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Columbus Festbier - Columbus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Columbus FestbierColumbus Festbier

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42 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 12.22%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Columbus Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  ABV ?

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MbpBugeye on 09-03-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 17
Photo of Ryan011235
3.37/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass on 11/30/11

This obviously isn't fresh, so let's see how it stacks up to my recollections of having it earlier.

Burnt tobacco brown. A clump of sediment broke free into the glass, slowly adding a drifting cloudiness. Fast rising, three finger head that's riddled with pores. After a few minutes, all is gone, save a thin layer. Not much lace at all.

The aroma finds notes of tangy apple butter, caramel, toasted grains and bread, and a fluffy, dusty yeast undercurrent. The most striking difference being a prominent butterscotch aroma when fresh that is absent here. I specifically let this bottle warm up while I did dishes because I previously noted I liked the beer much better as it warmed. Now, I find the aroma mellow and blends together as it warms even more.

Huh. Same thing as with the nose. The buttery aspect is mostly gone aside from a slight notion in the middle and some that creeps in around the edges; certainly a lot less than when fresh. At this point (and this temperature) toasted grains and suggestions of caramel are showcased very nicely. A soft earthy hop note rounds it out. The finish is rather dry; suits me just fine.

I'd call the overall feel medium, though it's a bit on the plump side (is that what you get when you drink an Oktoberfest after Thanksgiving?). Carbonation seems pretty close to spot on, though my own fancy for the bubbles might have been better suited if I poured the beer before letting it warm up. The only downside here is a coating feel on the latter half.

On the whole, I'd say this has held up pretty well, at least for my two cents. Though I liked the aroma more while fresh, I think it tastes better now. I wouldn't have any complaints about seeing this return next year.

Photo of recall1242
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Spider889
4.5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Geno78
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to recall1242 for sending me this one!

Pours a slightly hazy copper orange with a 1 inch fizzy off-white head that fades to a thin film on the top of the beer. Thin streaks and small dots of lace stick to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of biscuit-like malt and lots of caramel aromas. Taste is of malt, caramel, and some herbal and citrus zest hops. There is also a slight metallic taste with each sip. A mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a weird carbonation going on with a crisp but acidic mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good Oktoberfest beer but the carbonation issue makes this one hard to drink.

Photo of prototypic
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Festbier pours a nice looking copper color. It’s very clear. Backlighting gives it a slight orange tint. It’s capped with a vanilla colored head that stands about a finger or so tall. It recedes to a surface covering quickly and holds there for a bit. Lacing is on the lighter side.

The nose is weak and needs more strength. It’s still pretty good. Initially, it smells like a mix of caramel and toasted malts. The caramel definitely smells like the stronger of the two. It smells a little grainy. Grassy, earthy hops are certainly in the mix. Definitely smells like noble to me. They complement the malty base well. All in all, it smells pretty good. More strength would help.

The flavor is good. It has a nice, sturdy caramel malt base. It’s a little sweet, but isn’t offensive by any means. There are some toasted malts, as well, but they are secondary. Hops are certainly noted. They’re earthy, grassy, and all kinds of noble. No doubt about that. At the secondary level, it’s grainy and earthy. Frankly, it’s not very deep or complex. For the style, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Nonetheless, it tastes good. Alcohol is buried and isn’t noticeable at all.

The body is definitely light. Carbonation is mid-range, but doesn’t affect the feel. It’s not buzzy. Having said that, it’s not smooth either. It’s easy drinking, whatever the case. I could tackle a few of these in a sitting.

Festbier is a pretty solid release from Columbus Brewing Company. It’s not among their best, but it is pretty good. To be fair, it’s really tough to distinguish yourself in the Octoberfest style. It’s a straight forward beer style that isn’t very complex. Festbier hits all the bells and whistles, but lacks that extra punch to reach the elite level. Pretty good stuff though. Definitely worth picking up.

Photo of JayQue
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't get that excited with the Marzen style, but this is a real tasty example of the style. Pours a crystal clear amber color with a small white head with average retention and some lacing on the glass.

Surprisingly strong aroma of sweet and roasted malts. Taste is stronger than many Marzens as well. Sweet and roasted maltiness leads as it should with a marzen. A good hint of bitterness in the middle and malts again in the finish.

Mouthfeel is rich enough for the style, crisp and without the metallic taste that affects so many marzens. This one is very drinkable and overall a solid representative of the style.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into nonic pint...

A- Dark orange color. Nice finger of egg white head. Settles down to a cm then chills for awhile. Sporadic lacing.

S- Freshly toasted bread with a slight dulce de leche aroma. A touch of sulfur and trace amounts of whats a not so acceptable diacetyl for this style.

T/M- Malty and fucking delicious! Biscuits, toast, grain, toffee, and even Werthers candy. A bit on the bock side of the style as its slightly sweeter than most Fests, but still great. The flavor really sits on the tongue for a long time. Great medium crisp body. Coats the palate well, fitting for the flavor.

O- Not the most traditional oktoberfest, but I thought this was an absolutely great beer. It loses a few points here for being much sweeter and not as clean as an oktoberfest should be, but keeping the taste score high because I did enjoy this beer with styles put aside. One of the best non-pumpkin fall beers I have had. Might be hitting my brother up to send me more, soon!

Photo of schwaeh
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by inebriated joker.

A: Comes out a dark copper color with a large white head. Very active carbonation and good lace.

