Oktoberfest | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: German Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Prost! Our take on this classic German style is a celebration of maltiness— packed with rustic, autumnal flavors to put a little more oomph into your oom-pah-pah.

Über smooth with vibrant malt flavors and a festive flourish of noble hops (lederhosen not included).

World Beer Championships
4-Time Medal Winner (Gold, Silver)

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 659 | Ratings: 2,359
Photo of DaveyCream
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very smooth beer that is perfect for the fall time. Can smell the malts pretty well, which I personally like. Taste is as advertised and what you would expect out of a successful Oktoberfest beer. Always will have quite a few of these in October and would probably have them here and there all year if they were not seasonal.

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Photo of MrDigs86
3.06/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Two of the beers in the six pack we picked up where skunked. These beers were awful uncontrolled sours.

The remaining four beers were great. Exactly what you would expect from an Oktoberfest.

Great Lakes, try to keep your operation a little cleaner to prevent this bacterial contamination.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass. best by 12/2/18, so a month inside the wire here.

Bright amber colored body. light streams of carbonation. Initial good cream colored head leaving nice lacing. After a short ti,e. this dissipates to a small ring and faint covering.

Good strong malty aroma.

..and then, on tasting, this suddenly goes very wrong. There is a vinegary taste that I usually associated with draft beers where the lines haven't been cleaned recently. Try as I might, I can't get past this to find other flavors.

Mouth is medium, finish a little sour and vinegary.

Overall, confused by this beer. It's the first GL beer I haven't cared for. Couldn't finish it. Checked the rest of the six pack in case this was a bad bottle, but they all tasted the same. Age was certainly not an issue, and given that GL is known for producing quality beers across the board, infection seems extremely unlikely too. I can only assume that the beer is supposed to taste this way, and something in my palate triggers an off taste. Marzens are by no means my favorite style, but this just tasted bad. Will re-review if I find it on draft and it tastes significantly different.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a clear amber with a one finger creamy white head. Nice amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel, toffee and biscuit.

T - The taste is caramel, toffee, pear, biscuit, bready malts and light piney hops.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel with a crisp smooth mouthfeel.

O - This is a really nice American marzen. Flavors are nice and inviting. Definetly a beer worth seeking out every fall.

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Photo of Diamante
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour was surprisingly fun. It gathered a frothy, lightly orange head that covered the glass with perfect lacing. Its bubbly amber color was clear. The aroma was very subtle, but it sweet and toasty. Its texture was refreshing and very smooth. The taste is incredibly smooth, yet satisfying. The toasty malt flavor lingers on. Considering how much I haven't liked smooth Oktoberfest beers, I actually like this one a lot. While it is crisp and easy to drink, it has layers that other smooth Märzen beers are missing. I highly recommend this forum an American Märzen-style lager.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle enjoy by 10/10/2018
Poured into a becher shows a clear bronzed amber body with energetic bubbles flowing to a whispy cap after depletion of a weak 1/4in off-white head.

Aromas include bready malt, caramel, and oddly, stone fruits, reminiscent of peach and apricot and the flavors match.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium, maybe a little low on carbonation, and a clean finish.

Overall it's good.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Enjoy by 11/14/18"; drank 9/17/18 @ the Yarchives.

See-through orange/red appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small off-white head; frothy lace.

Caramel, autumn leaves & lager yeast notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Sweet corn & caramel flavors up front; autumn leaf notes on the finish.

Above average American marzen. Not amazing but worth a quaff.

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Photo of DoghouseReilly3946
3.21/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Great Lakes Oktoberfest - 6.5% ABV - 20 IBUs
Date: Enjoy by 10/31/18 sampled on 09/08/12.
Appearance: Clear and amber in color with with around one finger of quickly dissipating head.
Aroma: Sweet bread like malts, some yeast aromas, and much to my surprise, not much else.
Taste: Toasted bread crust up front with touches of honey and a bit of very mild spice. Rounding out the taste is a sweet malt note that could almost be described as sugary. Much like the aroma, there isn’t anything really bad here, just a lack of overall complexity.
Biased comments: An acceptable take, but I remember enjoying this one much more several years back. Perhaps my tastes have changed, as the sweeter Oktoberfest beers all seem somewhat lacking when compared to the more spicy, aromatic, and less sweet pale Oktoberfests.

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Photo of MoreBeer4me
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good but after reading the many great reviews I was expecting more. Could use a little bit more carbonation. Overall, a decent Oktoberfest with a touch more boozy taste than Sam Adams Oktoberfest. The Sam Adams is better though.

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Photo of carlr93
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Amongst all Marzens to date, this stands out as my number 1. Brilliantly bready malt flavors as opposed to the caramel like sweetness that so many other US Marzens display

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color, quickly receding off white head, minimal lacing.
Snot locker full of bready malt, some sweet caramel on the tongue. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. A very well made Oktoberfest Bier. Prost!

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Photo of Ceddd99
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a great American Oktoberfest but my biggest complaint with this beer and with Great Lakes brewing in general is I feel like they tend toward too high ABVs. To me this beer would be much more enjoyable if it was 5.8% like most Oktoberfests instead of 6.5. It just makes it less drinkable, which is a quality I look for in this style.

