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Oktoberfest Beer | Lancaster Brewing Company

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Oktoberfest BeerOktoberfest Beer

Brewed by:
Lancaster Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Oktoberfest uses seven different malts and three varieties of imported and domestic hops, as well as an authentic Bavarian lager yeast. This beer is full-bodied with a nice malt sweetness.

Added by oberon on 10-31-2003

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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 202
Photo of jwc215
4.27/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish copper with an off-white head that soon descends to a slowly disappearing thin cover.

The smell is of caramel and graininess. Slight spiciness in the back.

The taste is of carmelized grain. Slightly nutty, it has a malty character with a touch of spicy hops. Malty sweetness in the finish. Simple, but tasty. Robust.

It's medium-to-full-bodied. Smooth.

This is a nice O-fest. Malt-accented and smooth, it is a well-crafted brew that hits the style with exceptional authenticity. Very quaffable. (Could use better head retention, though.) A good one to put in a line-up of O-fests!

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Photo of DavidU
4.22/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Look: Massive foamy head, about 3 fingers, which lasts a long time and will leave a nice lacing on the glass. The color is a light amber with plenty of carbonation bubbles.

Smell: This one was tricky for me, but I managed to pick up a smell usually found in a lager

Taste: The start is roasted malts and/or caramel, but the finish is where this one gets interesting. I'm getting an apricot taste which is probably from the floral hops. Speaking of hops, a nice spicy backbone is in the finish as well.

Feel: It goes down smooth, and isn't overly syrupy.

Overall: I've tried quiet a few Oktoberfest's and this one is unique among the others. I've had better, yes, but overall this is one that will be a must have for me this fall. Cheers everyone!

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Photo of JWU
4.21/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into a big ol' mug.

A- a clear amber with orange hues. A nice off white head, that I wish stuck around just a tad better.

S- Clean caramelly, bready lager, with a slight bite of German hops.

T- bready up front, but quickly transitions to the smooth caramel/bready sweetness. A touch of German hops on the finish.

M- Very smooth, slightly above average carbonation.

O- One of my favorite American brewed Oktoberfests. I have some every fall.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lancaster- Oktoberfest

Picked up a single at Capone's- Norristown, PA

A- Golden copper brown with a frothy white head. Moderate lacing down the glass.
S- Strong caramel malt with a light earthy hop aroma.
T- Big strong caramel, butterscotch malt. Sligth touch of vanilla and woddsy hop.
M- Creamy and sweet. Malt dominates throughout.

Overall- Delicious beer, could become cloying after a few but otherwise total session beer here. 1 of the best Oktoberfests I've had this Autumn.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poppin' with flavor much like the version I tried a few years back called Franklin Fest. Pours a copper amber hue with a bright light cream colored head with minimal lacing after each sip. Aroma brings out deep caramel malts with a slightly tart sourdough bread presence and light herbal hop backing. Flavor coats the mouth with a sweet initial fruitiness with a welcomed soothing caramel nut finish, herbal hop flavors roll. Drink this one warmer it really opens up the flavor profile, Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonated softly with a nice semi sweet roundness that treats the palate right. Drinkability overall is pretty killer one of those dessert island Ofests, one of the best of the season thus far and I've had a quite a few to compare this one with.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub.
Served as a deep copper color beer with moderate slightly off-white head.
Smell is malty with some caramel notes present.
Taste is appropriate for the style, with the presence of roasted malt, caramel and toffee found.
Finish is light, for this style of beer, and very refreshing.
A very middle-of the-road example of the style. Great drinkability,

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Photo of weeare138
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

...This is now being offered as the year round Marzen at the brewery.

Appears a red brown color with nice 1 inch head that sticks around for a minute and solid levels of lacing and medium carbonation. The smell is of nice, German malts and a fruity sweetness mixed with aromatic crisp hops.
Taste is smooth with nice rounded malts and a pleasant, mild hoppiness that compliments the beer well. This is one of the smoothest versions of this style you will have.

Finger licking good.

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Photo of wiscokid920
4/5  rDev +13%

Looks and smells like the type of O'fests I DIG! Nose highlights the classic Munich malt profile giving off toffee/caramel sweetness with a touch of herbal hop pop. Flavor is dead on in my book. Munich malts flavors really shine. Toasted malts with caramel sweetness, nice herbal/grassy hop bitterness...the combo makes it very tea-like, nothing over the top....and ends with a nutty finish. Great balance. Clean. Great offering of the style.

