BeerAdvocate Oktoberfest Tasting! (Sep 17-Oct 3, 2022)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Todd, Sep 16, 2022.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (13,172) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader


    It's back! Willkommen to the official BeerAdvocate Oktoberfest Tasting thread, where we're once again encouraging everyone to buy, drink, and share (in this thread) as many Oktoberfestbiers, Märzenbiers, Festbiers, and Wiesnbiers (or whatever you want to call them) as you can! (I call them delicious lagers that I wish were year-round releases.)

    How It Works:

    • This thread will be active for roughly seventeen days (September 17-October 3).
    • Don't be shy! I encourage everyone to join this thread by posting a pic + a review (quick thoughts or musings) or story for every Märzen (dark lager) or Festbier (pale lager) that you try (at home or while you're out and about).
    • If you post a review in this thread, please post it under the beer's listing too and give it a rating!
    • For those of you on Discord, drop into the #wbaydn channel where you can post your pics and whatnot. If you haven't joined yet, I highly encourage that you do.
    And please spread the word by liking and sharing on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

    So far, I've only been able to find 14 different Oktoberfestbiers, Märzenbiers, and Festbiers:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    ...but I'm ready and hope to find some more!

    Thanks in advance for participating!

    Prost! :beers:
  2. redfox405

    redfox405 Pooh-Bah (2,202) Mar 4, 2012 Virginia
    Pooh-Bah Society

  3. JonReif

    JonReif Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2007 Virginia

  4. b9d9

    b9d9 Zealot (614) Nov 9, 2020 Germany
    Society Trader

  5. MHL81

    MHL81 Initiate (169) Aug 16, 2020 Illinois

    Spaten Ur Marzen
  6. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,036) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader


    Well, I just finished one. :slight_smile:
    Was going to open another Oktoberfestbier but now that I know about this thread I’ll wait to open it until this properly starts. Prost.
    draheim, MacMalt, JamFuel and 35 others like this.
  7. Giantspace

    Giantspace Pooh-Bah (2,757) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    The 2016 SN collab is the highest rated Marzen in my Untappd ratings, 3.75. My notes say not sweet, malty with some bitterness. Based on this what Octoberfest beers do you think I might enjoy. Most seem too sweet. FW oaktoberfest I thought was sweet but my rating said it was better than most. I thought Sam Adams was a sweet malty mess.

    I am open to any suggestion. Malt is ok but sweetness is not my beer thing. Thanks.

    Edit….I did really enjoy Victory fest last year. I thought it was earthy, spicy nice malty but no sweetness. Going to grab a six soon

    #7 Giantspace, Sep 17, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
    MacMalt, Bitterbill, BJB13 and 8 others like this.
  8. uncleotis

    uncleotis Zealot (741) Feb 17, 2015 Illinois

    It's got a walrus with an accordion and a mouse with a tuba. This has to be good. [​IMG]
    MacMalt, eppCOS, emerge077 and 15 others like this.
  9. Braunmeister_1943

    Braunmeister_1943 Pooh-Bah (1,999) Nov 22, 2020 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    [​IMG] Going big with the boot beer glass and booming beer to boot!:stuck_out_tongue:
    MacMalt, BigIronH, Todd and 28 others like this.
  10. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

  11. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

  12. jonphisher

    jonphisher Grand Pooh-Bah (3,074) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    This is what’s left of the two bottles I opened and then proceeded to discover this glorious news :beers:

    Happy Friday everyone!

    MacMalt, Todd, jgido759 and 31 others like this.
  13. Btls64

    Btls64 Initiate (0) Mar 11, 2015 Pennsylvania

    MacMalt, Reef, Bitterbill and 8 others like this.
  14. beer_beer

    beer_beer Pooh-Bah (1,945) Feb 13, 2018 Finland
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Hoping to get these very ones in time for the tasting!

