Great Lakes Oktoberfest

Review Date 10/22/2016 By John Staradumsky

Do you have a favorite brewery? Something local, perhaps? It’s hard to have just one. In the early days of craft beer, way back in the 80s, Samuel Adams quickly became one of my favorite New England brewers, then Harpoon, Geary’s, Catamount, Hope…I could go on and on. In the 90s, I found a few more favorites by traveling, one of which was (and still is) the Great Lakes brewery of Cleveland, Ohio.

I traveled to Cleveland while on the way to Oldenberg’s Beer Camp circa February of 1996, and immediately fell in love. I brought some of their beer back to Rhode Island, where Great Lakes wasn’t sold. It’s not sold here in Georgia, either, though it recently made its way to North Carolina. It’s getting closer anyway….

In the meantime, I get my Great Lakes Fix from my great buddy Dave Coulter, the one and only Beer Professor. For this, the fall of 2016, he hooked me up with a few bottles of Great Lakes Oktoberfest, a beer I’ve never tried before.

Prost! Our take on this classic German style is a celebration of maltiness— packed with rustic, autumnal flavors to put a little more oomph into your oom-pah-pah.

Great Lakes Oktoberfest has an alcohol content of 6.5% by volume with 20 IBUS. This is a seasonal released in August until it’s gone. My bottles have a best before date of November, 10th, 2016 on the label. Total Wine sells the beer for $9.99 a six-pack in their Charlotte, North Carolina store (per their website).

Ingredients from the website:

MALTS: Harrington 2-Row Base Malt, Munich, Caramel 45

HOPS: Mt. Hood

Great Lakes Oktoberfest pours to a beautiful brilliant copper color with a thick creamy head of foam and an awe-inspiring nutty malty, toasted nose. Taking a sip, the beer is a malt lover’s dream, just bursting with Munich malt goodness. As the nose promised, the beer has notes of toasted nuts and caramel too, fresh toasted bread, and a slightly sweet to balanced finish with a gentle kiss of hops. Just wonderful, one of the best domestic ofests I have had this year.

The bad news about a seasonal beer, of course, is that its seasonal. Should you need a Munich malt fix for the rest of the year, though, Great Lakes Elliot Ness Vienna Lager, a longtime favorite of mine, is very similar and another excellent choice.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.