Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

769 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 769
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: 769 | Hads: 1,853
Photo of TX-Badger
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear coppery color with off-white head. Caramel, toffee, light roasted malt, and some sweetness on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with more malty goodness.

 192 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish/ copper color, with a light tan/ off white head. In the aroma, earthy, sweet malt, and a small hop backing. In the taste, a small, sweet roasty malt, with a balanceing small hop. A small hop bitterness and medium mouthfeel, with a dry, lager-ish hop in the aftertaste. Nice balance, nice fall-ish beer, and a bit bit bigger than standard.

 363 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark gold, light amber color with a low head. Light spicy malt aroma and an awesome candy-like sweet flavor (reminiscent of smarties?). There was a nutty character as time went on. A medium bodied and creamy brew. One of the best American style Oktoberfests in my tasting.

 276 characters

Photo of tavernjef
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice orangey glow and copper in color, good white head that stuck around the glass. Smell was all over the place, very complex for an Oktoberfest. Lots of sweet smelling hops and malts, some nutty notes and roasted barley and some pale citrus. Taste was pretty decent, not bad at all. Kinda sweet and malty bitter, very clean hop feel, a bit watery with a slight sweet twinge on the tongue. Its a drinkable fest, but this could be bolder and slightly heavier. Nothing really wrong with it, a bit of a different approach to the fest style then I'm use to.

 554 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To my mind, this is a really good Octoberfest beer.
In a pint glass the beer is an amber color with a rather small tan head.
Caramel aroma, very sweet.
Caramel taste, like licking a caramel apple. Very sweet.
Pretty robust. The sweetness is a positive, I think.
A great fall beer.

 280 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On draft

Medium brown in color, thin off white head that fades fast. Slightly sweet malty aroma. Taste is bready, a little brown sugar. Thin to medium body.

 157 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – The head was a bit modest here and didn’t show a lot of good retention, but the beer itself was a brilliant orangish-brown.

Smell – The light grain shows a touch of class and is mixed with some caramel malts. I can also pick up a hint of molasses.

Taste – The caramel and gooey malts are more prevalent at the taste. The grain is light and of high quality (not the cheap husky stuff on most American lagers). The sugars are subdued but raw.

Mouthfeel – This is in between light and medium-bodied with some nice carbonation. It is very refreshing and thirst-quenching.

Drinkability – This is a true session bier and one of the better efforts at the style from an American manufacturer.

 715 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.88/5  rDev +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!

 525 characters

Photo of gford217
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a bubbly, clear reddish amber with a good-sized off-white head that lingers as a cap for a while and leaves a little bit of lacing. Roasted caramel malts dominate the nose with a bit of sweetness of vanilla as well. The hops are present but subdued in the aroma. The taste is even sweeter than the aroma indicates with a much more bready malt backbone and tons of caramel and vanilla sweetness. There is a bit of earthy hops in the finish leaving a little bitterness. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied - crisp and clean with good carbonation. Not overly complex, this brew is definitely drinkable and a good representation of the style.

 682 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear golden amber color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes rather quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of biscuits and caramel with no real hop presence. The taste is like the aroma, but with the addition of a nice light hop bite in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth texture and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a really nice Oktoberfest. I would like to get some more life out of the aroma, but other than that it is really solid.

 494 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at Victory. Dark amber like a marzen should be. A nice white head of foam as well that lasts and leaves nice lacing as well. The aromas are all sweet malts up front and nice green hops on the back. The taste is sweet and malty with a more pronounced caramel flavor than most marzens. There is also the lovely taste of bready malts and fresh hops as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the drinkability is very good. This beer is very festive indeed! Good stuff.

 473 characters

Photo of Suds
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is basically a solid, well made Marzen style beer, but not up to Victory's usual standards. Carmel and mildly toasty sweetness dominate the brew. At times the sweetness boarders on syrupy. Not much of a head, and the aroma is understated. Still, it's a good beer, but not typical of Victory.

 300 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
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 Gmann
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice coppor color with a small and short lived head that settled into nothing, bit disappointing. The aroma is of a steely caramel malt, bit bready and grainy. The taste has a nice bready malt base, caramel, touch of grain, not much noticable hops; pretty clean. Nice moderate feel, with semi-soft carbonation, chewy; finishes slightly dry. An good example of an American Oktoberfest; nice bready caramel malt. I expected a bit more of a hop presence from Victory but this malty lager does well.

 503 characters

Photo of morimech
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with one inch of white head that has good retention and settles to a thick cap. Some sticky lacing is left on the glass surface.

Mostly a sweet caramel malt in the nose. Fairly faint and mellow.

The taste is on the sweeter side. Caramel malt with almost a buttery quality is featured. Some earthly hop flavor sneaks in on the finish.

Has a great texture to the light body. Mild carbonation.