    MacMalt, Todd, JamFuel and 27 others like this.
  15. BitteNochEinWeissbier

    BitteNochEinWeissbier Zealot (727) Aug 19, 2021 Pennsylvania

    Are you looking for domestics or imports?
    Are you looking for Wiesn/Festbiers or amber Marzens?

    I went back and looked up the 2016 SN Collab. It was with Mars Brau and was more a golden Festbier than an amber Marzen. I liked that one too.

    For amber Marzens,on the import side any of Spaten Ur-Marzen, Paulaner Okterfest Marzen, and Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Marzen should be up your alley. As should Ayinger Oktoberfest-Marzen. I should admit that I haven't had any of these from this year yet except the Ayinger - I was waiting for this thread to open. And for the Munich Oktoberfest to start.

    As you found, Victory Festbier (which is an amber Marzen and dark one at that) isn't sweet but earthy and grainy.

    For the golden Festbiers, again for imports, you might like Tucher (nicely bready/malty and not overly sweet) or Paulaner Oktoberfestbier (in blue cans). Hofbrau's Oktoberfestbier isn't bad either.

    The German Oktos tend to be more malty than sweet as a general rule.
    #15 BitteNochEinWeissbier, Sep 17, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
    MacMalt, Reef, Bitterbill and 10 others like this.
  16. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Pooh-Bah (2,400) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Pretty excited for this. I only have 3ish on hand, but I do hope to pick up a few more.

    Going to try to find some local Cincinnati versions that are worth the squeeze. For those that know and see this, let me know your thoughts on versions canned!
    MacMalt, Bitterbill, BJB13 and 7 others like this.
  17. Blogjackets

    Blogjackets Grand Pooh-Bah (3,260) Nov 22, 2017 Ohio
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    If you’re talking the beer from Black Monk Brewery, I actually had one last week at the Scottish games at Edinboro University. Paired well with a meat pie :slight_smile:

    MacMalt, JamFuel, Bitterbill and 14 others like this.
  18. JonReif

    JonReif Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2007 Virginia

  19. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Grand Pooh-Bah (3,076) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Been pregaming for this for about two weeks now…pics soon. Already went to the Idle Hand’s Oktoberfest. Today is Notch. Tomorrow Trillium’s and swinging by Dorchester brewing for their German flight. Next weekend is Bow Market’s (for Remnant Brewery), Nightshift’s and Sam Adams’ Oktoberfest festivals.

    Here's my running list of Oktoberfests so far this year:

    In italics are the standouts for me at this point.

    OVERALL BEST SO FAR: Hands down Spaten on draft

    Best in show (amber): Spaten on draft

    Best in show (pale): Andechs Spezial Hell on draft…might technically not be an Oktoberfest. Might be an Export Helles, but whatever, it’s delicious.

    Imported Pale Oktoberfest:
    Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier (draft)
    Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier (draft)
    Tucher Bergkirchweih Festbier (draft and can) - only the draft was a stand out
    Andechs Spezial Hell (draft)

    Weihenstephan Festbier (bottle and draft)

    Imported Amber Oktoberfest:
    Paulaner Märzen (both bottle and draft)
    Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen (both bottle and draft) - only the draft was a stand out
    Spaten Oktoberfest Ur-Märzen (both bottle and draft) - only the draft was a stand out
    Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen (draft)

    Domestic Amber Oktoberfest:
    Jack's Abby Copper Legend (can)
    Idle Hands Brocktoberfest (both can and draft)
    Idle Hands Wiesenbier
    Zero Gravity Oktoberfest (can)
    Von Trapp Oktoberfest (can)
    Sam Adams Octoberfest (can and draft)
    Lamplighter Oktoberfest (draft) - only a sample at a beerfest
    Bells Octoberfest (bottle)
    Might Squirrel Oktoberfest (can)
    Toppling Goliath Oktoberfest (can)
    Founders Oktoberfest (can)
    Harpoon Octoberfest

    Domestic Pale Oktoberfest:
    Notch Festbier (can)

    Imported German Märzen (in strength only I think? pale in color)
    Rothaus Märzen Eiszäpfle (both)

    Domestic Austrian Märzen
    Schilling Konstantin (draft)

    Barrel-aged Oktoberfest
    None yet
    gyorgymarlowe, MacMalt, Todd and 34 others like this.
  20. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Grand Pooh-Bah (3,076) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Whoops. Forgot Schlenkerla Märzen on draft as well.
  21. champ103

    champ103 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,230) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Repost from last nights WBAYDN thread.

    Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier. This was great, that malt character is really good and nuanced. With a honey like sweetness. Biscuits, baked white bread. Maybe a touch of earthy hops in the finish. Crisp at first, but becomes ultra smooth as this breaths. Super clean, and very much moreish.

    I was looking back at my original review I did for this. Which was way back in 2009, almost 13 years to the day ha. I wasn't particularly impressed with it then. Though I think that had to do more with me not really knowing the difference between the different Oktoberfest/Marzen/Festbier styles, and thinking they should all be like Ayinger ha. That is now updated...


    I have some Weihenstephaner Festbier for later today...
  22. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    @MHL81 -- seriously, where in IL have you found it? And is it fresh?
  23. Thankin_Hank

    Thankin_Hank Grand Pooh-Bah (3,608) Nov 18, 2013 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Weihenstephaner Hefweissbier is magic. I will be getting more. Also got their Vitus and Dunkel to try.
    MacMalt, ChicagoJ, Mugman8 and 13 others like this.
  24. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,036) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    As you know of course, it isn't an "Oktoberfestbier" but it is a Märzen strength Festbier... and a Spezial. :slight_smile:
    MacMalt, Reef, Bitterbill and 7 others like this.
  25. beergoot

    beergoot Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,659) Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Urban Chestnut Brewing Company - Midtown Brewery & Biergarten -- O-Katz (Oachkatzlschwoaf)
    Oktoberfest lager
    ABV: 5.4%; pouring temperature: 44 °F; canning info: n/a


    3.81/5 rDev -0.5%
    look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

    Dark honey colored body; clear; dense, lively carbonation; thick, white, and creamy textured head. Malty nose; mild notes of caramel and toffee. Light brown sugar flavor with a rich, toasted grain overtone; mild to moderate hop bitterness. Medium body; mild residual sugar mouthfeel; semi-dry at the finish.

    All in all, a nice Oktoberfest beer that emphasizes malt toastiness above being overly-sweet. Balanced and easy drinking.


    ...this is a fine seasonal beer to open Oktoberfest with at home...
    gyorgymarlowe, MacMalt, Todd and 31 others like this.
  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    An Austrian Marzen beer:

    Today’s beer is labeled as being an “Austrian – style Märzen”.

    I have consumed a lot of beer in my beer appreciation avocation but this is the first time I have seen this sort of beer branding. So, the question remains: what is an Austrian Märzen. From a quick web search:

    “Austrian Märzen

    Arguably the national beer of Austria, Märzen shares some similarities with its cross-border cousin, the Bavarian Helles. While Bavarian Helles is the light golden seasonal favorite at Oktoberfest, Austrian Märzen tends to be more golden and amber in color; although lighter than a Vienna lager. It also has a sweeter taste due to the (often) caramel malts. A Märzen from Austria generally has a stronger malt character than the Bavarian variety, too. As a result, you’ll taste things like bread and spice more than grassy herbs and citrus fruit.

    Märzen is the most popular style of Austrian beer

    As the most popular style of Austrian beer, it’s not difficult to find a Märzen at most bars throughout the country at any time of year. Indeed, the default beer on tap is probably a Märzen, not a pilsener.

    The tastiest Austrian Märzen beers include:

    Augustiner Bräu Kloster Mülln’s Märzen (Salzburg)

    Brauerei Hirt’s Hirter 1270er (Micheldorf, Carinthia)

    Schnaitl’s Gundertshausner Bräu (Eggelsberg, Upper Austria)

    Stiegl’s Stiegl Spezial (Salzburg)”

    So, from the above it seems that an Austrian Märzen is a more malty version of a Helles?

