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 radshoesbro
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle
a - ruby/amber/redish. weak head that dissipates rather quickly leaving relatively no lace.

s - a malty sour smell with a bit of hops.

t - smooth malt body with very mild hop finish. very "lager like".

m - medium bodied, smooth, alright finish.

d - wouldn't have more than two of these in a session.

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Photo of Liverpool08
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden dark orange. Nice white head with some lacing. Aroma of malts and hops. Much more hoppy than I expect from an Oktoberfest. Taste is at first malty and caramel, but then ends with a bitter hop bite. Still a nice beer but not what I was looking for from this style.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Extra in a recent trade with Wasatch. 12oz.

A: Amber in color with an off white head about 3/4 of an inch thick or so, quite dense, with great retention. Slightly cloudy, decent lacing.

S: Caramel malts, roasted malts, sorty of bready, just a faint hint of booze, definite lager yeast strain, and a distinct spicy hop note, that I would venture to say is verging on skunky, but not bad at all.

T: Caramelly, and toasty, has some notes of biscuit and has a sort of bread crust taste to it as well. Malty, not much of a hop profile, and that's expected. Leaves an aftertaste of seltzer water, which is weird, but not terribly distracting. Pretty tasty though.

M: Very light, and extremely, almost overly carbonated, like the taste reminds me of seltzer water. Don't like the mouth feel on this one at all.

D: Decent beer, with good flavors, but this is really too carbonated for my taste. In thinking about the style, I've never had one that is this carbonated before and its throwing me for a loop. Good flavors, and a nice beer, but just a bit too prickly for me.

Thanks John!

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Photo of socon67
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Thomas Hooker Brewery

A - Pours amber with a tan foam. Clear and with notceable carboantion.

S - Didn't get much more than a malty scent with a bit of spice. Even after settling not much else came out.

T - Taste is a nice crisp marzen that is quite true to style. The robust malty base is complimented by some earthy spices and a raspy, hoppy, bite on the tongue. Great fall beer.

M - Well blanaced, light for the style, and a good beer to session as you watch summer go away.

O - Didn't quite match what I heard about it, but Hooker Octoberfest is a solid beer and I'd like to give it another try to see if maybe in bottle has more of the aroma I was looking for.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. No date or info.

Thanks to Onenote81 for sending this brew my way in a surprise box!

A - The pour isn't audible in the least even with the height. Not a lot of head formation as the beer transferred over though. A thin skim of bone-colored head and a small arch of lace are left floating over the golden bronze brew.

S - Earthy notes of dry leaves and pine needle come from the hops. A pinch of sweet toasted caramel and Vienna malts balances well. I get a light hint of off butterscotch notes though.

T - A malty backbone shows good support for the refreshing earthy hops. Dry leave finishes out this balanced brew. A touch of something that seems just a bit off makes it into the flavor though.

M - Medium-bodied but somehow it's thin still. A little bit slick perhaps. It finishes dry and clean with a sparkling carbonation mouthfeel.

D - I find myself taking sip after sip to evaluate and I continue to down this brew. I definitely enjoy it for an everyday drinking okto. It goes down and refreshes well.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange with a moderate, one-finger thick off-white head. It fades very quickly into a thin crown around the glass and leaves insignificant lacing.

The nose is malty with a bit of earthiness. Taste has that malt there again, with a buttery, caramel flavor to it. Definite note of moderate bitterness on the back end. Nothing major, but enough to cause a sensation along the back/sides of your tongue. Body is medium with medium-heavy carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty much par for the course with the style. Nothing sensational, but it's a decent, enjoyable example.

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Photo of auntfloyd
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a glass Brooklyn Oktoberfest stein.

Pours a lovely dark copper color, with a large head.

The aroma is sweet malts, and a delicate floral lager scent.

The taste is malty, bready, with hint of spices. A good, clean märzen taste.

The mouthfeel is smooth, light, and lager-ish. This is a very easy drinking beer.

A good oktoberfest beer, quite nice, and not overdone. Good for the style, and one oktoberfest fans and newcomers alike will enjoy.

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Photo of Knuckles
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4 first time with a Hooker and it's a HUGE disappointment. I'd built up this moment: Put on a special cologne (ok, it was deodorant, but it made me smell real nice), combed my hair (ok, I actually shave my head, but I rubbed my bald head somewhat nervously), dressed in the nicest pair of sweat shorts that I've ever had an ex-girlfriend make for me and made for the fridge.

Appearance: This is a lovely beer, to be sure. Deep, auburn with a beautiful tan head. Tight carbonation, sticks around longer than I did when I was dating that chick who played the accordian. (Never did hear her play, either. A regret, like you would not believe.)

Smell: Truthfully, I get one bigass snootfull of yeast. Please recall that I have a nose the size of a 57 Buick Roadmaster. It's a sensitive motherfucker. I can smell dogshit from a mile away. Thankfully, this didn't smell like that. It smelled like yeast. No, not that kind of yeast. I realize this is a Hooker and all, but come on. Show some class.

