Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Thomas Hooker Octoberfest LagerThomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager
Very Good
278 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 278 |  Reviews: 167
Photo of number1bum
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my contributions to NEPA BC split #8.

Pours a perfect dark amber color with great clarity and about 2 fingers of light tan head. Head recedes slowly leaving a nice, thin lace and even some patchy stick on the sides.

Smell is toasted grain and caramel malt along with some spicy hops.

Taste is also primarily toasted malt and grain flavors with some caramel malt sweetness. Hops are mildly bitter and have some spice through the finish. Finishes dry but smooth with a crisp and medium-bodied mouthfeel. Smooth and refreshing flavor makes this one an easy drinker.

This is truly a top notch oktoberfest. This isn't my favorite style and I've sampled a lot of mediocre ones, but this one rises above the crowd. Pick it up.

 731 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice beer, although I think it blurs the line a little between an Octoberfest and a pumpkin beer. Dark amber with red highlights and a medium sized head. Caramel malt aroma. Likewise in the taste, although fairly sweet. A good deal of spice also. Smooth and enjoyable.

 283 characters

Photo of Gatch
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has this on tap last night at West Wings in West Hartford. Not a huge difference between draft and bottle, both were very smooth.

A - Thick, off-white head and a medium-amber body. I love the look of an Octoberfest.
S - Very sweet and delicious malt w/ a hint of spiciness. Perfect for the Fall season.
T - Very clean and crisp. So much flavor and just the right amount of sweetness.
M/D - No problem enjoying this one all night. There's no need to try a different beer at the bar. Another great Octoberfest from a great brewery.

 530 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent rocky head with some lasting power. The lace is slippery and spotty. Close to clear with a light amber color.

Fresh (Crystal) malty aroma with light hop.

Classic Marzen flavoring, although the body is richer than I'm used to in this style. The taste is spot on.

I think this is one of the better offerings in the Octoberfest category.

 349 characters

Photo of sleazo
2.6/5  rDev -33%
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.

 465 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

 576 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle from Florian's in Auburn. Translucent Brown-red body with a thin light tan head. Smells slightly of caramel malt with hints of chocolate. Tastes like roasty caramel malt, sweet, with a fairly clean finish. Medium bodied with a bit of an aqueous quality to it, perhaps enhanced by the clean finish. A fair bit of carbonation but not overwhelming. Not bad. Very drinkable, and doesn't leave much flavor afterward.

 429 characters

Photo of BuckSpin
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz bottle in a thumbprint Seidel mug

Poured smooth, thick & silent. Sweet malted nose, light spice, orange & caramel, very appealing. As it warms it gets a little leathery, somewhat earthy, mildly bitter. A thin 1/8" head of loose ivory stained foam faded rather quickly to a transparent sheen and a bubbled edge ring overtop a rich, brassy, cherry amber tea hued body. Some isolated bubbles rise slowly through it.

Lighter than I was expecting, very clean & balanced, crisp, semi-dry. Its subtly malted with a tea-like bitterness over some delicate spiciness (cinnamon and a peep of white pepper). There is a citric chewiness as well, creating some barreled spirit characteristics. Rounding out all of this is a noticeable burnt caramel bittersweetness as well as some nut aspects. There is a nice dry "snap", which provides a subtly "hot" bite that is very refreshing and helps to lighten it at the same time it also warms the drinker.

Growing drier on the palate, it gets sharper, nuttier, caramels growing more tea like with orange, finishing chewy & painted, bittersweet, a little burnt, with an tannic aftertaste.

A rather nice, atypical Octoberfest. I enjoyed the crisp spiced aspect and the soft heat it provides. This would be killer with a good aged cheddar, any gourd style veggies, a pepper encrusted steak. Very enjoyable and recommended.

 1,371 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

 412 characters

Photo of BlindPig
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 419 characters

Photo of arnulfooxblood
3.24/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

 791 characters

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 659 characters

Photo of fank2788
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a mug
This beer pours a nice dark red copper color with a thin white head that fades quickly. The smell is some sweet malts, caramel and butterscotch with a touch of spicy hops. The taste is much like the smell a little sweet from the malt with a hint of bitterness and spice. Mouthfeel is good decent medium body average amount of carbonation with a smooth clean finish. All together it's not a bad marzen definitely goes done easy, an oktoberfest beer that tastes good in any month.

 510 characters

Photo of NEhophead
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a nonic.

Clean, light maple with a highlight of ruby. Plenty of noticeable carbonation. Creamy, off-white head that recedes to a half intact sheet after a moment. Condensed lacing with decent strength.

Moderately sweet caramel and light toffee. Pleasantly toasted malt character with a clean aroma of diacetyl. Clean earthen, floral hops that round out the sweet aromas rather nicely.

Bright floral hop presence up front; rather clean with just a touch of metal. Creamy and moderately sweet caramel, light milk chocolate, and hints of toffee. Clean breadiness that comes to light at mid-sip joined by a touch of earthy bitterness. Sweet caramel, dried coffee beans, and toasted biscuit make for a pleasant aftertaste.

Almost full in body; creamy, earthen. Completely balanced texturally and remarkably smooth.

Very tasty and well rounded. A near perfect domestic version of a Marzen: probably the best I've had to date. Another accomplishment from Troutbrook!

 1,007 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A: The beer is a light copper color with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, with a good hops background. There’s a little bit of brown sugar & dark fruit as well.

