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Gordon Biersch FestBier - Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

Not Rated.
Gordon Biersch FestBierGordon Biersch FestBier

Educational use only; do not reuse.

75 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 75
Hads: 164
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 14.4%
Wants: 4
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TexIndy on 01-21-2009

Gordon Biersch FestBier celebrates fall and the flavor profile of beers served at the modern-day Oktoberfest. FestBier emphasizes rich, malty undertones with a moderately hoppy finish. The maltiness is created via a combination of dark-roasted, Munich-style malt and Pilsner malt. The hoppy aroma is achieved via the imported Hallertau aroma hops.
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Reviews: 75 | Hads: 164
Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

well hopped, unfiltered yeast. More sweet than bitter, best bitter in finish and aftertaste. Aggressive carbonation a negative on mouthfeel. Amber colour. Lace in glass is class. Malt in aroma. Some spice from hops. Tasty combo, was worth a second sample.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear orange color with a very nice 2 inch creamy head that fades to a small cap. Lacing is fair.

S - Smells of malt and grapes. There is a slight wine odor to this beer.

T - Tastes of a sweet malty biscuit and just the slightist hint of hops in the finish.

M - Has a light crisp taste with pretty good carbonation. Leaves a slight coating in the mouth.

D - I found this beer to be pretty enjoyable actually. I got it in a clearance sampler pack and the bottling date is 8/24/09. 8 months later and this still is tasty and fresh.

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Photo of metter98
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Gordon Biersch, San Francisco Airport Terminal 3

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that died down but never completely faded away.
S: Sweet aromas of bready and toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of sweet toasted malts and bready malts, the latter of which stand out in the finish. There is a very slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with a bit of smoothness.
O: This beer has an interesting mix of bready and toasted malts.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a frothy head that leaves a few spots of lace

Smell: Vague bready aroma, with some light grains underneath

Taste: Bready, up front, with a surprisingly spicy hop character emerging at mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweeter malts return to the fore and dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink and true to the style

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With moderate tone throughout, Gordon Biersch's Festbier portrays a medium density of bready flavors with just enough floral hops to round out the malt-focused flavor.

Pouring a deep golden, light copper color the lager stands out with a rich color while building a lasting head of white creamy foam and offering moderate pockets of lace behind.

Somewhat muted aromas of fresh baked bread, a malty-grainy scent that stops shy of caramel, and a nutty, grainy mix all shape the elegant malt profile, similar to that of Vienna Lagers. Floral hops along with sweet scents make me think of fruity passion fruit, honeysuckle, and apple.

More vibrant malt character in flavor than in aroma. Bread crust with a backing of yeast and baking breads all lead the way, but with the suble rebuttal of herbal hop flavor that leads to slight earthy, spicy bitterness in finish. An elegant and sweeter Oktoberfestbier that seems to be a cross between the richer export versions and the lighter ones typically served at Munich Oktoberfest.

Medium bodied, the early malty creaminess holds firm through mid palate until the carbonation waivers and ushers in a clean malty-dry finish of mild woody bitterness and minty warmth.

A highly drinkable and rewarding Oktoberfestbier that seems a bit more rich in sweetness and in body than what's normal.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled On: 09/18/09.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, light-hued amber body with a small-sized, white head.

Smell: Floral, spicy hop aroma mingled with grainy pilsner malt and some further toasted bread notes.

Taste: Starts with lightly sweet, grainy pils malts, then in come some toasty tones, though the husky pilsner malt certainly dominates. Spicy, modestly floral Noble hops with a mild, cleansing bitterness. Drying, fairly clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Just a hair above medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Acceptable but ultimately forgettable. With it's blend of pilsner and Munich maltiness, I wonder if this beer could be replicated by blending their Märzen and Czech-Style Pilsner together...

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent pour yielding a creamy 1/2 finger head that fades semi slowly with some lacing, over mostly clear golden tan colored beer.

Nose is loaded with golden malts, light toasty pilsner malts, some nice lager aromas with a bit of lager fruit, hint of apple and pear, slight touch of grassy herbal hops.

Taste starts with lots of toasty malts, straw, earthy straw toasty pilsner malts, light sweetness. Then some lager flavors, light crisp lager but not very dry, a bit too sweet, and some light lager fruits with hints of apple and pear again. Finish gets a bit drier but sticky as well, more lingering fruit, and just a hint of grassy hops come through with touch of bitterness.

Mouth is a bit lighter bodied, decent carb, slightly crisp but not dry at all.

