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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 622 | Ratings: 2,221
Photo of beerdedking
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Draft pour into pint glass at Town Tavern, Duryea.

Easily the best American Okto I've had. Pours a lovely maroon with standard 1 finger head. It's perfectly balanced with no overwhelming characteristics.
It's hopped just right keeping the caramel in check, but certainly you wouldn't say this is hoppy. Great Lakes does their approachable beers so well, and this is another winner.

 388 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: a nice amber color with an unusually nice clarity. A finger of a tannish head that retains very well

Smell: strong malts, slight bitter hops. Slight fruitiness

Taste: starts off with a subtle fruitiness, and rich caramel malts. Stays pretty malt strong but with a nice small dose of hops for balance

Mouthfeel: slightly creamy and medium bodied. Strong clean feel but some taste left over.

Overall: I had all but given up on oktoberfest beers but gave this one a shot just for the respect I have for the brewery. This one gives me everything I want in an Oktoberfest and works well on a way too cold summer day

 626 characters

Photo of jeneric84
5/5  rDev +25.3%

I don't write reviews often but this one deserves the rare moment. I look forward to Marzen style beers and this is hands down the best one in America (of those I tried). It represents the style so perfectly I had to give it a five. Great Lakes never seems to disappoint and I very much appreciate their attention to detail when brewing a certain style especially old world ones. Don't pass this one up. I'll be purchasing this annually.

 437 characters

Photo of ejimhof
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Slight lacing and the auburn color that an Octoberfest should be

Smell - Malty and sweet bread smell

Taste - light body yet has a backbone

Mouthfeel - very comforting just right for the season

Drinkability - this beers calls out for having one more

 266 characters

Photo of Joe_Duvel
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's a style that I like but don't love, know what I mean? But this beer, I love. It's that good.

I was completely blown away with this one. Some nice sweetness to it and great toasted bread notes. Such a pleasant surprise even from the first taste.

 251 characters

Photo of JR88
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Amazing Beer/style, I just have to make a review of this one, one of the better ones from Great Lakes.

Very rich malty/slightly sweet /smell/taste/characteristic's yet the very light hoppy smooth tangy/zingy clean finish, just a great session-able beer imo. People that are giving this low ratings/saying its bad are ignorant....

 331 characters

Photo of Redfoot19
4.94/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another one of my favorites, the Oktoberfest is a seasonal beer I cannot miss. Pour from a 12 oz bottle: Medium amber in color, malty smell, and semi sweet smooth finish. I will be visiting Ohio anytime this is available.

 221 characters

Photo of dogfishbrawler
4.93/5  rDev +23.6%
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!

 447 characters

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.84/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In the glass it was a light amber with a white head.

In the nose it was sweet grain, bread, malt, and some tangy floral notes. A nice bouquet.

Taste was first bread backed by some sweet caramel notes, then a very mild bitterness in the back as it finnished with a full grain toasted oat flavor. Excellent taste and very nice mouth feel. A very drinkable beer.

 362 characters

Photo of EmptyPockets
4.84/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm mostly an IPA and Stout enjoyer (I know that's not a word}. It was one of the best last year and I actually think this year's brew may be better. Customer feedback was great, ordered one case last year sold all of it in one day. This year made it my beer of the week, sold 2 cases in 3 days...I should have order more than 5 cases. This is a must try!!

 356 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and lively copper like amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big five finger off white head with very good retention. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Aroma has lots of caramel malts with some toffee. Has some hints of spice and a solid backing of noble hops and grassy hops. Smells malty and full.

Taste: Big taste of caramel and toasted malts with some hints of toffee. Has a slightly spicy character. This is also one of the more hoppy Marzens out there with a very noticeable presence of grassy and noble hops. Its still very malt forward. Very full flavored and tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very creamy, crisp, and chewy.

Overall: A very full flavored and well balanced Marzen. One of the best American versions out there.

 870 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a mini Hofbraü maaskrug.
6.5% ABV, Best served at 45°F, Please enjoy by 10/18/12

A - Streams of lazy bubbles rise to a chunky off-white head which seems to refuse to dissipate. Minutes go by before the tall, loose foam gently blankets the vibrant golden, honey colored beer. Perfection in a pint, it looks like!

S - Great Lakes Oktoberfest has a rich bready aroma so strong it's reminiscent of breaking a loaf of dense, freshly baked bread and taking a deep whiff in. Strong Vienna maltiness paves the way for light Munich sweetness and faint noble hop aroma on the finish. This beer has an odd intoxicating sweetness like boiling wort without smelling like it will be overpoweringly sweet in flavor.

