Oktoberfest | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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2,339 Ratings

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

Style: German 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,339 |  Reviews: 655
Photo of allergictomacros
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear copper with an inch of dense tan foam.

S - Malty, some dark fruit, floral hops and light graininess. Very rich smelling.

T - Nutty, caramel, molasses, raisins, toasted grain and husk. Light floral hoppiness balances out the malt nicely.

M - Smooth, substantial mouthfeel with a mild carbonation.

D - This is a superior beer. Very tasty, and well balanced, leaning towards the malt.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Clear coppery orange color with a very thin khaki head. Head quickly fades to nothing. Very little lacing left in the glass. Tons of little bubbles quickly rising to the top.

S - Deep aroma of roasted nuts and sweet burnt caramel. Also a hint of an earthy/spicy hoppiness.

T - A very sweet nuttiness up front. The roasted nut aroma does not come through as strongly in the taste. There is also a taste of caramel. An earthy hoppiness emerges later in the drink before finished very sweet.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and incredibly smooth. Excellent feel and a very drinkable O-Fest.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark copper color with glints of ruby and a thin rimming of lace.

S: Malt, hops, earthy peat and veggie matter.

T: Rich, toasted malt flavors combined with a pleasantly sweet, nutlike character. Finishes with a subtle touch of noble hops.

M: Thin to medium-bodied with active carbonation that surrounds the tongue.

D: A sweet and mildly hopped taste profile makes Great Lakes Oktoberfest exceptionally sessionable.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Oktoberfest pours a very nice, clear, orange/amber color with an off-white head. The nose is also very nice, with a malty aroma with hints of white wine.

The taste has lots of malt sweetness and caramel. The abv of 6.5% is a bit high for the style and you can detect it in the taste, though it adds a nice bit of character to the beer. There is a bit of a sour-ish aftertaste that I wasn't a fan off. The mouthfeel is nice and a bit creamy.

Overall, this is a real good beer. It's close enough to the style but different enough to make it its own thing.

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Photo of riversider76
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep golden with a thin white head. Decent retention,and a nice lacing. Aroma is of bread abd butter. Body is medium with some carbonation. Taste is sweet and bready,with some fruit notes. Dry finish with just enough hops to make this a great Oktoberfest!

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Photo of sleazo
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours a clear light brown hue with a big frothy off white head. This settles down into a one finger cap and leaves lace everywhere. Really nice looking.

S_Very clean smelling with a bit of bread and cereal for the malt with a light kiss of noble hops.

T_Bread and cereal grains rule the roost upon first sip. This mellows out and leaves a firm bitterness of a grassy hop note. The brew itself is slightly sweet but with a relatively dry finish.

M_Medium bodied in the sense of the word. The slightly aggressive carbonation works well here.

D_This here is a well rounded Oktoberfest. As a style I enjoy quite a bit I tend to review these critically, however this is eminently drinkable. One of the better American examples of the style. Great Lakes manages to do a number of styles really well without having to resort to Imperialism and this is no exception. Too bad it isn't served int he one litre masse style.

Prost to Zapata

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Photo of Rennpferd
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It arrived with a nice 1 finger velvety head. Ther was no activty.

It had a nice malty and sweet scent that was accented by a slight hop undertone.

It was well balanced by malt and hops. It have a very smooth and clean finish. It had a medium-heavy body but went down easy, velvety smooth.

I found it to be very drinkable. If it were not for the fact that I wanted to try a couple different beers I would have drank this one the whole session.

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Photo of Raymond69
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color , nice head , some lacing.

Aroma is faintly sweet , some biscuit earthiness.

Good balance between malty sweetness and hoppiness. Caramel sweetness. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is light/Medium , good carbonation.

Overall a very easy drinking beer I'll be drinking more of.

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Photo of Gmann
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty copper color with a dense off-white head that dissipated into a light cap. The aroma is of caramel malt, bready, and hard mineral water. The taste is of light caramel malt, rusty hard water, lemon, and a spicy tea like hop. Could use a touch more caramel and doughy malt presence. The feel is moderate with tingly carbonation, slightly chewy. A good not great Oktoberfest, doesn't quite ring German in my opinion. It does have some nice flavors though I think the Cleveland area has hard water as these Great Lakes brews have a mineral flavor to them.

