Summit Brewing Company

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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #361
Ranked #41,691
3.66 | pDev: 12.3%
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Notes: Brewed in the classic Märzen style with Northern Brewer hops from Germany. Rich, toffee malt flavors up front with a clean hop finish as crisp as the autumn air. Unfortunately, like the fall colors, this seasonal beer is gone before you know it.
Reviews: 298 | Ratings: 699 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Bierwolf:
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Bierwolf from Missouri

3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nov 28, 2014
More User Reviews:
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i dig this on a whole number of levels. as good as any beer i have had from these guys. for one, its much stronger than the industry (or traditional) standard for the style. i suppose that come this time of year way up in minnesota, there is snow on the ground as often as there isnt, so a big burly body and abv on this style make a lot of sense. the flavor resulting from the increased grain is tremendous, its autumnal for sure, german, sweet, rustic. notes of honey and raisin, bready lager yeast, and something i cant quite place, sort of rye-esque spice in the middle there, but i dont know what from. notes of red apple and apple cider too. sweet like that. the hops seem backed off a little bit, the beer is grain driven and on the sweet side all the way through. all the body is really awesome, and the smoothness and creaminess are uncommon in the style. this is a style, especially for american brewers, thats almost like, if youve had one, youve had them all, but thankfully this is a bold statement in a unique direction, and its almost like an imperial octoberfest. creative and well put together, i would buy this again. drinking it by the pint will catch up to you though, trust me...

Oct 28, 2015
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Bighuge from Minnesota

4.82/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-rated on October 3, 2007:

I upped my ratings for appearance, aroma and taste. This is a top of the line Ofest. One of my favorite. Such a meaty flavor (not literally). Such a thick maltiness and great lager yeastiness. Very hearty. This and Staghorn are my 2 favorite bottled Ofests.

Crytal clear copper in color. Slight off-white head that has good retention. Fairly large grain, subdued malt and a slight yeastiness in the aroma. Really nice toasted malt taste. Yeast off-flavors (similar to their maibock?) acentuate nicely. Very clean tasting and very drinkable. The slightest hint of alcohol is actually present in this brew. This octoberfest is medium to full bodied and a very enjoyable brew. I only wish they hadn't canned their alt to introduce this beer last September.

Sep 09, 2002
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dhannes from Wisconsin

3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint.
L=Dark amber with a foamy head of about 1 inch.
S=Strong maltiness with a bit of mustiness.
T=A fair amount of maltiness, with a bit of sweetness and fruitiness.
F=A tad bitter, with a fair amount of body and carbonation.
O=Although I was a bit disappointed, this is a decent offering...try it if you like beers that are lighter and more bitter than a traditional märzen.

Oct 24, 2016
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I have been winnowing through the backlog of beer here at Chez Woody, eschewing hoppy IPAs & DIPAs for everything else that seems to get short shrift. I have several Oktoberfest/Marzens lined up for this evening.

I had to fight a little bit with the cap, but when it Pop!ped off, I was happy to begin a heavy-handed pour. I got two fingers of foamy, rocky, light-tan head for my efforts. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a robust maltiness, not cloyingly sweet, but assertive with regard to its maltiness. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste had a sweetness that hovered between bready and maple syrupy. This would be the sweet spot for me from the style since I really dislike sweet and especially overly sweet. Warming, I began to taste a pleasant nuttiness beginning to assert itself, kind of an almond/pecan flavor. The finish was semi-sweet, again, just right for the likes of me. I really dislike malt bombs and this managed to keep its sweetness in check. Well done, sirs!

Nov 07, 2015
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hoptheology from South Dakota

4.04/5  rDev +10.4%

Chilly fall evening. Time for an Oktoberfest!

Appearance (4.25) : pours a creamy, frothy four fingered head with tightly knit bubbles atop a light copper, autumn hue of a body. Opacity of the body is about 20%. Frothy head leaves intricate webs of lacing around the glass.

Aroma (3.75) : Lovely fleshy pumpkin and nutmeg notes, with slightly sour ale and wheat. Some clove as well. Bouquet is about medium strength.

Taste (4) : I feel like I've stuck a spoon into a pumpkin and this is the result. Lightly toasted pumpkin flesh, with lots of nutmeg, clove, allspice. Mid-body, a pleasantly sour saison-like buzz forms on the tongue, making things exciting. This is the beer to have when carving pumpkins - it fits right in. Slightly metallic and bloody (?) from the bottle. Definitely pour this one. Overall though it's got a complex flavor and great malt character. I don't know how they do it, but it's great.

Mouthfeel (4.5) : Literally does somersaults in your mouth. First it's light-bodied, then it morphs into tangy, and then spicy, and then finally a lovely heavy cream finish. Ends similar to a milkshake. This is some good brew.

Overall (4.04) : Although it's different from other Marzens I've tried, this beer is pretty good. What sets it apart is its Flanders style sour thing going on in the middle... it's not really intense but it stands out. If you get a chance to try this, do it.

Sep 30, 2014
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nrbw23 from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a medium amber color with a nice foamy off white head with spotty lacing.

S- Nice bready malts, sweet caramel and a touch of hops.

T- Heavy on the malts especially caramel and bready. Finishes rather sweet.

M- Medium body. Feels right on.

D- Easy to drink and a good example of the style.

