Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

very good
271 Ratings
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 164 | Ratings: 271
Photo of alpinebryant
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a large foamy head of light brown with a medium brown pumpkin orange color.

S: Aroma of a slightly sweetened spiced oktoberfest with some decent roasted malts and a hit of molasses.

T: Thick spicing and sweetness. A bit of caramel followed by a respectable noble hopping. This had plenty of flavor for an oktoberfest and not in the way that Sam Adams has done it. There is more to the body and less spices with more expensive ingredients I feel taking this a notch up.

O: I like this as a Marzen. I will know just how good this compares after drinking fresh Marzen at the real Oktoberfest in a few weeks in Munich. Cant Wait!

 639 characters

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.

 406 characters

Photo of Brian50Oshen1
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is a winner.
A successful brewery thats growing and not cutting corners. I reccomend this one highly to anyone while it lasts. This brewer is a rising star. There is a lot of good product coming out of this Connecticut company.
If its available to you,, get some.
(comes in six packs only I believe)

 305 characters

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.

 634 characters

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.

 688 characters

Photo of albertjr21
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heading into more fall-like weather here in the Northeast, I figured I'd reach into the back of my fridge and have the last of the six of these. Into a pint glass this pours a clear brownish amber color under a thin but well sustained head. The aroma doesn't disappoint either with a generous crisp and sweet toasted biscuity malt nose. There's a robust yet smooth malt body here that nicely delivers itself into a hearty finish that echoes toasted grainy bread and generous amounts of "Octoberfest" spices. Wonderfully masks its abv as well. Delicious and I can't wait for next year's batch...

 594 characters

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.

 1,070 characters

Photo of ne0m00re
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review of a 12 oz bottle courtesy Pabs311.
A: A nice clear copper with a good constant creamy head and some lacing.
S: A nice deep caramel toffee, while green crisp leafy hops come out as well as an earthy hops character. Peachy/banana fruit. Good. Very good.
T: A nice caramel with slight roast hints and a metallic banana. A slight hint of rum booze lingers. Pretty good, but not as outstanding as the aroma.
M: Nice medium body with creamy and frothy carbonation.
D: Good. A pint or two would be fine.

 509 characters

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.

 447 characters

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.

 634 characters

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.

 667 characters

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.

 731 characters

Photo of DNICE555
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brass city crewfest

A - burnt orange color with a white head

S - Malt and grain

T - Malt, grain, somewhat bitter up front with a sweet finish

M - One of my favorite octoberfests. Enough bitterness to balance it away from being a malt bomb. Very smooth and hearty.

D - Very well done. Compliments a nice fall day very well.

 343 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with no expiration date or lot code. Sampled on February 22, 2010. The pour is a darker amber-copper with little to no head or lacing. The aroma is pungent with sweet caramel malts and toffee. It comes with a decent body while the flavor is also very sweet and caramel-like with a bitter hop finish. Not all that bad.

 344 characters

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.

 485 characters

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.

 576 characters

Photo of BrewMasterG
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Crystal clear orange-amber. A tad dark for the style. Nice whiteish cream-colored head from a gentlish pour. Nearly disappears after 2-3 minutes.

Smell: Soft malty notes with slight moneral character.

Taste: Malty presence, mild sweetness with some minor astringency (6-row?, roasted barley?). With well-balanced hop bitterness for the style. No hop flavor or aroma.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and an excellent balance between dry and sweet. Just about right for the style. My favorite of 4 reviewed this evening.

Serving type: 12oz bottle purchased non-refrigerated on 12/7/2009

 600 characters

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!

 1,087 characters

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.41/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A--Two finger creme colored fizzy head that reduced to skim quickly and didn't lace. But the real story here is the body: picture perfect deep auburn sunset combined with some copper. Really really beautiful and spot on for the style.

S--Decent. I'm picking mostly a candy apple thing, with some toffeeish notes alongside a lighter fruity sweetness. Definitely some Munich malt going on here.

T--Wonderful! Good sock of malt here right up front, as the toffee bark flavors come to the fore early on, followed by a more mellow caramel gloss that also picks up the now juicier apple notes toward the back. Really, really accurate representation of the style, very true to German standard, which I prefer. Balanced hop bitterness keeps the malts from taking over and urges you to gulp some more.

M&D--Mouthfeel is appropriately thin without being watery. Carbonation, again, is moderate. All the aspects of the mouthfeel stay out of the way--they're like a good Major League manager: you don't notice them. Drinkability is excellent, as this is smooth enough to throw back a few without being boring in the flavor profile.

If you're a fan of the style, this has to be the must try list for American versions of the style. Tastes like a standard-bearer to me, alongside the Ramstein Oktoberfest.

 1,345 characters

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.

 879 characters

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.

 406 characters

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.

 582 characters

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.

 353 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark copper color with a fizzy one finger head that has medium retention. Leaves no lacing behind on my glass. Not the best looking beer. Smells primarily of malts (lighter ones) with some nuttiness and a bit of earthy hops. Not a weak smell by any means but not a very complex smell either. Taste has a great malt backbone in the beginning and after tastes. It definitely has that german lager taste, like most Oktoberfests. Nuttyness like that of a brown is detected and adds to the malts well. A tiny bit of earthy hops can be detected with a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is moderate body with very good carbonation and is very smooth. No alcohol warming or taste at all in this one. A bit of creamyness to the mouth also. Drinkability is great. The beer has a good taste and it only seems to taste better as it goes on. There are no bad or off flavors to complain about. I think I prefer the Brookyln Oktoberfest over this one.

 962 characters

Photo of Ezekiel81923
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Philadelphia Eagle pint glass. I'm a fan of Thomas Hooker so I have big expectations of this one.

Appearance: Deep, dark amber color that allows some light through. Thick, pillowy off-white head fills the pint glass to the top before receding to a thin film sitting on top of the beer in about 45 seconds. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts aroma that sometimes smells slightly nutty. Slight toasted grain aroma as well.

Taste: Sweet malty flavors dominates at first, as you would expect. Slightly toasted flavor lends way to a caramel backing as the aroma sort of suggested. Good hoppy finish that lends some herbal flavor and some slight bitterness that tickles a little as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy. As mentioned, a slightly drying, prickly bitterness sits in the back of your throat after you swallow. Interesting.

Drinkability: A bit filling, but most octoberfest's are. Could handle quite a few of these nonetheless.

This one pulls through in my book. Glad I bought a case, should last me a good while.

 1,068 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.