Great Lakes Oktoberfest | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
612 Reviews
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
Reviews:
612
Ratings:
2,184
Avg:
4
pDev:
23.25%
 
 
Wants:
251
Gots:
417
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 612 | Ratings: 2,184
Photo of zeff80
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, orange color with ruby highlights. It had a small, foamy, off-white head that left some sticky lace.

S - It smelled of caramel malt and some mild floral notes. It smelled really quite sweet.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel with touches of honey. It doesn't have the maltiness that I expect in a great octoberfest.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly dry finish. A light to medium bodied brew.

D - This is a nice easy drinking octoberfest. It's not my favorite but its still worth a try from a quality brewery.

 543 characters

Photo of TaddyPorter
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

BACKGROUND INFO/SUMMARY
Our friend Beth brought over a sixer last night, when we made some tasty French bread pizzas. I thought it would be a good beer to review to make me sit down and pay a little more attention to it.

Appearance:
A frothy, 3-finger head after a fairly vigorous pour. Inviting, sparkling golden clarity. It's a musky, caramelly brownish gold with a fluffy white head atop that slowly dissipates to a more modest size.

Smell:
Slightly metallic, sweet smell of roasted grain. Natural smelling, a bit piney or grassy with spicy, somewhat cinnamon-like notes.

Taste:
Deep malt notes open up from tighter, more biscuity flavor into a melty caramel-like roasted smoothness. Hops are virtually absent, perhaps only noted as a ghostly presence in the initial sharpness. Finishes sweet and robust after coming on strong and fizzy, leaving a lingering reminder of some kind of childhood canned beer taste. But the finish is complex and sweet, leaving you with something to ponder.

Mouthfeel:
Starts out strong with a somewhat astringent mouthfeel due to fairly active carbonation. This fizzes over the tongue, leaving you with a cleansed palate to appreciate the flavors through a light, silky finish.

Drinkability:
Starts out making you think there's not going to be much to it, but leaves you with an impressive amount of malty complexity to ponder as you make your way through this easy drinker. For such a sessionable beer, it has some real nuance.

 1,466 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, picked up in Buffalo.

Pours a radiantly clear dark reddish amber, honey coloured, thick slightly off white head forms, slowly settles down to a pretty decent layer and ring around the glass, good retention, some lace chunks stick. Smell is nice, very fruity, almost tropical like mango and pineapple, bready and biscuit malt, sulphur, caramel, strawberries, very rich and malty, some alcohol comes through, quite nice. Taste is similar, very rich maltiness, biscuit and caramel, bready, some fruit, strawberry sweetness, iron, some alcohol, sugary feel, it really coats the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, feels a bit heavy, but is really well done. Maybe a touch sweet but a nice marzen.

 738 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed with Harrington 2-row, Munich, and C-45. Hopped with Hallertau.

6.5% ABV, 20 IBU., OG=14.5P.

$9.99/6'er.

Please enjoy by" date of 10-05-09. Pours out to a clear medium amber, forming a modest off yellow head with good retention and decent lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is big, malty, clean, moderately sweet with a hint of alcohol, grain husk, and residual sugars. Very nice. The mouth-feel is smooth and soft with a nice finish. The taste opens with some grassy hops, followed by maple syrup and distant caramel, then a wave of grassy hops hits in the middle, followed by peppery alcohol, and an aftertaste of leather and toast. More grassy and herbal than I expected, but I just brushed my teeth, so I'll try another later.

One of the better American Oktoberfest's, however I've noted a few other reviews regarding the grassy hops, which is kinda off-kilter for the style.

 898 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
3.26/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oktoberfest pours a very dark mahogany color with some reddish auburn highlights. Its a great looking color for a beer. The head is big and fluffy and quite dense, almost looks like bread dough.

Aroma is very sweet, like caramel and brown sugar in a glass. Sort of surprising as its much sweeter than I expected. Its actually sweet to the point where I'm a bit turned off.

