1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

FestbierFestbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

1,297 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1297
Reviews: 696
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%


Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Festbier Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,297 | Reviews: 696 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mountdew1
mountdew1

New Hampshire

3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip pint glass. Was a orange-y red-y brown-y color, with a very thin head that quickly left quickly with a thin tracing on the edge of the glass. Aroma smelt yeasty and sweet. Tasted slightly acidic bitter, with spices and pepper. Felt good in the mouth, coated well. Easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2007 23:59:50 | More by mountdew1
Photo of brewbucker
brewbucker

Wisconsin

3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original tasting - Nov 12, 2007. Pours a darkish copper with a thin head. Aroma is over sweetened malts, sort of a faint vomit smell. Flavor also has an overpowering sweetness of malts, grains and caramel syrup. I think this the first beer from Victory I have not been impressed with.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 00:53:02 | More by brewbucker
Photo of mdwalsh
mdwalsh

Iowa

3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a big, quickly expanding just sort of dirty white head that ALMOST overflowed, but did not. Beer is an orange/copper/gold with no active carbonation but plenty clear. The head is falling fast and not leaving much lacing

S: I get spiciness, particularly pumpkin. Maybe some german hops, just maybe, but it isn't very herbal. It's decently powerful, but to me, not very enjoyable.

T: Again, not impressive. Sort of spicey. Not malty, not any hops that I really recognize. I'm not terribly familiar with the style, but I think it SHOULD be maltier and fuller than this, and it isn't.

M: Thin, which is ok, but kinda sharp too, not something I would really want on a cool Oktober day...

D: I mean it's inoffensive, sort of, and thin. I suppose that makes drinkability, but no, not really.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2009 02:32:34 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of Soonami
Soonami

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I hope that my general dislike for malty, low-hopped beers didn't just taint my experience of this beer, but I did not really enjoy Victory's Festbier very much. The beer looked okay, it was a clear russet brown with very little head that completely vanished within a minute. The smell was intensely malty--toasty and grainy. The beer tasted just like this, very malty, a little sweet, some grain astringency and a weird herbaceous hop aftertaste. There is a little nutmeg or cinnamon spiciness and a raw walnut nuttiness. The beer is definitely under-carbonated and feels a little thin.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 23:37:56 | More by Soonami
Photo of fo5s
fo5s

District of Columbia

3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a sam adams oktoberfest mug. Bottle best by Jan-12.

A- pours a vibrant amber with a nice 2-finger foamy head. Minimal lacing.

S- very full nose. Good dose of caramel, but a noticeable hop presence as well. Malty

T- Burn caramel dominates, but leaves the beer oddly one-dimensional. Finish is dull with a residual bitterness that's unimpressive...almost acidic in a way.

M- lively on the palate. Body is in-line with the style.

O- a lot of nice aspects to this one, but I really didn't dig the flavor. Not a bad version of the style, and appropriately priced for those who are fans of this.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 04:12:41 | More by fo5s
Photo of raven3131
raven3131

Pennsylvania

3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was a little dissapointed with this offering - though the color is good I found the nose a little soft, and had to really work it to bring out the character. First sip didn't deliver the roasted malt flavor I am used to from a Oktoberfest lager. Don't get me wrong, this is a nice fall beer, well made and very easy to drink - but I know Victory can do better. I typically look for more initial mouthfeel in alcohol and malt in a fest beer - the spice was faint, but there by the end.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2005 17:08:07 | More by raven3131
Photo of Tbone
Tbone

Illinois

3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear copper with a big fizzy head that dissapates quickly.
There's a slight barley odor and taste. It does have a characteristic German lager character. However, its a lot less malty, toasty and full bodied than I like to see in a Octoberfest, and a lot less bold than I expected from Victory.
To be honest there's a quality of the smell and taste that reminds me of Anheiser Busch (that's a bad thing).

This is the least impressive product I've had from Victory.

