Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
84
good
771 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
BEER STATS
Reviews:
771
Ratings:
1,874
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
19.89%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
219
For Trade:
0
FestbierFestbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 771 | Ratings: 1,874
Photo of jsprain1
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Tanned amber. Quite clear with a two finger almost white head. Retention is so-so.
S- Pretty simple aromas. There is doughy bread, with some herbal hop characteristics also. A bit of toffee to it.
T- Really nice flavors to it. Toffee, some doughy bread to it. Caramel. Just when I'm starting to this that the sweetness is a bit overwhelming, some herbal hops kick in and round it out a bit. Hints of toffee.
M- Medium body. Carbonation is just a bit below where I think it should be.
O- A good octoberfest beer. Worth having.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown color into my tulip. It's odd, when held into natural light, it is dull brown-orange, but when held into artificial light it gives a beautiful ruby mahogany color, very different. Pour produces a one finger white head with pretty good retention. Light strings of lacing are left behind.

The nose is light, but appealing. I get a nice caramel malt backbone and the lightest of light hop bittnerness. There is a nice biscuity sweetness going on.

As part of my Oktoberfest tasting, I did a 2 oz sample of each side by side, and then the rest of the bottle were for enjoying casually afterwards. This might be my favorite (the jury is still out) of all the Oktoberfests I tried, and here is why

The taste is really quite good. So often do American breweries miss the mark when brewing Oktoberfests, or put their own spin on it, but this (in my opinion) is very true to style. It's all German malts (which is very obvious when you drink it) and European hops. It's incredibly smooth and the perfect combination of sweet and bitter. There are no offensive off flavors to speak of, no lingering unwanted bitterness, and no alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is gloriously smooth. There is a nice carbonation level but it is very appropriate for the style and this brew in particular.

Drinkability is through the roof. I may just have to make this my fall session brew. I think this is extremely underrated.

I'm very impressed with this brew. I don't know why it gets a low average (thats assuming you think a B is low) but it is what it is. In my opinion, and mine is the only one that matters in my review, this is a very good representation of the style, and a very good fall session brew. I will definitely be purchasing this again.

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Photo of Contra
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with a burgundy tinge. Minimal head with a ring around the edge of the glass. The aroma is almost non-existent, but sweet. Very doughy-biscuit flavor with a well spiced taste. I could down tons of these.

Overall, a very enjoyable Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Brenden
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The head pours pretty well, dissipating after a time and leaving some thin foam behind. There isn't much lacing left behind. The color is a deep copper that verges on red.
The aroma is grainy with an earthy hops. There's also a breadiness and perhaps a touch of sweetness from some malts.
The taste follows suit very closely. There's a light malt to balance a gentle hops presence, but grains and the bready flavor turn out strongest underneath.
There's a medium body that almost seems fuller than it is. This one feels creamy but has a very nice crispness with a light carbonation.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This looked and smelled like an Oktoberfest, with a caramel swirls and a sturdy malt backbone, in fact, upon first taste I was surprised that it wasn't a stronger beer. There is no %alc on the label. The taste is nice and malty without being sweet or minerally, it has a victory water taste to it, a smoothness. The finish is nicely carbonated. This beer was a great find because it acheived moderate depth without the overuse of hops in the mix. There was balance but not to extremes.

All in all a terrifically drinkable festbier. Prost!

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Photo of kmo1030
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

clear brownish amber with a thin light tan head.
the aroma is malty with some sweet tosted caramel malts, a little bit of toffee, and some nuttiness. it seems o have some faint grassy herbal hops but not too much, just enough to detect.
the flavor brings more of the same with some bread crust and a slightly stronger toffee character. a little bit of a soft fruitiness develops towards the finish. the grassy herbal hops add a nice amount of balance to the package with a bitterness that is just a touch tin-y. sweet molasses pervades in a non in your face way.
mouth feel is a bit on the thin side, but makes sense, when combined with it's other attributes. crisp and cleans up nicely without being dry, very well crafted in that respect. drinkability was verygood, this is a quality sessionable beer that some thought was put into. somewhat mild and unassuming, but well worth a try. reminds me of an english bitter a little.