Flavor is...well...it tastes like brown bread with honey on it. That is the best description I can come up with. Its got a sweetness that is not balanced by a crisp lager-esque finish, its sort of falls flat and is a bit watery. I had high hopes for this beer but its definitely not one of the better domestic Oktoberfests that I've had this year. Maybe it was a bad batch? Anyone else had this and felt the same?

Sigh.

 796 characters

Photo of hossua34
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear, darkened amber red. A big, lively head dies very slowly. Some average-to-light lacing.

S - Crackers (!) and crusty bread. A sweet, almost berry-like hop bite. Toasty malt notes counter this slight hop bitterness nicely.

T - Again, I detect an almost fruity fresh hops note (pomegranate? raspberry?). The sweet and subdued malt finish rounds this beer out nicely.

M - Wow! The mouthfeel of this brew is beautiful; thick, creamy and moderately carbonated. Just excellent.

D - A fantastic marzen. Tart and crisp. A great fall beer, and one of my favorite Great Lakes offerings.

 589 characters

Photo of almychristopher
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours a nice copper color off white head that recedes quickly to a layer of lace. the aroma brings a nice sweet malty bready aroma that follows in the taste. the lager yeast doing their thing making the sweet malt flavor up front dry and crisp at the end. the full body and good co2 make this a tasty beverage.

 320 characters

Photo of wingman14
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark redish dark copper with an off white head that fades fast and leaves lacing. The smell is malty, but a different sort of malt, with some sweet notes. The taste is much different than most malty beers, the malt drives the flavor, and the sweetness comes on at first, but there is a nice bitter finish to balance the beer. The mouthfeel is medium, nice carbonation, a beer with some depth. This one is an easy drinker, somewhat strong on the tongue, but nothing that will turn you away. Definitely one worth checking out.

 532 characters

Photo of PerroGrande
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a medium/light amber with a solid, tight foamy head that lingers for a long time. The foam leaves light lacing on the glass that seem to be fairly durable. A good looking brew.

Aroma is somewhat laid back, but I pick up some light bread, hops, and mostly malt.

Taste is quite good and decently complex. Opens up with some carbonation bite. This is followed by some bitterness that fades in favor of caramel and malty tones that tend slightly toward the sweet side. Long finish is caramel with a mild hint of alcohol that warms slightly.

Mouthfeel is moderately smooth, although a little too carbonated for my taste, with a slight tendency toward the thin side. Higher ABV adds to this bite a bit, but not obnoxiously so.

Drinkability is decent. Higher ABV might limit this somewhat as a session brew, but not too much. Quite refreshing and enjoyable, but I'd be inclined to stop after 2 or 3.

This is a nicely crafted beer that is a good example of a domestic Marzen. A very enjoyable beer to drink, and a nice compliment to a decent variety of foods.

 1,066 characters

Photo of naproxen
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to nlmartin and beertruth for this one :-)

Poured this into my pimp Schlitz glass goblet, cheers. A thin white head and moderate lacing afterwards, pretty standard. The aroma on this bring on sticky sweet malt, a little bread too.

For an oktoberfest this is pretty tasty and full of flavor, however I find it overall a touch too sweet for my liking to enjoy multiple of these in a sitting. I like the bite of the malt and a little bitter hops in the finish as well. If nothing else, the abv from this one has warmed me up a little bit. I'd love to have this on tap to compare with the bottle.

 606 characters

Photo of Lolli1315
3.21/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

24 oz. bar glass on tap.

A- Transparent orange to burnt orange color. Not much of a head, but the bartender did not really any room in the glass for a head. At a college bar, I expected that.

S- Roasted malts come through the strongest, but not as strong as I think I would like in an Oktoberfest. Some spices also apparent with a very small amount of pumpkin (Not the pumpkin smell you get with a pumpkin ale).

T- The sweet malts hit you on the front, and when I say sweet I do not mean like a hefe or a wheat beer, but a more subdued sweetness that would work better for a fall season and grilled out meats. Not anything outstanding for an oktoberfest beer though, as it is not balanced between the sweet malt and a roasted pumpkin flavor for me.

