1. 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

1,296 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1296
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
Ratings: 1,296 | Reviews: 696 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was drunk on-tap from a red plastic cup, so I'm not exactly sure what it looked like. It smelled like lemon hops and hearty wheat with some earthy barley and hints of sweet vanilla. It tasted like mild but zesty lemon hops with creamy vanilla and barley malt. It was oily with a bit of carbonation, and had a semi-sweet aftertaste. Overall this was more like a lager than an ale, but seemed like a fitting traditional Oktoberfest. It had a clean and enjoyable taste, good body, and was definitely easy to drink. Victory!

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2008 17:11:30 | More by Pencible
Photo of aquatonex
aquatonex

New York

3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at The Gate. A good but not extraordinary marzen.

Pours transparent brown with a light foamy head. Nose is slightly malty with hints of alcohol. Taste is light with some sweet caramel malts. Not a lot of complexity, but refreshing. Easy drinking, you can definitely down several without a problem.

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2008 02:13:51 | More by aquatonex
Photo of pershan
pershan

Maryland

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a clear, deep amber with a thin white head into a pint glass. The aroma was of sweet caramel malt, and not much else. The taste was of sweet malt, with caramel undertones and a very subdued hop profile. Nice carbonation and lacing. Seems to be a fairly accurate representation of the festbier style.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2008 18:26:45 | More by pershan
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a thin white head. No real lacing and a bit of retention.

Smells crisply malty, with a bready toasted grain aroma.

Taste is light and clean. A bit of malt with some hoppy zing in the finish. Nice.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light with moderate carbonation.

A nicely drinkable OKtoberfest. Not as dark and complex as the best of the style but not nearly as bland as most seem to be these days.

HV

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2008 17:52:12 | More by sholland119
Photo of PittBeerGirl
PittBeerGirl

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Brew is pretty much what you would expect a good o-fest to look like. Clear nutty brown body with some bubbles that can be seen rising to the top. Head pours with about 2 fingers and is slightly off-white. fades to 1 finger and retains well from there. Leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

S- Nose is a great mix of soft piny hops and caramel/German malt. Nice.

T- Taste is very similar to the smell. Mild flavor upfront but caramel malt is defiantly the main character along with a mild German (can't put my finger on what type) malt. The finish adds a faint touch of piny hop flavor to the initial flavors but is very clean. Nothing lingers on the palate.

M- Medium carbonation and a nice, lightweight O-fest body.

D- This is a nice O-fest. I bought this last year but made bread with it rather than drinking it (good bread too). It has a nice hop character to it and had the nice caramel malt flavor that I like. Good, very drinkable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2008 01:50:40 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of TheMistler
TheMistler

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a lighter-than-expected orange-y brown, with a bright "autumn glow," so far as my friend was concerned. Though I myself probably wouldn't go that far, it is a pleasant looking brew. Displaying a good amount of carbonation, with an initial big-bubbled head that dissipated fairly quickly.

A hoppier nose than I expected, with some tang, and the malt foundation also does not come across as particularly sweet. Nuts, grains, some grass.

Nuts and grains in the taste, alongside a hint of caramel. A bit of spicy earthiness / grassiness. A well-balanced flavor. Finishes dry, and here arose my area of concern. The nutty taste and exceptionally dry finish left my palate with the thick impression of having just eaten unsalted nuts. Not great, and a bit surprising, because I otherwise found the Festbier to be medium-bodied and nicely carbonated, crisp and refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2008 04:18:29 | More by TheMistler
Photo of Kolsch
Kolsch

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: On tap at home.

Appearance:very inviting dark amber with 1 inch head that dwindles to a wisp

Smell: malt and light hop

Taste: exceptional taste! Great balance of malt and hop produces a flavorful but not too sweet lager. I like marzen's when they are not malt heavy and this fits the bill.

Note: when I first had this on my tap system, I was not too impressed at all. But after having it on a couple of weeks now, this has really grown on me and is something I will have again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2008 11:35:15 | More by Kolsch
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 opwog
opwog

Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Now listening to: Eek-A-Mouse - Wa Do Dem

Had this early arriving Oktoberfest beer on tap thanks to Beechwood!

A - copper color with exceptional clarity. Nice head that is perfect to drink through.
S - mild malt and bread
T - grain bread, some citrus, clean finish
M - Typical medium body for an American made Marzen. Maybe a little more carbonation than I like. Very dry finish.
D - Not overly strong in alchohol, not too thick on the palate clean finish all make this a great beer to serve for your home Oktoberfest party.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2008 05:19:53 | More by opwog
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours orange with a small white head, average retention.

