Tag Archive | marzen

The Most Authentic Marzen? — Spaten Oktoberfest

A woman I know from Germany always gets a case of this when she celebrates Oktoberfest here in the States, so I figure this is one of the most authentic ones we get in the States. Woot, woot.

Pours clear, slightly brown-orange, with a thick white creamy head that dissipates about halfway pretty quickly but leaves amazing lacing. Aroma is sweet, with a grainy kind of quality. Not in that cheap macro sense, but like a really nice multi-grain bread. The term “liquid bread” was invented for these kinds of beers.

Flavor is much the same, very grainy and bready with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Goes down smooth and very easily. The sweetness is balanced nicely by the roasty bitterness on the back of the tongue. This is one of those Oktoberfests that I tried for the first time three or four years ago and didn’t really care for, but every year I appreciate it more.

Beyond the Pour grade: A

By the way, I know I’ve been using these text reviews for a lot of Oktoberfests, but I really don’t want to bother shooting videos of beers that are really very similar, but I still want to do some kind of review process for these. Once this season is done I’ll be varying my text reviews here a lot more.

The Very Definition of Quaffable — Great Lakes Oktoberfest

It’s cold enough outside that I’m wearing my hoodie inside. Also, I don’t want to have to run my heater if I don’t have to. Which means that it’s just about perfect weather to review an Oktoberfest. Since we just got in this example from Great Lakes, I figured it’d be a nice one to review.

Pours a light amber color, tons of carbonation from the bottom of the glass, with a thin white head. Given how much headspace there is in a half liter mug when you’re only pouring in a 12oz beer, I could have definitely poured more vigorously. Live and learn.

A 12oz pour of Oktoberfest doesn't look very impressive in a half-liter Weihenstephan mug, does it?

Smells sweet, malty, with that slight grainy fruitiness that you get with some sweeter lagers. Reminds me a bit of Yuengling. Otherwise clean. Flavor is much drier than the aroma, with a nice biscuity and bready finish and aftertaste. The sweetness up front meshes well with the cracker dryness on the back end.

It’s an Oktoberfest. There’s really not much to say. It’s a pretty standard example of the style, but a good example. Tastes authentically German. Definitely worth trying.

Beyond the Pour grade: B+

Bell’s Octoberfest 2011

Bell’s Octoberfest 2011
Batch 10531 bottled 2011-08-12
Comstock, MI
5.8% ABV

I got off work early today, so I figured, what the hell — let’s do a quick beer review!


It’s Oktoberfest season, not necessarily my favorite time of year beer-wise but it’s nice to have a season devoted to brown malty lagers. I don’t like doing video reviews of these because so many of them are very similar, lots of malt with a bit of yeastiness and maybe some earthy hops with a clean malt finish. But text reviews are quick and easy and I figure I might as well do a few of them this year as I get around to them.

Sorry about the monitor glare -- my lamp is in use elsewhere at the moment.

Pours a bit lighter than expected, whether that’s my memory playing tricks with me or if the beer is really a bit lighter than last year I can’t say. Kind of a pale brown/orange or dark roasty yellow color. A twinge lighter than copper. Head is minimal and dissipates immediately. Smells grainy, sweet, slightly cardboardy. Somewhat “off,” in that nondescript way. Maybe a hint of chocolate and some earthiness.

Aroma’s a bit off, but flavor’s pretty solid. No graininess present, instead with some sweet caramel and fruity notes, a bit like a dopplebock. Somewhat creamy on the mouthfeel with a carbonation bite on the finish. Leaves a hint of breadiness on the aftertaste. Very smooth. I’ve got to say I was expecting this to be a disappointment based on aroma but it really made up for it in flavor. Not my favorite Oktoberfest/Marzen to be sure, but pretty solid, especially from an American micro.

Beyond the Pour grade: B