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Great Lakes Oktoberfest | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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618 Reviews
Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest

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

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WVbeergeek on 11-04-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 618 | Ratings: 2,205
Photo of woodychandler
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A group of local imbibers held the #PumpkinChallenge2016 recently, wrapping up on M, 03 Oktober 2016. I then proposed the #OktoberfestChallenge2016 & while I do not know how many participants there are, I am hitting it full bore. Today will be my New OktoBierFest Sunday (Week TBD) with an opportunity to do a horizontal tasting.

From the bottle: "Prosit! 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."

I will be the first to say that as a lifelong (dating from 9 y/o) Pixburgh sports fan with a healthy hatred of all things Klevelend, but between a great visit in late-Summer 2007 and the passing of Great-Aunt Rita & Great-Uncle Max Vozar, I have a small soft spot for the place. I last saw Uncle Max in the Summer of 1989 when I came east on leave from the west coast with the sole purpose of going to baseball games. I asked Max if he wanted to come along to any of the three games against the KC Royals at Municipal Stadium, but he begged off, explaining, "Here, I got my Barcolounger, my cigars & cigarettes, cold beer in the fridge, sammiches at the ready, a 'Mute' button and if it gets outta hand, the 'Off' button. Dahn air, I'm stuck! Nah, you have a good time & tell 'em I'm rooting for 'em, but I'll do it from right here in Parma!" Ha! I am rooting for Th' Inn-dinnz as a result.

I am also rooting for another good Oktoberfest bier, being on a bit of a roll, all of a sudden. As usual, it begins with the Pop! of the cap, followed by a decent pour. Mine produced three-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with great (Lakes) retention. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. I would really put it closer to 17, though, not to oversell it. I will grant them truth in advertising in that the nose was quite malty, very sweet with caramel and maple syrup notes. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was much too sweet for my taste, especially following those previous two. This was very much of maple syrup, although not as viscous. I was not getting anything in terms of hops, just a sugary malt bomb that had me concerned about diabetes to go along with my weight and asthma. Woof! No kidding, I had to take a short break as it got my heart racing. That would be about as much sugar as I need in one sitting. Finish was sweet. Unrelentingly sweet. I know that there are those people who really dig this sort of thing, but I am not one of them. This represented at least a headache and possibly a hangover for me. Hey, if this is your bag, then have at it, but I gotta ramp back.

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Photo of beertunes
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Superspak for this one from his NBF BIF #4 box. 12oz bottle poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a bright, clean, clear golden honey amber color with about 3/4 inch of just off-white head that had light-moderate retention and just traces of laces.

The scent was Nicely malty, some sweetness, and had some very gentle hopping. Very much the same on the tongue, it hits all the notes you expect it to. The body was smooth and even, with a semi-sweet finish. Drinkability was very good, the beer goes down quickly and easily, leaving you ready for another. Overall, a very good beer, very solid and enjoyable, and lives up to its reputation.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Solid rendition of the classic style, it maybe goes a little too weighty on the richer malt tones and ends up a little more amber ale, but nevertheless very drinkable

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Photo of dogfishbrawler
4.93/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had a lot of different Oktoberfest's over the past few year's and I can honestly say that Great Lakes Oktoberfest is the best. Some Marzen style beers are too malt forward and some are not balanced. This beer is everything I look for in an Oktoberfest and then some. It has incredible malt character with a clean but not overpowering bitterness. The color reminds me a lot of a fall sunset and that drives me to drink this even more. Prost!

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Photo of utopify
2.51/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I bought a six back of bottles because of the high rating and reviews. Very disappointing. It lacks the deep malt and caramel oat flavors you'd normally find in a marzen lager and leaves you with what I felt was a green tea with two tablespoons of yeast. Sorry Great Lakes.....maybe I'll give it another try...now I'm just hoping someone drinks it when I host a halloween party later this month.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So honored to have this straight from the tap at Great Lakes Brewing. Leah and I enjoyed this offering, but it isn't our style. I defer to the many great reviews of this great beer!

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: brownish yellow, with little head and good lacing. Extremely lively, bubbling for a long time.
Smell: Grainy, malty
Taste: Very malty, some biscuit taste. Little noble hop taste at the end. Some metallic taste.
Feel: There a strange kick after every slurp that I can't really put a name on. Maybe it's from the metallic taste.

