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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

769 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 769
Hads: 1,853
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 19.84%
Wants: 32
Gots: 207 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Festbier Alström Bros
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Reviews: 769 | Hads: 1,853
Photo of jstilwell
1.85/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Let me first say that I am a fan of the Victory offerings...Not this one. Tasted like a nice Paulaner ruined by adding Water and corn syrup.

A: Medium Brown, Amber, very small quickly disappearing head, no lacing.

B: Not overwhelming, mild roasted malt, hazelnut

T: Blah, boring watery, not much flavor followed by slight bitterness. The aftertaste reminded me of diet Coke.

M: Water! Might quench thirst on a summer day, but this is an Octoberfest brew, right?

D: The highlight perhaps is they are drinkable, but who'd want to?, certainly not I.

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Photo of rushpatrick
2.16/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

having enjoyed many victory beers in the past and many more oktoberfests, this beer proved to be a great dissapointment. The taste reminds me of a skunky cheap domestic lager. i would recomend not drinking this beer. I wrote the manufacturer an email as i was so offended by the taste and quality of this product.
it contained very to little head in a pour from bottle to tulip glass, color was a slight copper-amber tone. little to no taste but that of skunk. not much aftertaste, allowing for the posibilty to finish a glass; give a six-pack a few days. not recommended.

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Photo of ibashmuck
2.2/5  rDev -41%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured little to no head on an amber body. Smells were very sweet, malty, maple syrup, caramel and a touch of floral. Sadly, those did not translate over to taste, which was dominated by a distinct unappealing dusty and skunkiness. Overpowers anything else in there. Also remarkably flat for the style.

I'm guessing that I got a bad bottle. I hope I did, as otherwise this is big disappointment.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.38/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I like that fact that they wanted to create something for the Oktoberfest season but, I don't know if this beer really fits that perspective or not. It's more along the lines of a Pilsner than a Marzen. The flavors that Victory came up with her are most definitely German but I don't think that it was the best way to go in making this brew. It was also a little too weak for a beer in the fall season.

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Photo of Kooz
2.41/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured to an amber color; good head.

Malty nose. Some spice. Nothing terribly special...

Spices in taste, and flavorful but too bitter. Not much about this I really like. It's flavors are robust but bitter, and the spices taste off.

Good body, but the spices linger too long and don't taste fresh--that's the best way to describe them. It's like Victory used expired dry spices.

Overall, I'm not impressed.

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Photo of Urk1127
2.44/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into tumbler. Brown. Not much of a head or lacing. Smell is sweet caramel. Malty. Taste is dry sweet bold malt. I do not like marzens mostly and this we not much different than those.

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Photo of frank4sail
2.47/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Musty malt/old sneaker smell. Crystal amber color. No lasting head at all. Sweet chewy malt flavor with a smidge of hops. Very dissapointing effort for one of my favorite breweries. The label says victory but the taste is not one of a victory product. Overly sweet, unbalenced, and no head retention at all. Like sweet syrup.

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Photo of RussBecker1
2.49/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a somewhat cloudy orange. Much more colorful than a number of other marzens I have had. It is also a good deal lighter, and reflects light in a pretty fashion. Maybe a 1-2 finger white head that was decently thicker than I expected. Little to no lacing to be had however.

S-Not the most appealing smell. The malts are the most apparent, but they appear to be roasted slightly too much, as the caramel and toffee flavorings are too burnt for my taste. There are hints of light fruit (something muted like a banana although that is not quite it).

M-Nothing too special. Carbonated enough to make it easy to drink, but it neither enhances nor detracts from the experience.

T-Very bland for a marzen. As to be expected, European marzens have ten time the flavor (German/Austrian), but even for an American style marzen, this fest beer did not make much of an impression. The tastes did not mix, and it was surprisingly bitter for a beer of this style. As expected, the malts were too smokey which left an undesirable taste.

O-Had it not been described as an oktoberfest then I may have seen this beer differently, but overall I will avoid festbeer in the future

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Photo of logicalparadox
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Meh. A sub-par Oktoberfest offering. Too sweet, one dimensional, and coming off like a soda-beer. Malty, but that's all that's going on here. Like wet biscuits, but in a bad way. Not terrible, but not a beer I'd return to, especially with so many great examples of the style during the height of the season.

