Great Lakes Brewing Company, founded in 1988 by brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway, was the first brewpub and microbrewery in Ohio. What started as a dream between two brothers, has grown into 21st largest brewery by volume in United States. Important to Cleveland’s local identity, the brewery distributes over a dozen year round and seasonal brews. Oktoberfest is Great Lakes take on the German classic, with a beautiful amber color and mild carbonation.
The head is quite modest and eventually disappears completely with almost no lacing. Gives the appearance you would expect from a Marzen style brew.
The nose leans on the sweeter side, with aromas of nuttiness and toasted bread. There’s a dash of hoppiness with some roasted malts as well.
Up front the maltiness takes center stage, some roasted nuts and bread jump out the most. The sweetness doesn’t show until mid-palate followed by a smooth acidity. The finish stays somewhat sweet but manages finish clean. The hops make their presence known, adding some dryness and keeping the beer from being what some would consider overly sweet.
Overall this is a pretty straight forward take on a traditional brew that has been around since before the 16th century. The slight sweetness may not be for everyone but the rich malty flavors really give it that fall beer feeling. This would pair nicely with roasted pork, bratwurst or potato pancakes.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out of 5 Pints