S: Strong malt, light caramel, sweet.

T: Strong caramel and cereal malt flavours. Sweet, almost a pastry flavour. Hops are noble and give a light grassy and herbal feel, all around a great taste.

M: Carbonation is quite light, you could drink a lot of these, creamy, soft.

D: This is a really good marzen, my first of the season, even though it is only August. I would not hesitate to have this again, this is one of the best Oktoberfests I've ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2008 06:23:04 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Seanibus
Seanibus

California

4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is an amazing session beer, a real pleasure to find on draft.

It pours a lovely reddish amber with light head. There is a pleasant but slight malty aroma. The flavor is of a perfect amber malt character with a light floral hop flavor, with hints of pear and apple on the finish. The mouthfeel is light, but more than a mere throwaway draft beer. This is an outstandingly drinkable beer, worth far more than the sum of its parts.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2008 22:44:13 | More by Seanibus
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff

Oregon

4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this a couple times 2 years or more ago, back when I was lazy reviewing. Just having visited the brewery gave me the perfect motivation getting around to trying this one again (and reviewing it!).

Light copper with a monster head. Give it up for the bartender...sheesh.

Great Oktoberfest with bready yeast and malt representin'. Noble twang to the hops, with a spicy herbal/earthy profile. Good medium body with really wet mouthfeel. Sweet caramel and bitter hops hold up to eachother for a nice balance.

Good typical marzen abv makes this a fine drinker and something that won't knock you down before the nights begun. Good one Victory!

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2008 00:15:29 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draught at the Mill Hill Saloon in Trenton, NJ: The beer pours a clear copper color with a medium thin light beige head that dissipates slowly. Spotty lacing. Light malt and caramel along with hops in the nose. Medium body with a soft mouthfeel. Flavors of toasted malt and caramel, plus mild hops and fruit. The finish is sweet malt and a hint of hops. Slightly above average all around.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2007 20:09:03 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2007 12:46:00 | More by Slatetank
Photo of PhageLab
PhageLab

Virginia

3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap @ The Tap House in Hampton.

A - Nearly clear light brown, produced a 1/4 inch head that stuck around for a few after being poured into a pint glass. Minimal lacing.

S - Like roasted almonds and something sweet, possibly vanilla bean.

T - Lightly toasted malt profile with hints of something sweet, again I'm picking up vanilla. Well balanced as nothing overpowers your senses.

M - Average, decent carbonation and a light crispy body.

D - All in all, nothing spectacular here, but a decent brew that everyone should at least try once. I could definitely have a few, and next season, I will try a few more.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2007 16:14:19 | More by PhageLab
Photo of Abita45
Abita45

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer from the tap and by bottle. Each time, it offers up a clear, clean copper color, little to no head, and a sweet, brown sugar aroma and maltiness. The taste is smooth, malty, and for a drinkable as I find this beer to be, the malt gives it some substance and there are enough hops to give it a little bite. Unlike many Octoberfests, where there is a roasted malt or dark molasses taste, this beer is on the sweeter side of this style, but it works well and makes for a well rounded autumn beer. This beer will appear to a broad spectrum of people because it bridges darker fall beers and amber lagers.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2007 23:19:05 | More by Abita45
Photo of callmemickey
callmemickey

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber brown body with a thick healthy cream white head.

S: Strong malt aromas power through with a dash of hops in the back end

T: The malt aroma is manifested in a rich malty taste. Caramel comes through a bit towards the middle and a strong roasted finish.

M: Creamy mouthfeel that sits on the palate with a bit of carbonation.

O: Very refreshing... first had this at Victory's Fall Fest... fresh and lovely on a warm fall day.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2007 17:46:27 | More by callmemickey
Photo of Stimack
Stimack

New York

3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served to a nice clear amber color with a good-sized frothy head that had a nice retention leaving a good amount of lacing at the top of the glass. The aroma seems to be musty with a great deal of malt wrapped together. Some spiciness seems to be present as well along with a slight nut and alcohol scent breaking through. Over all a pretty good smelling brew. The taste, to me, seemed to disappoint. It did not seem to have enough oomph, seemed watered down. The Malt flavors where there but they did not stick out. The flavors that where present where caramel, nuts, toasted grain and a hop/dry finish. Not a bad beer but do feel that it holds up against some of the better Marzens from Germany and is mediocre to a number of Marzens brewed here domestically.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2007 12:24:24 | More by Stimack
Photo of beerking1
beerking1

Virginia

4.97/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful garnet-amber color, crystal clear, pure white, small head. The aroma is a great combination of Munich Malt and subtle hops. That, however, is only the beginning. The real pleasure comes with the first sip, and last until the last drop. This is a great example of the style, exhibiting the unique flavors of a true decoction mash, with the wonderful malliard flavor components this brings. Seek this beer out!