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Photo of Billm67
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is a nice coppery clear color with a nice foamy top that clears out quickly without a trace on the glass

The smell is a nice full smell, but somewhat average.

The taste is good that starts out with just a hint of fuirtyness and then turns into a roasted carmel ending.

The mouthfeel is medium with a full body taste. Not heavy, but not watered down either.

Drinkability is good although with the alcohol content I'm not likely to frink one after another all night.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd guess that this is Franklinfest with a more seasonal name; and that this Franklinfest is the same Franklinfest that I used to enjoy so much from Independence Brewing Company. Well, not exactly. But it's pretty close to how I remember it. Yes, very close indeed. Anyway...
Lancaster Brewing Company delivers a very well-made and exceptionally drinkable lager in their Oktoberfest. It's clear, deep amber body displays glowing orange and golden highlights at the sides and base of the glass. The creamy white head holds rather well and leaves tiny spots of lace as it descends. Toasty maltiness dominate the nose, spritzed with floral hops. It's smooth across the palate with a fine-bubbled and restrained carbonation that just lightly tingles the tongue. Munich malts appear upfront in the flavor, mildly toasty, and lightly sweet, along with a bit of caramel. Towards the swallow some floral and grassy hops enter, and then the malt disappears except for a toasty edge in its dry, delicately bitter finish. Well-balanced, clean, and quaffable, it has just enough maltiness and toasted/caramelish character to keep it interesting while still remaining very drinkable. Many breweries over-do their Oktoberfest with too much malt flavor and body, but not this one. Kudos!

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap just the other night at Ale Mary's in Baltimore. Poured the expected nutty brown with a decent half finger of off white foam. Light malt aroma.
Nice chewy malty brew, not overly complex and virtually nonexistent hops. Finished clean and a little dry. Went well with several different foods.

This made it quite drinkable. Though not on par with the Germans overall, it was still worth several.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this beer as part of a Christmas gift from a cousin and am finally getting around to it now because of the massive backlog that I have. Obviously, I don't drink a lot of these this time of the year and I wasn't expecting a lot from this but surprisingly, this beer was easy to enjoy and not as weak or watered-down as so many other Octoberfests and Marzens that I've had over the years. Quite a full feeling to this as the body was quite malty but the alcohol was spot-on and during these colder months, this wasn't a bad choice when it came to needing something to warm up with!

Good copper pour to this with a frothy head and just a bit of lacing on the side of my pint glass, that slowly slid down as I worked my way through this. Toasted and nutty malt scents in the nose with even more in the taste, as there was a nutty undertone to this. Walnut, chestnut, almond, and a bit of pecan all combined for a pleasing taste but thankfully, there wasn't any cinnamon or spice here to make this too heavy. Faint hops and a caramel undertone rounded this out as the carbonation was light and the residual taste was that of a caramel glaze that one might find on a barbecued piece of meat.

The booze was here but you'd have to dig deep to find it, which is not what one should be doing during prime Octoberfest season. As I polished this off, it grew on me and while this wouldn't win any awards, it's a beer like this that would have stood out among all of the others the flood the shelves of stores starting in the middle of August. Grab this and the Victory Octoberfest to see how the Pennsylvania brewers handle this style - both are winners guaranteed to sooth and delight long after all of the leaves have been raked up!

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Photo of LeftyBWS
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: A mix of a light amber / dark copper color, with a good amount of fast-rising carbonation visible. This beer pours with about an inch of smooth head that falls down fairly swiftly yet leaves a spotty layer atop the beer. It leaves a very thin layer of lacing on the glass that slides back into the beer after a minute.
S: Warm and sweet caramel malts are quite strong, with an underlying earthiness/fruitiness to it that really fills the nose. The smell is sweetish and pleasant, but finishes somewhat plain and weak.
T: Sweet up front with a hint of buttery breadiness. The middle is slightly more fruity but without any hop bitterness. Finish is soft and sweet as well with some interesting floral tastes.
M: Soft and manageable for the most part, but it leaves an odd tingle in the side of the mouth during the finish.
D: Really good. Pretty tasty and easy to swallow. I could easily drink a few of these in a row.
Overall, a pretty tasty brew. Nothing is truly outstanding, but it's a good solid example of this style that features a smooth malt character with a tiny hop taste.