Overall a nice beer, very drinkable, they got the malts down pretty well, nice and toasty straw etc, not loaded with caramel and reddish malts, etc. Hops are the right variety but a bit too light for the hops, maybe a hint more would help. The biggest set back that keeps this from the A- to A range is the sweetness, it really needs to be a lot drier and it would be really high class.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.38/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe goblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; GB doesn't make any great beers - at least none I've tried.

A: Pours a three finger head of slight cream, decent/okay thickness, and average (~ minute) retention. Colour is a transparent textbook copper.

Sm: Marzen hops, cream, and overdone caramel. I'm not horribly excited for this. Aroma is moderate in strength.

T: Overdone caramel is a definite here, but the marzen build does what it can to resist - and fails. Some cream is present, but it's buried. Pretty simple, pretty boring. Not well balanced or built by any means (or stretch). Bleh.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Standard fare. Nothing exciting.

Dr: This is a hoi polloi beer aimed at commercial success and nothing else. It's better than budweiser, but my compliments stop there. It's drinkable, but so is water. Leave this where it belongs, lads: on the shelf.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at wine source, enjoyed from a willbecker chilled.

A light copper color with great clarity and light cream colored cap which settles to a ring with ultra tight bead. The head revives when swirled. The smell is nutty and bread crust with a slight fruity light yeast aroma with a mild ting of floral hops accenting the nose. There is a slight spice and malt body gives a medium full feel iwth moderately high carbonation with a relatively clean yeast w/ mild bitterness and semi-dry finish.

The flavor has a mild fruity and toasted malt entry with light spice and subtle hop flavor which adds deptht to the light sweetness with nutty flavor anchoring the body with a subtle hint of dried fruit sweetness. The gentle dry yeast flavors are almost mineral which seems to add to the bitter hop accent and finishes in the clean dry end. Overall a beer I could be happy with most often, very approachable and drinkable. I think it is a high quality lager -very clean and quaffable.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 10/22/11 notes. Had on tap at the DC location.

a - Pours a medium amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready and toasted malts, caramel malts, grain, and some fruity malts. The fruit coming in the nose is nice and helps it out a bit.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toasted malts, fruity malts, and light wheat or grain. Again, I enjoyed the fruit mixing with everything else.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty decent beer, one of the better ones I had at GB. Some nice fruit mixing with the caramel and toasted malts, something I would probably order again if I was at GB.

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Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a dimpled glass...nice touch. Good ring lace after a modest head. Cloudy, dark gold color.

Mild pale, fully-malted barley smell. No notable hop, which is okay for the style and understandable based on how full the glass was initially.

The taste is more grainy than I expected based on the smell. The body tilts to the thin side, even for a Marzen. The high carbonation exasperates this. Low to no bitterness, but this brew is still relatively dry.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got this in a trade with my local trader, tone77, who brought over a whole bunch of nice beers for me to try.

As an homage to sommersb, some stats:
Tasted On: 01-15-2012
Freshness: Bottled on 08-02-2011
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle

From the bottle: "Never trust a skinny brewer."; "Oktoberfest-style lager"; "Gordon Biersch FestBier celebrates fall and the flavor profile of beers served at the modern-day Oktoberfest. FestBier emphasizes rich, malty undertones with a moderately hoppy finish. The maltiness is created via a combination of dark-roasted, Munich-style malt and Pilsner malt. The hoppy aroma is achieved via the imported Hallertau aroma hops."

My pour netted me a finger of tawny head with low retention. Color was a coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was very rich and sweet, like caramel/toffee and molasses with a light underlying bitterness. Mouthfeel was medium and it was really sweet and malty on the tongue to this hophead. It had some nice clean flavors to it, but overall, it was just too sweet for me to really enjoy. One was plenty for me but YMMV.

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Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: orange in color with a nice 2" head but it broke apart immediately. No lacing developed.

Smell: loads of malt and some soft fruit sweetness comes through.

Taste: decent malt profile with some caramel, mild fruit sweetness, and a mild bitterenss. A hint of earthiness arrives at the finish. Straight forward version of the style.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: nice beer to pair with some german sausages. Easy to drink and since this was quite fresh it was also refreshing.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.19/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at the brewery in San Jose.
The Festbier is a hazy orange color, it is unfiltered. The beer is fairly sweet, and has a definite yeastiness to it (could have lagered this one a bit longer). It finishes with a bit of bitterness and has a hint of hop spiciness in the flavor.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here we go, beer number two of the American Oktoberfest Invitational. So if Gordon Biersch already makes a Marzen, how does the Festbier differ? To find out, we go on to the beer:

Orange amber color, still liquid, head over an inch thick. Good head retention initally, leaves a little lace on the glass.. The smooth malt aroma is sweet and pleasant...almost like upside-down cake, the touches of oxidation (cardboard) are not.