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Photo of wonothesane42
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Amber to light brown with a white head, not much head retention or lacing.
S-Smells very bready, with a hint of sweet caramel, smells decent but the smell didn't get me excited to taste it.
T-Wow, much, much better than the smell, nice caramel taste, and a good sweetness without being too sweet, there's a familiar taste in the finish I can't quite identify, that reminds me of spruce tip beers, but I'm sure that isn't it. Quite good though, surprised me honestly.
M-Pretty full bodied, and very smooth, I really am enjoying this.
O-Very nice beer that surprised me. From my first whiffs of it I thought it was going to be another mediocre Oktoberfest, but once I tasted it I enjoyed it very much, yet another high quality offering from Victory. I'm surprised this isn't rated higher, grab some if you see it.

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Photo of Viggo
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear orange, small off white head forms, some sporadic lacing. Smell is smoky and sweet, some grassy hops and a little bit of citrus. Taste is sweet and grassy, some caramel and citrus, light touch of smoke. Mouthfeel is light bodied, with medium carbonation. A fine example of Oktoberfest. Thanks DrJay!

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Photo of Phelps
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: amber-orange, perfectly clear, with a foamy khaki head about a finger thick that leaves nary a spot of lace.

Smell: very light nuttiness, akin to walnuts and peanut skins. There's also some lightly toasted bread and honey, along with a distinct cereal grain mustiness. Pretty solid.

Taste: yeasty. Sourdough, wheat, peanuts and light caramel. This is solidly in-style.

Feel: light in body with fizzy, light massaging carbonation. A dry finish keeps you thirsting for the next sip.

Drink: a pretty classic representation of the style, Festbier goes down easy and combines perfect measures of European hops and sweet German malts. Who needs Munich?

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a brilliant orange a good amount of bubbles headed skyward. A slightly yellow head bubbled up, less than one-finger, and subsided rather quickly.

Grainy, earthy, slightly sweet toasted German malts balanced out by a mild floral hop aroma. The nose is really quite seamless, everything is in check.

The front end is all malt. Pilsner malt with a toasted, biscuity, earthy, grainy character. Bittering hops finish off your palate with a crisp, dry mouthfeel.

Smooth and supple. Perfect carbonation.

For me, this was scary drinkable. No off-flavors at all. Definitely my favorite so far of the season. That may have had something to do with it.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: I was dissapointed, there was a fast dying head that completely goes away. the nice amber color is however appealing.
S: nice caramel and toasted bread aroma for me. i really enjoyed the aroma
T: very nice and flavorful. there is definatly caramel and malts with some earthy tones as well i feel it has a medium taste but not such a medium bodied beer, on the light side of medium bodied. its almost like drinking a thinner drink with alot of flavor. i still think its a great beer regardless. thisalso makes drinkability really high. very easy to drink beer

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Photo of DrJay
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear caramel/amber with a short stand of fine, off-white bubbles that showed good retention and a bit of lacing. Malty aroma with some toasty caramel, a slight smokiness and faint hops. A malty, caramel flavoured brew, the moderate bitterness continued and increased into the finish. Overall, a very clean grain flavour with some toastiness that's balanced by moderate hop flavour. Very smooth texture, medium carbonation, some residual sweetness and sugar. Clean, malty, and tasty -- an enjoyable offering from Victory.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a clear amber, but lacks a head. Only a slight collar is present. Aroma is full of a deep maltiness. A bit of a candied like aroma is also present. Has a medium full body. And unlike many ofest, this one has a taste I can get in to. I think it's got a little bit more of a munich and vienna characteristic than a lot of the other ofests. The hebal hops accent very nicely as well. This is a nicely put together oktoberfest. Very clean tasting and highly drinkable. Nice effort from the gang at Victory.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bronzed orange peel with honeycomb highlights. Three fingers of sandstone hued foam looks good initially and even better as it settles. Unfortunately, other than a few dots and spots, the glass is untouched by lace.

