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Gordon Biersch FestBier - Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

Not Rated.
Gordon Biersch FestBierGordon Biersch FestBier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

141 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 141
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.42%
Wants: 7
Gots: 2 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TexIndy on 01-21-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 141 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nerudamann
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look - light amber in color and slightly murky. A good 2 fingers of foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - Faintly more malty than hoppy. A tinsy bit spicy.

Taste - Fairly bitter, but in a much less dryer way. Slight sweetness is helping to balance out the bitterness. Slightly wheaty, but not terribly full in body. Well-balanced in texture, not too watery and not too creamy.

Drinkability - In general kind of bland-tasting, but not bad-tasting either. Not much complexity in the taste, but easy to drink.

Nerudamann, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of Reidrover
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 pack Fall Specials found at Grocery Outlet, Salem Brewed 8/24/10..so not old. To be honest a ugly looking beer in my mug dull copper body no real head..just wisps. Aroma isnt great either..slightly cereal with a weird metallic aroma. Taste however saves the day..a nice malty Oktoberfest style beer. Palate thin but not horrid. Overall a dissapointing beer..would be understandable if this was the usual dated Grocery Outlet beer..but this was new.

Reidrover, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of kshankar
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper pour, small white foam, not much retention.

Aroma: Standard marzen profile of caramel, toasty malts, etc.

Taste: Sweet malts, toastyness, caramel. Pretty much follows the aroma, but it also has a good hop finish..not too strong, but present.

Mouthfeel is light, carbonated well. Its good, and drinkable. I'd have a couple more without too much issue.

kshankar, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of brewnickbrew
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Great color. Burnt-Orange/Dark Copperish in color. Large 3 finger head, with off white foam. Lacing was pretty good. Bright and Crystal Clear.

S- Malty, Slight Caramel aromas. Fruity in terms of esters, and a slight cherry aroma

T- Malty, Bready, Slightly Toasty, Slightly Sweet, Earthy hops.

M- Medium body, Slight bitterness, Medium Carbonation

D- This one to me is a sipper. Could have been that I had this after a meal. This is a very good Marzen made by Columbus GB.

brewnickbrew, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Erish
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a half liter tapped into a lovely glass mug at the Bolingbrook location: this is the 2010 brew.

A: clear orange/amber, decent 2 finger head that falls into a skim of a cap, the lacing is o.k.

S: GB brews have a unique semi-metallic like sharpness to them that comes through in the aroma and the taste; this beer is no exception, there is also a sweet malt note and an earthy note.

T: boilerplate Octoberfest: lots of sweet malt, a honey note, that aforementioned semi-metallic taste, and gentle floral hop finish. Decent, but not exceptional. It did pair quite well with the German sausages, though!

M: medium weight, decent carbonation, good malt/hop balance.

D: A bit of a disappointment, but then I have never had a beer at GB that blew me away. I would say that it is definitely a "food beer."

Erish, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

This Oktoberfest-style beer is lagered for six weeks and uses traditional ingredients, so you know Dan Gordon aimed right at the style at hand, as he usually does.

Decent lacing from a thick froth, pale amber color flaunts a perfect clarity. The nose is very clean with delicate aroma of light biscuity and bread malt, and a mellow floral and slightly spicy hop. Incredible smoothness boosts the drinkability, making for easy work with this moderate-bodied brew. Spicy hop and a faintness of alcohol meld with the carbonation for a refreshing bite up front. The malt character lays a solid foundation on top of that, but not so much as to mute the hops. Clean biscuity, bready and cracker flavors from the grain. Hops leave a long trail of flavor with suggestions of fresh herbs and green peppercorn. Semi-dry, grainy, malty finish.

By far this has to be the most drinkable, true-to-style Oktoberfestbier we've experienced over the years, and is our top pick for the style this year.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of Bookseeb
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance has a nice amber to it with a thin head and nil lace. Smell of caramel malts having a light honey note. Taste has a bit of spice with the malt with saline in the background having moderate hops leaving a light bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium with a good spike of carbonation. Not necessarily my choice for a festbier, but not bad either.

Bookseeb, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of Elimination
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was wanting to have some fall beers in this shitty weather and since I was on a budget picked this up in a variety pack

Look is a elegant copper yellow with a nice white head, although thin

Smell is slight sweet lager yeast stands out, a tiny bit of a German hope smell comes out

Taste is a bit dry but a nice malt backbone, little hops, a bit of Carmel and barley to it

Mouthfeel is great just thin enough that it's true to style plus the carb level is perfect.

Drink is amazing for right now, this hits the spot

Elimination, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
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

brentk56, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of wknight167
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apearance - Pours a clear light amber orange with minimal head and no retention.

Nose- Light caramel and toasted malt, spicy barley and a touch of orange.

Palate- Starts off sweet, then toasty and finishes bready with caramel and a touch of spiciness.

Mouthfeel- Just under medium on both body and carbonation

Drinkabiliy- Not too interesting, but not offending either.

wknight167, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of Offa
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty good marzen-style beer, a bit different from the more long-standing "Marzen," but not really any better.

Pale copper, it has a medium-big, off-white head that soon thins to a ring and weak hints of foamy lace.

Aroma is toasted barley, grass, hints of herb and apples.

Taste os a good, light toasty barley, hints of apple; it starts sweet, then becomes more dry, with grassy bitterness before light sweetness in the aftertaste. The feel is a bit light but has a good liveliness. It's good, pretty drinkable, but simple and hardly great.