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2007 01:33:44 | More by beerking1
Photo of ncvbc
ncvbc

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour was a dark copper color, thin head and decent carbonation.

Smell was sweet and bready. A little earthy hop presence also comes through for a brief moment.

Taste is more sweet malts. Caramel and a light bit of chocolate, more and more as it warmed. Some hints of fruit and less hops than smell suggested.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium.

Overall the drinkability is pretty good here. Nothing stands out with this offering but it seemed solid enough.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2007 06:34:33 | More by ncvbc
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – This one poured a very nice light orange amber with a good looking two inch plus head on the top. Amble carbonation was kept alive throughout which really gave it great retention and helped to keep the lively look of it going. A nice bit of side glass lace was apparent, but the real story here was the complete and total clarity of the color and the great hue to it overall. A very nice, classic looking lager here.



S – Aroma was nice, very light with a touch of fruit to it. Dominated totally though by the earthen malted grans. Lots of cereal and spice with almost what smelled like a touch of pumpkin. I don’t know if itt was really strong enough to be a major competitor in the overall scheme of things, however it did round everything out very nicely. Overall a really good light fall like aroma.



T – The flavor was great. Very light and refreshing. Naturally the biggest player here would be roasted malts and yeast. Nice little floral taste in the finish, which was also quite dry, I have to say a lot drier then I thought it would be fore sure. A nice drinker that went really well with dinner. It did have a noticeable yeast flavor to it, but nothing that was distracting from the overall appeal of it. Really well done I have to say and I have had quite a few lately in these styles, and this was defiantly upper tier for sure.



M – Very smooth would be a perfect way to describe it. Great carbonation helped to keep the flavor light and keep the feel rolling along. A good crisp, quick, and clean finish to it really helped as well. Perfect feel though for the style as it was light enough to keep going but had enough depth to make you stop and think.



D – Great. I could have kept going on this one all night. It just had a great blend of properties that helped to show off at just the right time. The perfect blend of a spiced amber ale mixed with low abv and great carbonation, what more could you ask for other then a 32oz mug.



Overall what can I really say about this one. It was really superb and just what was needed at the time. This was an extremely drinkable, well designed and very filling brew that really gave a good represent of the style and offered a none complicated version. In a day and age where everyone and everything keeps going better, it was nice to see someone just keep it simple and put out a quality everyday brew, well done.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2007 22:30:23 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a white head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted malts with a bit of caramel and a light fruitiness.

Taste: Bready maltiness with only a light caramel sweetness to it. Very, very light hint of roasted grain. Faint yeastiness. There's a soft, tea-like bitterness on the dry, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Make no mistake, this beer may not be overly complex, but it is exceedingly drinkable, in every possible way. In fact, it's the best Oktoberfest beer I've had all year (only two, as of writing this).

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2007 21:14:16 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of cichief
cichief

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at the Frisco Grille and Cantina, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a deep amber color (perfect for the style) with a thin tan head.

S- Smells bready and malty, subtle hops finish.

T- A nice taste of malt, but not too sweet, a fresh fest beer.

M- Not overly carbonated, very smooth, medium body.

D- A very good example of the style, a little more hop finish would have put this beer at a 5.0.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2007 02:35:06 | More by cichief
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Victory- Festbier

Appearance- Golden chestnut brown with no head.
Smell- Light sugary malt with hints of earthy hops.
Taste- Full flavored malt with mollasses. Nice earthy hop flavor well balanced.
Mouthfeel- Lighty sweet with a solid flavor throughout.

Overall- Much better 2nd time around. A good session beer!

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2006 20:02:43 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of JohnnyM2002
JohnnyM2002

Maryland

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a 4 oz tasting glass.

Pours an orangish/brown with a 2-inch foamy head. Smells of sweet, roasted malt. Very good blend of malt, a hint of citrus, and sweet caramel. Goes down a little on the thick side and has a nice caramel aftertaste. Very drinkable lager...great for enjoying at night as a dessert brew.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2006 00:24:36 | More by JohnnyM2002
Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,296 ratings.