T - Sip after sip continues the explosion of malt flavors and complexities to bombard the taste buds. At first, it's like biting into honey drizzled slices of dense bread. Kettle caramelization follows with a candy-like sweetness before finishing with a crunchy bite of dry wheat toast. The malt nuances are perfectly wrapped in submissive, yet balancing hops which delicately trickle in light spice and dry earthiness.

M - Smooth as glass from start to finish Great Lakes' Oktoberfest fills the mouth with a rich, medium-full bodied feel that carefully walks the line between drinkable and too sweet. The hop additions stray from the classic dry and prevalent profile to a low-key balance.

O - Great Lakes has struck gold with their spot-on rendition of this German lager which expertly marries different malts which blend to perfection with superb drinkability but are also allowed to develop and contribute different nuances. It's rich without being over-the-top; a hearty, malty Oktoberfest which demands you drink it by the liter!

 1,768 characters

Photo of gangstafaceclay
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%

Appearance-Pours a dark orangish color with white foamy head.

Smell-sweet..caramel, toffee and nutty.

Taste- man this is good. You get toasted nuttiness, toffee, Carmel, molasses, and light toasted bread.

Mouthfeel- med bodied and good carbonation. This is an easy drinker.

Overall- have to say this is my favorite Oktoberfest I've had yet. So for the style I rate this beer very highly.

 394 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pale amber/mahogany, thick fluffy pearl head. Some trace sticky lace remains. Very brilliant crisp appearance.

Great nose, thick juicy layers of caramel and toffeed malts. Complex aromas flow from the glass. Also some floral hoppiness.

(I've always loved Oktoberfests beers and have had tasting parties in the past of this style of brew. The Great Lakes Oktoberfest has always intrigued me as they are one of my favorite breweries. Unfortunately you couldn't get this brew outside of the brewery until this year when it was released in draught only. Supposedly to be released in bottle next year all I can say is find youself a sixer when they do. Best O-fest I've had to date).

Big and full bodied creamy mouthfeel. Impeccably balanced and complex. Very uncanny for an O-fest. Enormous burst of caramel/toffee malt smacks you in the face and coats the palate with it's chewy oozing texture, the mid palate is still devoured in malt with hints of fig, and cashews, then finishes with a floral slightly piney hoppiness that rounds things out tremendously. One of the longest finishes I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing in a beer. Well over a minute of malty goodness.

When this one is released in bottles definitely buy some. If you're into this style a must try.

 1,282 characters

Photo of Jason
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle.

The lacing makes a spectacle of it's self, copper clarity is stunning. Clean malty nose of toasted bread with some spicy hop too. Smooth and a bit creamy with a delicate medium body. Malt is quite complex with fresh baked bread, dried hay and a hint of caramel. Spicy hop bitterness is there from start to after taste. Dry finish and the flavor lingers slowly away.

Seriously great beer here. One of the top picks for O-fests.

 447 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best examples of the style I have had. A great malty treat that has all of the typical characteristics of the style, but just makes them taste lively. Bready, fresh, and malty. I could definitely do a six of these.

 226 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours brilliant red orange under a persistent, clingy 2” white foam cap.
S: Rich spicy malt
T: Exceptionally well developed malt flavors with a little breadiness and lightly sweet kettle sugars seasoned with spice from the malt and hops and a firm bitter accent on the finish.
F: Clean, smooth yet crisp with a medium body and carbonation.
O: Very well balanced and well prepared Oktoberfest.

 401 characters

Photo of Chiefy770
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Great Lakes Brewing Co.
“Enjoy By” date of 11/2/2014
Date Reviewed: 9.13.2014
Glass of Choice: Nonic Pint

Bottle Notes:
“A Handcrafted Amber Lager”

Golden-orange body with a slight amber tint. Respectable white foam head. Weak on the lacing.

Toasty malts. Sweet bread. Toasted grain. Spiced hops. A greater presence of spice than similar Oktoberfest brews.

Semi-sweet malts up front: Sweet bread, toasted nuts, and biscuits. Spicy hops even things out. This particular spice tastes similar to the spices commonly used in Winter Warmers or other holiday releases. Think pumpkin pie spices sans the pumpkin… cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc. This spice taste is VERY subtle but it is definitely something my tongue picked up. Crisp and clean. Medium-light body. Moderate carbonation.

