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Festie - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
FestieFestie

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BA SCORE
73
okay

53 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 53
Hads: 144
rAvg: 3.09
pDev: 10.36%
Wants: 0
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Proteus93 on 09-10-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 53 | Hads: 144
Photo of obywan59
2.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Born on date 7/31/13

Pours a crystal clear amber with a 2 1/2 finger off white head that recedes leaving thick sticky lacing.

A nice fresh aroma of grassy, fruity hops and sweet grain.

Not much taste at all. Faintly sweet malt with light tart citrus and some faint, slightly harsh bitter hops.

Light bodied, with a light carbonation and a bit sticky with a little warmth on the way down.

An okay beer, I guess. The taste is the main downfall. I think it's past it's prime. The aroma is holding up pretty well, but the tasty is pretty nondescript. An easy drinker. (568 characters)

Photo of PumaSaysRawrr
2.68/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Let me get this out of the way....I have a Starr Hill Tattoo. I also have 1/2 a case of Festie aging in a closet from 2011 but that didn't stop me from picking up this bottle a few weeks ago on clearance for $1. My therapist may call it compulsive buying and hoarding but I call it bargain shopping and aging! AND don't bother trying to tell me you can't age a 4.5% beer because there ain't enough time in her hour to discuss how you all are unsupportive of me....

I am drinking it out of A Samuel Smith pint glass. It has nice amber color. Very little carbonation and no lacing....Which I don't mind cause I hate scrubbing my glass. It has a bit of a skunked smell with just a hint of that fermented smell a Belgian would have. It tastes like almost nothing...I don't know how to describe this but it tastes almost like any old amber then nothing...not after taste at all. You know how if you drink diet coke the taste goes away so you drink more then no taste so more and then more until you know it the bottle is gone? I need another beer... (1,045 characters)

Photo of csrbv
3.24/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a reddish amber hue; the head is off-white and scant. Just enough lace.

S - Not too much aroma here. Vaguely vegetable hops and sweet malt

T - The brew is unusually flavored, evoking a certain flavor that is common Nilla Wafers cookies. There is also a discernible hint of vanilla and hazelnut.

M - Pretty average here. Decent, mediocre, common.

D - It is drinkable based on a certain very nice aspect of the flavor. It is not a complete or tremendously inspiring offering, but it has a serviceable quality (or two). (531 characters)

Photo of Guden
1.74/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- Very clear light copper with a one inch white head of small bubbles than fades slowly leaving nice lacing. Little light in color but good other than that.

S- Weird smell of sweet corn, caramel and Italian herb mix. Definitely something funky and off about this.

T- Whoa, that off smell is in the flavor too. Tannic and puckering with a flavor of bark and tomatoes.

M- Dry and astringent. Not very pleasant.

O- There is something wrong with this beer. I can't put my finger on it, maybe an infection, maybe just a combination of an old poorly made beer with some DMS, either way this is down there with some of the least enjoyable ones I've had. This was a dumper. (670 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - clear amber with a soft, thin cap of white, fizzy heaed that fades quickly

S - grains, caramel, apple, faint toast

T - bread, caramel, apple, sweet, sticky, clean bitter finish

M - crisp, medium bodied, a bit overcarbonated

This is a nice, easy to drink beer. the flavor is a bit unbalanced between malty and hoppy, bitter and sweet. It's also a bit overcarbonated. It's not bad, but at this time of year I'm looking for a more balanced Marzen. (452 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
3.38/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a light amber with a large white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of light grain, not much else. Tastes of roasted grain that has a great body for this beer and is sweet, but not overly so. Beer seems a tad overcarbonated, but this light bodied beer still goes down really smooth. Overall, a pretty good beer. (370 characters)

Photo of mckenziac
2.18/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. Taken from a Starr Hill "Road Show" variety pack.

Appearance: Pours a light brown, slightly reddish color. Has a small, fizzy head that dissipates down to next to nothing.

Smell: Has a light, slightly sweet, grainy aroma.

