Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

very good
164 Reviews
Thomas Hooker Octoberfest LagerThomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager

Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed to celebrate the beginning of the German brewing season and the 1810 wedding of crown prince Ludwig of Bavaria and his bride-to-be, princess Therese of Saxon-Hildburghausen. This amber beer was brewed in March ("Marzenbier") and left to age in cool lagering caves during the heat of the summer. Our rich and satisfying Bavarian-style OctoberFest comes from a special blend of imported German malts that creates a full-bodied brew and stresses a malty flavor and lingering aroma. Gently hopped and delicately balanced, its true-to-style, slow fermentation and long, cold maturation produces a luxuriously smooth, award-winning brew.

16 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2003

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Reviews: 164 | Ratings: 271
Photo of sleazo
2.6/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a medium chestnut. Small head. Decent lacing however

S-sweetish roasted malt. Not much else

T-man this is sweet. Caramel malt dominates with vague hints of bitterness in the aftertaste. Really this is a one sided affair. There is a bit of toast in here as well making it slightly better.

D-slightly syrupy.

D-way too sweet for an Oktoberfest beer. I prefer a dry crisp one. I actually considered dumping it. So many good oktoberfests, wy choose this one.

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Photo of donniecuffs
2.93/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured amber-orange into an American pint glass, with very little white head, spotty lacing, and mild carbonation presence. I really couldn't discern much of anything in the nose...just some caramel and maltiness. As for the taste, while the maerzen style is known (and loved by me) for its maltiness, this one was off the malty deep end; too much malt sweetness for me. No balance was evident, and furthermore the finish wasn't as dry as I would have liked. The body was a firm medium, but less carbonation than was expected. Thin enough to session, but way too sweet for me.

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Photo of dday1231
3.12/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice aroma, but I’m not crazy about the taste. My biggest gripe is the impression it gives during my first few sips. It’s difficult to explain what I don’t like about the initial taste other than it’s a copper flavor that seems awkward with the sweet and spicy background. I’m not thrilled with it, and probably would not buy again. medium sweetness, lightly bitter, lightly sour.

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Photo of u2carew
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz long neck. Consumed 11/03/09

A) Pours with a two finger head. Foamy. Settles slightly. Lacing is big, bubbled and sticky. Amber in color. Clear body.
S) Malty caramel. Grainy.
T) Fairly bitter up front. Some sweet malt mixed in but not enough to compensate for the bite. A third of the way through the hop bite mellows slightly. A mild bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.
M) Fizzy. Light to medium bodied. Tannin - slick tongue feel.
D) An alright Oktoberfest not a stand out.

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Photo of arnulfooxblood
3.24/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a Thomas Hooker Sampler. I was a little surprised to find in there since it wasn't listed as one of the beers included.

Poured from 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance--Orange/brown in color. Minimal head. Notable carbonation.

Smell--Very sweet smelling brew. Quite malty. Caramel notes.

Taste/Mouthfeel--Nothing outstanding here. Not nearly as malty as the smell led me to think it would be. It sort of lacks any real identity up front, and as it goes further back on the palate, there's a bit more of a smooth malty flavor. Crisp, almost sharp mouthfeel, that is rounded out by having a solid body.

Drinkability--I could have another, but I probably won't go out of my way to pick this up in the future.

I may need to revisit this one. The taste really kind of puzzled me.

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Photo of DrJay
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very clear auburn. A foamy beige head full of soapy bubbles fell quickly to a thin cap. Clumpy lacing was short lived. Grainy malt aroma, a little toasty, with herbal hop notes. Pleasant malt, but bitterness is definitely out front here. Herbal, grassy hops stand out while sweet, toasty malt sits in the background. The malt tastes a bit thin and there's a lingering metallic bitterness that is a little distracting. Medium/light bodied with moderate carbonation level that felt a little coarse. I still thought it was okay, but it just seemed to miss the mark for the style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber body with a frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Toasy caramel malt aroma with mild, floral hop notes.

Taste: Again, more toasted caramel flavors with a bit of apple and earthy cinnamon. Fine, floral hop flavor and bitterness. Finishes flat and wholly underwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not really one of my preferred oktoberfests.

