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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
FestbierFestbier

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

736 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 736
Hads: 1,715
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 32
Gots: 159 | 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: 736 | Hads: 1,715
Photo of Terp96
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my annual buys around this time of year. For the record, I think it was better last year.

Pours a bright amber into the glass with minimal head. The beer is clean and pretty highly carbonated which I thought was strange.

Smell is decent for the style. Typically malty but not over powering. I couldn't smell too much of the hop profile.

Taste is a little sweeter than I expected. The sweet malted backbone soon gives way to a surprisingly strong hop presence. As a hophead, this was the best part.

Mouthfeel was decent as well. A little sweet and thick for my liking. Bitterness in the end allows the beer to linger a little longer and that helps.

Overall, a decent attempt at an Octoberfest Marzen. I liked the variation of the theme with the hop presence but I think it lends itself to more criticism from the style police. It is still pretty drinkable but not as much as a Hacker-Pschorr or Paulaner. I will go back for this one. (962 characters)

Photo of riversider76
3.09/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper. Thin white,not much retention. just a bit of lacing, but lots of bubbles. Smell is malty, but week. Body is light to medium, and carbonated. Taste trys to balance malt and hops, and just about makes it. Worth a try, but don't run out and buy! (264 characters)

Photo of Tbone
3.11/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear copper with a big fizzy head that dissapates quickly.
There's a slight barley odor and taste. It does have a characteristic German lager character. However, its a lot less malty, toasty and full bodied than I like to see in a Octoberfest, and a lot less bold than I expected from Victory.
To be honest there's a quality of the smell and taste that reminds me of Anheiser Busch (that's a bad thing).

This is the least impressive product I've had from Victory.

Its a slightly above average beer that should be the hands-down best of its style to justify the extravagant price of $10/sixer. (618 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a good Oktoberfest. Once again Victory proves they can do lagers just as well as sie Germans. Not the best I've had this season, but it's up there.

The beer looks wonderful. Nice coppery amber color with ample carbonation to support a thick off-white head. Retention is awesome, but the beer doesn't seem to lace well.

The smell is lacking. Very light. With a strong whiff, one can smell some caramel and munich malts, along with some hops. Also a bit of a vegetal DMS aroma, but it's just enough to stay under the radar.

The taste is good. Nice caramel sweetness with a nice toasted bread flavor from the munich malt. Good crisp bitterness goes well with a subtle vegetal finish.

Crisp and clean with a lingering caramel sweetness. Fairly full-bodied for a lager. I could put down many of these with no problem. I've really gotten into Oktoberfests this year, whereas last year I skipped over many. This is a mistake I won't make in future years. (968 characters)

Photo of delicious
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber body with a short lived, thin fizzy head.
The nose is thinly malty and a bit doughy.
The taste is a little sweet and juicy, and kind of reminds me of red apples, which is perfect for this time of year. There's some hops at the end, but that's not where any emphasis lies. It's not very complicated, but the fruitiness and buttery mouthfeel make it so drinkable that I just don't care. (392 characters)

Photo of weasbri
4.11/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big bubbly head on this one. I had to slow the pour to get it all in the glass. Dark coppery color, with a sweet malty fragrance.
The taste was all about the sweetness of the malt to me with some caramel flavor too. There was a bit of a hoppy flavor in the finish to top it off as well.
On my recent foray to Norm's, I picked up a six-pack of this, with some singles to taste as well, and I'm thinking that the singles will have to wait, as I enjoyed this quite a bit. (470 characters)

Photo of tboom29
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's time for Oktoberfest biers, and this is a great example of one. I poured it into my imperial pint and it was a dark copper, brown color. Not much in the way of head retention.

The nose was full of biscuity malt. There were a bit of hops I felt as well.

The taste is definitely about the malt. They are fairly big, nice and biscuity with carmel notes throughout. A good amount of yeast overtones as well. The nose is confirmed with a slight hoppiness in the flavor. There is a fairly creamy mouthfeel to this beer, which makes it enjoyable. I definetly recommend this for any O-Fest (not o-face, that's something else) fans. Pairs well with any of your classic german fare. (684 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a perfectly clear brown with a small head, moderate carbonation and little to no notable lacing.