Its a slightly above average beer that should be the hands-down best of its style to justify the extravagant price of $10/sixer.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2006 02:57:37 | More by Tbone
Photo of riversider76
riversider76

New York

3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper. Thin white,not much retention. just a bit of lacing, but lots of bubbles. Smell is malty, but week. Body is light to medium, and carbonated. Taste trys to balance malt and hops, and just about makes it. Worth a try, but don't run out and buy!

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2006 23:20:44 | More by riversider76
Photo of maddogruss
maddogruss

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this at the Cloverleaf Tavern last week.

A: Pours a dark, amber body with a thick and very silky, white head with excellent retention and lacing all the way to the finish.

S: A slight, sweet malt smell that was fairly average.

T: A sweet malty taste that seemed a little bit watered down. A bit of a sweet, honey aftertaste, but nothing too impressive.

M: A pretty watery and fairly thin mouthfeel that I felt hurt the overall drinking experience with this one. Not impressed.

D: A fairly drinkable beer, but the mouthfeel seemed like it needed a little work. The taste was okay, but could have been a little more robust. Overall, a fairly drinkable beer, but nothing too impressive.

My friend picked up a growler of this from the brewery and claims the beer tastes better from the growler. I will try it out and write a review on that; I am hoping for a better drinking experience with a "more fresh" Festbier.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2008 13:53:52 | More by maddogruss
Photo of praufs01
praufs01

Pennsylvania

3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Clear copper color with a creamy off-white head.

Aroma - Sour dough bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary.

Mouthfeel - Moderate small bubble carbonation. Clean, but not thin.

Taste - Bready tasting with caramel and bitter orange.

Overall - the taste experience is one dimensional form start to finish. A good brew that is very sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 00:25:08 | More by praufs01
Photo of coachdonovan
coachdonovan

Rhode Island

3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, Enjoy by Jan 3 2011. Pours a chestnut brown that's mostly clear although there is a slight haze to it. Very little head/lacing but it may be a bit too cold out of the fridge.

This is such a hard beer to review. The aroma and taste - bready and malty - is so muted and mild, but it's very true to style. An authentic Octoberfest is just not going to blow you away with strong flavors, and this doesn't do it either. I found the carbonation too thin and the mouthfeel a little watery. For me, that put Festbier a notch below the average O-fest.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 15:03:03 | More by coachdonovan
Photo of mbusster88
mbusster88

New York

3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 120z bottle.

A: Amber color with little carbonation. Head is really nonexistent. Rather clear, not much haze to speak of.

S: Get a lot of caramel right away. Also get the bready characteristics and spice. Some dried fruit type smells. However not an overwhelming amount of aroma.

T/M: Right away get some hop bite on the tongue. Some apricot like taste lingers on the tongue. Toffee and caramel are definitely present here. Finishes clean, but lacking some wow factor. It's an octoberfest but I was hoping for more flavor than I got.

D: Easy drinking beer, but not very satisfying. Very malty but not very flavorful. However, you could session this quite easy and would be appealing for some entry level drinkers for sure. Would try this one again for sure, not a complete bust for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 00:10:57 | More by mbusster88
Photo of jasonpeckins32
jasonpeckins32

Michigan

3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

It pours a copper shade in color, with a fizzy, pop-like head that almost immediately dissappears. The nose is packed with a rich, sweet malty scent. Smells delicious. The taste is also malty, but with a slight hop bitterness, or maybe tangy-ness, towards the end. The sip finishes with an odd aftertaste that I just cant seem to figure out. The mouthfeel is crappy. Maybe not terrible, but too thin and too fizzy when it first hits the palate. Drinkability is average. There are a lot better octoberfests out there, this one isnt terrible but it really isnt anything to get excited about.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2005 12:27:21 | More by jasonpeckins32
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours little leasting fizzy head. peach colour. Initially quenching and fruity but soon strong carbonation overwhelms and burns, and sugar sweetness in finish it doesn't work for me.
Had it again a bit more than a year later and noted sourness as well as aggressive carbonation and peach colour.,

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 01:42:25 | More by Sammy
Photo of Retsinis
Retsinis

California

3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It's now October, so I was in the mood for a Marzen/Oktoberfest beer.

