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Great Lakes Oktoberfest | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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618 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: 618 | Ratings: 2,203
Photo of rob1043
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beginning middle and end. Nice clear amber look, good hoppy-malt flavor with a great finish.
Great Lakes Brewing is the best thing that ever came from Cleveland, and this is my go to Oktoberfest.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous pour - crystal clear with good effervescence and a light persistent head. That's the high point. Weak odor and good, but watery, malt- forward taste. Not bad, but not in the first rank for us. Perhaps it's this year's batch.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.42/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a perfect pint from a bottle.

3.0 A: Clear medium orange color. Two fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is a touch below average and just a few wisps of lacing are left.

3.5 S: Caramel and toastiness, mineral, nuts, apple, rust. Light earthy hops.

3.5 T: Caramel apple, toastiness, nuts. The lager yeast is a bit aggressive lending a dirty earthy component. Also has a dry champagne quality to it.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good carbonation level that is fizzy on the tongue. Lightly creamy.

3.25 D: I love GL and I know everyone loves this beer, but for me it's just slightly above average.

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells like a typical Oktoberfest when u open the bottle, pours a very nice burnt orange or amber color. Very thin white head with little to no lacing. Looks kind of flat when you are sipping on it because of the lack of head and lacing but you can see the carbonation bubbles the whole time. Initial taste is quite good up front with little to no bitterness and a very mild finish. The more I sip it, the more I like it and milder it becomes. This is actually one of my favorite Oktoberfest brews so far. Would definitely buy again.

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Photo of car2052
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass.

A: Clear copper color, 1/2 inch of tan head, now a ring of foam.
S: Caramel, roasted malt, raisin, apple, mixed nuts.
T: Nice sweetness up front. Nuts and caramel, as well as a slightly roasted character. Smooth.
M: Medium
O: Very smooth, inoffensive beer.

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Photo of MarkLinton1
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I always like to try a few Oktoberfest-Marzen style beers as they come out in the late Summer. Not my favorite style of beer however Great Lakes nails this one! Beautiful copper color as you would expect. Fantastic smooth mouth feel with slightly sweet malt and plenty of spices and earthy richness. Some fruit and just a note of hops. Will certainly enjoy this six pack and head back for more.

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Photo of do_ob
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams glass. Pours a clear amber with brown undertones. Beautifully clear amber/copper in the glass with 2 fingers of bubbly, white foam. Receded down to a lacing after about a minute. Good carbonation. Bready malt, peppery spice, sweet apples, and sasafrass on the nose. Medium weight and very creamy. Slightly carbonated. Lots of bready malt and spice on the taste initially with a strong yeasty character. More spice comes to life on the back end. Finishes smooth and crisp and leaves a sourdough and bready malt aftertaste behind.

Pretty good. Not a style I am overly farmiliar with, but I'm a fan of Great Lakes so I figured I'd give it a go. This is one spicy beer - not chili spicy - but just lot of peppery spices. Very well-balanced and lots of malt in the mix. I liked it.

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Photo of justinp444
4.73/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip it is a slight amber orange crystal clear with a 1 and a half thick frothy white head. Smell of caramel, sweet malt, floral, spice, some nuttiness, and a nice fruity apple. Taste is apple, plum, bread-y sweet malt, caramel, nuttiness, some spice, tiny bit of grass, a good amount of earth on the end, and a very clean full flavor. Has a very nice sweetness about it, with a fantastic full mouth feel that is creamy yet crispy, and a great moderate to full body. One of the best marzens I've had for drink-ability and a more malt & yeast forward flavor.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours brilliant red orange under a persistent, clingy 2” white foam cap.
S: Rich spicy malt
T: Exceptionally well developed malt flavors with a little breadiness and lightly sweet kettle sugars seasoned with spice from the malt and hops and a firm bitter accent on the finish.
F: Clean, smooth yet crisp with a medium body and carbonation.
O: Very well balanced and well prepared Oktoberfest.

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Photo of mchegash
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.85/5
An extremely clear orange color. One finger of head upon pouring, dissipated within a minute. A medium amount of carbonation can be seen rising at a medium rate. Overall, nice look, but I would like to see more head retention.

Smell - 3.75/5
Sweet maltiness. Some fruitiness, alcohol, and a bit of hops.

Taste - 3.75/5
Sweet fruity maltiness. Some subtle hops. Tastes like there are some subtle fall spices in this beer (though there aren't...GL only uses barley, hops, yeast, and water in all their beers). A bit of alcohol taste as well. Overall a decent taste, but the taste also seems a little strange/off in some way I can't describe. There is a strange aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - 4.3/5
Full bodied. In between creamy and crisp. The carbonation is quite light. I really like the fullness of the body, the beer really feels thick while it is in your mouth. Perhaps there could be a tad more carbonation though.

