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
Photo of stevoj
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
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 +6.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.99/5  rDev 0%
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 +4%
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.

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Photo of curasowa
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
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 +23.8%
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.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
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 +10.3%
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 -6.8%
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 -6.5%
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). 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 +14%
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 -44.9%
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%
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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Photo of breakingbland
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clear golden orange with a one-finger head of medium bubbles. The aroma was of sweet malt with a slight roasty component and a hint of funk. The taste followed, with the funk being slightly more evident. The hops presence is not a major component, although there is a hoppy astringent aftertaste. The beer has a nice body and an appropriate level of carbonation.

Overall, I'll plan to make this beer a seasonal custom.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from a single into a nonic
pours a clear bright light copper with a 1 finger white head that leaves little lacing. There is some pumpkin and flowers on the nose that are just a bit too sweet and oddly fruity, as well as some light bready malts. Taste-wise, it starts off well with some nice light bready layers that welcome you in, but mid-way to the end, there is more of that odd pumpkin-like earthiness, that seems like it is going to go sweet but doesn't...hard to describe where exactly it does go, but I find it a bit distracting. Lacks some depth of flavor. In terms of feel, it is pretty good. Carb is a bit too high and its a little too crisp, but body is about right and it isn't too sweet, and it does end dry.
Hmmm, I love most of GL's lagers, but this one just doesn't stand out to me, except in ways I find a little odd. I tasted side-by-side with a Hacker-Pschorr Ofest, and while neither one of them was at the top of my list, the German one was better.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this on tap at Hunger N Thirst, served chilled in a willybecker.

The color is dark side of amber with thick white creamy head with good clarity and retention with nice lace. The smell is good with malt dominant aroma and light earthy toasted scent with slight nutty odor and mild yeast fragrance. The fee is creamy yet semi-sweet in the light toast of malt with nutty texture and moderately high carbonation with mineral and dry yeasty finish.

The taste starts with slight dried fruit not quite raisin with a toast flavor in the malted grain and slight sweet element with yeast mid palate showing lager character with a hint of hops in the background and mineral quality is present with gentle caramel element but it finishes mostly dry. Overall this is a very good Oktoberfest, enjoyable and above average for the style may be the 3rd best I have tried this year well done but could use 'something' -more malt or hops but a little too dry...still I am only being critical

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

One of the better if not the best Oktoberfest I've had. I don't love this style and only have a few each year. Good malty bread like balance to this one.

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Photo of zymurgist12
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From one of my favorite breweries in American this does not disappoint. In our recent Waterstone Beer Club event it took home 5th place out of the many Oktoberfests sampled.

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Photo of BrianLC1990
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes has accomplished the brewing of a fulfilling in singularity, but also drinkable in terms of multiplicity, United States produced Germanic Marzen-Lager.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.54/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Oktoberfest pours a copper color, with a small long lasting head. There is a fruity crisp aroma. The taste has a nice spicy malty flavor, with a strange straw like, fruit aftertaste. Good body, a little watery near the end. Overall, it has some very nice flavors, but the aftertaste takes it away from greatness.

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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.

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Photo of TLWalsh
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got a growler of this today at my bottle shop Bear World for $10. Pours deep amber with dense creamy head. Definitely smells quite carmelish. Has a clear crisp malty taste and a medium dense mouth feel. There is no hint of a grassy or tart finish. Leaves a pleasant sweet lingering aftertaste.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I’ve been trying several different Oktoberfests lately and this one by Great Lakes looks good. It has 6.5% ABV.

Look-Pours a clear amber color that reminds me of the reds and oranges of fall time. The lacing is moist and delicate.

Smell-I smell caramel, toffee, and roasted nuts along with some subtle hints of pumpkin.

Taste-The taste is brilliant with the pumpkin and caramel malts dominating the body. There is a lack of that mild grassy hop bite at the end like I see in other beers. However, there is some slight hop tinge at the end in the back palate.

Mouthfeel-This beer is just shy of medium-bodied. A creamy mouthfeel endures through the end and is delightful. It isn’t too sweet and I can tell that they didn’t use any of that nasty malt extract syrup.

Overall-This is a great brew! I would say that it is on par with the superb Hofbrau. I would recommend this to everyone!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

On-draught at Great Lakes' pub at Cleveland airport:

A: spot-on for the style, with an Off-white frothy head of 2 minute retention. Leaves an even ring of lacing as it recedes.

Body is a clear gold of stellar vibrance...has quite a shine to it. Clean, with no sediment or yeast visible.

Ample bubbles indicate high carbonation. Will it come off biting?

Sm: Lovely, and en pointe given the style. Aromatic Munich malts, hints of Graham cracker and lightly toasted golden malts, complementary floral hop character. To style, hop intensity is quite subdued, letting the malts take the spotlight. Yeast attenuation seems perfect; this isn't too sweet by any means.

Aromatic intensity is average. Suggests a balanced traditional Marzen with pleasant nuance. I can't wait to try it.

T & Mf: Though served entirely too cold (airport bar syndrome, but then Great Lakes does run it...), the Munich malts shine, set off by Subtle Graham crackery malts and downplayed floral (and perhaps grassy) hop character.

Texture-wise, it's less impressive. The buying crisp overcarbonation I feared is rampant, severely reducing drinkability - which is a kiss of death in a style of beer intended to be quaffedin bierkrugs by the litre. That said, otherwise it's about right. Smoothness and wetness keep it refreshing. It's got a but too much body for a September sipper, but it's forgivable, and I find it worth it as it supports and emphasizes the flavours.

Getting back to the taste, it's balanced - sure. Not too sweet, not overhopped like so many American stabs at the style. Effective as it is, depth of flavour could be improved.

O: Captures the Munich malt focus of a Marzen quite well, but there's a bit of trouble in the texture. It's not the insanely drinkable festbier many might hope for, but the competency behind this is obvious, and Great Lakes has rightly erred toward tradition. It's not going to edge out offerings from Ayinger et al for a spot on rotation in your fridge, but it's yet another worthwhile lager from one of the great unsung (undersing?) breweries in the states.

High B- (3.48)

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Photo of FickleBeast
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a imperial pilsner glass.

Pours a copper color with a finger of off white foam. Relatively low carbonation. Aroma is mostly crystal/vienna malts, smells very crisp and clean. First sip confirms that. This is a nice, sweet lager with minimal hop flavor and bitterness. There is a decent amount of sweetness and body, and overall the finish is very clean.

This is what an Oktoberfest should taste like. Clean, simple, and delicious.

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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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