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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: 2,210
Photo of kwakwhore
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap last night in Oberlin OH.
Reddish brown pour with not a ton of lacing.(bartender error?)
Malt dominated aromas and flavors. Sweet malt and biscuit malt without a lot of hops. Not terribly complex but very flavorful.
Comfortable slightly creamy mouthfeel.
Very tasty and easy to drink. I could have had several of these but I have work to do this morning.
Another very solid offering from a really solid brewery. Wish I could get it more often.

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Photo of blackearth
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Three Cellars in Franklin, WI. Pours a medium amber body with a rocky off-white head. Aroma is a deliciously inviting sweet taffy. Medium bodied with robust malt flavors from start to finish with just a hint of bitterness. This is one of the best octoberfest beers I've tried this year.

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Photo of nickynick
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Oktoberfest poured a nice amber color, however lost some points because it lacked head and lacing. Smell was nice of bready malts and hops. Taste showed nice balance between the bready and slightly sweet malt, with a nice hop finish, enough there to notice, but did not over take the malt. The malt stood out. Mouthfeel was good for the style. Drinkability was good, almost to good for a beer with this ABV. Overall I thought this was a nice version of the style. I feel to often American made Ofests or often overly sweet. This one had that nice sweet malt, but not overly sweet, and all in balance.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.28/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark copper color with a thin white cap that leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Spicy caramel malt with a some bitter hops. Slightly more hops than I've encountered in most traditional Oktoberfest beers.

T- Decent wave of hoppy spice bitterness with some vegetal flavors and a soapy finish. Not exactly what I was expecting. Alcohol is fairly apparent even though this one only clocks in at 6.5%.

M- Light/medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Soapy aftertaste lingers.

D- I was a bit surprised that this wasn't better than I expected. Great Lakes puts out some very good beers but this one missed the mark.

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Photo of meatyard
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nicely carbonated, clear amber with 2 fingers of very pale, yellowish head. Retention was hanging in for a bit and there are some dabs of lacing.
Smell is lightly grassy, malty and sweet.
Taste is maltcentric, slightly sweet but I don't get the grassiness that's in the smell. No complicated flavors in this one as it probably should be that way. It's done simply and tastes good.
Mouthfeel is medium full and pleasantly smooth.
Very drinkable, goes quickly.

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Photo of Brenden
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Given that this one abides by the Bavarian Purity Law, and given that no such aromas / flavors exist in this one, I have to question the credibility of a review that attributes extreme excess of flavor or overbearing sweetness. It just isn't here and, frankly, it's not possible that it could be.

The color of this brew is right on the border between orange and red. A thick, compact head dissipates after some time, leaving a tight film that drops a nice curtain of lacing halfway down the glass before spotting. There's lot of clarity and a little activity throughout.
A nice, sturdy malt / hops balance is on the nose with light citrus notes and a caramel tone from the malt.
There's a light sweetness underneath in this one (play between the malts and the fermentation, I assume). The supporting flavors are very gentle, backed by a strong, pure hops. The malt adds that gentle sweetness and the hops add an earthy note and a subtle citrus as well.
This one was as smooth and creamy as I've ever had. There's not as much crispness, and carbonation is pretty light, but man this is smooth.
All in all I was quite impressed with this one. There's a good balance and even a light complexity, more than expected given that its only ingredients are hops, barley, yeast and water. NO sugars, nothing added. Discredit those who say otherwise.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a light amber with a fluffy single-finger head that left some nice lacing. The smell is mostly sweet malt with some unobtrusive grassy and floral malt. The taste starts off with a mix of the floral hops and some sweet slightly tart malt that gives way to a bit of a dry finish. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some moderate carbonation. No problem with drinkability, this is a nice little beer.

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

A- Clear orange with a thin white head.

S- Sweet malt and a bit grassy.

T- Has a nice malt profile, lots of different biscuity and bread notes. Hops aren't too noticeable, but there definitely there to keep the beer somewhat balanced, but it's still on the sweeter side.

M- Medium body with a nice carbonation level.

D- Not a bad Maerzen, but note the best one either.

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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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.


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.

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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?


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4 out of 5 based on 2,210 ratings.
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