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Photo of GeorgianBayPackr
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is the best October Fest beer I have tried to date. Balanced. Sweet without cloying and enough hop to cut. Easy to drink. Not too filling. Excellent beer. What other October fest beers should strive for

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Photo of 2beerdogs
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks FlintB. You earned me a few points with the wife.
Pours golden, clear, and capped by a fluffy white head. Slight lacing.
Smell is caramelly, with hints of nuts, and a biscuity undertone.
Flavor is much of the same. Slightly sweet with a nutty caramel note. Something bright and slightly herbal in the hops that finish this one off mildly grassy.
Slightly on the fuller side for style. I like that. Also, this one finishes a little slick.
Overall, a good Marzen.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.1/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Amber body with a small white head. Smells of bread and caramel with a hint of corn. Tastes bready, then a little bit of toffee, and then bready again. Back end spikes with a malty aftertaste. Medium light. Decent and easy to drink, but lacks a little something to make it interesting, even for a Marzen.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Schelde's in traverse City, MI

Appearance - Served up in a classic pint crystal clear and bright orange in color with a mostly barren surface and a broken, razor thin ring encircling the edge. Not much for lacing aside from a few broken lines and tiny spotting.

Smell - Malty aroma - hints of biscuit, caramel and maybe even a hint of toffee offset slightly by a hint of grassy hop character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Toasty, biscuity malt base met by some caramel and just a touch of sweeter toffee flavor. Hops add just enough counter with fair bit of grassiness. Finish is balanced, though leans slightly skewed toward the sweeter malt character.

Mouthfeel - On the fuller side of light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick, easy drinker with a slightly dry and inviting finish.

Overall - One of the better oktoberfests I've had, but it's no Hacker-Pschorr which still sits atop my list. If you like oktos, or are even mostly neutral to most like I am, I'd say give this one a shot.

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Photo of Nmurta88
4.84/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best Märzen style beers available. Incredibly smooth at 6.5%. Beautiful color, smell, and taste. Absolutely a top 5 Oktoberfest beer for me.

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Photo of Dr_Gonzo
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a clear pint glass. Very rich, hazy Halloween orange tint with moderate carbonation and quick dissipating head.

Has a bread malt scent to it, along with grain and wheat. Smells faintly of sweet honey.

Tastes wheaty and has a biscuit malt, with other grainy and roasted nutty flavors. There exist floral hints here and there and an overall caramel coating. A taste of honey and possibly molasses is also in the sweetness, along with a faint apple peel. The overall malty composition is a perfect balance to any who may find hops spicy while also not being too crisp. Feels very rich and smooth going down.

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Photo of jkblr
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle bb 11/23/17 poured into a.5L krug at fridge temp 6.5% ABV 20 IBU. The beer pours bright light honey in color with khaki head. The head retention and lacing are above average. The aroma is bready and yeasty with a little caramel coming through as well. The taste is barely sweet bready malt up front shifting to a tangy undry finish. Mouthfeel is thin bodied, prickly with carbonation, and far too undry in the finish. Overall, good, but nowhere near it's BA score. I was disappointed in this in 2015 and still wonder how it's rated so well.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks light amber, clear, with a medium-sized off white head. Near perfect retention, though, with excellent lacing.
The aroma is sweet--fruity, even--honey with apple and pear, with caramel, toast, and light minty hops.
Tastes sort of like apple pie. There's toasted biscuit, brown sugar, and cooked apple notes. There's also some honey, caramel, vanilla, and pear. It's lightly floral, with minty hops on the back end, though largely sweet with a big brown sugar, cooked apple, and honey presence. Finishes a bit on the sweet side.
The mouthfeel is medium, moves fairly quickly on the palate with the medium-plus carbonation, with a slick oily sensation coating the palate from the residual sugars.
A really solid Octoberfest beer, a bit too sweet, but I love the apple/pear fruity esters.

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Photo of BergBeer
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Crystal clear ruby amber with a medium cream colored head. Mild activity.

Smell: Fragrant a whole grains, dark honey, green apple peel, and fruity lager yeast.

Taste: Whole grain crust, amber honey, hints of nutmeg, green apple peel, and a mellow lager yeast finish that has more of dates and fig.

Feel: Medium body. Quenching body with a crisp dry finish. Lightly bitter. No alcohol.

Overall: A great American take on the classic German style. It’s not overly sweet or too hoppy. It’s spot on for the style. Most importantly it can be consumed by the liter like any great Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a pale copper with a large head. The aroma is lithe with rich cracker malts, raw grain, cracker pepper, and mild honey. The flavor is bright and fresh, with richer malts than are apparent in the aroma, almost like a bran muffin, then honey, oats, light caramel, and black pepper. The mouthfeel is fairly rich with soft, foamy carbonation. Overall this is a very well done oktoberfest - rich, but not over sweet, the flavors are marvelously well integrated.

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Photo of leantom
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Great Oktoberfest. One of the best, actually. Here goes:

A: Beautiful orange-amber. Plenty of body carbonation and a huge, white head. Looks outstanding.

S: Only mediocre thing about the beer. Mostly smells of old, bready yeast, wheat, and cereal grains. Very mediocre.

T: Very good. Robust cereal, wheat and caramel from the malt. Tastes like a high-end lager beer. The yeast is also a lot less bitter/moldy in the taste than in the smell. I was very impressed.

F: Perfect.

O: A very good representation of Oktoberfest beer. Will have again.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber ,orange color,medium carbonation. Malt,bread, sweet aroma. Taste is similar to aroma but with a very,very small hop bite in the middle. A slight higher higher abv that didn't effect the taste,overall a really good beer that I would get again

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Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 bottle into a glass.
Pours with a clear copper body topped by a good head.
Fine aroma suggests something sweet and alcoholic.
Smooth medium - full body.
Toffee notes in the fine flavor.
Overall: Quite satisfying.

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Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 2,359 ratings