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Photo of bmills1608
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tap at Drafting Room Exton.

Deep red/brown color, even a bit dark by American Oktoberfest standards. Finger thick head fizzles away rather fast. Nose is a little muted, but some aromas of dark malts, fudge and fruit. Flavor was very full, pleasing, with a lot of mouth filling richness. Lots of chewy malt and actually quite a bit of fruity flavors as well. I was surprised at how fruity and spiced tasting this O-fest was, I almost thought they crossed the tap lines with a "Brewery name escapes me" Winter ale that was right next to the Lancaster tap handle. Quite a full bodied, rich O-fest overall. Mouthfeel was fine and malty slick with moderate to low carbonation (nice!).

Finished with residual malt sweetness and pumpkin pie spice. Overall - I somewhat stylized version of your typical O-fest, but in a good way. Really nice richness and malt punch dominate this well crafted brew.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty good looking crisp amber colour with a frothy white head that quickly dissolves, leaving virtually no trace of itself on the glass.

The aroma is malty and sweet from caramel and perhaps a touch of chocolate. There's a faint earthiness in the mix here from hops that are also a bit floral at times.

The flavour is similar to the aroma but blends the sweetness of the caramel and the earthiness of the hops a bit more. There's definitely much more of a grainy feel/flavour here as well. Mouthfeel is fairly nice although a bit light at times.

This one is a good stab at the style overall. I've said before that I'm not a huge marzen fan and that still holds true, but I've been lucky enough to find some good ones this year. Whilst this one is near the bottom of the list of the good ones I've found, it's still on the list, which is a good thing. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.91/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, not much to this early, on-tap/draft review, but I am leaving it and the original scores in place for posterity.

This has a decent, but not thick, white head that lingers for a good while. There is a good, malty nose and a beautiful copper color to it. It has a very smooth mouthfeel with an extremely malty finish. This is one of those rare seasonals that I honestly wish would be brewed year-'round. Drinkable? Hell, yeah!

Today is M, 24 Oct 2016 & I am involved in the #OktoberfestChallenge2016 & since I have not previously reviewed this beer from a bottle format, I am going to do so now.

From the bottle: "Thank you for supporting Lancaster Brewing Co. ~ Cheers"; "Seven malts three varieties of hops and authentic Bavarian lager yeast, [sic] go into making our Oktoberfest an incredible lager drinking experience."

I take some measure of joy in the Pop!ping of a cap & that is how I begin this and every bottle review. I gave it a pretty heavy-handed pour, causing it to bring forth two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, tawny head with good retention. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a bready sweetness along with a light grassiness. Mouthfeel was medium, but soft on the tongue. The taste was on the upper end of the sweet spectrum as far as my enjoyment is concerned. I also got an odd apple flavor, but not green apple, which usually signifies that something is off. Instead, it made me think of Red Delicious apples, which given that it is Fall 2016, I do not totally mind. Finish had a mild grassiness to accompany the apple flavor. It was not the best example of an Oktoberfest that I have drank this year, but neither was it the worst. Me = damning with faint praise.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. No date or info. Thanks to NeroFiddled for this brew!

A - The well carbonated beer pours out a deep amber-orange color with a very small and poorly retained head. All that's left is an off-white ring of foam and not a trace of lacing.

S - Sweet toasted malts with a generous dab of honey is further sweetened by a hint of dark fruits. A touch of plum and raisin. A very timid nose of hops can be found lurking delicately behind the malts.

T - Sweet and toasted malts like the aroma with a minor fruit kiss to them, the flavor is more crisp than the nose lets on. The honey dab is still there but finishes with a strong, but not bitter, hop flavor.

M - A bit over carbonated since its pretty fizzy on the tongue and sharp on the finish, it's a medium-bodied oktoberfest that's crisp and refreshing but sweet too. Dry to the finish.

D - Very good balance between nose and flavor as well as malty and crisp/dry. A bit over carbonated but the beer is definitely headed in the right direction. A good first brew to have from Lancaster.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one into a pint glass, it had a nice 2' white head on top of a nice copper/amber color body. The smell has a nice malt aroma and that is about all i get out of it. The taste is very nice, it has a good sweet malt flavor to it, then a little hop come in. This beer is very well balanced, the mouth feel is really good, rolls off the tongue nice with no aftertaste. Overall this is a good octoberfest beer.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.86/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a mug club mug.