This is still pretty fresh beer by the smell of things. The floral quality of the hops is almost as prominent as the toasted-earthy quality of the malts. The grain bill is pretty classic for the style: pilsner, Munich and Vienna.

Given the brewery, it's no surprise at all that Festbier is the real deal. And that's coming from someone who doesn't usually care for Munich and Vienna malts. This beer won't change my mind, but it's tasty as hell... and nicely drinkable too.

Wonderful combination of sweet and bitter, with the former having the reins at all points along the way. The flavor profile is akin to toasted whole grain bread, toasted nuts with caramel, and a light sprinkling of tea leaves. The finish is fairly tight and tends toward drying.

Like most beer from VBC, the mouthfeel is a quality affair. It's easily big enough for the ABV and the bubbles are well-buried, yet still active. Solid. Solid. Solid.

It was almost a given that Victory, which has a German beer sensibility for the most part, would hit a home run with their Oktoberfest. Festbier is a wonderful celebration of the harvest season. Those of you fortunate enough to live within easy driving distance of Dowingtown can enjoy it year-round on-tap.

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Photo of bmills1608
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Easy, smooth, clean and quick. - That's the short review

Poured a sizable head that started to dissipate right away. Crystal-clear copper with a touch of orange. Nose - a bit of spice, malt and caramel, very fresh nose.

Taste is somewhat light, fresh and quick, basically sweet caramel-malt with a touch of very light hop bitterness to balance. Very clean soft mouthfeel, fades fast. A real good session beer.

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Photo of garuda
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle, well within stamped freshness dating

A - Crystal clear copper body with a fluffy, tan head that has good retention and good lacing.

S - I get some herbal, grassy German hop smells up front. A little out of style, but a welcome variation. The hops fade after a few minutes leaving a nice bready, caramel malt.

T - Sweet, bready malts with a good dose of caramel. Hops balance with a touch of herbal, leafy bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium body with the carbonation a bit too high. Finishes mostly clean with a lingering sweetness.

O - Nice representation of the style, with the hops being a welcome twist.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 12 oz mug- pours a clear dark orange with one finger of light beige head, decent retention, minimal lacing.

Smell is pretty grainy- munich barley, a hint of caramel. Good, but a little faint.

Taste is very nice and certainly a rousing oktoberfest. Lots of good solid barley flavor, some caramel, a little toffee, BARELY noticeable hops that just sort of tend the edges of the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good as well- medium bodied, light carbonation on the tip of the tongue. Very drinkable. I love this style but haven't had the opportunity to try too many- this one is good but perhaps in a month I might say differently.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice fall offering from Victory. Poured out to an orange color with a nice 1/4 inch head. Lacing was absent in this brew's presentation. Medium carbonation. Aromas of malts and bread are detected, as is grain and mild hops. Taste is robust, yet smooth; flavors of malt, hops and minor spice are all present, with a toasted like character filling the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was crisp and smooth, while remaining quite thirst quenching. Good drinkability. This could be a good football game day beer. Recommended.

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Photo of therica
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not only did this pour a nice amber color, it was actually a joy to watch is it poured, because the bottle's neck-label was very complimentary in color and design-- an odd experience! The head was nice and foamy, with an interesting amber-orange color.

This is a very nice smooth drinkable beer. The taste is nice and malty-caramel but not heavy on hops, at all. However, after it sat for a while (hey I had to operate the grill for dinner) it had a much stronger hops-taste, but still very pleasant finish.

There's a very subtle taste that I've been trying to identify. I think it's similar to tangerine. There's even a hint of it in the scent.

