Great Lakes Oktoberfest | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest
BA SCORE
83%
Liked This Beer
4.05 w/ 2,246 Ratings
Great Lakes OktoberfestGreat Lakes Oktoberfest
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,651
Reviews:
630
Ratings:
2,246
Liked:
1,864
Avg:
4.05/5
pDev:
12.1%
Alströms:
4.75
 
 
Wants:
265
Gots:
456
Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,246 |  Reviews: 630
Photo of Pauly2X
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light amber, one finger head which took longer to diminish than most beers of this style. Left some nice lacing too, annother rarity for the style.

S- Very mellow malty, slightly nutty aroma, accompanied by an even fainter dried fruit aroma.

T- Very malty with a hint of caramel sweetness. Hop presense is adequate to offset the sweetness. Slight roasted nut finish.

M- A little effervescent for the style but otherwise good.

D- One of the more drinkable american styles, but I wouldn't run a session with it.

All in all a solid American Oktoberfest.

 558 characters

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

I must say the review prior to mine (cortexbomb) sums it up nice.
I special ordered thisone in, eventhough im in Ohio, some GL are harder to get for they come thru Toledo first. Thisone was limited but it finally came in. Thanks to The Andersons Lima.

It pours nice, amber/orange, very fall like. Good half inch off-white head that maintained well for its size and lace was spotty.

The aroma is malty, sweet caramel.

The taste and mouth...Very marzen...The style to a tee. Malty, caramel, toffee sweet. Not so sweet for a good little hop balances or saves this beer. 6.5%abv sounds good, I like that in a marzen. Where's the alcohol? I litterally could not pick it up in the taste.

Drinkability, yes. A good autumn brew thats very fitting to the marzen style. For a Great Lakes, I wish it had alittle more of something.

 823 characters

Photo of CortexBomb
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is deep orange / golden with a modest white head on top. The nose is soft caramel and malts, fairly typical for the style.

The flavour starts out with a bready / yeasty aspect, and the caramel from the nose comes in about midway. A slight hop tingle is present throughout, and adds a touch of citrus to the flavour. A fairly classic Oktoberfest with the big caramel presence and bread finding just the right balance.

The mouth is full, creamy. The drinkability is not a problem, but I would not call this unusually drinkable.

The bottom line: Great Lakes has put together a damn fine take on the style. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to someone who is in the mood for an Oktoberfest beer. Best consumed from a large mug.

 733 characters

Photo of witster18
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a 3/4"head. Retains decent. A sweet marzen styler with a crisp semi-sweet chocolate finish. This is the smoothest 6+abv I have ever drank. Honestly, this stuff tastes like it has less alchohol than the eliot ness. A fantastic beer that ranks right with the best offerings from this decorated brewery. I was always struggling to decide whether I liked Nessy,..or Fitzgerald....or Dortmund the best...now I have to add a fourth Great lakes beer into the equation. Great for the style. A touch more carb than most in the style but it helps the drinkability here...a definate session favorite....bready sweet malt flavor is robust but ends crisp with little to no aftertaste...fantastic with baked fish...I can attest. Great...great stuff. The High carbonation is a bit off for the style, but for some reason it works here..

Prob my 2nd or third fave in the style(see Ayinger Marzen or Mektoberfest) out of about 50 or so that I've tried.

 953 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's clear and amber in color (a little orange when held to light). Head is about a finger and half. Retention and lacing were good.

Smell: It has a predominantly yeasty or bready smell to it. Caramel-toffee malts are noticeable. Not a great deal of hops to speak of. Very light citrus notes are present.

Taste: It definitely has a strong yeasty-bread-like taste to it. It is mostly malty and the caramel malts do provide a slightly sweet taste. Hops are not strong. Not bitter at all. There is a very faint citrus taste on the tail.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied. Carbonation is good. 6.5% abv is perfect for this beer. It's pretty smooth and drinkable. I can think of a few Great Lakes offerings I'd rather have, especially to session. Overall, it's a pretty solid effort though. Nice for this time of year.

 837 characters

Photo of Grundle20
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
The beer is copper in color with just a touch of haze to it. There's a fine eggshell white head to the beer which displays mediocre retention and patchy lacing.

Smell:
Sweet Munich malts build the bulk of the nose but there's a crisp underlying lager yeast note throughout. In the back there is a hint of eggy sulfur but it's very weak.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Right off the bat I pick up the sulfur note once again but it's a little more pronounced. It's not skunking sulfur but more of a warm side lagering note. The beer drinks rather crisp and smooth with a rich biscuity toffee note from start to finish. It's kind of a one dimensional beer, but tasty. The finish is clean.

Drinkability:
It's an Oktoberfest, this beer has "drunk" in its pedigree. Pound away.