A- pours a clear shade of amber with a one finger white head. Looks nonoffensive and very nice

S- not much, as per the Lancaster norm...getting hints of cinnamon and pumpkin though. Could use a lot more nose

T- yummy...pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg are what I'm mostly getting. Very malty

M- good feel, super malty and low carbonation

D- you don't get the 6.5% in this at all, it really sneaks up on you. Super drinkable O-fest

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Photo of Gavage
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While at the brewpub I noticed many customers ordering this. Clear bronze in color with a short 1/4" head. No noticeable lacing. The aroma is of malt and mildly nutty. The flavor is large on roasted malt, while nut, caramel, with very little bitterness bring up the rear. As the beer warmed I noticed a hint of spiciness coming through.

The mouthfeel is smooth at the start with a crisp finish were the malt and caramel lasted long on the tongue after swallowing. Nicely drinkable and I guess others felt so as several other customers kept ordering these one after another.

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Photo of Florida9
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper color. Forms a fizzy head with no retention and no lacing.

S: Earthy caramel malts.

T: Sweet caramel malt. A bit earthy with some fruitiness. Low hops and bitterness. Lighter flavored than most Oktoberfests

M: On the lighter side of medium. Appropriate carbonation.

D: A good Oktoberfest. Personally I like the lighter feel and malt character.

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Photo of BeerIsland
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For those of us locals who endured LBC's "Oktoberfest" offerings in the past, this is a remarkable and welcome change. Bill has kegged a really nice beer that has some complexity and balance. It's a sweet beer, make no mistake; you might have to watch out for yellow jackets if drinking it outside. It looks pretty nice in the glass with a fluffy, large bubbled head on top of deep amber. I liked the fresh malty nose. I wouldn't say it's the best 'Fest I ever had but it's very good. Somewhat evocative of this year's Steg Fest. LBC's assimilation of the Franklinfest has been kinda wierd since Bill resurrected the beer, three different names for the same stuff gets folks confused. He told me the O-fest on right now is the Franklin and I said thanks. Check this one out soon.

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Photo of tigg924
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours clear brownish-orange with 1/3 inch head. Taste is malt bomb--toasted malt and caramel with a bit of mineral. Tasty, clean, and sessionable. Nice example of the style that I will get again. I like this.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P- Market Cross Pub in Carlisle

Bottle irs really cool looking. I am wondering why it isnt posted on here.

A- Pours a claer fire orange color. somewhat clear yet opaque at the same time. Its a deep fire orange color maybe.

S- spicy malts and floral hops. i can also get clove and/or anise. I might be mistaken but it has a very spicy aroma.

T- german malts mixed with floral hops and i think that is a pumpkin spice in there as well. It is very unique. I also think there is anise as well or some spice to that effect.

M- spicy and an explosion of malts and hops. Very intriguing and interesting. I dont know if i like it or not.

D- seems to be a good session beer. This would be good for when you are our raking leaves and need a cold one.

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Photo of bamadog
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is from the bottle to a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pour is a planin copper color with a short one finger head that disappears pretty quickly and leaves a faint/scant ghost of a skim on the surface; body is clear and shows moderate carbonation; no lacing, just an oily film on the side.

Smell: Smell seems a little off - initially on the open I thought it was a bit skunky (uh-oh!), but fortunately that fades (phew!) and now there is a bit of an acidic apple-like smell, as well as some sweeter malts backing it up. Odd.

Taste: Actually, no too bad. That apple flavor is definitely there, but it's more slight on the palate than in the nose; nice and sweet malts give off a nice balance, but there is also a nice biscuity or sweet-bready quality as well that adds a filling aspect to it.

Mouthfeel: Body is lively, yet smooth with the carbonation; body is full, yet not thick and heavy; the drink itself is a little slick and slippery and manages to leave a mild coating on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Ovearll, not bad. But I've definitely had better Oktoberfests that didn't have strange fruity and acidic flavors sneaking through them. I'll give it credit though, it tasted fine and I could have drank a couple more if I had to.

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Oktoberfest Beer from Lancaster Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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