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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

770 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 770
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
Reviews: 770 | Hads: 1,853
Photo of Beaver13
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear copper with a fizzy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is toasted biscuit malts, carmel, and some grassy slightly minty hops.

The flavor is slightly sweet toasted biscuit malts with a dry, slightly bitter (minty), finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, not a bad Oktoberfest. I'm finding I don't much care for the style. I don't like the toasted biscuit flavors.

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Photo of TonyVic
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Good pour, copper red with a a good head, although it dissipated quickly. Caramel and malty notes on the nose. The mouthfeel has a medium body. I was not a fan of the taste though as the balance between the malt and hops was out of wack and left a slightly astringent finish.

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Photo of crossovert
2.9/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle.

It pours a reddish orange with a fizzy white head.

The smell is of oxidized fruits and caramel.

The taste is a bit bland, it starts with a mineral water character and moves into a doughy sweetness with a bit of bitterness.

This beer hardly excites me, one of the more forgettable Oktoberfest beers.

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Photo of SilentSabre
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pretty average oktoberfest, IMO. Poured up nicely with an orange bronze colour and a foamy sand coloured head. Smell was honestly a little BMC-ish with a bit of sweet malt. Taste, Mouthfeel, and Drinkability are all pretty average. Overall, this wasn't bad, but honestly, I wasn't impressed.

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Photo of IceTrey9785
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of my Oktoberfest collection -- poured a 12oz bottle into a nice beer stein. I enjoyed this with Brats...

A: If poured blind I would have said this was a Yuengling. Nice orangey-gold color. Pretty good head, but rather stiff and airy. The foam never really went away, but didn't add to the overall presentation. Maybe closer to an Amber lager?

S: Very crisp and malty. I expected this beer to be a little on the sweet side, some yeast and sweet bread notes were overwhelming. Traces of alcohol at the end. Appetizing, not overdone.

T&M: Rather thin and watery. Lacked the bold mouthfeel that I was really expecting. I found it be lacking in flavor -- a lot lighter, and crisper than what I was hoping. Touches of brown sugar dusted cinnamon rolls hit me on the finish (along with a metallic twang). The hops were a little too overbearing -- I got a bone dry sensation after a few minutes. Overall, I just found it to taste rather cheap and watered down, but with huge potential.

Perhaps I just had a bad bottle? I don't know. All I really know is that I wasn't impressed by this brew. I paid $10 for a beer that tasted like a Yuengling (which I could've gotten for half the price). Is it a bad beer -- no, its just a beer that lacks concentration and leaves a mild-mannered impression. Hopefully next year's will be up to par.

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Photo of HBBJ
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Copper colored and clear. Effervescent carbonation like a soda. Minimal head which quickly disappeared. No lacing.

Smell: Strong grain smells - cereal, porridge, crackers. Some caramel notes and just a bit of smoke. Slight yeast and alcohol aromas.

Taste: Moderate malt and caramel taste, but it's overwhelmed with graininess. Hop flavor just enough to keep the sweetness in check, with a clean, bitter backbone. Moderate to long aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and creamy, with a bit of astringency.

Overall: The grainy aroma and taste ruined what might have been a nice Oktoberfest. Somewhat surprising considering Victory has always made solid brews in my experience. I'm wondering if there was an issue with their process this year. Perhaps their decoction mash got too hot, or they oversparged.

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Photo of AlexanderSelby
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

With a delightfully dense amber color, Festbier's appearance is beautiful and on-point for the style. The hops sneak themselves behind the sweet and buttery first wave and barely hit the side of your tongue with slight bitterness, but then the malts come back for the finally. The flavor is too unbalanced for me, weighing heavily on the malty sweet, almost buttered bread, side.

Overall, Festbier is a malty, buttered bread experience that spoils my appetite, especially during a big Octoberfest celebration where you are encouraged to drink a few rounds. I am, however, tasting this offering on the later end of it's life-span, so it is very likely the hop flavor has subsided, thus creating an imbalance.

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Photo of BeerSox
2.97/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into nonic.

The only head on this beer was a really thin off white one that vanished to nothing. No lacing to speak of.

The aroma is more along the lines of what I expected. A bit of caramel and some brown sugar. Seems a little bland though.

The plainness is repeated in the flavor. The caramel and candy sugar is there like in the aroma, but it's not very robust. The flavor doesn't last long either. The finish is just a bit of biscuity grains. Lighter bodied with average carbonation. Seems a bit watery.

I was expecting a little better from Victory. This one seemed boring, to sum it up in one word. The flavors were there, they just weren't anything to be excited about. Not recommended.