Taste: Has a slightly bitter, spicy hoppiness. Finishes sweet and grainy with a slight caramel flavor. A lot lighter on flavor then I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and well-carbonated with a light body.

Overall: I'm really disappointed with this one. Starr Hill is a sentimental favorite since it's fairly local but this one just isn't that good. I think they would have been better off brewing a more traditional Marzen/Oktoberfest style rather than a kind of generic amber lager. (778 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.5/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours an orange-amber color with a two finger white head. The head has huge carbonation bubbles entrapped within, which pop over a short amount of time to leave some rather nice lacing.

Smell – The aroma is strongest of a roasted malt and caramel sweet smell. Mixed with this are lighter notes of a bready and light fruit aroma.

Taste – The taste begins of lightly roasted malt and some light fruit sweetness. The fruit flavors are a mix of citrus and some pear and peach. As it advances further some hop flavors of a citrus and earthy nature come to the tongue. The fruits other then the citrus fade more toward the end. While the other fruit flavors fade, the citrus flavors intensify and, when mixed with the hop flavors that came more toward the middle of the taste, a lightly hoped citrus and earthy malt flavor finish out the taste.

Mouthfeel – Quite light bodied with a average level of carbonation. Very easy drinking and god for the style and flavor profile.

Overall – A very easy to drink beer. While not super flavorful and rather light, it is a great choice for a nice session brew. (1,157 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.17/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at the brewery, reviewed from notes. The tap room bartender was great. Stayed open an extra 35 minutes to talk beer. I had a great time.

A: thin head on a clear dull golden with amber hues body.

S: very nice caramel malt sweetness, light fruitiness.

T: the flavor lets you down after that aroma with standard caramel malts however not quite hoppy or spicey for the style. almost no hops can be perceived

M: moderate to high carbonation and medium body.

Overall: drinkable but not memorable. (503 characters)

Photo of TheFunGuy
3.7/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours slightly cloudy golden tan. A thin off white head fades to a clumpy lace quickly.

The smell is grain, without hops. It isn't bad grain.

The taste is at first sweet grain, with a light hops showing up at the end of the sip as the beer heads down the throat.

The mouthfeel is just a little sour after the ending hop taste. I like the sweet grain, so your mileage may vary.

This would be a great step-up for a bud drinker who wanted to head towards a mild pale ale. I would call this halfway between the two. (524 characters)

Photo of DaveBlack
3.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: An Amber Brew with a finger's width of head that lasts for a while and leaves a light swirl on the surface. It clings slightly to the edges of the glass from when the head first recedes until the bottom of the glass.

S: Bready, slightly spicy with some sweet malts, but it is particularly grainy smelling.

T: The taste is light, once again with a rather grainy taste, slightly biscuity. There's something in the taste that's a little bit like white grape as well, but that is hidden behind the overwhelming taste of cereal grains.

M: Light bodied with medium carbonation and a little bit sticky, both in the mouth and especially at the back of the throat.

O: The more beers that I have from Starr Hill the less I think of them as a brewery. There is nothing especially exceptional about this beer, the sticky mouthfeel makes it not particularly drinkable and the taste of cereal grains is reminiscent of a mass produced lager. It's not necessarily a bad beer, but neither the taste or smell stand out as anything special. (1,028 characters)

Photo of paulginva
3.08/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured from a tap into a pint glass, produced a 1-1/2" fizzy off-white head that dissipated quickly with virtually no head lacing. Body was a slightly hazy deep amber color with little carbonation.

AROMA: A light spicy caramel and wheat scent and just a little floral hops -- not the sweetness that I've come to expect from an Oktoberfest.

TASTE: A moderate toasted bread and malt taste mixed with a light hops mellowness and some spices.

MOUTHFEEL: Light body, slick texture, nearly no carbonation or head lacing and what there is dissipates quickly. A rounded light semi-sweet flavor to begin with followed shortly by a very light hop bitterness.

