Great Lakes Oktoberfest | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

very good
622 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 622 | Ratings: 2,221
Reviews by RusImpStoLuv:
Photo of RusImpStoLuv
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of keithmurray
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - clear amber color with beige head

Smell - caramel, toffee, toasted nuts

Taste - caramel sweetness, toffee, toasted nuts

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweet upfront, hop bitterness at the back end,crisp, flavor lingers for a bit

Overall - this is a solid beer that I would gladly revisit, holds its own against its German counterparts

Price point - $8.99/6 pk

 393 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance – This is a brilliant, crystal clear lager halfway between orange and brown with a nice, off-white head that left lacing on the inside of my pint glass. I don’t want to call the beer copper because that really doesn’t do it justice. I just couldn’t stop staring at it the color was so brilliant and perfect.

Smell – No aromatic hops here so the bouquet is all malt, and man what a wonderful aroma this beer has. It’s toasty with a bit of whole wheat dough and very simple in the nose which is just as it should be. The smell rightfully lacks sweetness which is a big mistake among American brewers of the style.

Taste – This is phenomenal. The flavor picks up some hops but mostly it is an incredible mix of malts, and again the sweetness typical of many pretenders of the style is all but absent. The malt is raw and slightly doughy with a slight uncooked biscuit character supplemented with mature, unsulphored cane molasses, second molasses if not the third boil.

Mouthfeel – This is shy of medium in the body and pleasantly flat to mild with a teasing bitterness that begs for sausage and mustard. It’s a bit rougher than other versions that I’ve had but really hit the spot.

Drinkability – This is easily the best Oktoberfest beer manufactured in the US that I have ever had the pleasure to consume. It’s simple, straight to the point, on style, and literally transported me back to Munich.

 1,434 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Caramel orange coloring, dark, with a nice movement of effervesce within. Tan head is creamy smooth, 0.5 inches with a good hold. Thick band lacing, very good to style.

S: Fresh wet noble hops, nice strength, sweet toasty malt. Fresh barley, candy-orange and apple fruitiness.

T: Flavor was earthy noble flowers with a deep lush malting. Nice toasty speciality grains, apple peel, sweet caramelized grains that finishes lightly dry with some earthy leaves.

M: Sticky full body, syrupy feel, a good carbonation backing.

O: Not many octoberfests have the lush malt depth and earth hop appeal this has. Nice toasty backing, flavorful with an ideal drink-ability. Full, a bit heavier then your typical German counterpart, but one that still can throw back. outstanding overall.

 784 characters

Photo of blackcutlass
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 330 characters

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass at approximately 45 degrees F.

A: Pours a coppery clear golden-orange, which forms a thin head that dissipates quickly into a ring of bubbles around the glass.

S: Doughy, yeasty malt, much like an uncooked biscuit, with some faint spice hints and a touch of non-sweet caramel.

T: Sweet toast and a bit of caramel hit up front, followed by a doughy yeastiness that rounds out and balances the sweetness nicely. There's some faint spiciness to this marzen, like a touch of cinnamon. As could be expected in any malt-forward lager, there are some undertones of toffee and caramel, though with decidedly less sweetness than one might expect. The finish is composed almost entirely of the GLBC yeast, with a slightly grassy, leafy tone.

M: Flat, but in precisely the way a marzen should be, with minimal carbonation. The feel across the palate is light, without a watery finish (GLBC is good at avoiding that issue with every beer of theirs I've had).

O: That's a good, tasty marzen, relying on malt and yeast to provide the bulk of the flavor profile, while spice and hops remain comfortably in the background.

 1,157 characters

Photo of RJB66
3.44/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This is a top rated Oktoberfest? Sorry it really missed the mark with me. I have 5 more to try and maybe if I start with one of these it will be better. A real funky aftertaste that all I can compare it to is what a musty basement would taste like. Like I said I need to try another and maybe my taste will change but for now, very disappointed.

 345 characters

Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my new favorite Fest style beers,poured a clear bronze with a delicate looking 1/2 finger slight off white head.Grainy aromas a bit toasted with some caramel doughy sweetness a bit of iron is detected as well as well as some leafy hop,truly American in its larger dose of peppery hop but staying true with its lightly sweet doughy maltiness it has something for everyone and purists I really liked this one glad I have alot more.

 436 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap and poured into my new and now beloved liter stein at the 2006 Great Lakes Oktoberfest. The place was packed (two and a half hour wait when we walked in at 9pm!), but we did manage grab a table in the pub for a few hours before heading across town for a late bite. Back to the beer, I was immediately struck by the color, clarity, and impressive head. Indeed this brew is quite the looker. Pours a crystal clear coppered, orange leaning, amber with minimal carbonation, and a thick, voluminous light brown head. Retention is top notch. Aroma is stylistically correct but a touch light to my preferences. Notes of caramel syrup, Vienna/German malts, and that very autumn, almost pumpkin like smell associated with Marzens were all present but on the faint side. Flavor was caramel and toast, very German and autumnal but again a bit light. Subtle amounts of raisins, a very light fruitiness, and a brushing of hops finishes off the job. Body is medium, lightly carbonated, and rich with out any muddling or lack of cleanliness. Drinability is through the roof. Very nice example of an Oktoberfest. Would drink again if given the opportunity.

