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 eagles22
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: nice 2 finger white head with a dark copper body

Smell: roasted malts also caramel and toffee notes

Taste: caramel and biscuit taste at first but than i get hit with alittle hop bitterness that makes it very unique

Mouthfeel: no complaining here..very smooth

Drinkability: very good ofest beer..great for a session...its even better when it warms up!!

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Photo of drcarver
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep amber color with a frothy 2 finger, offwhite head. Head thins quickly to a 4mm thickness leaving nice lacing down the side of the glass. Great looking beer.

S - I'm digging the prior descriptions of graham cracker, but I'm getting a little cookie in the malt as well.

T - Alcohol followed by steel/iron (almost like it was out of a can). Finished with a roasted malt flavor. The first flavor is there and gone quickly. Needed another quaff to find the cookie malt in the forefront. Creamy and medium-full bodied. Sweet aftertaste sits in the back of the mouth for quite a while.

D - Great Oktoberfest beer. Generally not a fan of Thomas Hooker, but this is a real winner. Paired with a nice stew or pot roast on a cool fall day and I'm 1 step from heaven.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a burnt orange color with a frothy head; leaves a bit of lace, too

Smell: Malty aroma with hints of graham cracker and grain

Taste: Malty, up front, with the graham cracker flavors dominant and joined, by mid-palate by a grainy bitter aspect; after the swallow, the flavors are balanced, with a bit of lager twang, though the finish is somewhat sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nothing wrong at all with this "Octoberfest"

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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 BobZ
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Seasonal on tap at the British Beer Company in Walpole, MA.

Appearance: Pumpkin orange, perfect for the style, good head, nice lacing.

Smell: Spicy & Malty

Taste: Follows the smell, rich malty flavor with a really nice spice. This is the best domestic American version of an Oktoberfest beer I've had to date. My favorite for the style is Hacker-Pschorr and this is a close second.

Mouth feel: Good carbonation, smooth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, fall seasonal, will definitely seek out in bottle form.

Really solid Oktoberfest beer for someone seeking an American version that's superior to Sam Adams.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice burnt orange to copper with off-white, foamy tan head that quickly dissipates leaving almost no lacing behind.

Rich toasted malt and barley aroma, that's about it, pretty true to the style.

Again, there is a big, rich toasted malt flavor, maybe slightly sweet, and a touch of hops to finish. Very crisp.

Medium in body and medium to moderate in carbonation, very smooth and crisp.

Great, easy drinking fall beer, easy to enjoy a couple in one sitting without losing interest.

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

This beer pours a nice hue of brown with some burnt orange hints to it. A one finger of rocky, creamy offwhite, hint of yellow head sits on top. Head retention is ok, and leaves some wispy lacing on the glass. Nose is chalk full of malts, a nice sweetness of caramel malts is most notable, with a touch of hops laying underneath. Taste is is very sweet caramel malts up front, middle is comprised of toffee malts and some dark fruits, finish has a nice citrusy hops bite to it - it's a mild bite but just enough to compliment the beer. Medium body, mildly carbonated, creamy mouthfeel with a crisp finish. This is easily a highly drinklable beer!

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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 thespaceman
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copperish/amber in color, huge head billows to the top of the glass, very nice lacing around the glass and head retention is spot on.

Smell: Faint malt spice accompanied by some cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel malts. I get small shots of toffee undertones as well which is very inviting!

Taste: Malt spice is perfectly aligned, very refreshing yet perfectly balanced. I get a slight floral hop flavor up front that blends into a nicely added toasted malt addition paired with different spices, including some cinnamon, allspice, a bit of brown sugar and some nutmeg. The finish caps off this beer with a sweet vanilla undertone that finishes off nicely.

Mouthfeel: Robust and smooth on the tongue, carbonation is medium and leaves a nice drying effect in the mouth.

Drinkability: I've always liked some of Thomas Hooker's offerings but never thought they could deliver such an offering like this. This is overall one of the best O'Fest's I've tried so far this season. Not only is it balanced almost perfectly, but it packs a decent, yet drinkable punch coming in at 6% ABV. Gotta support these local CT breweries and this beer will give you their utmost respect. If you see it on the shelf, buy it!

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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 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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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 ghebb
4.64/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark orange / light brown with decent head.

Nice bready and caramel malt aroma with some hints of earthy hop presence. The layers of malty complexity of this brew are simply staggering. I detected strong toasty, and toffee flavors up front with hints of roasted coffee, and faint chocolate flavors that meld toghether beautifully and are balanced nicely on the back end by a medium hop bitterness. The full mouthfeel, medium carbonation, and clean finish make you want to keep coming back for more. An excellent brew, and the best batch of octoberfest I've sampled from Hooker.

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Photo of JMD
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich dark copper color with small off-white head that leaves a little lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted carmel malt, some bread and sweet brown sugar.

T: Sweet upfront with carmel malt, brown sugar and molasses. Also some bready and nutty notes. Some light spice, but very subtle. Finishes with a light touch of hops.

M: Medium to full bodied. Very smooth with moderate carbonation.

