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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
FestbierFestbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

734 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 734
Hads: 1,712
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 32
Gots: 155 | 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: 734 | Hads: 1,712
Photo of Slatetank
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Market Cross Pub and Brewery a few nights ago. Served cool in an Imperial pint glass.

A - A deep amber w/ mahogany shades w/ a full two fingers of off white head that settles quickly into a minimal lace pattern.

S - Nutty lactic odors of malt and yeast w/ a lightly spice hop aroma and buttery sweet nuances of German malts.

M - A blend of full carbonation and dry malty/toasted biscuity textures with subtle sweetness. A gentle bit of spice swirls into the dry finish.

T - A mildly smooth and sweet malty flavor that is crisp w/ a nice grainy fullness that has a creamy round element and a fair amount of twiggy hops in the mix. I like the subtle lactic yeasty aspect that nods to original fests - it has an aroma that is pungent w/ a mellower flavor. The taste is one of Victory's thta I have maintained a fondness for over the years and has stayed true to its origin.

D - A very drinkable Octoberfest/Marzen that is darker than most, but is more flavorful and overall very quaffable. It is a style that is for celebration and this one is fit for it. I am glad this is one of PA's best festbiers since I have been a fest fan since visiting Germany in '92, this one makes PA proud. (1,208 characters)

Photo of rarevos
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A: Pours an amber color with very, very light tan head. Head is about 1/4 finger's worth, and it quickly turns into uber-light lacing and then a ring around the glass.

S: Sourdough aroma up front. There's a tang behind that that's a bit hard to place. Metallic? Cracked wheat and some baker's yeast.

T/M: Very malty up front, but not super sweet. The malt is bready and rich, with a moderate caramel sweetness and a wheat germ flavor. Finish is mildly bitter, with a long and malty tail. Mouthfeel is a bit chewy, like a good hefe.

D: I'm not a huge lager drinker, but this is a really pleasant beer. Balanced, flavorful, and well done. I could drink a few of these for sure. (715 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Fresh 2011 bottling.

A: Clear orange/copper colored body with a creamy, slightly off-white head. A moderate retention cap sticks around the entire time; however in traditional lager nature no real lace sticks around.

S: Sweet caramel, allspice, brown sugar, candy apple, toasted malts and some cereal. It does smell good and there are a lot of elements coming through but the style doesn't really allow for an overly aromatic nose.

T: Sweet dark grains, toasted malts, touches of honey and spice come through and last into mid-palate. A touch of floral hops and caramel are in the finish, with almost a quenching quality to the beer. It's extremely good and very flavorful, especially for a style some would argue is lacking in terms of flavor.

M: Bubbly and lively carbonation but not overly so giving it a medium body. It's very crisp and clean with a semi-dry finish.

In all honesty, this is one of the best Oktoberfests I've tasted. It has much more flavor than a majority of the American brewed (and even some German brewed) ones, with no off flavors. Easily one beer I will be stocking the fridge full of this fall. (1,177 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into my 24oz stein. Beer 5 of 6 of my BotO.

A: Gorgeous deep copper with a doughy beige head that sinks into a solid disk. Tons of carbonation. Pretty!

S: Bready with some fruit character with some raisins and a hint of figs. Doughy.

T: Bready with a mild caramel sweetness with a mild hop presence The caramel really hits the spot and balances things out beautifully, serving as a bridge from the doughy start to the very mildly bitter finish. Mild fruit character with some figs. Excellent!

M: Light and crisp on the palate with excellent carbonation and a great finish

D: I'm a believer. This is the best I've had so far! (642 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber, light copper color with golden orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger off white head that quickly fades into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic thin rings of lacing throughout.

Sweet malty aroma with hints of brown sugar, cinnamon and subtle hops. There is also a very faint roasted malt presence that is very promising.

Surprisingly very full bodied and chewy, especially for the style with a lot of sweet malt and fall spices. Hints of cinnamon, brown sugar, biscuit, and that slight toasted malt flavor that the aroma alluded to. There is also a very subtle hop presence which provided an excellent balance of bitterness to the sweet malts and spice notes. An excellent example of an American interpretation of the style but I can't really see to many Germans liking it. Either way I highly recommend it. (856 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard shaker "pint" glass. Appears a hazed golden amber color with about two fingers of pillowy off white foam. Nose and flavors are of medium toasted grains, a good dose of sweet malt, grassy, fruity hops. A notch or two better than medium bodied and adequately carbonated for it's style. One of my favorite marzens. By all means, check it out if you are a fan. (402 characters)

Photo of beermanbrian
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great deep copper color but crystal clear. Not much to speak of with the head but a nice level of carbonation gives it a little life. Smell is faint malt and some yeast bread tones. Taste is well balanced with some nutty tones but mostly just basic malt without being sweet. Nice mouthfeel with a good carbonation level. Very drinkable beer, i went through this 12 oz very quickly. The best of the oktoberfest i've had this year. Another solid offering from victory and highly recomended. (488 characters)