I'll definitely be buying more of this at times, and I'm adding it to my beer-store shopping-list. I would find it very acceptable in quantity at a party. My feelings seem to reflect that of others here, as well.

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Photo of Vdubb86
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tall pokal glass

Got this one at The Firkin in Libertyville, IL

Pours orange with a nice white head of foam that slowly fades. The aroma is of citrus and orange zest along with caramel malts. The taste is of German malt and slight German hop taste on the back of the tongue. There is also taste of white grapes and orange. There is a medium body to it with appropriate carbonation. I could seriously sit and drink this all day. I'm thinking that this maybe one of my favorite Oktoberfests out there, but I wonder if that is due to the fact that it's on tap and not out of the bottle. Either way if you have the means I highly recommend it.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bright copper body with a fine, steady stream of carbonation. Head came foamy up, and quickly left, leaving behind the thinnest of tops. Aroma is of fresh bread from the bakery up the block, not strong, but there. Taste is of deep, toasted malts, a hint of dark chocolate. Not overly, cloyingly sweet. Just a whisper of hops, I believe they are there, but can't be sure. Second best domestic O'fest I've had this season.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, rich amber, with a thick and attractive off-white head. I didn't get any lace, though...

Nose is grainy and malty. I get caramel/toffee, with a tinge of fruitiness. Points for complexity with aroma!

Flavor is rich and malty, with a hint of toasty grain malts and a light, fruity hop finish. This is a subtle, well-crafted, and complex, but easy-drinking beer. Impressive!

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Photo of number1bum
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of NEPA BC split #8.

Pours a beautiful orangeish amber color, nice clarity, a few bubbles and about a finger and a half of light beige head. Retention is not quite as good, as only a very thin lace is left and just a little stick.

The smell is a great representation of an oktoberfest, as it is full of caramel malt and some bready, toasted notes. Little bit of spicy hops, too.

The taste has a wonderful caramel malt sweetness to it, and a nicely subtle toasted flavor to complement it. The hops are slightly spicy with some floral flavor and a little bitter, too. There is also a fruity flavor here, sort of citrusy. Very flavorful.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a crisp carbonation, finishing somewhat dry. Very drinkable oktoberfest that I could have a number of in a sitting.

This is one of the two or three best oktoberfests I've had. Very good beer.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, enjoy before Dec. '07, served in a short mug.

A - clear, amber color with a fair sized white head that settles to a ring, leaves very little lacing.

S - very good, sweet malt and slight bread/dough aromas.

T - sweet malty flavor upfront, followed by a touch of hoppy bitterness, dry finish.

M - light bodied, good carbonation.

D - I could enjoy a few of these with smoked sausage or bratwurst.

Final Note: A very different taste than any of the many American or German Marzen's I've tasted (Fall Beers are a favorite of mine). I like what Victory has brewed here and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys celebrating anything... Prosit!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and slightly hazy copper amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Solid three finger off white head with good retention. Leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very bready and malt forward aroma. Toasted bready malts with good hints of biscuit, caramel, toffee, yeast, nuts, and crackers. Some nice subtle hints of dark roast with a little hint of chocolate. Hints of apple and a little dark fruit. Also some hints of balancing earthy and grassy hops in the background. Very forward on the bready biscuit and caramel smell. Pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a nicely full and bready malt driven taste. Toasted malts with big notes of bready biscuit, caramel, toffee, yeast, nuts, and crackers. A roast taste is quite noticeable with some nice notes of nutty chocolate. Subtle fruit taste with some apple and dark fig. The bready sweetness is well balanced by some earthy hops that dry out the finish. The bready burnt caramel taste is quite full. Really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, somewhat nutty, and pretty smooth. Starts sweet and finishes fairly dry.

Overall: A very good American take on a Marzen. Full bready malt flavor with some nice subtle roast notes. Nicely balanced sweetness.

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
84 out of 100 based on 771 ratings.