D: This is one of my favorite Oktoberfests. Smooth and flavorful, I can drink these all night. Another solid offering from Thomas Hooker.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a dimpled mug. The beer appears a slightly hazed rich apricot color with an inch of pillowy bone white foam. The foam sticks around through nearly the entire mug, settling only slightly. Flavor and aroma consist of medium toasted bread, sweet malt, pleasantly fruity (apple, pear). A rather tasty marzen to say the least. About medium bodied with ample carbonation. Festbier fans need to give this one a try.

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Photo of msolar
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear amber color with decent carbonation. Very sweet flavor, hints of apple with a very slight alcohol aftertaste. Pretty good flavor and light-to-medium bodied. This would certainly make a pretty good session beer.

I'd consider putting this on tap at home next year but am a bit October/Pumpkin beer'ed out for the season. Certainly one of the top 5 fall beers I've had, especially considering that this one really isn't spiced like some of the others.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a good copper/amber color with a decent sized head, fades slowly to leave an alright ring of lace.

Smell has a good malty backing with a good spiciness, some roasted, lots of caramel.

Taste is similar to the smell, with the taste mostly contributed from the caramel malt and some nice spicy kicks to the sides of the tongue.

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Photo of Soozy
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice amber/orange color

S - Malt, caramel, some hops

T - Awesome. That's all I can say. Tastes like pure caramel, crystal malts, nice hop finish. Very, very pleasant. Easily the best Oktoberfest I had this year.

M - Low carbonation, great for style

D - Pretty good; I was not expecting this to be 6%. I could drink a few of these in a row, but probably not the six.

I had a different Oktoberfest immediately following this one and I was surprised at how watered-down it tasted... it couldn't hold a candle to it. I

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Photo of Hokies
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz poured into a nonic. Pours a deep color with a minimal white head with a thin lace left on the glass.

A nice caramel malt aroma with a faint hop aroma.

Not overly sweet and definitely not too hoppy. A very balanced Marzen with a very strong caramel malt taste.

Probably one of the best Oktoberfest beers that I have had.

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Photo of DousedInStout
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured a beautiful, bright orange color with a solid head and long lasting lacing. The nose was sweet and malty, and the taste was prefect to style. Very well balanced - caramel malt at first followed by some noble hop crispness. Overall, the best Octoberfest I've had this year.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, bright amber color with a fantastic cream colored, frothy head that retains very nicely. Smells biscuity, bready malts, earthy tones. Taste is more bready and biscuity maltiness, earthy, noble hop spice, very pleasing and balanced. Fantastic Marzen. Slightly creamy mouthfeel, crisp. Very drinkable and one of, if not the best, Marzen I have had this year.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The little bitch known as number1bum got this one for me, thanks man.

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a dark brick orange with a two finger light khaki colored head that sticks around for a while leaving a nice wall of lacing behind on the sides of the glass. Smell consists of roasted nuts, caramel malt, and sweet butter. Grassy hops and toasted grains tickle the nose as well, but overall the aroma is pretty weak. Taste starts off with sweet caramel malt and pale malt with a touch of butterscotch. Clean crisp hops with a citrus like characteristic midway and some nuttiness too. A very enjoyable aftertaste with earthy hops and a hefty breadiness to it. A chewy medium body with a smooth feel and lively carbonation. A very solid Octoberfest beer for sure, probably one of my favorite. Great drinkability and great flavor, what more can you ask for in a lager? Get your hands on this one if you can.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Wood n' Tap in Southington, Conn.

A: Poured a deep, rich copper color with a thin, creamy veil of carbonation which left some nice, patchy lace on the glass, which was a Hooker; nice for effect!

S: Smells slightly grainy, with a noticeable sweet bread aroma and some very faint hops.

T: Taste is served with a big rush of sweet, toasted caramel malts and satisfying multi-grain flavors. There's a slightly bitter hop backbone near the finish, but this is a sweet malt treat.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and a little creamy for a marzen.

D: Very tasty, with a sturdy pair of malty legs beneath it, this has to be one of the tastier American marzens I've had. Not much in the way of aroma, and not completely balanced, but really smooth and quite flavorful.

If it were not a work lunch affair, I'd have gone for another one or two. I heard last year's batch didn't turn out quite right from some trusted sources. I'll have to see if this good flavor and strong drinkability will translate from the bottle.

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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 sethmeister
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Luminous, crystal clear brassy orange body topped with a billowing tan cloud of a head. Beautiful appearance.

Very fragrant; scent appeared before I lifted the glass. Toast, roasted grains, a hint of bitter tea.

Taste: toast, roasted grains, spicy hops and a delightfully long and nicely bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with a lively carbonation up front and an astringency at the end. I might prefer a slightly thicker feel but that's just my preference. For the style this is probably ideal.

Drinkability is excellent. Each sip leaves me wanting another and I have to force myself to put the glass down for a moment in order to write this.

I can absolutely see why this one keeps winning awards. Since I love a thicker mouthfeel I think it is a tossup whether this or Berkshire's thick juicy Oktoberfest is my favorite, but either way this is an excellent Oktoberfest lager.

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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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