Smell: Toasted caramel and bread with a creamy malt tone and hints of cinnamon fruits and vanilla lift up to the nose.

Taste: A brilliant surge of sweet malt fruit and grain strike the palate and tease the taste buds immediately and at once. Fresh bread creamy buttery malts, cinnamon vanilla caramel and zippy floral hops a peppery snap tingle on the tongue and even a hint of cloves in the finish are all creating a euphoria of taste pleasures.

Mouthfeel: Light and lively in the mouth; this beer is easy in and built for drinking!

Drinkability: This may be the ultimate session beer. A beer FULL of terrific flavors, light in the mouth and stomach and a perfect addictive aftertaste that makes it and impossible beer to put down. Once you pop you cant stop =)

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (924 characters)

Photo of bjohnson
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark copper color with orange hues. Slight head, but not much there. Dissipates quickly and leaves no lace.
S: Soft and sweet malt notes. Slight hop presence.
T/M: Nice floral hop flavors with a sweetness thats inviting. Good underbelly of caramel malt with some fruit notes too. Soft and silky through the mouth with a slight carbonation burst at the back of the tongue. Wet finish with a sweet aftertaste. Good tasting O'fest with a medium body.
D: Try this if you see it. One of the better ones I've had this season so far. Easy drinking--not overly sweet or malty. Well balanced. (598 characters)

Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is bright copper orange with a light tan frothy head. The head didn't stick around too long, neither did any lacing.

The smell was fruity at first. This gave way to a caramel maltiness.

The flavor was bready and malty up front. Light fruit flavors lead into toasted caramel and lightly roasted malts. There are some hints of alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and drinkability is very good. A very easy drinking brew. This is certainly one of the beers I look forward to in the fall. (519 characters)

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (334 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The lager is a copper colored wonder, crystal clear, with a decent fluffy head that retains well.

S: Sweet caramel malts dominate the nose.

T: The lager has a malty sweet flavor that has hints of biscuit and caramel. The grains are mixed very well, imparting just enough sweetness. The hops are practically nonexistent, which is good because the malts here are doing a very good job on their own.

M: The mouthfeel is a delicious sweet flavor that invites another sip.

D: Very drinkable, a well made Oktoberfestbier. (530 characters)

Photo of jmz62565
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear dark ruby red with a small head that disappears quickly. The smell is not too strong, but it has sweet malt, nuts, and an earthy aroma. The taste is very chewy with nuts,carmel,sweet malt, and a "bisquity" flavor. The m/f is light and chewy with all the flavors mixing well. This isn't one of my favorite styles,but this is pretty good, as I would expect from a brewery as good as Victory. Cheers (420 characters)

Photo of oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful transparent bronze-red body with moderate carbonation. Light tan head with a touch of orange, tiny to large bubbles. Both lace and retention are pretty good.
Light lager scent and a sweet bready and grainy element.
Smooth flavors of grass, bread, grain and orange peel. Well balanced. Slightly fruity aftertaste with some mild hops.
Good perfectly full lager body. Nice coating and a hydrating feel without being watery.
This is a good lager that is pleasant to drink and likely to be a repeat.

-Oelergud (521 characters)

Photo of auntfloyd
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a glass stein. This is a clear light copper lager with a tiny head that quickly dissipates into nothingness. The smell is malty, minty and slightly acerbic.

This is a classic marzen, sweet, and malty, with caramel notes and faint hops aftertaste. But the sweet flavors predominate (as they should). This beer is extremely creamy and smooth, and marks very high on the drinkability scale. (423 characters)

Photo of NEhophead
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle; no best before date.

Minor, slightly creamy light brown head that quickly evaporates leaving little to no lacing. Dull garnet with a chill haze; plenty of active carbonation.

Sweet molasses and a bit of cream; reminiscent of a slightly sweet sherry. Lightly toasted oats and malts. Dark fruit-esters: fig, cherry, plum, and grape.

