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Great Lakes Oktoberfest | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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620 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: 620 | Ratings: 2,212
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.

 464 characters

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.

 250 characters

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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Photo of Redfoot19
4.94/5  rDev +23.5%
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.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm having this one a little late in season (mid November) so perhaps some of the flavor has faded. This is a "big" version of a marzen clocking in at 6.5% and it feels a touch heavy/boozy. It still is quite tasty with all the fine qualities in flavor profile one would look for in this style. It's not very sessionable however so if people were throwing these back at an Oktoberfest celebration, it would get sloppy very quickly!

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Photo of Antg8989
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a bright medium amber with a copper head that dissipates quickly.
Aroma: Bready and spicy
Taste: Complex bready flavors balanced with a bitter-sweet finish
Feel: Medium bodied, high carbonation.
Overall: Wonderfully balanced, very flavorful Oktoberfest. Best I've had!

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Classic burnt umber and brilliant clarity. Off white head. On the grassy/herbal side of spectrum. Some toffee and rosted Vienna malt. Has some stale nutty off notes. Generally soft feel with semi dry finish.

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Photo of Jonoesh5
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

High hopes for Great Lakes' interpretation of Marzen!

A light amber body with little to no head, not terribly inviting. The smell is very sour, like a sour ale (very strange). Taste...at first, I was put off by the sour, malt-forward profile. It overwhelms the nose and palate of the beer, putting grassy/herb-y hops in the background. But over time I began to appreciate this beer's uniqueness (this review was done with the last beer of a 6-pack dated 12/10/15). I expected a sessionable, hoppy pretzel beer, but came away enjoying, as the bottle suggests, "a celebration of maltiness." Lightly carbonated and slightly creamy mouthfeel is very smooth. Overall, in my experience, it takes a few to appreciate Great Lake's interpretation of Oktoberfest, but if you know what to expect, you can join in the fun too.

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Photo of scaliasux
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

L - Medium amber. Clear. Short white, moderately persistent head.
S - Rich medium roasted malts. Bread, toast, grain. Maybe a little alcohol.
T - Sweeter and maltier than many Oktoberfests. Quite rich. Sweet bready malts. A little nuts and spice.

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Photo of schwansmantr
2.2/5  rDev -45%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I’ve been trying several different Oktoberfests lately and this one by Great Lakes looks good. It has 6.5% ABV It pours a clear amber color that reminds me of the reds and oranges of fall time. The lacing is moist and delicate.I smell caramel, toffee, and roasted nuts along with some subtle hints of posible ginger or some type of flower. The taste is odd with the flowery caramel malts dominating the body. There is a lack of that mild grassy hop bite at the end like I see in other beers there is some slight hop tinge at the end in the back palate. This beer is just shy of medium-bodied. A creamy mouthfeel endures till the end. I'm not a big fan of this rather confusing taste and am giving it a D it's just has an odd flowery tinge that I do not like.

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Photo of hman43
3.31/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It pours a light amber with tinges of orange that is fairly clear. There is some lacing, but not much. It has aromas of hay and cereal with herbs and hints of dark fruits. It has flavors of hay and bread with a few spices and hints of basement flavors.

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Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4 out of 5 based on 2,212 ratings.
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