DRINKABILITY: Well, an Oktoberfest should be repeatable for a good part of the day, right. I could do that but other than that, there's not all that much to recommend it. The price is okay but there are equally worthy beers of the same style that are less expensive. I doubt that I'd buy this again. (975 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
2.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Hazy, because unbeknownst to me this beer is bottle conditioned, which is strange for a lager. Bright white head which only lasts seconds and falls back into the amber beer.

S: Has a slight kind of lemon aroma sitting on top of a very bright sort of cereal grain note.

T: A bit biscuity with a kind of orange marmalade aftertaste. Not much else going on here.

M: A bit thin on the palate, almost watery. Moderate carbonation.

D: Its very drinkable, unfortunately it's just not very good. (494 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.21/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz bottle brought to me from C'Ville by ol' Bro Artied2.

Poured into a nonic, this Märzen is, surprisingly, slightly cloudy though still a bright golden color. Carbonation is slow and scattered. The head is creamy and fine, slightly off-white and clings well in the glass. There's some bready malt here, but it's pretty mild overall. The body is almost in the medium range, and the feel is fairly smooth, with only light prickle on the tongue.

Has some mild sweetness and hint of bready, crackery malt. There's actually some light fruitness here, almost bordering on an off, sourish character. Floral hoppiness does make an appearance in the finish, and the aftertaste does suggest that this is, indeed, a Märzen. In the big scheme, though, this falls short of being even a decent Fest-type bier. It's still drinkable, but not what I was expecting. Thnx, Bro!

3.2 rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1408 (951 characters)

Photo of rebel1771
2.7/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a honey color with a bright white head that leaves no lacing.

S: Subtle sweet malt aroma with a bit of fruitiness. Metallic note in the end.

T: Not much flavor. Subtle sweet malt with a bit of cooked corn thrown in. Kind of a sour pucker in the end.

O: Not my favorite marzen. Just kind of misses the mark on this one. A little less sweetness and a stronger malt presence is what this brew needs. (408 characters)

Photo of KomodoDragon
2.36/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Stopped pouring after a 3" white head appeared. Cloudy orange coloring, smells of corn and musty grass is not welcomed.

Some caramel malt flavors with hints of grapefruit and light fruits in the yeast.

Little hop finish.

Not sure what this beer is trying to be. Average Lager? Odd Amber?

For Starr Hills sake, I'm hoping I just had a bad bottle. (350 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.15/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a rocks glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: Some head, about a finger and a half, with prefigures the great lacing to come. The colour is an off-putting orange. Clearish.

S: Buttery. Malts; hints of caramel.

T: Lots of malt, and butter appears here too. Decent. The endtaste is forgettable and generic. Nothing stands out in the taste except a biscuity breadiness.

M: Pretty okay. Full-bodied and compelling, even if it's not great.

O: Goodish beer, mediocre compared to some of Starr Hill's other offerings. *Very* drinkable. Not recommended, but I'd have another. (607 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.75/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once again a thanks to woodychandler for another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of caramel malts. Taste is also malty, refreshing, a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable brew. (275 characters)

Photo of Dodo2step
3.33/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P- Thanks to my buddy trask in NC for this one.

A- orange yellow color with a 2 finger frothy head that sticks to the pint but nothing fantastic about it. In the middle between clear and opaque.

S- sour citrus tart smell. like a sweetened tea with malt vinegar.

T- honey and tart white grape flavor. grainy and biscuity as well.

M- a medium bodied lager that is sweeter than usual but i dont think it works with a lager.

O- fairly smooth and a drinkable beer. I might have another but i doubt i will purchase a sixer or more. (530 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was so happy to find this beer in CANs during my recent visit to DC that it makes me want to break out in song! With apologies to Madonna, "You're a superStarr, yes, that's what you are, you know it"; to John Kander and Liza Minelli, "Life is a [CAN of] Carnival, old chum, Come to the CANival!" and to Arthur Miller's Willy Loman to his son, Biff, in I.vi, "You got all kinds of great beer!" Sure, the last is a play and not a musical, but when was the last time that a CANned beer was so inspiring?

From the CAN: "Starr Hill founded in Charlottesville, VA (but I founded it at Whole Foods in DC)"; "Life is a Carnival"; "The Gift of Great Beer"; and undersigned by "Mark A. Thompson Master Brewer".