Photo of barknee
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Updated on 11-1-08
I must say that I am certainly enjoying this years vintage of Festbier. Generous malts and a perfect hint of hops make for a brew that is massively enjoyable and delicious. The last time I imbibed unto this brew, last season actually, it was quite one dimensional and uninspiring. If you can find this at your local, pick it up and try it; I think youll like it. Rated as the number two "Oktoberfest" brew by the NY Times recently, blowing away the mass Germanic imports in a tasting competition.
For once I agree with the leftest SOB's at the NY Times. ;-0 (577 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer comes out a beautiful amber, very appetizing and inviting. Aroma is fairly strong and malty, not complex but pleasing. Flavor is richly malty with just a hint of spice and no hoppy bitterness. Texture is very smooth. Lip-smacking and easy on the palate, this is a decidedly drinkable beer - good from bottles, but better on tap. (338 characters)

Photo of tjd112
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured into Flying Fish pint glass

Appearance: Poured a copper/amber color with a finger off-white head

Smell: Malty and bready

Taste: Caramel and toffee, otherwise, follows smell'

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation, a bit heavy body

Drinkability - A good session beer

Overall - A good example of the style (322 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sudsy sticky head of foam that laces all around the glass. Brilliant clarity, deep saturated copper orange color. Slow rising carb trails,

Husky nutty grains in the aroma, swirling brings out some apple and dried fruit esters.

Nutty toasted malt flavor, grain husks, apples, fall leaves. Very light hint of bitterness in the aftertaste, and a hint of malt sweetness up front, otherwise dry and crisp. Very smooth and easy drinking, full and almost chewy for a lager. A delicious and traditional American Oktoberfest, definitely a staple i'll be looking for every fall. Side note: this was a top 3 finalist up against a dozen other Oktoberfests at a recent tasting. (667 characters)

Photo of Amalak
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dull copper color that is crystal clear. There are tons of tiny bubbles with a limited head and no lacing. Nice malty scent.

This actually has a lovely rye taste to it. Nice and malty, a touch of caramel sweetness. Nice blend of flavors. This is a very smooth and refreshing beer. Nice carbonated tingle, but not heavy. Very complex and well-executed. (352 characters)

Photo of jreitman
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber in color with a persistent white head. Sweetness and floral hops most noticeable in the nose. Balance is great with the floral hop flavors, carbonation, and nutty/toffee malts blending very well together. A very finely crafted brew that I wish were available in my area. (283 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This German style is undertaken very well by Victory; why am I not surprised? The color is a radiant amber hue, and is capped with a smallish white head. The nose is bit toasty, with hints of caramel, and the ghost of autumnal spice. The flavor has a strong nuttiness tending towards almond, and is smoothed out by notes of biscuits and toffee, and yet it does not cross the line into sweetness. Medium-bodied and quite refreshing, this is a very enjoyable example of the style; everything about it is well-done. Now that I think of it, I cannot recall a better Oktoberfest brew. (579 characters)

Photo of Buebie
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a sigle brown bottle into a pub glass. Producing under an inch of white head and leaving a nice island cap of retention. Color is uber good, a burnt caramel copper with red hues.

Aroma is out of this world as far as fest beers go. Loads of malty grain laced caramel deliciousness. small amount of roasty grains, touch of rye spice and an herbal hop aroma.

Taste is also as aroma is described but much more malty with a large cereal grain presence of roast and caramel. Rye spice through the finish and drying out slightly.
Feel is crisp and clean.

A must have fest beer, terrific. This is my new go to for the style. (634 characters)

Photo of uwmgdman
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Festbier pours a clear copper color with a thin white head. The aroma is moderately malty, toasty, bread-like and slightly sweet. The flavor is highly malty; bready and a bit spicy. The hop bitterness is medium-low and there is just a hint of hop flavor at the swallow. The after taste is good, a bit different than most Fests, a bit nutty. The body is full and carbonation is medium with a very smooth swallow. Overall a well done Fest, smooth and a bit of a unique aftertaste, recommend. (494 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy, bubbling, humdinger head; a perfect darkish amber color. Aroma: fresh, clean, floral, nuts, buttery and sweet, vanilla, bananas, soft spices. Little hops, heavy with malt. Incredibly sweet on the tongue, long and lovely finish. A tasty sizzle on the palate, very flavorful, and an unusually characterful lager. One of the more subtle, but satisfying Oktoberfests I've ever enjoyed. (389 characters)

Photo of MONKandTUCK
4.21/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- poured on draught into the proprietary victory .3l glass. It's clearly a lager, with its thick full body holding still in the glass. It's an Amber hue, with a dark note similar to hardwood.

A- malty, nutty, sweet, crisp. Nothing about this beer is hop-forward, but I detect a nice spiciness which balances the bready malt nose very well.

T- This is the nutty and toasted flavors they describe in malts. There's definitely a reminder of sweetbread and cracker. This caramel notes are restrained. It's a delicious beer when the flavor peaks, but it just doesn't hold long enough. Really, it feels a tad thin.

The finish is nice; there's clearly a lot going on. My only complaint is that it has the classic lager bite.