Offa, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of kimcgolf
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours from the tap to a light copper color with thin white head that lingers to mid-glass and leaves okay lacing. Nose is faint, but trends toward malted nuts and caramel. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat sweet, and the taste picks up the malty flavors of the nose. A fairly short, but pleasant finish. Not a bad fall beer.

kimcgolf, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
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...

ChainGangGuy, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of dpodratsky3
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Very clear, dark orange/amber, slightly darker than their märzen, very creamy slight off white head, rises up then settles around 1 finger

S: Some bready carmel, not in your face at all, whiffs of hops, but in general very mild

T: Definite carmel malt, pretty focused on that flavor, hops kick in and provide good contrast and emphasize flavors already present, tastes very similar to many imports, a pretty accurate, if macrobrew approach to an oktoberfest

M: Very smooth, but still has some carbonation, good pleasant medium body, not really dry, but finishes a tad on the drier side

D: Good, the german session beer in the form of an oktoberfest, just not super flavorful

Notes: An average beer. No huge complaints, but not much praise for it either.

dpodratsky3, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at some Gordon Biersch restaurant at the San Jose airport. Pours golden orange with a big lacy white head. Aroma is bready malts with a citrusy twang. Flavor is similar, mostly bready with a bright orangey note. Sweet and thin but drinkable enough.

illidurit, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of kevinjosephlee
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a glass

A: A coppery yellow with a white head that dissipates rapidly.

S: Sweet malt and some toasty notes, but very clean; no fruity esters or diacetyl.

T: Some malty sweetness but a good initial hops bitterness. Finish is dry. Also very clean.

M: Carbonation gives the rich and frothy texture. Dry finish, goes right down. Not too much body that I can sense.

D: This beer is too drinkable. It goes down smooth and the body offers little resistance.

Overall: A rather simple beer. Meets it category well.

kevinjosephlee, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Halcyondays, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

DoubleJ, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sadly, this one was not available in the area until post-Oktoberfest. Still, it's the Oktoberfest season here in the States, and therefore still prime time for another Festbier.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Seidel.

Pours bright amber in color with a creamy cap of off-white froth that shows a fairly mediocre retentive ability and fades to a thick crown that lingers a while, leaving a few patchy rings of lace on the glass. Krystalklar.

Mildly hoppy in the nose, with some bright grassy herb and a faint whiff of sweet bread.

Medium-bodied with a moderate carbonation; lightly toasty malts show themselves briefly up front and then it's hops all the way. Bone-dry throughout, with a grassy noble hop character that lingers into the aftertaste. Finish is ever-so-dry, making me want more with every draught. The malt shows itself a bit more in the finish, with a faint honey-toffee sweetness, but always fails to take hold.

Overall, a much lighter and hoppier brew than their malt-forward Märzen; initially I was skeptical as to how different the two beers would be, the styles being so similar, but the difference is quite distinct.

A rather light and drinkable Festbier, but nothing spectacular. Solid, yes, but not holding up to the original.

superdedooperboy, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of BlackBearForge
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear golden amber with orange highlights with a small whitish fizzy head which disspates quickly leaving an small oily collar.

The initial aroma is of "beer" which I noted in my review of the Marzen from this brewery as well. This quintessential beer smell fades leaving some bright grassy hops and a light caramel malt.

The flavor is clean and bright with a lightly toasted biscuity slightly sweet malt with caramel notes backed by a crisp hop bitterness. Nicely balanced and tasty. Flavors intensify on warming.

Mouthfeel is light and nicely carbonated, smooth and a bit slick on the finish.

The Festbier, while closely related to it's Marzen cousin from the same brewers, is perhaps a tad more drinkable due to it's somewhat lighter body and the nicely balanced malt and hops. Very tasty, and like the Marzen very good with food and very sessionable.

BlackBearForge, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of MisterClean
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the California Brewer's Festival

A - Poured copper-gold with 2 fingers of white head. Dissipated moderately slow and left nice lacing.

S - Honey, ample amounts of breadiness, and some light bittering hops in the background.

T - Honey, bttering hops, light caramel, and a bigger presence of bittering hops.

M - Moderately bodied, well-balanced, sweet and smooth.

D - Overall, a good job at an easy drinking fest beer. Impressed a macro did this good of a job.

MisterClean, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of cjgator3
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

cjgator3, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of lhaqq
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: I think it was a cloudy dark orange body with not much head. But have been finishing off a case just drinking from the bottle.
S: Typical oktoberfest smell, pretty heavy on the roasted malt.
T: Pretty true to the smell. Not too much more in the taste than the strong malt flavor. Also a bit of honey half way through.
M: Maybe a bit light, but generally a well-balanced body.
D: Easy to chug. Not bad but a bit uninteresting as a session beer.

lhaqq, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of BigBry
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft pint from the Gordon Biersch in Glendale.
The beer poured slightly hazy, deep reddish gold color. White head, thin but good retention. Smell of sweet malts, with hop bitterness. Mild hop flavor matched with a solid sweet caramel malt. Earthy, leafy hop bitterness (not fruity/citrus hops). Medium mouthfeel and body, dry finish. Very nice compliment to my meal, another good one from GB.

BigBry, Jan 05, 2009
Gordon Biersch FestBier from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
83 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.