The bottle has a "drink by jan 24th 2012" stamp near the neck, so I would assume this is relatively fresh, and still what it should be.

A: The beer pours clear, with a light copper/amber tinge. A half inch of white bubbly head rose & quickly settled, little to no noticable lacing.

S: Not too much going on, scents of grains, lager yeast, and light caramel.

T: Mirrors the nose, slight bread flavor, a mineral quality flavor in the malt, lager yeast, and some light caramel notes.

M: Medium carbonation, light body, crisp.

O: Easy to drink a few of. Not bad, unoffensive, but nothing special. I'd actually take Sam Adam's Octoberfest over this, or Paulaner though.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 00:44:23 | More by Retsinis
Photo of AdamBear
AdamBear

Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-dark amber with a thin cream colored head

S-honey nut cheerios. Roasted cocoa malts. Good strength. A bit off for the style.

T-comes in with a bitter roasted flavor of honey grains. It's an odd and lightly watery flavor. Doesn't quite fit right. After-taste is oddly bitter.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a semidry finish.

O-this isn't a good Oktoberfest beer. The flavors just don't mesh well and it's not drinkable as the style is supposed to be. 

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2012 02:27:12 | More by AdamBear
Photo of edchicma
edchicma

Massachusetts

3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmmm...was this a Victory brew? My first disappointment from this brewery. Smell was heavily malted...not pleasant. Taste was malt on the front with a light hop finish...very unspectacular. Mouthfeel was overly oily..once again..not great! Drinkability suffers likewise.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2004 20:53:48 | More by edchicma
Photo of joeskirkie
joeskirkie

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rich copper with an off-white short-lived creamy head.

Smells doughy, thats the only way I can think to put it.

The taste has caramel notes, a balanced, spicy hop presence, and a slight tartness throughout. It's ok.

It's smooth and slightly sweet. Theres not a whole lot going on. It's good, but I suppose I was expecting more.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2007 00:05:07 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of JamesS
JamesS

Indiana

3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice light copper color with a bit of head and no lacing. Nice clean malty scent, but not very deep or strong. Nice amber ale flavor, but nothing deep or fall-like that an oktoberfest should have. Goes down fine. This would make a slightly above average amber ale, but as far as the deeper complexities that an oktoberfest should have, it just wasn't quite there. Not a bad brew, just not a great marzen.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2009 14:12:51 | More by JamesS
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Enjoy by Jan 2, 2012.

Appearance
Soapy, weak head with no lacing and poor retention. The color is getting towards the darker side of the Oktoberfest spectrum.

Aroma
Toasted grain, bread crust, a spike of lemon and grass.

Taste
Middle of the road. Toasted bread crusts, some caramel malt and a grassy hop fining.

Mouthfeel
Too much carbonation. Its fizzy and prickly. The finish is dry.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 03:42:58 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear copper colour with an average size frothy/fizzy beige head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is just a little bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, an earthiness, toffee, hay/straw, cask wood?

Taste & Mouth - The beer doesn't have a whole lot or carbonation and it feels slightly watery. The beer has a very interesting taste consisting of malts, toffee, and lots of bread/grain flavour. It really has a lot of earthy notes as well.. even some hay/straw. It finishes with an earthy/malt aftertaste.

Drink - Another beer that falls in the category of 'not for me'. It's not an awful beer but not something I'd seek out again. It reminded me too much of a barnyard smell..

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 18:07:16 | More by spinrsx
Photo of mooseo
mooseo

Pennsylvania

3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Brilliant, clear dark amber with a small head. Not much retention.

S - Inviting aromas of roasted malts and spices.