M- Medium to thin mouth feel. I would prefer that it be a little more full bodied especially for a beer in the fall season.

D- I certainly could finish this beer, but after 24 oz, I did not care much to have another.

 970 characters

Photo of ommegoose
3.08/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks more or less as it should. Copper color with clarity, little visible carbonation, and an off-white head. Only a full sheet of head on this pour. No lacing. Maybe the next bottle will do better. Did get more lacing with my second bottle.

Some toffee-like sweetness. Buttery.

Buttery caramel malt, and a surprisingly earthy and musty finish. Dank. Hops are subdued, in fact, bludgeoned to death by the excessive malts.

Feels heavy. Full-bodied and lightly carbonated. A little out-of-place hotness.

Oddly, this really reminds me of the Christmas Ale, but without the spices. I don't think it's better. Surprisingly slow to drink. I think it's a bit too big, and that's a complaint I don't make too often. Not really what I was looking for. Really rather dull to me, but this is probably a symptom of being an Oktoberfest. I wanted something a bit more quaffable.

 870 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single bottle (early October date) poured into a tumbler. Appearance - Some white foam that died down quickly and left some broad lacing on the glass - really not a lot. The color is a nice coppery orange - with just a little bit of carbonation coming up in the glass - the bubbles move up quite slowly.

Smell - quite delicious. Lots of toasted malt and a hint of something caramel - but not too much.

Taste - quite nice. Sweet caramel malt, something that reminds me of crackers (a buttery one, not a dry saltine), and a hint of bitter at the end. Well balanced and it was a taste that made me want more.

Mouthfeel - some carbonation on the tongue, a bit thick but again, not in an unpleasant way.

Drinkability - this went fast with dinner and I think if I was in an actual Oktoberfest event, this stuff would be gone fast and I'd easily be ordering another. Very nice beer with a meal in that it doesn't overpower the meal (which was a simple beef, onion and noodle dish) and satisfies at the end.

 1,006 characters

Photo of dolemite77
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love great lakes beers, this one does a good job on the Oktoberfest style. I think I'm usually a little too excited for Oktoberfest season, because a lot of them fall flat to me... this one is similar to the great lakes lager, in the fact that there is a little more hoppiness to these than most. Pours rich copper, with a little head, but lacing is nice. Aroma is basic malt. Flavor is malty, but there is a different layer to the flavor that I'm detecting as hops, but it might just be the roasting of the malts. Not my favorite Great Lakes by many many miles, but still a good beer in a style that I usually give average marks to.

 633 characters

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

12oz. bottle served into a pint glass.

A. Pours amber with a frothy, pillowy brown head. Plenty of lace left clinging behind proper head retention.
S. Smells of toasted malts upfront, molasses, and noble hops.
T. The rich deep taste of brown sugga and molasses. Biscuity buttery malts and earthy grains. A nice amount of noble hops at the end that gives the finish a nice dry bitterness. The maltiness of this beer gives a deep rich flavor that distinguishes this Oktoberfest from others.
M. A creamy mouthfeel that's both syrupy and sticky. Medium bodied with light carbonation.
D. Wow, the flavors linger about the palate. A nice feel of malts left clinging to the tounge. Very drinkable Oktoberfest at a 6.5 abv. with plenty to enjoy. The best American Oktoberfest in my opinion.

 783 characters

Photo of dmamiano
2.91/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Really excited to try this one. Great Lakes doesnt disapoint!...or does it.
Claen oarangish amber pour with a nice one finger white head and lacing.
Smell of malts. Some sweetness, but also an underlying hint of vegetables.
Taste was good up front, malt dominated but quickly had the taste of a slight sourness of maybe even vegetle.
Have to say I was let down by this one. Maybe a bad sixer?

 392 characters

Photo of MaltyHoppyGood
3.51/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few Oktoberfest beers I've had.

Generally, it's a good beer... I love many of Great Lakes other offerings and used this beer as a guide for the style.

Pours a healthy amber with good amount of head, leaves lacing all around the glass.