S: The smells is somewhat subdued, showcasing some bready malt, caramel sweetness and some higher-than-usual hop presence. I get some metallic notes in the aroma.

T: The taste is bigger than the nose. The malts have a soft sweetness and nice toastiness. This has more hops than most marzens but overall it's still the expected malt show.

M: The mouthfeel is fairly thin, good for the style, allowing it to go down very easy.

O: A really flavorful and sessionable marzen. A good beer for their first time out on this(I think?).

Photo of zimm421
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Popured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears a dark amber to brown color. Has a decent off-white head with a hint of brown in the head coloration. Good retention and slight amount of lacing.

Aroma is full of nice roastiness and some earthy hops. The malts dominate the nose, but as a whole the nose isn't overpowering. Definitely smells of fall, but too soft of an aroma here. Taste is very similar. Slightly sweet, and the malts are definitely the focus. Hops are again earthy with not much else coming through. Maybe a little too sweet for my tastes, but it actually works well with the other characteristics.

Mouthfeel is just slightly under medium bodied. Finishes off with a good carbonation kick to the tongue. Fairly drinkable, but the sweetness ends that pretty quickly. Overall, a good marzen, but there's definitely better out there. Nothing is overwhelming, nor blows me away, but it is definitely a well-brewed beer. Definitely goes down well on a cool weekend during football season.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice darker amber color with a puffy 2 finger head that leaves a decent amount of lacing along the sides. Good looking beer

S - Good amount of caramel malt, biscuit, a tad bit of hops in the faint background, even some hints of light fruit in there.

T - Again, a bit of spicyness in this marzen, some nuttyness as well, as if just a light bit of hazelnut that gives it some sweetness, caramel malts.

M - Very smooth with a decent amount of carbonation. Leaves the mouth a bit dry and the aftertaste is actually a little bit...off. I think it leaves a bit of unpleasant bitterness.

Overall - I was actually very impressed. It actually added a few characteristics not typical for a marzen lager, i.e., it wasn't all malt. There was a bit of complexity there. But at the same time, it took a way a bit from what I've come to expect out of a marzen. Still, a decent Octoberfest.

Photo of nrbw23
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden amber color. Has a descent egg shelled colored head that has okay retention and leaves some layered lacing.

S- Smell is pretty bready with a touch of toffee, and a bit of grassy hops.

T- There is something a bit odd about this beer. A strong corn taste or its maybe that I tried this one side by side with Great Lakes Octoberfest, which is my personal favorite of the season. Anyway, after a few more swigs of this the odd taste is gone. Very bready, roasted malts, and a touch of hops.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- This one has grown on me, but I'll probably spend my most of my money on GLBC. I can see grabbing a few of these ones through out the season too though.

Photo of cneville
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Pours a light copper, one finger head. Smell is understated for this style, malty, with definite butterscotch notes. Taste follows the smell--a little sweet, buttery, then fades into a good hop note. Taste is not overwhelming at all, which I enjoy. Mouthfeel is good--carbonation balances out well with the finish. It'd be interesting to know the abv here--I'd assume somewhere around the 5%-5.5% range. If higher, they've done a good job hiding it. Overall, it's not my favorite example of the style, but a good change of pace to other beers I enjoy around this time of year. CBC has done a good job creating something a lot of pople should embrace. Plus, it's local!

Photo of bluejacket74
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Served in a mug, the beer pours a mostly clear orange/copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention is good, but there's pretty much no lacing whatsoever. Aroma is bready, toasted and caramel malt, along with a little bit of butterscotch. It tastes like toasted and caramel malt, toffee, and some butterscotch. There's a bit of bittering hops noticable in the finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, there's some slickness in this brew and there's also decent carbonation. It's a solid Oktoberfest brew, not bad at $8.99 a six pack. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass -no best by date (new release)

A: Poures a light translucent brown with one finger head that desends into a thin frothy lacing, decent carbonation.

S: Roasted malt ,spice, toffee.

T: Nice earthy nuttiness with small amounts of toffee and caramel,roasted malt.

O: Overall this was a very tasty - slightly sweet but not enough to make it un-drinkable , I would have this again.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz into a New Glarus pilsner glass.

Really cool label, perhaps their best looking one. Very fresh with plenty of Bavarian throw-back accoutrements. The beer isn't bad looking either. Its a pretty pale looking lager, for the style but it retains some copper/toasted hues. Ultimately though, the beer is an oxidized gold color. The tall head is very good at playing the lacing game. There is kind of a weird haze, I wish this were perfectly clear.

The smell is toned way back. Butterscotch and buttered biscuits dominate. Hops are modest and grassy.

The buttered biscuty malts come out, but it is a pleasant buttery profile, which is not typically a desirable flavor, it works here though. Sweet up front with butter-pecan nuttiness and a fresh baked bread idea. Hops kick in to keep the sweet stuff well in check. Balancing is left to green grass with a faint dab of pine. The finish is very quick and clean, something that these German quaffing lagers should all have.

This falls right around middle bodied. The carbonation is happy to do the job of palate cleansing while a crisp finish dries things up behind it.

There's really not much in the way of faults to this beer, surprised? I'm not. Its a very inoffensive beer and it should sell really well. I suspect not many close-minded BA nerds will swoon over this, but this should be the Columbus fall drink of choice.

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Columbus Festbier from Columbus Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.