This brew definitely lives somewhere in the top rankings of the Oktoberfest style for me. The spice really makes this beer stand out from other Märzens. Perfect companion for the young days of fall.

95 (A)

 1,051 characters

Photo of justinp444
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip it is a slight amber orange crystal clear with a 1 and a half thick frothy white head. Smell of caramel, sweet malt, floral, spice, some nuttiness, and a nice fruity apple. Taste is apple, plum, bread-y sweet malt, caramel, nuttiness, some spice, tiny bit of grass, a good amount of earth on the end, and a very clean full flavor. Has a very nice sweetness about it, with a fantastic full mouth feel that is creamy yet crispy, and a great moderate to full body. One of the best marzens I've had for drink-ability and a more malt & yeast forward flavor.

 572 characters

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 GoodKnight1220
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this brew from a bottle to a pint glass.

Had a golden, copper, orange look with a nice three finger frothy head and a good bit of lacing throughout.

Smells of a malt and a hint of citrus and spice.

Taste and mouthfeel is perfect. Very smmoth and crisp. Wonderfull sweet maltyness.

You want to gulp this stuff down all night, drink this like water.

 360 characters

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

Eye: Very good appearance on this brew. Head is ivory in color, but not so creamy looking. Just a good solid head with good size and retention, good lacing too. Very clear brew that is dark copper in color with yellow-orange highlights.

Nose: The beer smells mostly of malt. Those aromas being toasty and rich. Hops give this beer a nicely balanced aroma with woody/earthy and spicy aromas. Definitely noble hop aromas.

Tongue: This brew is nicely balanced. Between the rich and toasty malt flavors and spciy and woody/earthy hop flavors this brew is right on the mark. I won't go as far as to say that the balance is even, it tends to lean more towards the malty well it should. There are also some dark fruit flavors I'm picking up. In my opinion this is one hell of a brew.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Carbonation and body are medium in this brew. There is just a bit of warmth as it goes down, suggestion of alcohol. Overall pretty sweet on the palate. The beer is easy to drink, this is one I could see myself drinking all night, especially if I had a large liter glass stein. This is a brew I'll definitely buy again, though probably not this season as I may be out to try other oktoberfest style brews.

 1,228 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Light orange color..small white head

S-Light toasted malts...not a lot of aroma to be honest..

T-Toasted malts all the way...relatively sweet and malty with plenty of tasty toasted maltiness....very subtle noble hop blends perfectly.

M-Medium bodied...clean and crisp finish....carbonation is firm but not gassy.

D-Top notch beer from probably this country's best brewery. A slightly amped up Elliot Ness...I love the toasted malt and the flavor of this. Reminds me a lot of New Glarus of the better Ofests made along with NGlarus, Summit, and the Hacker-Pschorr/Paulaner clones.

 601 characters

Photo of raverjames
4.68/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was on tap at Gibbies Irish Pub. The first thing I notice was that the smell was sharp and unlike typical Oktoberfest contenders. It was served to me with a nice lacey head. First taste was sweet and malty with five times the flavor of Sam Adams version of this seasonal. This had a fruity finish and I didnt regret ordering another. Even my girl said this was the best Oktoberfest she had ever tried and she has half the experience I do. Thank you Great Lakes for releasing such a satisfying seasonal.

 507 characters

Photo of JuniperJesus
4.66/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Among the cacophony of Johann Schrammel blaring in the background and the merry yells of the festival crowds, she crosses your sight. She’s a voluptuous beauty who’s had her share of brezen, weisswurts, and obatzda, but she perfectly fills out her dirndl in full. Among all these Marzens, what is it about this one that has you hiding the bulge in your lederhosen? Her dark copper color helps her stand out from the rest as she pours into your glass with the thickness you expected. As soon as you bring her to your lips, she surrounds you with a warm comfort, both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time; her aroma matches evenly with her sweet taste. She is ready for fun and her hearty laugh makes you smile with each sip. After unraveling the strings on her dirndl blouse and voraciously dropping to her knees, you are overwhelmed with her lascivious mouthfeel but also a looming sorrow: this tryst will last but a few days. Alas, Octoberfest wasn’t meant to last all year, so grab her by her thick curves and dive in head first. You might as well: she’s been patiently waiting for you all year with a tankard in one hand and a motel key in the other. As the bacchanalia comes to a close, she quietly slips away into the Munich night; the memories of the copious merriment she leaves behind can only find their match in grandeur in the moist spot she left behind on the bed you shared.

 1,399 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,221 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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