Creamy molasses and light toffee. Astringent, dry grains and oats. Notes of dark, not quite ripe fruit: cherry, plum, and red grape. A smooth, mild bitterness that's followed by an aftertaste of grape, fig, and dried nuts.

Full in body; big malt character with a hefty wheat and grain profile tthat provides a suitable balance. Creamy and pretty mellow on the palate.

A slightly above average Marze; reserved in flavor. An offering a bit disappointing from what I'd expect from Victory. (853 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, bought a 6 pack at Sam's in Chicago for 8.99, best by 2/24/07...havent seen this around Madison yet

appearance: pours into a great dan imperial pint glass...glowing amber body with a big fluffy beige head and some quality lacing...nice appearance

smell: nice bold malty aroma, sweet caramel, red apple, nice nutty characteristics, sweet and bready

taste: My affection for oktoberfests is actually rather bizarre...September-November is really the only time I drink a lot of lager beers, much be something about the season. I love the style and I am starting to build quite a stash... Anyways on to the Victory...the flavor isnt particularly bold but its very easy drinking. I like the nutty nature and the toasted grain/malt keeps well with the style. Flavours driven by fruit sweetness and a strong bready taste. Higher than average hopping comes through especially in the finish At the end of the day, I like to see bolder malt/nut but this is still a good attempt

mouthfeel: medium body, above average carbonation which could be turned down

drinkability: good (1,090 characters)

Photo of mjc410
3.27/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The pour into my Mahr's mug raises a light tan, two finger head that falls pretty quickly. The lacing is also quite sparse. The beer's color is a lovely deep amber/copper. The nose is sweet, bready, and touched by a hint of floral hops, but also has a bit of a burnt aroma. The taste is richer than many O-fests, but not necessarily in a good way. I think the burnt flavor creeps in here, as well. It doesn't ruin in, but it takes away from the overall impression. The other flavor aspects, light breadiness and a bit of hop bitterness, are quite nice. The mouth is right where I want it, medium, with medium carbonation too. This is definitely not one of the better O-fests I've had, but it is still enjoyable, if flawed. (722 characters)

Photo of Darkale
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite fall beers, this Oktoberfest pours a dark, almost angry copper, with a head that rises fast and leaves almost as quickly, leaving a skim and just a little bit of lace. Slightly nutty aroma. Light and sugary on the tongue at first, but then a bit more brassy and full on the edges. It's fruitiness is like an English pale ale, with an almost watery aftertaste that is, actually, very pleasant. As with so many Oktoberfests, the only way to make it more drinkable would be to add an intravenous line. (517 characters)

Photo of andjusticeforale
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
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! (542 characters)

Photo of phisig137
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber color with a thin head. Little lacing is left behind, along with a ring of foam on top.

Aroma is full of malty notes of caramel, toffee, slight pleasant diacetyl, and sugar. Smells like mash, and you can almost feel the decoction in your nose. On the palate, it is slightly sweet, and heavily accents the malt, much like an oktoberfest should. Very smooth and clean, and full bodied. Drinkability is good.

Once again, a high quality brew from a brewery that always pleases. One of my favorite oktoberfest beers made in America (556 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 MaltyGoodness
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a crystal clear amber with a cherry hue. A thin tan head forms and thins. Minor lacing on the glass.

Aroma is all caramel malt.

Taste is a a rich caramel maltiness start to finish with just a hint of hops that compliment it just right.

Medium body, low carbonation.

Now, this is the Octoberfest that my palate has been craving. Certainly a good example of the style and easily drinkable. I may get burned out on the style before the season even gets here as this is the third O-fest that I have purchased and consumed in August... (567 characters)

Photo of therica
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
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. (867 characters)

Photo of lpayette
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear, medium copper with a very small white head.

Smells- not too strong on anything, but mostly malty. Flowery notes come through too along with some alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel- again mostly malty - perhaps caramel to be more specific. No surprise there. Herbal tastes come through as well. Moutfeel is pilsner-like in carbonation. It has that tingly feeling. Ends grainy.

Drinks easy like a good lager does. (435 characters)

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 736 ratings.