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Photo of JasonA
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

average ... thats what I got from this beer.

Pours a dark copper with little to no head. Almost a translucent carmel.

I dont get much from the smell. Some sweetness and a little spice. Not much there.

A little biting, may be due to the alcohol content. Tastes like the smell. Not a whole lot there. Wish there was more to talk about. Some sweet, no real hops. Little malty with some spice finish.

Average. Carbonation and bite may be a little more than desirable.

Overall I would rather move forward from this beer than drink it again. Not bad, simply not something worth coming back to.

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Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear amber with a short head. Pleasant lager aroma; sweet caramel, straw, and corn. Taste is watery and flat for the style. Bread dough, metal, graham cracker, and corn. Wanted more and didn't get it. I am convicnced that marzens and me just do not go together.

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Photo of Thrasher
3/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

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Photo of hopsputin
3/5  rDev -19.6%

a: a dark burnt amber orange color, with some mild hints of ruby red & purple. a .5 finger head that fades to just some thin bubbles on top (i've seen better heads)

s: smells of a rich earthy caramel. there is some juicy hops in here? aroma is dominated by sweet caramel malts

t: flavors are a little tough to pick up initially. it tastes like a mix of sweet malts and something fruity - mango? quite odd. finding it a little too tough to pick up flavors

m: medium mouthfeel, not much carbonation

o: was expecting more from Victory. this is a little disappointing (wishing i didn't have a 6 pack). märzens aren't the most complex to begin with, but this is has a distinct lack of flavor. appearance could use some work too

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Photo of SaltofOH
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/5/14. BB 12/24/14.

A: Pours a dark amber w 1/2" off-white head. Fades to a tiny ring. Steady slight carbonation.

S: Sweet. Big on the roast. Slight yeasy/breadiness. Roasty, yeasty, and sweet. Smells like a brown ale.

T: Roasty, slightly tart. Not too sweet. Sweet/tart arrival, dry across mid-palate; tart flash, then bitter finish.

M: Mid-weight. Seems light for the style. Slick, lots of carbonation.

O: Of my 4 Marzen this year (GLBC, Paulaner, Sam Adams, Victory), this is my least favorite, by far.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: poured into my duvel tulip, with a nice clear amber/copper body, with a thin finger of off white head that fell semi-quickly with not much lace.
S: not a powerful nose, very light grainy, nutty and bready
T: grain and nut comes through from the aroma, a bit dry cooked grain and a very light grassy hop.
M: the grain makes it seem a bit rough. carbonation fits the style.
D: mostly fits with the style but is not my favorite due to the cooked grain flavor.

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Photo of LumpyGuitar
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up on a whim, I'm a sucker for seasonals.

Poured a crisp amber with an orangey hue. Thin white head and no lacing.

Smell is faintly earthy, with a faint waft of hop and yeast.

Taste is pretty average fare for the style, bittersweet with a mild hop presence, yeast is sharper than I'd like.

Mouthfeel is again average. Fairly light with a decent amount of carbonation.

Drinkability here is lower for me. I can tell from others in the style what I think this should be - clean, crisp, with a light hop feel and a nice and easy mouthfeel and drinkability. I can't say that this doesn't match that profile, but what I can say is that it doesn't do it very well, at least the way I like it. Theres better out there but this is a good try.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my Surly pint.

Pours an amber red with a full finger and a half of off white foam. Dissipates rather quickly. Lots of caramel malt in the nose. Biscuit too. Rather ho hum malty flavor. I wish I could be more positive or negative. This beer is rather average at best.

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Photo of Scoats
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Unlike several American takes on o-fests, like Flying Fish and Brooklyn, which have a great hoppy finish, this beer beer seems to be very true to what I recall of real German o-fests. Very malty, somewhat sweet and not very hoppy. The result is a beer that is very well made, very true to the style, but to my tastes not very satisfying. Not by any means dumbed down, but not smarted up either.

Heaven knows Victory has more than enough great beers to keep us beer geeks more than happy.This one though is probably made to keep their less adventurous brewpub patrons content.

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Photo of maxpower
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear orange-copper color, nice white foamy head. Has a light flowery and malty caremel aromas, sweet, balanced malts and clean tasting, light body, a little thin semi-watery mouthfeel, this is a decent oktoberfest, but nothing special, there are alot of other better ones out there.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Enjoy by Jan 2, 2012.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.02/5  rDev -19%
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.

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Photo of mooseo
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
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..

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Photo of joeskirkie
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

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Photo of JamesS
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 770 ratings.