Bottom Line:
It's alright, so far it's the only o-fest I've had this year but I don't recall the style being so crisp and I think the sulfur notes could have been rounded out a little better. A decent brew but GLBC has better.

 1,004 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sparkling copper body with golden edges and a finger of off-white, lacy head. Caramel cookie dough malt sweetness on the nose with hints of spice cake, cooked vegetables, and spicy herbal hops.

Toasted bread malt up front followed by cookie dough and carrot cake sweetness. Cooked vegetable taste near the finish. Spicy, noble hop finish lasts a while. Medium-bodied, gently carbonated feel. Another nice lager from GLBC.

 423 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear orangish copper with a 2 finger white head and sticky lacing.

S - Toasted bread, caramel and a slight graininess.

T - Caramel, toasty bread with a bit of spicy hops.

M - Medium body but it seems a bit dull to me. Slight alcohol bite.

D - Adecent Oktoberfest but I would probably look elsewhere for another.

 329 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found on-on tap at (of all places) Cheapside's. The bottle proved to be a world-class brew, so I had high hopes for the tap. The golden-copper-orange brew came out with a very froathy, withstanding head retention thats tough to fight through. The aromas are somewhat light, but are very yeasty, bready, malty, with just a touch of refreshing hops. Tastes very malty without the caramel or toffee sweetness. Malts are so rich that the hops, esters, and alcohol take a really far back seat. This is undoubtedly the most malty-textured Oktoberfest that I have had. Very rich textued, creamy, and soft. Finishes malty and firm. Could this beer be too malty?

 653 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mug a nice amber that shows orange when held to light. The beer is topped by a nice frothy off-white head that slowly diminishes to a ring but still leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma shows some sweet malts and citrus hops, but is not that strong. The taste is a nice blend of sweet caramel and sweet fruits against a decent citrus hop backbone that stays where it belongs for the style; in the background. The beer is rather light bodied with low carbonation. This is without question one of the best I've had of the style.

 543 characters

Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | 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 ErinBrew
1.76/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Are you f***ing kidding me ? I think it's time to stop reading these reviews and hoping to get anything inciteful from them. It is very apparent that most of the Beer Advocate reviewers are all hopheads. This beer is NOT indicative of a true Munich Marzen/Oktoberfest beer. The best way I can describe it is: half marzen/half I.P.A. Just like all of GLBC beers, it is WAY too hoppy. Nicely balanced ? I was not able to detect any malt flavor. Malty, slight hops ? What are you comparing this to ?

For what they charge for a 6 pack (around $8), I'll stick with a real Oktoberfest beer from Munich, which I can buy for less money. I'll take the Hacker-Pschorr (which I buy in kegs) or the Paulaner any day. Please try one of these beers for a true example of the style. The Spaten, H-B, Augustiner and Lowenbrau are also good but I prefer the amber colored style.

I live in Cleveland and always shake my head at all the raves about Great Lakes. Eg. their "dortmunder gold" is NOT a dortmunder/ export beer at all. Try a DAB or a DUB instead. Is there a site for malt-heads ?

 1,075 characters

Photo of bradley194
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In my opinion this is an exceptional beer. I went to the brewery and had it on tap and it was phenomenal.

Appearance- Amber in color; with a finger and a half head which held up for quite a while. Beautiful looking beer.

Smell- Sweet carmely, malty smell; very pleasant.

Taste- Wonderful; sweet but not too sweet. Perfect balance with a very slight taste of alcohol. Carmely. Truly excellent. Wonderful malty taste which leaves a sweet aftertaste in your mouth.

Overall- Wonderful beer. Even my girlfriend who is not much of a beer drinker loved it. I recommend it to everyone. Overall- 4.7 out of 5.

 606 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is from notes taken from my recent visit to the Great Lakes brewpub this past Saturday (9/1/07). Served in a big mug (around 3 beers worth, I guess), the beer poured a nice amber color with about an inch off-white head. It smelled sweet, like caramel and toasted malt, along with some toffee and some spicyness as well. Taste was pretty similar to the aroma. Mouthfeel was light/medium, and very smooth. Drinkability was very good as well, it's very, very easy to drink on tap. I reviewed this beer from the bottle a couple weeks ago, and I think it's better on tap. It's much smoother and it tastes better as well in my opinion. If you get a chance to go up to GLBC and try this on tap, you should.

 711 characters

Photo of hustlesworth
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear golden honey amber with a just few rising bubbles topped by 2 1/2in of creamy frothy beige foam that slowly subsided to a sudsy clumpy 1/8in disc with wavy lace sticking to the glass.

S- very ale-like with a sweet & sour candy citrus and toffee malts

T- mineral water, sweet bread, dark honey, roasty toasty caramel malt backbone complemented by an earthy floral hop finish to balance out the sweetness with a malty powdery yeast aftertaste.

