Great Lakes Brewing
In a state steeped in some fine German brewing tradition -- and home to Hofbrauhaus locations in Cincinnati, neighboring Newport, Ky., and a planned hall in Cleveland itself -- having some easy-drinking Marzen around is just a smart move.
Great Lakes, with its huge Cleveland brewpub and menu of pretzels and sausages, is just the kind of brewery you'd want to brew it, too. Using a classic Marzen recipe, Great Lakes' take is smooth, deeply amber and just a bit maltier than a traditional Oktoberfest, but is also a bit more potent at 6.5% alcohol by volume. The Munich malt gives the Oktoberfest its trademark flavor, while a little caramel malt give it the pleasant color that beckons another sip.
By going easy on the Mount Hood hops and not messing with an already beloved formula too much, Great Lakes Oktoberfest gives U.S. drinkers perhaps the best approximation of a true Munich Oktoberfest they'll find on these shores. It's worth savoring.