T: A good hearty roasted malt flavor indicative of the style starts out. Sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and a little bit of dark fruit follow. The hops character is mild but it’s very complimentary to the other flavors. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down easy, good kick, not very filling, good representation of style, I could stick with this beer for a while. This is one of my favorite O-fest beers.

 834 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with very little head and no lacing. Smells of light malt and there is a clean, fresh, grassy smell and some yeastiness as well. Pleasant. The taste is of clean malt that is not sticky at all, a very balanced sweetness and light bitterness, and a pleasant yeastiness intertwined with a tangy malt finish. This beer is quite smooth and cream, but with just enough bite not to bore. It didn't wow me, but it is well made and quite drinkable.

 460 characters

Photo of malthead
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

 361 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have drank many O-fests this year and have come to the conclusion that in general it seems that most breweries aren't brewing a good solid, complex O-fest. Well after looking at and smelling this one I can tell it's one of the couple special O-fests to be found.

Pours a dark ruby copper color very clean with a full off white head that hangs around a few minuts and leaves just the slightest amount of lacing.

The nose on this O-fest is simply stellar. A big blast of toffeed malt goodness followed by the slightest hint of floral hops. A big rich, full smell. Hints of caramel as well.

Again this O-fest does not dissapoint. Nice balance between the huge caramel, toffee malt, and again the floral hops, fresh baked biscuits, and the slightest hint of brown sugar. One of the few "complex" O-fests I've tried. A long lingering finish of sweet molten hops. The mid palate is thick and chewy; full of malt. Impeccably put together.

Mouth is rich and full. One of the easiest drinking O-fests ever tried.

 1,017 characters

Photo of SteveO1231
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle with an orange label. Pours a dark reddish copper with a very nice tan head that melts into the glass quickly. Low carbonation, tiny bit of white lacing. Aroma is full of German malts, fruity, hints of chocolate, caramel, and honey oat bread. Medium to full bodied. Sweet caramel, honey flavor, hint a chocolate. Finish is nutty with a drying bitterness. Very crisp, excellent O-fest, really good beer for this time of year.


 455 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a beautiful off dark amber brown with ruby hues to it. The off white head fades in a few moments and the beer leaves a little lacing particularly when swirled to stimulate a bit.

Smell: Wow. This beer smells terrific! A bigger than average nose on a Märzen. Big German malts lightly toasted and caramel, fruit, butter and then what a surprise, there are *hops*. Beautifully tipped just a tad to the hoppy side but balanced with candy and toffee.

Taste: The flavor follows the nose. Sweet German malts, bread, biscuit, fruit, caramel, butter, brown sugar, tart grain, nuts, toffee and the finish comes with a surge of dryness followed by a slightly astringent aftertaste.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: This is a rich malty medium body beer with lots of flavor and nice carbonation and body in the mouth and ultimately it is a great drinking beer. This beer goes down so nicely it is the top of my list of O-fests from this season.

Hope this is helpful.

 987 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, obtained in a trade from brewfan, thanks for the opportunity to try

appearance: pours into an imperial pint glass...clear dark copper-amber body, light beige foam with little in the way of retention but nice lacing...pretty standard for the style i'd say

smell: strong sweetness on the, caramel, toasted grain, toasted malt, light hop bitterness, lightly metallic

taste: nice creamy body...light hop metallic flavor that is actually quite nice, caramel apple, lightly toasted malt and grain...nice fruit sweetness, a touch and enjoyable

mouthfeel: rich smooth and creamy, medium body

drinkability: high

 656 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - this marzen pours a dark crimson reddish orange color, with plenty of upwelling carbonation and a thin tan rapidly disappearing head

S - a surprisingly sweet aroma, a quality hop and malt profile with a sweet background, similar to that of a barleywine, a welcome surprise

T - the taste mirrors the aroma, a great hop character with that dark sweetness similar to a barleywine, very nice, different from any marzen i've ever had, and very very tasty

M&D - smooth and well-balanced a great brew, Hooker outdoes themselves again

 539 characters

Photo of bigone4
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

 902 characters

Photo of Damian
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA

Poured a beautiful, dark, glowing orange red. The fizzy, light tan, one-finger head faded to a film of lace. Some initial, spotty lacing crept down the glass.

Smell was rich and pleasant. Vienna malts gave off sweet, caramel, candy-like notes. As the beer warmed, the aroma became progressively stronger and sweeter. Some florally hops were also noticeable in background.

Taste was rich and malty sweet as well with some fruity notes and a moderate alcohol kick. Some traces of an earthy, peaty, barley malt character come through as well. Finish was clean, crisp, dry. The hops balanced this beer off nicely.

Creamy, full mouthfeel.

Definitely one of the smoothest and best overall Oktoberfests I have had to date.

 792 characters

Photo of BeerRun13
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a clear amber. Bubbles rise up from below, but the head remains small, and has limited lacing.
Light smell of malt and toast. Some spicy aroma in there too.
Nice bread/toast flavor in the background. Nicely sweet. A spicy german hop falvor and bitterness in there as well.
Medium bodied. On the dry side for an Oktoberfest, which I tend to like. Seems to be somewhere between the dryer Paulaner and sweeter Ayinger brands. Nicely carbonated with a clean finish.
Great Oktoberfest. One of the better ones I've had by memory.
Thanks to far333 for this one.

 574 characters

Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 278 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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