It's a bit lighter in feel than other O-fests. The flavor is really good, and the yeast seems to be doing a lot of work to make it that way. It has a spiced clove flavor to go along with the mild maltiness and nutty yeast. I'm thinking funnel cake now. I like it. The beer leaves a sweet dark bread flavor with a pinch of hop bitterness.

Final verdict: forget the year-round Marzen GB makes, go for the festbier. Surprising. We're halfway done tasting American O-fest in this invite....we'll be back tomorrow night for another segment.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a firm white head, good lace.

S: Nice Munich malt, caramel candy.

T: A more direct, fuller malt flavour than the regular marzen. Great Munich malt taste, some walnut, light hop character, but the Oktoberfest flavour is there which is hard to find in this style sometime.

M: Medium/full-bodied for the style, firm carbonation, good overall body.

D: A very impressive American Oktoberfestbier, I could certainly find myself buying this again.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had the Fest Beer at the G & B in Bolingbrook, IL last evening. The color was a nice copper/amber with white head that laced slightly. The aroma was sweet with hints of malt. The taste was a good balance of grain, hops and malt. The was a bigger presence of sweetness, more so than the Marzen, that made the beer a little too sweet for me to drink. The beer did come off the pallet clean. Overall not to bad....too sweet for me to session.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on-tap at the Gordon Biersch in Seattle. Served in a half-liter Maßkrug.

Appearance: medium orange with a moderate haze and a little bit of creamy ivory head. Not bad.

Smell: light yeasty malt aroma with a hint of biscuit. Decent if not my favorite.

Taste: biscuity malt flavor with a lighter, sweeter malt finish. Some noble hop character present and a decent bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation and very good creaminess.

Overall: decent and quite drinkable. Gets a little better with each sip. Not bad at all.

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Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty auburn color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by malts. Taste is malty up front, some hops kicking in at the finish, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Bottled on 07/08/09 (Pretty Cool Date!)

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear copper color with an off-white

S- The aroma is slightly toasted and fruity malt, caramel and a touch of floral hops.

T- The taste like the aroma is on the malty side with toasted malts and caramel and a touch of hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, not a bad Oktoberfest beer but doesn't really stand out against some of the better examples of the style for me to purchase again.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a beer with more yellow going for it than I was expecting, was thinkin more auburn for this style and these guys more traditional old world ways. Smooth and mild toasty aroma.

Taste, again, decently smooth, easy drinking beer with slightly more malt and roasting than BMC, hopping not apparent, easy enough body. Nothing over the top, nothing that tastes bad, I consider it worthy of a recommendation given that it was marked down to $3.99/6pk, the old lady thinks they're good, so these come in handy.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Oktoberfest has a nice clear, toasted copper and white bread crust color with good bubbling and a great head.

The aroma was a crisp toasted caramel and crackers with a little something earthy.

Th taste had a solid toasted malt sweetness with only a little noticeable hop flavors and faintly dry palate. This light dryness and toasted sweetness make for a quick savoring, session lager.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a pale orange body with two finger head and a little bit of lace. Somewhat of a spicy, dirty, funky, hop bite, touch of citric and bread malt, possibly some sweetness that I missed. Smooth, easy to drink, not overly spicy or bitter, pleasant breadiness leads to crisp, dry finish, touch of sweet malts and for a second I thought some rauchbier flavors but could be my imagination. Something is a tad off but I did enjoy this beer, although $14 for the big boy Oktoberfest glass is a little much.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a slightly hazy amber color with a two finger creamy white head that slowly erodes leaving a fine coating of lace to conceal the glass. Nose has a sweet malt aroma; earthy, spicy, crisp and pleasant, start has a sweet malt profile, light hop bitterness at back, top medium in feel. Finish has a determined acidity, hops mild but pleasing in their bite, dry lingering aftertaste, a quite nice beer, well worth a sample.

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Photo of drpimento
4.6/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Of all the Oktoberfest beers I've had this year, this was by far the best! Served with a small head (I think only to give customers the most beer for their buck), some lace. Color was an almost clear (unfiltered too!) medium red amber. Aroma was malt, caramel, burnt sugar. Flavor was like nose but roastiness comes out more and has geat balance. Body was good, ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor with a little alcohol at the end. Extremely drinkable brew.

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Gordon Biersch FestBier from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
82 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.