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Photo of JDK
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark clear honey with a 1/2" head
Medium lacing the clung pretty long
Nice smell of hops and a bit of spice
Medium mouthfeel but I thought it was a little flat on the palette.
Tastes of spice and a touch of hops.
Overall a very nice Oktoberfest brew and worth a try

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

A- Body is a nearly transparent saturated caramel brown color served with a nice foamy 1 finger white head that has great retention. Some bubbles can be seen rising to the top of the glass.

S- Nose is distinctively caramel malt with a nice nutty overtone.

T- Somewhat nutty with a nice caramel malt backbone. A slight hop presence is added to the finish while the other flavors intensify. Left to linger is a nice malty sweetness.

M- Medium carbonation and a nice light drinkable body. Not thin.

D- This is a great, drinkable Oktoberfest...and that's what the style was designed for...drinkability. I really like this beer and will go back to it more this fall season. One of my favorite (American) O-fests so far (I only tried a few last year).

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Photo of betterbgood
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have a great priviledge to visit Great Lakes Brewery on a regular, I'm from Cleveland. the appearance is like an bronze, three-fourths bodied tone not full like stout, but you know that the malt used are present and the head stuck to my glass all the way down. I have a growler, I'm a fan of tap beer, the freshness and potency is magnificent if you can get it without the bottle. I digress, the smell is upfront doesn't hide, I can sniff the sweetness and alcohol and the taste sticks to the tongue, there is no running away. the beer lingers in the mouth, this beer is a good sipper and the drinkability will hold you down until tomorrow, if you fill the 72oz growler up.

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Photo of PiecefulToker
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 10/12/08.

A: Pours crystal clear amber brown with a thick frothy head that sustains itself, leaving a thick layer of lacing.

S: Malty, grainy, toasty.

T&M: Very well balanced, highly drinkable. It has an awesome toasty nutty flavor, with a sweet malty backbone and a mild bitterness for balance. Smooth on the tongue, medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D: Very high. This is a delicious and easy-drinking beer. Highly recommended.

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

Had at the brewery with some Brats and Pierogies.

A: A very bright amber color. A thick white head, with ample lacing with each swig.

S: Lots of bread and biscuit malts.

T: As with the smell, ample bread/biscuit flavoring. Also, some caramel and nutty malts. I did taste some alcohol, but nothing over the top.

M: A smooth slick feel left on the tongue and mouth. A decent amount of carbonation.

D: An excellent Oktoberfest beer. Went along slendid with the bratwursts and pierogies.

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Photo of Natural510
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Oktoberfest is here!
This pours a bright orange-red color with thick head. Looks well-carbonated by all the bubbles rising to the top.
Smells malty with an orange-citrus note.
Light sticky malts, not too sweet, with a tart, dry aftertaste. Hops kick around in the background, and yeast is in full force giving an overall breaded character to the flavor.
Crisp and refreshing, clings to the back of the throat.
Excellent marzen. Aggressive in its characteristics, which all tend to balance themselves out. One of the best you'll find outside Bavaria.

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Photo of spointon
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= This beer poured a very clear, deep copper color. The light tan head was 1/2", and dropped quickly to nothingness. Lots of sticky lace down the glass.

S= Definitely a malt-heavy brew, but appropriately so. Smelled sweet and nutty with a hind of toasty grains.

T= I found the sweet bakery malts and nutty flavors to be dominant. Nothing complicated here, but all in balance.

MF= Medium bodied with a heavier mouthfeel than "regular" lagers. Light but cleansing carbonation was very pleasant.

D= A very drinkable beer. If I had a complaint it is that it tastes too much like their Dortmunder Gold. But it is a good beer, and certainly a great one to have with food.

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Photo of JonB1958
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice effort by the folks in Cleveland. I bought a 12-pack of this because my favorite Oktoberfest brew, Paulaner, has not yet made it to my Binny's.

It has a nice, dark, coppery-redish color, and pours with a substantial head into a tall pilsner glass; it fades pretty quickly and does leave some nice lacing.

The aroma is less "there" than I expected, but the taste is quite good. A tad on the bitter side, perhaps, (think of the Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest) but nice and malty with some smoothness. A subtle, yet very nice sweetness is what sticks in my mind and on my palette.

Well done, and very drinkable. No qualms about recommending this one to others.

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Photo of Umbra
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear liquid penny with limited carbonation and a wispy head. Limited retention and lacing. Sweet, malty nose.

The fella before hit the nail on the head with a BREAD description. Pumpernickel or marbled rye is definitely there. Faint hops, but mostly a malty sweet brew.