    Below is how Schilling details this beer in their website:


    Austrian-style Märzen

    Konstantin is a rich, light-ruby colored seasonal lager. Double-decocted for complexity. Drier and lighter in color than most German-style Märzens, biscuit and bread-like malt note shine in the flavor and aroma.

    ABV: 5.0%”

    Given the above ABV value of 5% this is similar to a Munich Helles in this regard.

    Let’s do some drinking and see if this Schilling beer is consistent with the above website description.

    Served in my Sly Fox Willi Becher glass:


    Amber colored with a BIG fluffy off-white head.


    Mostly a toasted bread aroma but there is a hint of caramel on the nose as well.


    The flavor follows the nose with a notable toasted bread flavor accompanied with subtle caramel in the background. There is a low-moderate hop bitterness.


    Light - medium bodied with a dry finish.


    I enjoyed drinking this beer, it is very good! It has the quality that the Germans would describe as süffig (drinkable).

    FWIW if I was presented with this beer as a blind drinking experience I reckon I would state this beer is a Vienna Lager.


  27. cjgiant

    cjgiant Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,248) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia
    Pooh-Bah Society

    At an Oktoberfest celebration at Port City with my parents. All German beers are in steins, but of course the GF had to get an IPA. I got the Oktoberfest, of course, and just enough time for quick tasting notes while the parents grab something at the food trucks.

    Little lighter and clearer than it looks, but perhaps not entirely clear. A decent rusty-off white head forms a concave top with a thick fuzzy collar.

    Toasted malt, melanoidin, and a slight mineral note in the nose. Taste follows pretty much along with a nutty bitterness. A light herbal aroma is evoked with a swirl. Perhaps a hint of black cherry comes in the flavor between the malt notes and leafy, tea-like finish.

    Also, mom approved of this beer, and she’s a finicky beer drinker :wink:
    gyorgymarlowe, MacMalt, Todd and 29 others like this.
  28. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Grand Pooh-Bah (3,076) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Do they label it a Festbier as well?
    MacMalt, GreenBayBA and TCgenny like this.
  29. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,036) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    On the German language version of their site they claim it's their Festbier and "a classic Festbier in the old Bavarian tradition."
    MacMalt, ChicagoJ, AlcahueteJ and 2 others like this.
  30. redfox405

    redfox405 Pooh-Bah (2,202) Mar 4, 2012 Virginia
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Skipping Rock Oktoberfest
    - Staunton, VA

    Märzen style. It avoids any caramel taste and is strictly crisp and clean. Lots of starchy, toasty flavor reminiscent of hay. A serious, earthy noble hop bitterness just on the edge of astringency. The big flavor makes this a sipper, even at only 5.6%, but it does so without any heaviness.
    gyorgymarlowe, MacMalt, Todd and 27 others like this.
  31. beergoot

    beergoot Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,659) Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Manhattan Project Beer Co. -- Oktoberfest
    ABV: 5.3%; pouring temperature: 41 °F; canning info: 20220726
    Source: @budsNpils (BA beer trader)


    3.9/5 rDev -5.3%
    look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

    Dark copper body, clear; dense, slow-rising carbonation; thick, off-white head, semi-creamy texture. Nice smell; light caramel presence. The taste reinforces the smell; toasty caramel; mild hop bitterness; a suggestion of vanilla. Medium body; light velvety feel; light touch of residual sugar; semi-dry at the finish.

    This is a fine Oktoberfest beer, not too sweet, great toasted grain flavor with just a small touch of hop bitterness for balance.


