something very ironic about Beck’s Oktoberfest – it’s a beer made in
Germany, the home of the Oktoberfest celebration, and yet it’s not
technically an Oktoberfest beer. It would be like a whiskey made
somewhere in Tennessee by someone other than Jack Daniels that was sold
overseas as “Tennessee Whiskey.” It doesn’t make it authentic, but that
doesn’t necessarily make it bad, either.
That’s how Beck’s Oktoberfest drinks – a fairly close take on the original style, but isn’t quite as good as the real deal.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
The nice thing about Oktoberfest beers is their appearance, and Beck’s
is one attractive brew. It pours smoothly to a dark amber/reddish-orange
color resembling a pumpkin beer. It forms a fairly small, off-white,
foamy head which lingers for quite a while before it completely
dissipates. There is constant carbonation action throughout the life of
The aroma is more sweet than spicy as it’s clearly a malt-based beer. In
fact, the scent itself is a little dry, which is indicative of the
I’m still trying to come around on the Oktoberfest style and since
Beck’s is actually a German import I figured it would have a more
genuine taste than our American takes on the style. But since
Oktoberfest beers are of the marzen style, they tend to be more malty
Beck’s flavor is definitely derived from its malts, which has a sweet,
caramel-style taste. The problem is the flavor is hindered by an overall
dry coating. Whether you drink this brew cold or allow it to warm in
order to unlock the flavor, the dry, wine-like taste is noticeable.
This beer is definitely drinkable and certainly has components to it that are interesting, but overall it isn’t very satisfying.
I find myself running out of ways to describe beers that have an average
finish. How many ways can I say that a beer isn’t exactly silky smooth
but isn’t harsh as bargain-basement brews? And how do I convey that this
isn’t necessarily a bad thing? For those with experience, Becks’
Oktoberfest isn’t a challenge to drink, but for lightweights the finish
might seem a bit too dry and biting.
I was actually surprised at how quickly and easily I was able to down
two bottles of Beck’s Oktoberfest, especially considering I wasn’t crazy
about the taste. For such a dark beer it is surprisingly light in
weight at only 155 calories. It doesn’t bog you down either at only 5%
I’m sure there are plenty of amateur American beer drinkers who will opt
for Beck’s Oktoberfest under the impression that it’s authentic and
will be surprised by how relatively easy it is to drink for a dark beer.
And if those drinkers are out there and really enjoy this beer, then
that’s actually a good thing because maybe they’ll move up to something
of higher quality. For true connoisseurs, this brew is simply average,
but it can still be a nice change of pace.