A great brew, and in the true tradition of a Marzen.

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Photo of SmashAdams
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a really tasty Oktoberfest. I was surprised to see it full of sediment but it doesn't bother me much. The smell is toasty caramel malts with some sweetness and spice. The taste has some noticeable sweetness but it works well and is balanced by the other elements. yb

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque amber color with a fairly small head.

Smell is true to style. Light with subtle herbal and floral notes. Quite a bit of sweet malt as well.

Taste is comparable to smell, but with some additional strength. A lot of sweet floral malts. Mouthfeel is very light.

This is not my favorite Marzen, but it's pretty damn true to style and is an overall really good brew.

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Photo of bankboy66
3.4/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I think this is just ok. Has a weirdness about it I just can't put my finger on. It has a breadiness...maybe a maltiness. Not a typical Marzen but I didn't hate it. See what you think.

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best by 11/02/16

L-The beer pours an orangish amber and clear. The head is quite modest despite a fairly aggressive pour. It is white and stands one cm. Lacing is mostly non existent and the head eventually disappears completely. High marks for clarity and color but a deduction for the lack of head retention.

S-The smell is pretty clean as you would expect with hints of brown bread. The most pervasive element of the nose is a generic sweetness. No alchohol is perceived.

T- Up front on the palate you get the brown bread perceived in the nose. You do get a hint of sweetness in the mid palate. Fortunately the hops enter at this point and to a good job of balancing the sweetness with a spicy earthy quality. Although the beer first seems like it might get cloying, the finish does turn dry as the hops make their presence felt.

F- The mouthfeel on this one is medium. The carbonation is prickly but overall fairly light.

O- The beer falls squarely within style guidlines for a Marzen. The only real flaws I see are the lack of head retention and overly sweet nose. This may be do to the slightly higher than normal abv for the style. The beer certainly falls on the sweeter side of ledger, so those who dislike sweetness in their beer should probably look more at Festbiers rather than Marzens.

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Photo of maximusj
2.9/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got a sixth barrel for home and was really looking forward to it after reading the reviews. I usually went with something like a Sam Adams Oktoberfest, but wanted to try this since the store got it for the first time. After having poured several beers I'd say it's been disappointing at best. The initial pour looks great with a creamy head and nice smell, but then after a couple minutes the head went into a sudsy/soapy looking bubbly mess before disappearing before I took three drinks from it. As for the taste I noticed a sweetness and pronounced alcohol taste followed by a bitterness I didn't expect. The hoppy taste was OK at first but lingered as a bitter aftertaste longer than expected. Not sure if I got a bad batch but I can't recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Oktoberfest brewed by Great Lakes Brewing Co., With an ABV of 6.50% This brew pours out a deep brown amber color with a nice off white head. This brew has the look of most Oktoberfest brews on the , now I'm not saying that is a bad thing. The smell of Great Lakes Oktoberfest is rich with sweetness grains , malts and hops. This is a real inviting brew. There is a slight roasted smell to this brew. Now for the taste, it is rich with roasted grians and malts at first, then a nice mild ness of hops at the end. There is a lot going on in Great Lakes Oktoberfest. This Oktoberfest brew has a real nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. I can't get over how smooth this brew is, It's really hard to pick up on the 6.50% ABV in this brew. The mouth feel of Great Lakes Oktoberfest, is bold,rich,clean and smooth. Overall I'm giving Great Lakes Oktoberfest a 4.5 out of 5 . I would buy this brew again. Thank You Great Lakes Brewery.