    ...a Texas Oktoberfest beer done right...!!!
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  32. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    "Old." :grin:
  33. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,036) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    It could just be the way I'm reading it, but that source from the web about Austrian Märzen sounds a bit messed up and not exactly trustworthy. I was shocked to see the color of that Schilling beer. Austrian Märzen today isn't terribly different from German Helles as far as I know. Do any Austrian brewers make a dark Märzen today? If dark Märzen was a thing of the past (for arguments sake) and Schilling were going for that, then shouldn't the ABV be higher for an older style Austrian Märzen? Is it possible that Schilling did extremely poor research and were thrown off by the Märzen name? I don't know... I could be way off here... but at least it looks weird to specifically brand the beer as "Austrian-style" if it doesn't resemble what they drink in Austria. @Crusader correct me if I'm wrong.
  34. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,036) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Loosely translated marketing. :slight_smile:
  35. champ103

    champ103 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,230) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I have been loving Great Heights Brewing Oaktoberfest. This has been a release I have looked forward to over the last few years. Certainly one of the best examples in Houston, and arguably in the state IMO.


    Its kind of in between a Festbier and Oktoberfest. A darker color, slightly sweeter malts and some fruitiness. Though a lighter body than an Oktoberfest of this color usually suggests. It is really drinkable, and I have gone through several big pours already this year. Got a a 4 pack to go as well. Their pint can 4 packs are only $11, which is much better than some other breweries around, and better quality as well.

    I also had to go to the brewery and finish Slumberland by Paul Beatty. A comedy/drama/satire. An African/American jazz musician leaves the US to go to Berlin in the days leading up to when the wall came down. Its over the top and absurd, he is a "Jukebox Sommelier" for the name sake music club that never seems to close. The main character just tries to find the best avant-garde musician he has ever heard, so that those records can be added to his jukebox rotation. He drinks German lagers "that takes 7 minutes to pour, with a head that can float silver" which is the 2nd best beer he has ever had. The best being a Budweiser he snuck into a Women Against Drunk Driving meeting ha. The atmosphere is great in the book, and just calls out to be read at a local watering hole with good German style beer.

    Anyway, more good Oktoberfest coming up.
    gyorgymarlowe, MacMalt, Todd and 26 others like this.
  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society


    I provided in the post above a list of the four beers provided by the website as being ‘representative’ of the Austrian Märzen beer style. One of those beers listed is Brauerei Hirt’s Hirter 1270er. Below is a photo I found for this beer from a web search and it doesn’t look like a Munich Helles to me (it is amber in color).


  37. Crusader

    Crusader Pooh-Bah (1,589) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    The Austrian Märzen of the 1800s was a beer of around 15% plato original gravity and 5-5.5% abv. I would expect it to be brown colored (Carl Jacobsen for example noting that it was only slightly different in color compared to the Munich beer). Today's Austrian Märzen is a circa 11.5-12% plato original gravity and around 5% abv beer (post-WW2 legislation allowing for an Austrian Märzen to be brewed at 12% minimum, later EU legislation allowing for an 11% minimum), being golden or light golden colored. The Konstantin, being a craft beer at 5% abv, and double decocted, I could see it being somewhere around 12-13% plato (they do not list the original gravity, so I cannot rule out a surprise, but absent more detailed information I will make an informed guess). I.e the original gravity of a modern Austrian Märzen or, if it is closer to 13%, a craft Vienna Lager, with a modern degree of attenuation.

    To me this beer would seem like an amalgamation of the Austrian Märzen of the 1800s and the Austrian Märzen of today.
  38. GreenBayBA

    GreenBayBA Grand Pooh-Bah (3,819) Aug 30, 2015 Wisconsin
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    It doesn't get any better than this!
  39. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Roaring Table Festbier earlier for my after-workout rehydration.

    Probably the best Ami Festbier I've tasted; doughy malts with a good balance of herbal hops that don't get crazy.
    gyorgymarlowe, MacMalt, Todd and 32 others like this.
  40. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Dovetail Festbier now.

    Only my second ever from this local fan favorite, but it's not really grabbing me. For a beer that's supposed to have been double-decocted and long-lagered, there isn't a good, big bready malt hit I'd expect. There's also a somewhat harshly bitter backbone that's a little too assertive for my tastes. Sorry Midwest gang.
    gyorgymarlowe, MacMalt, Todd and 31 others like this.
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