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Photo of Liquids
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a red-orange with a thick and peachy colored head. The aroma is like a standard lager but with gentle floral noble hops of those detected. German-american style here. Not a personal favorite in regards to aroma I must say. Taste is bright, german of course, malty, and minimal hops. This is probably according to style, but overal as a beer this is booring and hard to drink. A lager gone wrong to my palate. Mouthfeel is extra bright, full, with full on carbonation and a medium body. Lackluster. Overall, this is okay but not a good style for me and not a beer I'll return to, but others somehow enjoy this, so YMMV.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.34/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Creamy two finger, yellowed-white head that dissipates slowly and leaves a thin layer of foam on top of the beer. Head collapse is marked on sides of glass by some good streaking. Color is deep, dark amber/orange/brown with a bit of yellow on top when light shines through it.
S: There's something of a potent metallic smell (is it the water used?), along with evidence of malt and caramel scents as the beer warms.
T: The metallic essence in the smell briefly appear in the first sip. Malt follows, a bit sweet and a bit like paper. This is brought to a conclusion by a fair amount of hop bitterness that leads into a dry finish with a malty/biscuity aftertaste. Quite good, aside from the metallic and papery bit.
M: Mild carbonation gives way to a somewhat creamy, medium body. Nothing exceptional, but nothing to scoff at, either.
D: Thomas Hooker stays true to the style with the big, malty backbone and dry, hoppy finish. The aspects of this beer that didn't fit were the metallic presence and slightly thin taste. This may simply be limited to the pack I bought, and I'd be willing to give some more of this beer another try.

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Photo of Thads324
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a vibrant and dark golden orange. Totally clear with a slightly off white head that is sticky and thick. Leaves loads of thick lacing. Aromas of burnt grass and husky grains. A bit if a dry smell as well, like most lagers. Taste starts very sweet and mild. A bit of caramel followed by a grassy taste. Finishes with the marzen yeast taste. Creamy and easy going mouth feel with a medium body. Super drinkable.

Overall a pretty good beer and it is very drinkable. Unfortunately it falls by the wayside against all the more flavorful Marzens out there. I like the creamy feel, but lacks the deep, rich flavors that are necessary.

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Photo of Samp01
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber brown with a medium off white head. Aroma is of barley, malt, yeast and fruity notes. Taste is sweet mildly toasted barley, some caramel flavors as it warms up a bit with some moderate amount of bitterness. A medium body, smooth with moderate carbonation. Finishes with some toasted barley and caramel, yeast and bready notes with some moderate bitterness on the end for balance. Overall a good and tasty brew.

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Photo of bigone4
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No freshness date to be found on the bottle. It poured a clean orange amber hue. Perfect looking white frothy two finger sized head that dissipated rather quickly. No real evidence of lacing around the pint. There were smells of strong malt and caramel tones. There are hints of a fruitiness almost raisin like in character. Defiantly has that Marzen Oktoberfest smell to it. Smooth taste with a nice dry hop finish. Also had some alcohol like sweet malt roasted tannin flavor as it warmed to room temp. Good malt sweetness in the start tastes well balanced. Not my favorite Oktoberfest of the season but not a bad offering. Good carbonation from start to finish. Seemed rather light compared to other Marzens I have sampled this season. To my surprise on the side of the bottle it read brewed in NY under Trout Brook supervision. I will give it another shot but seems to fall a bit short for my taste.

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Photo of Gmann
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber color with a small off-white head that dissipated into a small cap. The aroma is quite faint, I pick up the caramel malt, brown bread. The taste is a bready toasted malt, caramel, and a touch of metal. A nice malty flavor, could use more of a Saaz hop presence. The feel is moderate with nice carbonation. The brew finishes with a nice malty sweetness balanced with a toasted malt bitterness. A solid malty brew. Something about this brew does not scream out Marzen/Oktoberfest but it is still a good offering. Sample is probably a bit old at this point.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served right out of the fridge and poured into a Pint Glass

A – Poured a very nice orange tinted amber with a good two finger high head of frothy white lace over the top of the glass. Very nice clarity in this one a you could easily make out the chains of carbonation that were racing towards the top of the glass to replenish the frothy white cap on top. After an average fade what was left behind was a decent amount of side glass lace and a thin film across the rest of the top of the glass. Overall pretty average looks for the style.

S – The aroma was full of musty bready malts. Not overall strong or pungent, it was just rather average with a slight hop twang to it as it started to warm up. There was really a nice grainy back that you could pick up on the aroma and the overall blend of smells was your classic malt filled marzen with a nice little bit of sugary notes added in the back.

T – The flavor was very nice, again rather typical but still very nice with a good amount of bready malts giving it that musty kind of taste. Had a little touch of sugar and a bit more grain and it was kind of skewed a bit towards a red ale to be honest. A slight note of hoppiness floating around in there as well giving the profile a little more depth and a bit more of something to work with then it had had before. Overall again fairly average for the style but still pretty decent overall.

M – Your typically well carbonation light bodied lager here. Nice crisp clean feel, not too thin and defiantly not watered down. The carbonation held up well throughout the entire session and it really was quite a clean feeling ale with no real issues.

D – Superb for a session beer, this was perfect for just sitting back and downing a few with no real issues. There was a really great flavor to it and the carbonation and light body held up very well and really made this something that went down quite quick and you were left looking around waiting for the next one to come.

Overall not bad. I honestly thought I was done with the Oktoberfest beers a long time ago, but I had this one sitting in the closet so I really wanted to be able to clear it out. Not bad overall, not the best I ever had but I would not snub my nose at this one either. Probably a good call in a pinch and something that could go down quite well in the fall.

