Märzen/Oktoberfest 6% ABV

Surly SurlyFest Lager

Surly has several brews that I quite enjoy, so I figured I’d give their Oktoberfest, er—SurlyFest a try. “Bier for a stein, from a can” is a nice little tagline Surly has given this one.


Very interesting…my initial take on this one in a blind scent test would be that this is a pale ale, perhaps an IPA. The dominant aroma I get is citrus and hops. There is a biscuity malt backdrop to it, but it doesn’t come out all that strong to me.


The flavors are somewhat different from the scent, as far as I’m concerned. The first thing I get is a sharp, spicy, rye bread taste, which then dissipates to a bit of hops. There is a bit of underlying sweetness that you’d normally get from an Oktoberfest, but the light and almost bitter mouthfeel neutralizes that sweet flavor.


While it’s an enjoyable and very well done beer, I don’t know if I really enjoy this sharp and spicy, hoppy interpretation of the Märzen/Oktoberfest style. If I’m looking for an Oktoberfest, I’ll be looking elsewhere. That aside, it really is a very solid brew.

Brief Sheet

Surly SurlyFest Lager

  • StyleMärzen/Oktoberfest
  • ABV6% ABV
  • BrewerSurly Brewing Company

Brief Score