 1,147 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice copper-caramel color with nice clarity, creamy looking head that sticks around for a little bit, minimal lacing left on the glass. The nose is a malt-fest, filled with toasted bread, butter, yeast, spices, slight floral hops, caramel, toffee, biscuits. The taste is well balanced and on the sweet side up front, hitting with caramel and toffee toasted malts. The yeast flavors work well to balance this and provide a nice structure to the flavor profile. Spices come alive, maybe some clove and/or a hint of cinnamon, I can't quite put my finger on it, but some spice is definitely there, and once again, it helps to counter the sweetness of the malt. Medium, creamy, and overall dense body with mild carbonation, leaves a slight spice filled and yeast-heavy aftertaste on the palate. Mild bitterness and some light hops in the background that become a little more noticeable towards the end; they are musty, dry, leafy in character.

I'm not too well versed in O-fests or Marzens, but this beer is great. In fact, it's quite a bit different than many of the other Oktoberfests I have had, very ambiguous yet very familiar all at the same time. A nice collection of flavors from the abundance of malts, this beer also makes a nice winter warmer, if you can hold onto it for that long.

 1,297 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of OhioBobcat
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of MadScientist
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A medium amber with brilliant clarity. The cream off-white head has a good retention time slowly dissipating over a couple of minutes.

S: Light toasted malt aroma and an allergy stuffed nose, but not too bad as I just smell more of the soap on my hand than this beer initially. A very clean lager having no fruity esters, no DMS no Diacetyl. Malt aroma increase as it warms.

T: Rich German Malt flavors (Munich and Vienna) dominate with a light toastiness and a slight hint of caramel. There is a moderately-light earth noble hops flavor with a touch of spice. A firm hops bitterness provides enough balance to make this malt driven beer dry out on the finish with lingering bitterness and a slight grainy malt aftertaste. Again a very clean lagering process so no fruitiness nor diacetyl.

M: Smooth medium bodied with moderate carbonation. There is a slight prickle at the back of the but that could be my allergies going off here.

O: An excellent Oktoberfest, Great Lakes is on Hell of a brewery that consistently reminds me that lagers a worth my time and attention despite being a huge ale fan.

Looks like a 10/12/12 best by date

 1,142 characters

Photo of ccapurso
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of blackearth
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Three Cellars in Franklin, WI. Pours a medium amber body with a rocky off-white head. Aroma is a deliciously inviting sweet taffy. Medium bodied with robust malt flavors from start to finish with just a hint of bitterness. This is one of the best octoberfest beers I've tried this year.

 301 characters

Photo of sabitu
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of bulldogg915
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of nickadams2
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Reddish amber with a thick white head that dissipates into a thin ring.Decent lacing.

S_Mild malty smell. Picking up some hop profile.

T_Malty,toffee,nutty. Some floral/piny hop notes.Bold but not overbearing flavor.

M_Medium bodied,high carbonation,coats the mouth.

D_Great drinkability. Just like a good oktoberfest should be.

 334 characters

Photo of markmo
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of dandaugherty1221
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +0.3%

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

best by 9/28/10; sampled 10/1/10

A - Pours translucent amber with 1 finger of head, nice carbonation rising throughout.

S - Slightly sweet bready malts with a bit of hop spice.

T - Nice mix of bready and caramel malts, with a slight hop bite.

M - A nice creamy light/medium mouthfeel.

D - Highly drinkable; this and Ayinger are my favorite Oktoberfests this year.

 368 characters

Photo of DamDweller
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Oktoberfest, 2010

Smooth drinking Oktoberfest that pours a copper hugh with little head or retention. Hint of toffee on the nose. Beer has a taste of caramel malts that sit on the back of the tongue, a hint of hops that, and definitely bready aftertaste that lingers. Body of the beer is not as heavy as expected. All in all a drinkable Oktoberfest, but not my favorite of the season.

 397 characters

Photo of chip26
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of generallee
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: The body has a deep orange amber color with very good clarity. Its head builds up thick and creamy. It's just off white in color and slowly fades to a thinner covering.

Smell: The aroma has nice spicy and earthy hops with a wonderful sweet malty character.

Taste/Mouth feel: Its flavor has a deep malty base with light toasty bready notes and nice caramel sweetness. Balance comes from spicy, herbal and earthy hops. The texture is smooth and easy drinking with modest carbonation and a good solid medium to full body.

Notes: Absolutely wonderful balance of flavor, body and drinkability.

 677 characters

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Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,221 ratings.
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