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Photo of Ksoden1186
2.5/5  rDev -33%

While I love Victory's Prima Pils and Hop Devil, this was a disappointment. Overall, an unbalanced beer that I wouldn't pick up again. If you are looking for an easy-drinking Octoberfest, there are better options out there.

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Photo of Winter
2.51/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours amber with a thin, off-white head. The aroma seems slight skunked. If it's the hops, they're rather musky and not welcomed. Can't really detect any maltiness in the aroma. The mouthfeel is a little on the thin side. Festbier is a malty lager with a touch of hop bitterness. An ale fruitiness is introduced in the middle and lingers into and almost unnoticeable finish. Overall, I was not impressed by this example of an Oktoberfest.

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Photo of musicjustintime
2.51/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm actually disappointed. I LOVE Victory's offerings...but this one is just WEIRD! Maybe I got a "bad bottle?!" (Don't think so though) Tastes kinda like dirt, with a little bit of old hops added. Not sure what this beer is... The worst Octoberfest I've ever had...so far, and I really hate to say it. Again, Victory is a wonderful brewery, and this is THE FIRST of theirs that I've had that I don't like. Maybe it's not me, 'cause my buddy DID say he's tried it, and hated it as well?!.... Sorry friends. I don't recommend this....unless you like a "dirty"-tasting Oct-fest. Sorry Victory friends. Cheers and SAAAALUTE my BA friends!!!

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Photo of mgironta
2.61/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew was a clear amber color with minimal head and active carbonation. There was no real lacing to speak of. The first thing that I noticed was that this brew was a little thin and not what I would consider for the body of an Oktoberfest. On the nose, I got…nothing. No joke. Not a thing. It was like sniffing water. Maybe if I thought really hard about it, I could get some sort of earthiness and a hint of sweetness. But, it would be a reach. The taste is primarily watery, just how it looked. I didn’t get a lot of taste on it. Maybe some sweet malt on the taste and a hint of earthiness? I’m surprised about the lack of flavor in this brew. I didn’t really like it and would not get it again. Definitely underflavored.

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Photo of John
2.61/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The color and head look promising. After that I'd have to agree with previous reviewers that this is sub-par for Victory. Not as clean as a Marzen should be IMHO. Some diacetyl is detected and I thought while drinking that it might be an ale. Just verified via the Victory site that it's indeed a lager. Not bad, but very unVictory like.

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Photo of DownDaHatch
2.61/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I have loved the Victory label, so I was excited to give this beer a whirl. The best I can say of this beer is that it is unremarkable. It certainly lacks complexity. I am certain it's intent is a munich-like style Octoberfest, but falls a bit flat. It looks wonderful, pours great, but generally stops there. The slightly malty nose is also a nice compliment. The taste seems hopless with some floral and fruit (Pear/apples?) undertones. It is medium bodied and copper colored and has a bit of a dry finish. I love Octoberfest beers, but this one left me a bit flat.

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Photo of c014572
2.63/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Has your typical marzen copper color & nice head. ABV is right. Has a good aroma. Just in the flavor, not sure how to describe it, has a "home-brew" off-putting taste. Not sure if this was a bad 6, but the use-by is 4 months from now. I can't recommend this.

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Photo of xcrunner78
2.64/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle

Appearance: Orange-Copper in pour, with a good size head. Good amount of carbonation in the glass.

Smell: A bit of dough and very malty. Cannot smell any hop addition.

Taste: Definitely a lager. Malts are toasted, a little carmel and a grassy hop on the palate. Finishes dry and would have been good with some bready food.

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Photo of seesnow3
2.64/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Heavy Seas pint glass, no freshness date, $1.90/bottle in NH

Pour-Pours a small head that quickly fades to a washy film with a thin ring of bubbles. Deep copper with a little less of an orange color. A faint stream of large effervescence bubbles here and there. Essentially no lacing that sticks.

Nose-Caramel malt for sure with just a hint of skunky musty aroma. There seems to be just a touch of dark fruit. The spice aroma is a little bit subdued.

Palate-Sweet right away followed by a hint of sour and some noticeable bitterness. The taste is predominantly rich caramel malts. The lingering qualities are fairly short. The sweetness is a little bit fruity and off. Alcohol, despite the low percentage is slightly warming and noticeable.