Overall - 3.95/5
Overall this was a good beer. I really appreciated the fullness of the body, though I would have tweaked the taste a bit I think.

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Photo of TheSSG
2.75/5  rDev -31.3%

Pours a soapy, off-white head. Spicy hop nose. Light, golden-copper color. Starts with hop bitterness and caramel. Builds in caramel and malt after a flash of medium bitterness. Finish is lingering caramel on spicy hops.

I am not digging the caramel aspect of this one, it really ruins it for me. Great spicy hops, though.

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P- Wegmans in Mechanicsburg, PA

A- clear crisp amber color with a foamy finger head. Nice spiderweb lacing on the pint.

S- all toasted munich malts with hints of grain

F- flavor mimics the nose....very tasty and complementary...I also detect hints of grape on my palate

M- light bodied and goes down with ease. The munich malts are perfect in this one. A great beer and would love it again

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clean, clear orange-red. thin white head that dissipates quickly
S- Malt, carmel, bread heavy
T- Malts and bread up front followed by a hoppy tang
M- Medium body, smooth and easy-drinking, finishes dry
O- I normally don't seek out Oktoberfest beer, but this one is so clean and well balanced it is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into sam adams custom glass: color is perfect, great copper, fine bubbles, head is not present or lingering.

Smell is a nice stronger, fuller maltier oktoberfest style which is a great way to americanize this lager; malts are all munich/vienna aromas, subtle grape and fruit like flavor.

Taste is full bodied, great malt flavor: vienna, munich malts, crisp clean hops and subtle bitterness

Mouthfeel is what to expect from a stronger maltier ale, slight lingering sweetness, and crisp drying carbonation.

Overall a great oktoberfest interpretation; maltier and stronger than many but still very clean and crisp flavors.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev 0%

Bottle: Poured a golden color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of clean cereal notes is exactly what I would expect from the style. Taste is also dominated by cereal notes with light residual sugar with a clean finish. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Perfect example of the style.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass at approximately 45 degrees F.

A: Pours a coppery clear golden-orange, which forms a thin head that dissipates quickly into a ring of bubbles around the glass.

S: Doughy, yeasty malt, much like an uncooked biscuit, with some faint spice hints and a touch of non-sweet caramel.

T: Sweet toast and a bit of caramel hit up front, followed by a doughy yeastiness that rounds out and balances the sweetness nicely. There's some faint spiciness to this marzen, like a touch of cinnamon. As could be expected in any malt-forward lager, there are some undertones of toffee and caramel, though with decidedly less sweetness than one might expect. The finish is composed almost entirely of the GLBC yeast, with a slightly grassy, leafy tone.

M: Flat, but in precisely the way a marzen should be, with minimal carbonation. The feel across the palate is light, without a watery finish (GLBC is good at avoiding that issue with every beer of theirs I've had).

O: That's a good, tasty marzen, relying on malt and yeast to provide the bulk of the flavor profile, while spice and hops remain comfortably in the background.

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Photo of KonigObHops
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured a medium copper color with an off-white head that was one finger-width wide.

The beer has a bready smell, which is very strong.

The initial taste sweet, and the hops follow immediately. The flavor is complex in the middle. This beer does not have the typical toasted caramel Marzen punch. It has fruity tones mixed in with the hops and malt. The finish is very nice and slightly sweet. There is absolutely no hint of bitterness .

The mouth feel on this beer is full bodied and smooth. The carbonation is noticable, but nicely balanced.

Overall, this is an excellent beer. If you are looking for a typical Oktoberfest, this is not the right beer. If you want something in the Oktoberfest style that is slightly more sophisticated, then this is a great choice.

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Photo of gangstafaceclay
4.8/5  rDev +20%

Appearance-Pours a dark orangish color with white foamy head.

Smell-sweet..caramel, toffee and nutty.

Taste- man this is good. You get toasted nuttiness, toffee, Carmel, molasses, and light toasted bread.

Mouthfeel- med bodied and good carbonation. This is an easy drinker.

Overall- have to say this is my favorite Oktoberfest I've had yet. So for the style I rate this beer very highly.

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Photo of Boto
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Draught @ Headkeeper: This one pours a clear, lighter amber color. There was a small off white head that left little lacing. Decent aroma. A bit of toasted malts. Possible some earthy hops also. No noticeable sweetness. The taste is decent. Toasted malts and slight biscuit notes. It has just a hint of bitterness and is very smooth. Nice!