T - Big roasted malt flavor up front, followed by some caramel and bready flavors. Hops are noticeable at the end and lend a good balance with the malt. Finishes rather dry with a lingering bready taste.

M - Light - medium in body, smooth mouthfeel. Very low carbonation, which was surprising (possibly a bad bottle?).

D - Nice example of the style, but not great. It has decent drinkability and is worth a try during the fall season.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 02:10:43 | More by mooseo
Photo of StoutHunter
StoutHunter

Michigan

3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Victory's Festbier last week for $1,89 at The Lager Mill. I know it's a little late for Oktoberfest beers, but I just now so this beer on the shelf and I'm going to take a chance on it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label on this beer is pretty simple, but I like it and I think it's well done. It poured a hazy amber color that took on a nice caramel color when held to the light with a finger and a half of slightly off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that faded to nothing and it didn't leave any lacing. This beer didn't look that great, the color was good, but the head and lacing were disappointing.

S- The aroma starts off with a high amount of sweetness that's followed by the malts that impart some caramel, brown bread, grains, and a biscuit like aroma. After that comes a slight nutty aroma followed by some yeasty spices. The aroma was pretty average, it could have been cleaner for the style.

T- The taste seemed to be fairly similar to the aroma and it started off with a higher amount of medium sweetness and lots of malts which imparted a grainy, brown bread, caramel, and biscuit like flavor. After that came a slight nutty flavor and an even lighter amount of spicy yeast. On the finish there was basically no bitterness and it had a very malty and slightly sweet aftertaste, This was a pretty average tasting Marzen, there was nothing to set this beer apart from all the other Marzen's.

M- Pretty smooth, crisp, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation that was a little prickly. The mouthfeel was a little above average for the style but the pricklyness held it back a little.

All in all I thought this beer was just ok and I thought it was a pretty average example of the style, I didn't pick up any hops, just lots of malts that seemed a little too dull for the style. This beer had ok drinkability, it was smooth, but the flavors didn't hold my attention, I could drink a couple of these but I would rather have something with a little more flavor. What I liked the most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was the truest to style and it worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was how boring this beer was, a little hops would have helped this beer out and impart a little bit of complexity. I don't think I would buy this again, there's many other Marzen's that I would much rather have and would buy instead, it's worth trying if you really like the style, but I don't think it will make the top of anybody's list of great Marzen's. All in all this beer was pretty middle of the road and not that memorable. I have yet to be really impressed by Victory, most of their beers seem to be pretty average, better luck next time guys.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 04:40:38 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of jbertsch
jbertsch

Massachusetts

3.01/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance on this one is a light amber. A slightly off-white head dissipates quicly as the drinking ensues. Very little bubbling action, so it ends up looking lifeless.

I smell caramel malts and and some earthy grain. I also noticed a bready aroma and slight corn/grain.

I primarily taste caramel malts with a slight corn graininess, Hops are definitely there and balanced well in the mix. The taste is on the longer side with a moderate bitterness that lingers.

Mouthfeel is crisp and medium in body, and drinkability is good.

Overall it tastes grounded and earthy but also a bit cheap. looks a little lifeless, too. There are better marzens.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2009 01:17:16 | More by jbertsch
Photo of Thrasher
Thrasher

Oregon

3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber with full head that completely vanished. Aroma mostly of caramel malts. Victory has put forth a big sturdy malt base for this beer... and leaves it at that. No appetizing hop dryness, no traditional spiciness. Just a sweet syrup of a beer, hints of butter but cloying. Well-made but ho-hum, esp. for Victory. Drinkability low for a Fest, since the hops do not pull their weight in creating a dry tasty finish or spiciness. Not bad by any means, in fact those who don't warm to O'Fests might actually enjoy this especially if they roam around the dopplebock end of the spectrum. May also be good for cooking.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2002 19:52:11 | More by Thrasher
Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,297 ratings.