I tasted the beer the flavor was overwhelmingly unbalanced towards bitter. The signature Schell's high alpha acid hops took the entire beer and masked the wonderful malts under a veritable shower of the foulest tasting bitterness I've ever layed tongue to. There was great potential in the malt, it was just so covered, I couldn't pull it out.

Despite my aversion to the overall flavor, this had a fantastic mouthfeel! Carbonation, weight, movement was all signature of my ideal beer.

Overall there was a lot to love, and some things that could have been better about this beer, all tastebuds are different, so I suggest giving this one a try.

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Photo of steveh
3.86/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 updated review.

A -- Pours a clear orange-amber with a dense, creamy, long-lasting off-white head.

S -- Balance of yeasty, bready malts and spicy hops. Vaguest hint of caramel.

T -- Light, spicy hops hit the palate first, blending into bready sweet malts that finish dry. Light bread character and spicy hops in the aftertaste.

M -- Soft mouthfeel with a light-medium body.

O -- This is a very clean, malty, well-made lager, but I seem to find it a little light in body for a Märzen, maybe closer to a Vienna. But it's a delicious, smooth drinker without any nuttiness, roastiness, or esters that seem so strong in many American takes on the style.

09-02-2009 Review

2009 Bottling. My first time trying this one from the venerable regional.

A -- Clear, bright orange color with a substantial off-white head.

S -- Bready malts, some vague DMS and vague spicy hops back.

T -- Toasted bread character out of the shoot, starts sweet and fades to a savory biscuit character. Some vague sourness that doesn't last and a very bready finish. Pretty nice, all around.

M -- Light-medium bodied with a soft and smooth mouthfeel.

D -- Quite nice. Third best Oktoberfest Märzen I've had this season. A very nice example.

Serving type: bottle

4, 3, 4, 4, 4 = 3.8

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

August Schell Oktoberfest is an orange/golden colored beer with a sweet, malty nose. The foam on this beer is decent in the beginning, but it falls apart rather quickly and leaves no lacing.

This Oktoberfest beer emphasizes the flavors of sweet malt. The malty component is one of bread, biscuits, caramel, toasted notes and a touch of honey. There is a dash of hop bitterness to close out the tasting experience but the flavor quickly switches back to that of sweet malt.

This is a very malt- forward, easy going Oktoberfest that most anyone will like. It is exceptionally clean, sweeter than most beers, and very likeable. The sweeter taste might be a little much for some, but it makes a good choice for those who don’t prefer an emphasis of hops. It isn’t over the top in any way, but is still more than pleasing and most party guests will find it to their liking.

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Photo of Jparker37
4.11/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Seidel.

S - Light biscuit and mild toasty malt. Clean profile.

A - Deep orange color has perfect clarity. Barely off-white head falls quick to a small ring. No lacing.

T - Solid lightly toasted malt backbone holds strong. Flashes of some warmer toasty malts midway. Mild sweetness goes from middle almost to the end before some bitterness cleans up. Some delicious lasting malt.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, balanced between early sweetness and dry finish.

O - A good show of balance, tipping towards malt early but that bitterness bringing it right back into focus. Clean fermentation, drinkable. This Oktoberfest lands smack dab in the middle of the Marzen spectrum. More robust that an import yet more modest than a American Oktoberfest.

Judgement - Must have in season

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Photo of TheSSG
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a huge, dense, off-white head that has insane persistence and laces like a beast. Sweet malt with a touch of spicy hops in the nose. Brilliant orange-gold color. Starts with a spicy hoppiness, a flash of spicy malt which builds into a very nice maltiness as it merges with the spice. The finish is slightly bitter and quite spicy.

If you like a good MALTY Oktoberfest, you can't beat this one. There's enough hop bitterness, but malt definitely is doing the driving. I love this.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
2.83/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Oktoberfest pours a goldenish color with a small lacing head. There is a sweet and malty aroma. The taste has a mellow crisp malty undertone, with strong sweet flavors. The body was very watery, overly sweet, and harder to drink. Overall a light and overly sweet oktoberfest, might make a good "My First Oktoberfest," other then that not much to get out of this one.

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Photo of jsisko01
2.79/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy copper color with a half-inch thick head that dissipates quickly, leaving a nice creamy lacing.

Smell - The aroma is very subtle. All I can really detect is toasted malts.

Taste - Pale and toasted malts, followed by caramel and floral hops. And that's about it.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with very high carbonation. The high carbonation actually gives me heartburn.

Overall - I wasn't impressed.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A very light looking Oktoberfest. Color is a yellow copper with a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head that sticks around for a bit. Mild lacing.

S - Smells more lager like with skunky yeast and mild toasted notes. Hope it's sweet since I didn't get much caramel.

T - Ah thats more like it. It's a touch skunky but mostly sweet and malt forward. Little toasted malt and mostly sweet caramel make an OK Oktoberfest.

M - Light to medium. Session able.

Overall not something I would have again their is better tasting examples out there with a higher ABV even.

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Schell's Oktoberfest from August Schell Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 350 ratings.
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