The Crack & Glug was music to mine ears and produced two tawny fingers of dense, bubbling head with good retention. Color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very malty sweet, much more so than Yuengling Lager, to which a previous reviewer compared it. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy and with a pleasant melange of flavors on the tongue, ranging from an initial sugary sweetness to an herbal mintiness and back again. Finish was more sweet than anything else and I think that the constant onslaught of malt would be too much for me to CANsider inclusion in my cooler. (1,313 characters)

Photo of BlackBearForge
3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Purchase by Sept. 2011

Festie looks like a straightfoward amber lager with a golden amber body and a foamy white head that subsides quickly. Lacing is oily and slips down the side of the glass.

The aroma is fresh baked malts with an earthy grassy hop aroma.

The flavor is a bit tart/sour noticeably up front with a lightly sweet biscuity malt behind it, with an astringent graininessl, and a mild tingle of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light and a touch harshly carbonated.

Well I have to say I was expecting better from this Starr Hill offering but then lagers are harder to dial in than the average ale. They have a way to go with this Fest beer and I hope they are in the process of tweaking it. (726 characters)

Photo of indiapaleale
3.5/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour - orangish/yellowish in color, very clean with a wispy head on top which fades rather quickly leaving a ring around the inside of the glass at the top level of the beer. Not a bad looking pour whatsoever.

Aroma - brown sugar, baking bread, steeped grains, honey, corn syrup and sweet tea. Some doughy/biscuity notes as well.

Taste - first sip is sweet on the tongue. Lots of honey and caramel flavors combine with some raisin and lemon tea with a sharp, crisp finish. Its a bit dry surprisingly in the finish with no real after taste which certainly makes for an easily sessionable beer. Nice malty flavors and easily approachable for any beer drinker from the uber-snob to the casual imbiber.

Overall - Not a ton of complexity, just a straightforward amber lager. However, when it comes to finding a decent canned version of just that it's not so easy. Certainly worth picking up and taking along with you wherever you're outdoors (or indoors) festivities may be happening.

Would I buy more of it? - not much of an option where I am. This is a pretty easy drinking lager and if it was more available I could definitely see myself putting some on ice once in awhile. (1,179 characters)

Photo of dball
3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I expected this beer to be much better than it is. If packaging was a scoring category I would have given this beer at least one high mark. It is over priced for what you get. I think I would have rated it higher if it was priced like it tastes. I'd pick a can of Yuengling over this beer and would compare them fairly equally. It is not bad just made to make you think it's a craft micro brew and it's a boring lager. (418 characters)

Photo of goldbot
3.28/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchase before Aug. 2011 notched in the label. Pours a nice golden to amber in color with good carbonation. Thinnish white head that shrinks quickly but leaves some lacing on the surface. A pleasant caramel aroma with some warm, bready malt and a pretty good balance of citrus and floral hops. Grainy malt flavor with a bit of caramel sweetness. Some floral hops but this beer is more oriented towards the malt. Crisp mouthfeel and light body. (444 characters)

Photo of Clydesdale
2.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a somewhat hazy burnt orange color. The medium-sized head has a light orange hue and a somewhat thick, foamy texture. Retention is average, and a few foamy rings of lace deposit onto the glass as the head fades.

S: A sweet toasted aroma - light caramel notes, with some nuttiness. Lightly fruity, perhaps with a vague tartness. Some herbal hops are also detectable but primarily take a back seat.

T: Toasty malts up front. Sweetness is medium, with some light caramel character. An astringent, lightly tart presence also makes itself known. Light fruity notes. Hop bitterness is low, with some vague herbal flavor. A nutty aftertaste.

M: Medium-thin body. Carbonation is fine and crisp. As above, mouthfeel is surprisingly astringent.

D: A lackluster fall seasonal from a normally above average brewery. This is lightly flavored and too thin/astringent to be very enjoyable. You won't miss much by avoiding this one, although it's far from bad. (961 characters)

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Festie from Starr Hill Brewery
73 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.