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Photo of Ranbot
2.34/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.75

Had this on tap at a local watering hole. It looks nice and has some good bready malt aromas. Good start. The taste though is sickeningly sweet to me. There's a lot of strong bready malts but there's little to no detectable hop bitterness to balance the malts. I am not someone who needs all my beers hopped up like IPAs either. An Octoberfest shouldn't make me wonder if I'm going to develop diabetes. Mouthfeel is fine and as expected for the ABV. This beer stands out to me as the sweetest Octoberfest I've ever had and it's a style I really like, so I've had a fair amount. If you like your octoberfests [or beers in general] on the sweeter side this is probably right up your alley, but if you prefer more balance and dryness then I would look elsewhere. I'm a little surprised at the high rating this beer has, because I would expect it to be a little more polarizing.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A very nice, coppered colored, clear beer with a billowy, off white head that fades and leaves only a speck or two of lacing. The aroma is malty, yeasty, caramel and bitter. The taste is sweet at first and bitter at the end with a some nuttiness and caramel. There is an odd flavor to me that I can't quite identify that adds some bitterness and spiciness. It doesn't take too much away from the beer it just isn't a flavor I find appealing. Other than that it seems to be a nicely brewed Märzen with a light sweetness compared to others I have tried.

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Photo of Jraiona
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful copper color with great clarity. The nose was very malty with a very pleasing bready aroma. On the palate the flavor of malt and caramel notes come through and become even more pronounced as the beer warms. A subtle hop bitterness on the back end rounds it out and creates a nice balance. This is my first sample of this style and I'm glad this was the one I selected.

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Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I dunno if it's changed since previous reviews, this is my first time having it. Dated BB 10/19/2016. Its very good.. but its very sweet to me. I found the first bottle somewhat offputting with the sweetness. After that my taste buds adapted and the rest were a pleasure. It's worth noting that I almost exclusively enjoy malty lagers.. Great Lakes Dortmunder is my personal favorite, but the sweetness of this one is a bit much. Also worth noting is I am no expert on this style and perhaps it's intended.. but I notice some other reviews stating the overt sweetness of other brands isn't present here..

All that being said I would buy this again, but it would be more of a mood purchase when I wanted something sweet.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A brown color that isn't dreary, its lively, almost glowing. Creates 1/2" white head, provides nice lacing, and the carbonation is bright and full. Aroma hit those nuts and bread feels.

Taste had something beyond the normal range of Octoberfest nuttiness and caramel feels over a light body. Pumpkin? Yam? Difficult to tell. Doesn't skimp on the sweetness, but not diabetic levels. This is a heartier than average version too at 6.5%, has the malt to support it.

I think this is an Oktoberfest I would recommend to those who are into this style of beer.

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Photo of blackcutlass
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great copper color. Tastes great cold, but really comes alive as it warms. A slight metallic spiciness that for some reason I don't find off-putting but actually look forward to in this beer. Malts are not overwhelming or cloying. Pairs really well with spicy wings. My favorite Oktoberfest. Very similar to its cousin Eliot Ness.

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Photo of RockRuler
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a dimpled mug. Beautiful looking beer, a beautiful clear light copper color. Has a sweet bready smell. A bit too thin and crisp to seek out and repeat as it is not distributed in this part of the country but solid. Cheers!

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Photo of stevoj
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Near perfect assimilation of the German festbier. Nice malt profile, with a crisp hop back end. Malts are smooth and flavorful, malt finish, malt lingers. Now I miss Being in Germany in September....

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Photo of 88caprice
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Look: clear and bright new-penny copper, orangish
Smell: malty, bready, and mildly spicy. Also sweet.
Taste: Bready, a barely-there hop zing, and a spiciness I can't place. Like a distant clove cousin. A little sweet.
Mouthfeel: A medium body that is both smooth and thick.
Overall: Something different about this one as compared to the others I've tried. With the layers of flavor and mouthfeel, I'd say it's a pretty good one.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours amber with a small head, quickly dissipating. Classic malty smell in the nose. The mouth follows the nose with a nice malt flavor, as one would expect from an Oktoberfest. Yum!

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Photo of Jkolls
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: nice amber color, pours with some head, not too much

smell: malty, well spiced, oktoberfest goodness.

taste: spices are outstanding, just malty enough, absolutely delicious.

feel: nice thick mouthfeel

one of my favorite oktoberfests.

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Photo of curasowa
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, copper color with one finger of head that fades to a ring with little lacing.

Aroma: Caramel malt, grainy, grassy, light lemon rind

Taste: Nice, toasted malt, a touch chewy, good sweetness, finish is a bit grainy and herbal.

The Rest: A very solid, tasty Marzen.

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Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4 out of 5 based on 2,205 ratings.
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