Taste: Damn, I'm disappointed. First time I get to stick my tongue in a Hooker and it's defining characteristic is "marginally sweet"? I was hoping for some brown sugar, maybe some dates. Bring me some figgy pudding, if you knowhamsayn...(ok, I don't actually know what I'm saying either. Basically this tastes like a very malty Michelob, and I'm angry as fuck that I know what a Michelob tastes like). Ok, I'm just being mean. It doesn't taste anything like a Michelob (although, I understand that the night actually belongs to Michelob). It is disappointing, however. It's a marginally sweet lager, with no real distinguishing characteristics. I'm sure it's a lovely dancer.

Mouthfeel: You'd think a Hooker would have more body, but this one ain't got no junk in the trunk whatsoever. Disappointingly thin, with a presence that disappears into the pint glass. Baby ain't got NO back.

Drinkability: Well, the truth of the matter is that you could drink this beer all night long. I just don't think you'd enjoy it much. Take this Hooker out for dinner, just don't drive her home.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours with a decent amount of tight carbonation- and forms a one inch head in a pint glass atop clear mahogany.

The beer has subtle aroma, and upon first taste there is a fizziness that gives way to a medium to full bodied mouthfeel. This is not a pale Oktoberfest. There is a present taste of alcohol which is not blended into the beer flavor. Its not too bad by the end of the glass though.

There is a very familiar crystal-malt taste which is present and makes itself known, but does not overpower, and gives way to a hoppy mid to finish -also not overpowering. There is a beer called “Rogue Saint red ale” I pick this beer for no other reason than the fact that there is a similar malt flavor - but this Oktoberfest is infinitely more drinkable and subtle. If you like the malt in this one and wish there was more, than by all means try the Rogue offering.

This would be a great beer to knock back in a big stein with or without a sausage plate, red-wine cabbage and Belgian fries. Just don’t forget the designated driver.

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Photo of AChamberlain
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no freshness date.

A: Amber, dark apper cider colored. The head went quickly.
S: Almost nothing, with a touch of yeast.
T: A nice bold typical Marzen flavor.
MF: It laid fairly flat in the mouth, but went down nicely.
D: Very drinkable.

Overall, good, not great, oktoberfest choice.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours remarkably dark from the bottle with very little head and no lace. There is a slight aroma of pumpkin which quickly gives way to the hops. The flavor is of smooth hops and very mellow Thanksgiving Day spices. But the overall flavor come across as a bit flat. An aftertaste of malt come sthrough the beer. While I really do like and enjoy this beer (and would definitely buy more), I was expecting something slightly different after I tried it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Attractive, clear tawny amber hue, admirable layer of cream-toned froth atop.
Aroma is light malt, herbal/vegetal, soft and appealing...nice.
Nice bite up front in the taste, malt is rich and sweet. clinging ever-so long on the palate. Body's about medium or more, with a long, tasty, fruity finish.
An Oktoberfest anyone can be happy with, easy to toss back, with unflagging flavor.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. brown long neck bottle with a crimped-on cap.

Bright medium amber color with a 1"white head dissapating quickly down to a slight coating of foam with a ring around the glass. Moderate carbination with a few tiny strings of bubbles rising to the surface.

Clean aromas very fruity,hints of fresh apples and sweet carmell with a slight burnt note.

Burnt carmell taste,tart,fruity,grassy hop feel. Finishes with some bittersweetness,tatrness,very clean with a good sharp feel.

Medium mouthfeel clean and refreshing. Good drinkability could easily put back a few of these. A nice Octoberfest beer even in Feburary.

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Photo of malthead
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great rich, red/orange color, but head is kinda lacking. Clean malty aroma, light Saaz? hops. Decent taste, but something a little wierd... almost a mineral taste? Decently drinkable, but not particularly outstanding. No freshness date, so it could be a couple months old, but I think it still should be a little better than this - kinda rough around the edges.

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Photo of krisandajt
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last Oktoberfest from my birthday beer run...

Appearance: Probably the best pour I've ever gotten from an Oktoberfest. A clear, deep, dark amber color with a good inch of bubbly head that fizzles away leaving behind some moderate, soapy lacing.

Smell: Typical for the style, a nice subtle sweetness and just a hint of bitter on the back end.

Taste: Spot on with the smell. Sweet, but not overly sweet, with just a hint of bitter in the finish. Not too bad at all.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, good carbonation, smooth, nice body.

Drinkability: A very drinkable Marzen. This is actually my first Hooker (well, the beer anyways ;-) haha), and if the rest of their line up is like this, I'll have to seek out some more to try.

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Photo of bgjohnston
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is perhaps the hoppiest Octoberfest beer I have had yet.

Pours a clear orange color, with a small head, but good carbonation. Smell is sweet and inviting.