Medium mouthfeel that finishes with an astringent dryness. Faint malts grab the sides of the mouth a bit.

The dryness and breadiness cut back for me a bit on the drinkability. Of course, this was having it solo. I could really see this one with sausage and kraut, which would ratchet the numbers up a bit. If they had mustard and sausage beer, this one would pair quite nicely.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear amber color with a nice foamy white head that fades to a layer of bubbles on top of the brew very little lacing.

S- Not a whole lot going on here. Some sweet hops and a touch of hops.

T- The malts jump right out at me. Slightly sweet with a faint graniness. Tiny bit of alcohol later on. Some grassy hops round things out.

M- Medium in body and good carbonation.

D- This has to be one of my favorite Oktoberfest brews. Incredibly easy to drink and highly recommended.

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Photo of lastdoctor
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color. I was able to squeeze out two fingers of head.

Not a lot going on in the way of smell. Maybe my sniffer is off today.

Great taste. Plenty of malt and enough hops to satisfy, but not too much.

Very drinkable. Definitely a session beer.

I can honestly say I was excited to see the Oktoberfest beers out this early. This year has gone by in a flash. But at least my favorite seasonal beer comes with my favorite season.


Just got some more of this great beer and it tastes exceptionally chocolatey this time around. It's still very good, just different from the first time.

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

Poured a beautiful clear amber color with a fleeting finger of head.

Smelled of floral hops and malts, not overly impressionable.

Taste was fantastic, hints of malts and hops and little bits of heaven.

The beer was crisp and refreshing, well carbonated, but perhaps a bit watery.

It goes down like water; specifically water that tastes really really good and that I want to drink all the time.

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Photo of Hatch
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with a pry-off cap.

Pours amber with some orange hues. Forms a foamy white head about one finger thick that eventually fades into a ring around the rim. Minimal lacing.

Smells of sweet malts, floral notes, maybe some faint hints of citrus from the hops.

Taste of buscuity malts, buttery, sweet tones, a nice mild bite from the malts, crisp. From the hop profile that is present I detected some citrus notes, but there is not a strong presence from the hops. Some very slight bitterness from the hops, but with the milder hop profile it lets the malts shine through. Mild, balanced, and delicious.

A medium-bodied brew that is crisp and refreshing. An almost perfect level of carbonation. Very easy to drink.

Notes: For the style it's probably one of the best you can find at the moment. The malt's characterisitcs really shine through and make this a very delicious brew I'd strongly suggest to anyone.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber orange with little white head, little retention and lacing. Smells are really sweet; caramel and toffee but with some floral hops and a hint of fruits. Tastes are also sweet, lots of caramel with a touch of nuts. A hint of earthy hops fit nicely into the finish giving it a good crispness. Medium in body and smooth, hides its ABV nicely. A good American attempt at the Marzen, very drinkable and hides the alcohol quite well, meaning that after several of these in a session you're feeling quite like you're at a Festhaus.

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Photo of bobhits
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll just say it. This is everything I want from an oktoberfest. I'll also admit that there are very few beers that I've had and though 'wow, I'm glad this isn't hoppy." I'm a hop nut plain and simple and this beer mixing my demand for hops with an Oktoberfest's malty goodness. The beer at first look is pretty much like every other Oktoberfest. The color the head are all as good as anyone does it. The smell is of an oktoberfest with a wonderful hint of hops to it. Don't get me wrong with this, the beer isn't really hoppy, but it just has a nice hint of them to mix it up and keep you interested

I'm giving this beer a perfect score not because it's the best beer I've ever had, but because imo this is the gold standard for Oktoberfest's that all others must live up to. This beer is just a total treat and I regret greatly not buying a case or two while I still had a chance.

Edit. After thinking this over, grading this heavily to style is wrong. Reducing scores to reflect the beer by beer standards and not a substandard style of beer.

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Photo of elmore
3.29/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Thick fluffy head that slowly receded into a ring around the glass and left some decent lacing.

S: Not an overpowering smell. Mostly sweet malt with a hint of hops.

T: Light malty slightly sweet with a hint of hop aftertaste.

M: Medium to light body with nice medium carbonation.

D: Supremely drinkable. This is a real beer that is drinkable. I think thats what they are going for with this brew, and what an Oktoberfest beer should be. I could drink this all day and night long on a crisp fall day accompanied by various meat processed meat products stuffed into sausage casing.

Another winner from GLBC.

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Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 2,339 ratings