Body-Medium to heavy, very little effervescence renders this one a tad closer to syrupy in texture. It is sort of creamy but has a slightly drying finish.

Final-I’m not really sure what to make of this. Out of all of the Marzen’s I’ve tried this probably has the least amount of bubbles in it. I’m not sure I personally like it, due to the odd sweetness, but there is nothing in there to severely offend anyone. It’s fairly balanced though a little bit off kilter on the sweetness, but overall worth a go for the price if you don’t mind a fairly “flat” Marzen. Maybe this bottle wasn’t any good, because I know it wasn’t old and my review seems quite contrary to the others.

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Photo of jimsimply
2.66/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Well past its Enjoy by date, this poured a hazy amber into a pint glass with thin head. Not much aroma at all, a faint yeasty smell is all I can discern.

Taste is not much better. I generally like Victory's beers, but this isn't fantastic. Fairly sweet, but lighter in the mouth than I like, almost watery consistency. Carbonation there, but it doesn't add much.

All in all, not my favorite Oktoberfest by any stretch. I had to force myself to finish it.

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Photo of Fish113d
2.66/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark amber color with some copper as well. A thin 1 finger thick of bone white head forms on top but quickly dissipates to a white surface layer on top.

Sour grapefruits hit my nose first along with a bit of brown caramel malt. A slight bit of spice maybe (cinnamon) but nothing too apparent.

Sipping reveals a less sweet flavor than I expected from the style. The caramel maltiness is there along with a mild floral flavor.

More full-bodied than expected. Nice balance but somewhat of a "weird" feel that I can't truly explain from this one. Perhaps this is a "bad batch" or something, but it is nothing like a 'Fest brew that I've had before.

Overall, one is enough for me. Not one of my favorite Fest brews ever by any means. I hate to slam a beer, but this one just misses the mark completely for me.

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Photo of BoilerMo
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

I might have gotten a bad 6er because we had this at Octoberfest night for beer club and somehting was off in the aroma and the taste was much harsh (hoppy not malty), might have gone skunky on us?

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Photo of damienblack
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ordinary copper with a thin, quickly dissipating head. I can't really put my finger on the smell, like a funky malt sweet smell, almost like the smell I get from some of DFH's funkier products (think Midas Touch). Whatever it is, it really doesn't appeal to me.

Medium body, malty and biscuity. Not a whole lot of spiciness or hoppiness here, but the body doesn't stand out all that well. A far thinner body than I recall from my last time tasting, I never thought I'd call a Victory offering "watery", but that's the impression I'm getting. It's pretty clean, but there's not a lot behind it. Feels a little dead, could use some more carbonation. Easily sessionable, but this time around I get so much worse an impression than when I first tried it this year that I wonder if my bottle didn't hold up in the 2 months since purchase.

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Photo of gr0g
2.76/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle. Copper in color with a nice head. Good head retention, streaky/spotty lacing. Aroma is... weird. It resolves to a caramel aroma, but it definitely starts out with a strong grape juice note (I shit you not). The flavor is similarly unspectacular, though it isn't offensive. While it clearly has the taste of an all-malt lager, the finish is lifeless and devoid of character, and there's little hop character. Very bland for the style.

I'm now reminded of why I haven't picked up Victory's O-Fest offering in a while -- it simply isn't any good. Very disappointing beer from a usually strong brewery.

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Photo of ROBORB
2.77/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a regular pint glass this beer produced a amber hue with a short lasting 1 finger white head. The aroma smells like like malts and perhaps sugar/something sweet. The carbonation is light but the taste is not great. I felt like this beer really goes outside of the regular Marzen characterization. Unfortunately this is not a repeat for me.

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Photo of Dithyramb
2.77/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased a sixer from Avalon Liquors. Took the good part of two months to finish during fishing trips (that is a bad impression, by the way. Paulaner, on the other hand was all drank the first non-striper catchin day)
Cloudy amber bad retention and lacing.
Caramelly malt and some unknown chalkiness in the aroma
Caramel and chalky malt. Overall rather limp with the same crappy hop that mister Cleveland0 detected.
The only Victory brew that's been difficult to finish.
Doesn't have the complexity and mouthfeel of the good to great O'fests out there, average all around.

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 769 ratings.