MF- slick and sugary, the sweetness has a slight cloying mouthfeel which isn't completely unpleasant. medium to high carbonation.

D- a little too sweet for my taste, this is my first experience with any type of oktoberfest so with more experimentation i hope to try a few more examples of the style. as in love with hops as i am, i would like to find something closer to a vienna lager, a close relative, with a greater balance between the bitterness and the sweet malt , which is dominant in this lager as with most others.

 987 characters

Photo of crazybrody06
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottled with best by date of 10/15/07.

Apperance-Big long lasting, very rocky, white head, copper color, decent amount of lacing.

smell-hoppy, metallic, not that impressive.

taste-hops,carmel, toasty flavor, spices, very nice.

mouthfeel-nice carbonation, full body

drinkability-would definitely have another one.

 340 characters

Photo of genog
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle a rich golden, borderline amber color into my pint glass with a bubbly white head that builds up, then dies down to leave a small amount of white head. Smell is malt, hops, caramel and some light spices like clove, maybe a little cinnamon. Taste is very crisp and refreshing as all the ingredients found in the nose come together in a balance of flavors. Mouth is a crisp feeling making this a refreshing drink!

 438 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, enjoy by 10/16/07. Very clear, light copper color. Thick, foamy off-white head. A few streams of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Great head retention. Nice patchwork of stick lace left clinging to the sides at the end. A very nice looking beer indeed.

Aroma is dominated by toasty, bready malt. Noble hops add some floral and spicy notes. Not much else, pretty clean aroma.

Toasty and bready malt flavor, and just as the nose suggested, a bit of floral and spicy hops to finish out. Certainly malt driven, with a great flavor.

Medium body, good carbonation. Very clean. Only a slight suggestion of warming from alcohol. Probably the best O-fest I have had to date, very enjoyable.

 711 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry lager yeast scent along with a smooth malty aroma. Caramel, Munich, and pale malts are present with a slight yeast fruitiness. The taste is good. It has a very smooth, malt flavor that is light with just the right amount of sweetness. It goes down easy and finishes a bit dry with some earthy character. The mouthfeel is excellent. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I love the flavor of this one. It's incredibly smooth and malty; highly drinkable.

 626 characters

Photo of scottakelly
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Medium white head that dissappears quickly. Orange/copper color.

S: Roasty malt. No hop aroma.

T: This is a wonderful malt showcase. Roasty malt flavor. Dry, no ssweetness at all. Slight biscuity taste. No carmel flavors. Slight alcohol warmth too it, but not too much, especially since there is medium body to this beer. Nop hop bitterness, flavor, or aroma.

D: I'm torn on this one. I love this beer, and could probably drink several if I tried. But the roastyness and higher alcohol might get overpowering after 2 or 3 bottles.

 538 characters

Photo of nsmartell
3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room while watching Saint Ralph. From bottle to pint glass.

Appearance - Nice, rich amber color. OK head.

Smell - Standard for oktoberfest.

Taste - Average taste. Aftertaste wasn't the best.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and decently thick.

Drinkability - I generally really enjoy Oktoberfests but this was not my favorite. While it did go down smooth, the aftertaste left something to be desired.

 443 characters

Photo of jkrich
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with freshness enjoy by date: 10/16/07
Poured a bright, clear amber with minimal head and lace. The second bottle poured produced a sustained two inch off-white head.
Bread like spicy aromas.
Initial taste of sweet malt with a very slight syrup taste, but not cloying; you can really taste the toasty malt. Hops are evident in background. The beer actually becomes more balanced as it warms. While this is not my favorite lager style, this is one of the most drinkable available. No overwhelming sweet malt often found with this style. Another quality brew from Great Lakes.

 587 characters

Photo of Wildman
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear medium amber color and formed a nice foamy white head that left latticed lace as it subsided. An aroma of malt, hops and caramel. The flavor was of malt, caramel and hint of pepper. The body was medium light and slightly creamy. The finish was touch bitter, yet sweet. This would make a nice session beer.

 330 characters

Photo of Risser09
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange/copper colored beer is nice but the white head quickly dissipates and leaves a little bit of lacing behind.
Smell: Full of malt and spice. Nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. Cardamum and pepper are in there too.
Taste: Pumpkin and malt are evident. Other flavors are cinnamon and nutmeg. Great profile and a slight hop bite make another nicely balanced beer by GLBC.
Mouthfeel: Nutty and malty. Alcohol burn gets evident in the finish.Pleasant.
Drinkability: Perfect for a fall night. beers like this beg to be drunk during a cold evening when preparing for fall. Kudoas for all the companies that are releasing their Oktoberfests much earlier this year, giving more time to enjoy the taste.

 707 characters

Photo of becktone
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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 side...as 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

Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83% out of 100 with 2,246 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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