Sep 03, 2008
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3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Mar 19, 2012
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Drak-Nib from Nebraska

3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Subtly spicy taste and smell makes me want to guzzle it. Tasty and full of interesting possibilities. The aftertaste is a slight bit bitter. Very easy drinker. From a taster. 2018/11/25

Nov 28, 2018
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defunksta from North Dakota

3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep, but bright, auburn orange color. Like a dried orange or apricot color. A strong off-white head. SRM of 17. (4.00)

Aroma: Fairly light aromas. Mostly orange citrus, cream, toffee, and bread malts. Alcohol is detectable. Light toasted bread crust with caramel spice behind that. (3.75)

Flavor: Lots of chewy & resinous orange citrus with strong breadiness on the flavor. At the same time there is a strong, creamy, fresh baked bread and toffee sweetness. Little caramel and cinnamon. Some monkey bread. Finishes slightly sweet. (4.00)

Feel: Heavier bodied and creamy on the tongue. Medium carbonated, smooth, and creamy. Alcohol is detectable here. (3.75)

Compared to Mankato Brewery's Oktoberfest Festbier (2020) 9/13/20: Pours a similar color with a stronger head. More orange and alcohol aromas. Less toasty bread and spice. Stronger carbonation and candied fruit bitterness.

Compared to Sierra Nevada's Oktoberfest 2020 9/24/20: Pours a darker and more amber color with a larger head. More orange, cream, brown sugar, bread. Less pine for sure. More bread and spice all around.

Overall: A pretty good Marzen. Nice chewy and creamy orange citrus with toffee flavors. Showcases the fruit flavors, more than the German malt flavors, so definitely is Americanized. Strong orange and toffee here. Not true to the German festbier style, but for an American Marzen, it's quite good. (Final Rating: 3.71)
*Compare to Odell or Sam Adams*

Aug 31, 2019
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bcsbeer from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Aug 25, 2013
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Mayhewbc from Nevada

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Oct 09, 2014
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jglipschultz from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mar 02, 2019
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sweetkness from Minnesota

2.42/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I recently also had the bottle version of this beer, and it failed to impress me either time. It's hard to find the exact reason why, but I have tried several Octoberfests this season, and this one is at the bottom of the list. It just has a different flavor/mouthfeel. That lager yeast flavor seems to be dominant, and it's missing that caramel malt sweetness that appeals to me in this style. There seems to be a different type of malt used in this Octoberfest than in others...maybe I'm wrong. Obviously, this is just my opinion, maybe other tastes would see it as one of the best out there this year.

Oct 22, 2007
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beerisboss from Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Oct 06, 2018
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bradley194 from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like this beer. It is a nice full bodied Oktoberfest.

Appearance- I nice dark orange color with a one finger head which lasted for a good while.

Smell- Caramel, borderline toffee, sweet smell. Very pleasant.

Taste- Really nice. Full bodied and sweet. Has a nice caramel flavor to it. Very rich malty flavor. It had a perfect balance between the flavor and the carbonation. I have found that a lot of Oktoberfest beers that I have tried have been overly carbonated. This may just be my opinion, but I think this beer had a really nice balance.

Overall- I would absolutely recommend this beer to anyone. It has a nice heaviness to it, but it is totally drinkable at the same time. Really nice balance and complexity.

Overall 4 out of 5.

Sep 14, 2007
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Cooper from Minnesota

3/5  rDev -18%

Aug 24, 2012
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Pauly2X from Wisconsin

2.89/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Poured virtually no head, deep redish amber color.

S- Nutty malt aroma very faint spicy hop smells.

T- Overly nutty sweet malt character, spicy hop pressence is very subdued.

M- Quite smooth nicely carbonated.

D- I've been using the rest of the six pack to marinade steaks, works great!

This is my least favorite Oktoberfest to date, but if you like an Oktoberfest with more of a nutty malt character then this is a must try

Dec 02, 2007
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Kunstman from Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Apr 20, 2013
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birchstick from Colorado

3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours an amberish orange / faint copper without much of a head

S - smells of sweet grainy and cereal malts with a bit of grassy hops

T - the taste is identical to the nose. Very spot on for the style. Grainy and cereal malts add a sweetness that is balanced by the grassy hops on the finish. Not uber complex, but either is this style. However, this is very well put together.

M - bigger bodied than I would have expected, which is a plus with an average amount of carbonation

D - solid Oktoberfest here. I know I would buy this in the fall if Summit was available around here. Thanks go surlytwins fan for this extra!

Jan 03, 2011
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jcjerabek from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Apr 30, 2012
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BigJim5021 from Indiana

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Oct 01, 2013
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dmadsen from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

May 01, 2012
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champ103 from Texas

3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pretty much a translucent orange color. A small white bubbly head forms with lots of bubbles rising to the top. Very light lace.
S: Toasty caramel malts. Light grain/cereal and a light hop bite. Some yeast is in the nose as well.
T: Sweet caramel malt that is lightly toasted. Grain and cereal again. Very light flour hops as the flavor lingers.
M/D: A light to medium body that is crisp and refreshing. Fairly easy to drink for the high alcohol. Though the sweetness takes it tool after a while.

A decent Oktoberfest. Nothing special, but I do enjoy it. Something that is worth a try.

Aug 21, 2009
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Gamblor14 from Minnesota

3/5  rDev -18%

Mar 04, 2013
Oktoberfest from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 699 ratings