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Photo of FirstMan
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have to say that I have a little bit of a warm spot in my heart for Thomas Hooker since meeting one of the founders at the Higgins Festival of Ale this year. That's actually where I had the Hooker Oktoberfest for the first time, too, and after a nice conversation at the Hooker table, I got sent home with a free six of this. I say this partially to just give Hooker some kudos for keeping a future customer happy, but also as a bit of a disclaimer on my review. I'm trying to be fair here, but I do like free beer.

Pours a deep amber - a little darker than some other maerzten I've seen this year. Nice thin tannish head settles around the rim of the glass. There's some staying power to the thin layer that remains after a few minutes.

The nose has a yeasty vegetable aspect with a sweet maltiness hiding back behind there.Nice.

A heavyier, more bitter taste than I was expecting, but not necessarily bad. This beer focuses pretty strongly on the vegetable, deeper tones of the lager yeast. There's a little sweetness in there, but not as much as you might find in other Oktoberfests. None of the spicy character that other Oktoberfests sometimes exhibit. This is about the yeast and hops with just a little sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a little bit slick, but with a sharp tingle of bubbly carbination.

Overall this is an interesting Oktoberfest that is quite a bit different from many of the sweeter, spicyier maertzen beers out there this year.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thomas Hooker- Octoberfest

A- Deep dark orange with a small filmy head, filmy lacing too.
S- Very buttery caramel toffee malt with a touch of licorice.
T- Very buttery sweet shortbread biscuit malt, Caramel and toffee with licorice and butterscotch.
M- Very buttery, slick and chewy malt.

Overall- The maltiest butteriest beer I might have ever tried.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Not a bad märzen. Poured into a pint glass a burnt orange color with a thin white head that faded fast to a stray layer of bubbles; a little soapy lacing. Malty aroma, grains and floral hops. Sweet caramel malts in the taste, lightly toasted grains, leafy, moderately hopped with some bitterness in the aftertaste. Light-medium body and quite good for an autumn beer.

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Photo of kennyo
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this is a very good looking beer, reddish/ orange color very small head, light carbonation. Munich malt aroma with some spice/fruit. Biscuit/sweet caramel malt taste, some alcohol. a very tasty beer. A very good, clean octoberfest, can't really find too many faults. Not a big fan of the style but I can and will drink this beer.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was first ever Oktoberfest last year. For this review I sat in a giant field and drank it out of my glass boot while admiring Massachusetts foliage.

Pours a see-through amber with an off-white head, retains decently and leaves some lacing.

Scent was kind of strange and sort of off-putting, buttery popcorn sort of. A little macro-y.

Taste is definitely better than the smell, lots of buttery malts. Caramel and toffee malts. Grassy hops and a bit of citrus and lemon. Leaves a warm bread aftertaste. Some booze in the last few sips.

Very low carbonation, pretty watery but decent.

This is little too sweet for the style for me, I would've preferred more toastiness, this is kind of a butter/toffee takeover, good though.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear copper. Whitish head and lacing. Good looking brew.
Smell: Yeasty bread, slightly earthy. not a lot happenin but nice.
Taste: much like the nose. Bready and malty. Tasty though not exceptional.
Overall: Decent enough. Enjoyable but no standout.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a five-finger cream head that fades quickly and leaves some lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is malty. Starts sweet with a good malt/hop mix, finish is bready. $1.55 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Ezone024 for this brew.

Pours a nice slightly hazy dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with some slight spice and lots of caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, slight hop note, some spice/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, I've been waiting along time to try this brew out, not bad at all.

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Photo of jackorain
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, almost brown, slight chill haze. 1-inch head fell to tall collar and really nice splotchy thick coat.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel and biscuit too, alittle yeast

Tastes of caramel maltand biscuit up front. The middle is toasty. There is a nice balance in the hop bitterness but it is fleeting as the mlats come back t finish this beer.

Medium body and quite fizzy.

decent drinkability. I would not be adverse to having a couple of these.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours golden orange with lots of red throughout. The foamy head rises to about one finger breadth then dissipates to near nothingness.

S. Sweet honey with some spices and some graininess.

T. Lots of honey upfront then some bready somewhat caramel-y malt backbone. Ends rather dry.

M. Medium body with medium to high carbonation.

D. By far the sweetest Octoberfest I had this year. Not bad, but not something I'd be looking to pick up again.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The second Oktoberfest beer in the package from spritdeus, this one came is a brown 12 oz. bottle, and poured out deep reddish orange. The beer had low carbonation and lacked any head. The aroma was grainy and clean with the presence of floral hops in the background. The taste was proper for a festbier, with sweet toasted grainy malt and a low level of hop bitterness. The mouthfeel was medium thick. Easy to drink, but a bit too simplistic to make it great.

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Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 271 ratings.
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