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This brew was served from the bottle at The Brick Oven Bistro in Sandusky, Ohio. We poured into a set of half-sized house snifters, revealing a ruddy amber coloring to the brew. It held a half finger tall head of creamy white bubbles, showing nice retention. Wet, etched lacing was left around the glasses. A mild haze cut clarity, with no sediment noted. Carbonation appeared to be active. The aroma boasted bitter skunk spray sourness, eucalyptus and menthol plant resins, dusty pollen florals, plastic and Magic Marker phenols, basement mustiness, soured wheat and crystal maltiness, big coiny metallics, canned creamed corn, gravel sweaty dog fur saltiness, and warmed pumpernickel breadiness. The taste offered honey and white sugar sweetness atop a base of plastic foaminess, brown, crystal, and toasty brown German malts, dense banan esters, pumpkin seed and nutmeg spice, black pepper booze, orange peel citrus, light grassy hoppiness, bitter brown autumn leaf crunch, toasty honey, salt lick, and biscuity, savory butters. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave nice cream and froth, slurp and smack, and pop and glug, with the mouth left coated, warmed, and eventually lightly dried with tannic astringency. The abv was appropriate, and the beer glugged back easily.

Overall, this was again, a great suggestion from the bartender at this establishment. We are typically always on top of what we want to order from our beer spots, almost always before we even get there, but we were being so indecisive, so decided to go with this proposed offering, however widely available it is. Again, we were not disappointed. This is your quintessential southern German Oktoberfestbier. The flavoring was beautifully balanced to a crisp malty push, although we did find a lacking of even the mildest hops, making for a highly sippable and enjoyable beverage to relax with. This beer fits well with the change in the season to colder weather, and should satisfy the palate of any novice or expert alike.

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Photo of BrewThru_29
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

I dont review many beers, but this one was worthy.

Appearance: Gorgeous crystal clear fall amber with a nice head.

Smell: Sweet malt. Really not a ton going on here.

Taste: This is where the beer stands out. Hands down the best balance and flavor I've experienced in an Oktoberfest. Phenomenal. Sweet malts are near perfectly balanced against the hop profile. So drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Easy to take down a few without feeling full.

Overall: Best O'fest I've tried. Get you some!

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.59/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

pours such a lively dark copper beer with a thin but existent head. carbonation is noticeable.

smells exactly like i remember. not overly strong but definitely there. starts off like a euro pale lager/pilsner but more malty and roasted.

taste is fantastic, my favorite marzen/oktoberfest. i can taste pumpkin but only at the very end, thankfully because i prefer marzen/oktoberfest lagers to pumpkin ales by a wide margin (off topic but just sayin). hard to describe, bready and sweet yet not thick or thin.

this goes down so smooth, i think it has to do with the lively carbonation. it's not overly thick or thin but just very solid.

my favorite oktoberfest, so glad i picked up a case of it today! was waiting for it since last year. one of my favorite lagers ever.

if i could describe this simply it would be: a hardy and substantial lager. Go Bucks

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to whitenads for sending me this one.

Enjoy by: 10/15/14.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, toast, earth, caramel, and slight nut aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, toast, nut, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of malt and earth forward characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Samp01
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear copper amber with an lasting off white head. very light lacing. Aroma and taste of toasted grains, barley, malt with mild bitterness. A full flavored brew with a smooth medium body, good carbonation on the palate. Finishes with toasted grains and some moderate caramel malt comes thru as it warms up balanced with some light hops bitterness, ending has a lingering nutty flavor. Overall a very good and flavorful brew.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, enjoy by 11/05/14. I had this one time about 5 years ago and wasn't crazy over it (3/5), but I keep hearing about it this fall as being one of the best American brewed Oktoberfest beers, so I had to retry it...
A 4 - amber/copper colored body with amazing clarity, ivory head holds decent retention eventually fading to a thin foam
S 3.75 - sweet caramel and toffee, toasted grain, spicy & grassy noble hops
T 3.25 - very sweet up front with caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasty grain followed by a decent kick of noble hops providing some earthiness, grass, and spice; sweetness prevails
M 3.75 - medium body, moderate carbonation, finishes sweet with a spicy, peppery prickle on the tongue
O 3.5 - a little better than I remember. But I still find it to be overly sweet, which takes away from being able to drink more than one at a time - a quality I feel is necessary for the style. It's ABV of 6.5% also keeps it from being sessionable. I'll pass on this and go with others for Oktoberfests in the future.

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Great Lakes Oktoberfest from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4 out of 5 based on 2,203 ratings.
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