It is lightly sweet with a lager taste I've never experienced before. It's really easy to drink, as it is somewhat nondescript rather likeable. Unlike other lagers, this amber lager has more malty body, making it a bit bigger and heartier.

I enjoyed this beer, and am interesting in trying other versions from other breweries. I can't say I'd go out and buy more, as there are other beers with more character.

 668 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a orange brown hue. A half inch of off white head sits atop my glass. After it recedes no lacing is left whatsoever. Once again as I'm starting to notice with this style the nose is weak. What I can pick up is malty breadiness and hnits of hops. Not much else. The flavor is fairly mild as well. Malt and roast nuts are the main characters I taste up front with a slight hop bitterness that comes in at the end. Smooth medium body with moderate carbonation. Overall another underwheliming marzen. Here's to the next one knocking my socks off.

 580 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured into a pint glass to a small light tan head. It is dark orange in color. It smells of sweet malt. It tastes of caramel malts and has some hints of hops. I think it is quite drinkable, but it is not a standout. I would belly up to a bar and session this beer. It just lacks the "wow" factor.

 299 characters

Photo of claminat420
3.07/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- poured a nice transparent amber almost golden color with a nice off white thick foamed head. noticing the bubbles. looks over carbonated :(

S- kinda a sweet malty scent. maybe a very small hop scent to back it up.

T- noticing the sweet malts mostly dominating followed by a very slight bitterness that hangs in the backend.

M- light bodied. well carbonated.

D- nothing to special. could have a couple don't know if i could kill the whole six.

Overall- on the label great lakes call is a amber lager. i woulda expected more of a medium to heavy bodied mouthfeel then. i guess the best term i could say is that this brew is alright.

 638 characters

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

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my standard shaker glass. The o-fest appears a clear rich copper color with about two fingers of pillowy off white foam. Nose and flavor consist of toasted bready grain, fruity, apples, toast, buttery, grassy hops. Medium in both body and carbonation. A decent stab at the marzen style.

 316 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A brilliant golden amber, low amount of head, that dissipates to a white ring. Gloriously clean...

S: Malty, with some spice, maybe nutmeg or pumpkin??

T: Delicious malty body, with a little kick from the hops and finishes with a nice spice flavor that I can't really put my finger on. Damn tasty though.

M: Clean, smooth and creamy.

D: A nice beer for the fall seasons... you can taste the leaves cahnging in every sip.

 427 characters

Photo of shirfan
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber-orange color with a fleeting head.

Grainy malt aroma with hints of caramel and a faint nuttiness.

Tasty, but a little too light in body and a bit too sweet. Mildly toasty malt is the main flavor component here, with caramel tones. A hint of grassy, herbal hops in the finish.

An easy drinker but not quite up to par with many of GL's other outstanding beers.

 372 characters

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

Beer #2 on the Oktoberfest tasting spree. Review is on a bottle-pour into a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a completely clear reddish-orange with light, visible carbonation bubbles running throughout. The short, white head fades immediately to blotches of watery foam on the surface, and very little slippery lace slides down the walls.

Smell: Not very pronounced, but the aromas of caramelized grains and honey come through, along with a mild metallic note.

Taste/Mouthfeel: I really enjoy the taste of this marzen. The best way to describe it is hearty - really toasted, bready grains give it a full, satisfying flavor. It is somewhat sweet, but not overly and has a slight presence of green apple-like tartness, especially in the aftertaste. The feel is light and clean without being too fizzy or overcarbonated.

Drinkability: Really high. This is a solid marzen that pairs well with all the food of the season.

 928 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Enjoy by 10/14/09.

(A)- Pours an amber color. Decent off-white head formation, but quickly dissipates down to a light layer of bubbles.

(S)- Malty sweet-like maple wood with light caramel and corn.

(T)- Lightly sweetened malts with a corn husk taste. Has essences of apples on the finish.

(M)- Good carbonation level. Rather sweet in the malt category, but overall pretty well balanced.

(D)- A good oktoberfest, yet is almost a bit too sweet though. Overall, a beer that is easily enjoyed.

 538 characters

Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4 out of 5 based on 2,184 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!