Taste starts out with a fine sweet malty flavor, but it finishes abruptly, dry and a little bitter. I think I would be happier with it if they dialed up the malt, or dialed back the hops a bit on this one.

I might try this one again later in the season, to see if the hops fade out to "just right" for my taste.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a decent effort, but not really a killer Octoberfest as I might've expected from Hooker. An orangy amber color, but the little head that is on there fades quickly. A nice sweet and malty character to this one, with decent hop balance, but something just lacks to finish this off. A subtle smoky quality as well, but there's another odd kind of bitter taste that sort of clashes with the smooth sweetness of this beer. Good, just not particularly interesting.

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Photo of albern
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a very characteristic Marzan style lager. It looks the part, with a nice clear mahogany copper color with a small foamy little head. No lacing, not great amounts of retention either. The nose is all malt, crystal malts, toasted grains, a touch of chicory reds.

The taste is quite nice. It has a hop bite, slightly leafy and bittering towards the finish. The beer has a very large malt palate with lots of roasted notes, some caramel and chicory flavors, crystal malts, some drying notes in the finish. The beer is largely smooth but there is a touch of graininess in there too. The beer is fairly low carbonation, a touch sweet with the malts up front, but not cloyingly so. There is a particular hop bite very characteristic of the style. It is a lager and has that consistency too.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark orange body has quite a bit of activity as far as carbonation goes. The off white head is almost two fingers thick, and is pretty creamy. Good retention, but only a little bit of lacing.

The aroma isn't very powerful. Mostly a lightly sweet malt with perhaps a touch of hops.

Thomas Hooker O-fest is definitely on the maltier side of the style, which is a good thing in this case. Sweet, lightly toasted malt with only a touch of earthy, spicy hop character. The malt profile reminds me of dark bread with a touch of honey added to it. This one reminds me a little bit of Great Lakes O-fest, but I haven't sampled the two at the same time.

The body is a touch of medium, and the carbonation is a little under, which isn't great but doesn't ruin the beer in any way.

Pretty drinkable O-fest, a solid offering from Thomas Hooker; definitely worth trying for O-fest fans.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Big light tan head on a clear dark ruby body.
S- Grass hops, sweet caramel malts, some fruits, munich malt?, and a few others I just can't put my finger on.
T- Sweet caramel malts with a big dry bite to them. Rougher fruits, some kind of grass hop that leaves a light bitterness on tongue, and some light hints of pumpkin.
M- Thin body with medium carbonation.
D- It is alright. I wouldn't get this again though.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gambrinus1184 for a six-pack of this beer recently!

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber/orange with a thin white head on top. No lace left behind. Scents of grains, sweet malts, caramel corn and syrup. Nice sweet nose. The mouth is firm, with a good carbonation level. Finish is moderately full.The sweetness carries over into the flavor. This is a malt-forward beer for sure, as it should be. Lots of toasted malts, sweet caramel and toffee, and a light alcohol-singed finish. One of the last Oktos for the year for me. Always look forward to these beers. This is a nice representation. Check it out.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep amber color, with a tanish head that dissapers pretty quicly and leaves almost no lacing. Very maly/biscuit like nose.

Malts abound in the intial tasing. Solid bread like qualities abound. Yet in the aftertaste, there is a nice hop presence to finish it off. It comes out very clean, you get the malt taste that you expect in a O-fest, and yet just enough hops to make it interesting. Very well made brew, traditional enough, and just enough of an edge to make it ineresting. Very drinkable to boot.

Good show all around, whish they had more of this in Philly.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I saw a news article recently that claimed this as the best Octoberfest in the country.. I'm partly biased as I'm from Conneticut where this is brewed and I don't agree. I think Brooklyn's and Redhook's octoberfests are better tasting overall. Anywho, it was still better than the German octoberfests I tried but still didn't have enough flavor for me. Overall it was just a little too bland but I'll have to try it again.

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Photo of scootny
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange with a decent head. Yellowish off white. Fades quickly leaving nothing on the sides. Smell is earthy with a toasted malt breadiness. A fruity facet and a some butterscotch. Hint of lactic sourness. Taste is malty with a big earthy hop profile. Big toasted malts. Caramel sweetness in the front and the sourness from the nose in the finish. Finish brings an herbal leafiness. A fruitiness more akin to a British ale instead of a German lager. Feel is mildly carbonated and light. Quite drinkable. This is an earthy quirky take on the style. Not in the mold of German clean and crisp. Lots of character and more hops than is typical of the style. I like it.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, deep, jack o'lantern orange. Large white head leaves several foam splatter rings from glass top to bottom.

Aroma is cinnamon, nutmeg and rum raisin sweetened by toasted malt. Spicey noble hop compliment.

Nutty. Citrus and hop spice interplay over graham cracker malt--nice balance. Blackstrap molasses fade.

Much heartier than most octobers, it's still passive enough to have a few. Body is sufficient but it could showcase the flavors more if it was thicker.

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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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