My main complaint, and I think it's substantial, this beer is a lot thinner than I'd like it to be. I know it's not a Bock, but it's as robust as a session lager should be. Sometimes storage causes the beer to have a more noticeable dryness. I think it's great they provide a clean and clear beer, but some of the malt chewiness I was expecting is sadly left to be desired for.

M- It's a bit thin, almost like a pale lager. Otherwise, it's a very drinkable beer.

O- I could easily make this my go-to beer, and regret that the mass-produced stuff can't be on this beer's level. It's very drinkable: the more you drink of it, the more it grows on you. Still, it's clearly missing something; just a little more girth to the body and Victory has a perfect beer! (1,484 characters)

Photo of bruachan
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

good clear copper. decent froth

phenomenal lagermalt aroma--pils and toasty vienna. spicy, herbal hop scents. smells like a delicious biscuit (a slightly hoppy biscuit)

not as richly flavored as the scent intimates. clean and caramelly with a refined bittering finish. good toasting. spicy hops--make it kinda refreshing, actually. i was first tempted to express dissatisfaction with the body (it's solid) but i dig it, for style (431 characters)

Photo of shertz
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Chalice. The temperature was 43 degrees. Best by Jan 13 08.

A- Very little head goes away to nothing on top. Pretty clear amber red with some bubbles rising towards top.

S- Floral hops with some biscuity malts in backround.

T- Floral hops quickly gives way to plums and sweet, bready malts. Real nice balance between the hops and malts. I really enjoy this immensely.

M- Fairly well carbonated but the bready malts give it a nice thickness.

D- Wow, I really enjoy this brew. I was surprised that it didn't get higher ratings. This is by far the best fall brew I have had this season.

Cheers Friends,
Scott (648 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: My bottle looks just the like captured in the Database. Best Before Date is Dec-12-05; guess its time to crack this sucker.

Appearance: Gorgeous ruddy copper and dark orange body. Vanilla white head is creamy and produces a thin but patterned lacing. Lively but with a low key carbonation.

Nose: Hmmmm……definitely a great component of this brew!! The nose is warming, slightly herbal, mildly spiced with warming toasted caramels and freshly baked bread. Very nice indeed, even a few days past its Best Before Date.

Taste: Parallels the nose, but the tastes are higher in strength. The toasted malts are herbal caramels are dominant. Spicy hops and a lovely soft finish that lingers leaving you wanting more and kicking up the Drinkability a notch or two. A myriad of flavors but they are all in check, controlled and assembled in a very clean manner.

Mouthfeel: The body is like one of the bicycles that Lance Armstrong rides, lightweight but incredibly strong, it never lets you down. Bolstered by a synergistic nose and taste profile the body feel is incredibly solid yet vivacious and fleet of foot. Smooth too!

Drinkability: A tasty brew that has a high end return factor. Oh so easy to put down the throat, but not so easy to put the glass down back on the table. I could easily manage a 6-Pack of these puppies, now worries.

Overall: Lovely Jubbly – one of the best US Oktoberfests that I have sampled to date. I picked this bottle up whilst in PA last month, it’s a real shame that this one doesn’t come West with the other Victory brews. Recommended. (1,597 characters)

Photo of BostonBrewins
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Crystal clear copper with a white head. Dissipates fairly quickly.

S - Very nice and strong aroma. Notes of caramel and brown sugar.

T - Alot of sweetness upfront, mostly caramelized sugar. Not overwhelmingly sweet though. Breadiness comes next. Silky smooth. Absolutely delicious.

M - Low to medium bodied with a fairly high carbonation level.

O - One of my favorite marzens, a good example of the style. (414 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stopped by the brewpub for lunch. Had one of these at the bar then got a growler filled.

A: Crystal clear amber in color. Nice carbonation rising throughout. Very nice off-white head after a vigorous pour. Looks great.

S: Smells bready & malty, maybe a little doughy. Malts give a nice sweet aroma.

T: Sweet malts that provide abundant flavors. Nutty (almost walnut like), bready, dough-like, a tad toasty, maybe some slight fruit notes.

M: Nice velvety, medium bodied beer. Very smooth. Has a somewhat creamy texture to it.

D: A very solid, drinkable beer. I like this one in the fall. Not sure if I could drink it year round, but one I would certainly turn to when given the option. (691 characters)

Photo of aaronh
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliant copper body topped by a creamy head. Sweet malt aroma with a hint of hops. Taste is very smooth, with well balanced malt sweetness, roasted flavor, and bitterness. Mouthfeel is solid and smooth. Drinkability is very good. A very nice fest beer. (254 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant orange tinted amber under a 2” persistent and clingy white foam cap. S: Bread and spice aromas lightly seasoned with kettle sugars rise from the glass. T: It has a clean palate with no fruit. It starts rich and malty with bread crust and mid-range kettle sugars, spice, and a mild bitterness. F: It is very creamy and smooth with medium to just a little more on the body with medium carbonation to a little less. O: A very good fest beer. (459 characters)

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 734 ratings.