Has nice drinkability qualites with the light body and low ABV. Just a little sweeter than I prefer in my beer.

 533 characters

Photo of cokes
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Auburn-tinted copper with a rising sandstone head that gradually recedes to a mere edging.
Flour tortilla nose, with glints of grapes, caramel, honeyed graham crackers, and corn syrup (relax...it's a simple impression, and not in the derogatory macro sense).
Into the mouth, it's bready first, and toasty second. Trickles of caramel sweetness wiggle in, along with a prolonged walnut-laden nuttiness. That same, slick corn syrup sweetness from the nose makes an appearance, and I can't really place where it comes from, having seen the ingredients. But it quickly morphs into fleshy sourdough with a tic of seedy grapes. It concludes with a tempered, but cleansing burst of herbal hops.
Medium bodied in the mouth. It approaches grabby, but is slaked clean with a slow, but persistent carbonation.
It's not a standout (and actually a small letdown coming from Victory, whom I assumed would put out a classic),. But to say it's anything less than solid would sell it short as this ultimately succeeds in its cause and would be downable in minivan-sized steins given the right occasion...and absence of other similar options.

 1,125 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear copper color with a on-finger tan head that fades somewhat speedily. Not a lot of carbonation.

Nose is all malt, with a bit of an earthy/nutty tone that blends nicely with a baked-bread/biscuity scent. The label speaks of some hop presence, but I'm not sniffing it.

Flavor is predominantly biscuity malts with a light nuttiness that keeps coming through pretty clearly. On the back end there's a little sweet, almost minty flavor. Kind of dry on the finish.

Big qualm is that the mouthfeel is a bit thin for all the malt in there. It almost comes off a bit watery, and it kind of distracts me.

Overall: Not a great O-fest, definitely not my favorite Victory, but not a bad example to sneak in a mixed sixer of O-fests.

 751 characters

Photo of blackie
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: Pours a scant head that recedes to practically nothing. Good medium-dark amber color.

s: Pretty standard pale German malts under a medium sweet leafy amber malt and a touch of skunk.

m: dull, low carbonation and medium-full body seems way out of balance and fails to carry the flavor and aroma well

t: Good earthy toffee and light German malts with a moderate sweetness and a hint of toast. Low hop presence with an unchecked aftertaste and lingering mouthfeel...needs a snappier ending.

d: not bad flavor but the mouthfeel and aftertaste hinder

best by Feb 24, 2008...single bottle from WF Raleigh

 606 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Translucent ruby orange, some carbonation, one finger head

S-Caramel malt, some spice, nuts and butter.

T-Caramel malt, tad bit of grass, some butter. Bland and boring.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation and crisp.

O-I wonder why I drink Oktoberfests. This beer didn't bring much to the table, at least it wasn't awful. But boring at the end of the day.

 358 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Clear deep amber color. Thick frothy head with good retention. Moderate amounts of lacing.

3.5 S: A little bit fruity, a little bit grainy, a little bit spicy, but not a whole lot of aroma overall. Just a touch of herbal hops.

3.5 T: This has a unique taste. No other Oktoberfests are quite like this one. I admire that Victory would make a product that isn't just a clone of a generic Oktoberfest. However, the taste leaves something to be desired. Biscuity and caramel from malts. Spicy. Then there is something pungent. Maybe that is what makes it unique, but it is a bit off-putting. By no means is this a bad brew, but it isn't up to its potential.

3.5 M: Medium body, a bit under-carbonated. Otherwise smooth.

3.0 D: It's the pungency in the taste that lowers the drinkability by quite a bit.

 836 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This turned out to be one of my favorite Octoberfest beers. Poured a perfectly translucent bright amber color with a lot of orange highlights. The beer has a beige head that was quite foamy and receded quickly. Just a touch of lacing.

Aroma was light, fresh, malt like and of nice bread like grains. A subtle sweetness as well.

Flavor was well balanced, slightly spicy and certainly featuring the malt flavor. Slight roasted flavor up front and then a nice hop bitterness at the end. Really nice crusty bread flavor. A bit of toffee.

Mouth feel was lively with a bit of carbonation, smooth and silky as well. Very nice drinkability.

I like this a lot.

 655 characters

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.

 2,863 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Sunset Grille. Poured a tawny, brown color, and it was quite cloudy. What's up with that? Had a creamy, tan head, which faded quickly, and left no lacing. Verrry mild malt nose...where is it? Mouthfeel was quite nice, though; good body and smooth. Flavor had some ok malt, a smooth flavor but mild. Even a hint of some fruitiness present. Not bad, but not really fest-like. Perhaps it's the tap lines? I'll try it again elsewhere, and keep an open mind.

overall: 3.45
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


 571 characters

Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew courtesy of SeaBass.

A: Pours a nice golden hue with very bold carbonation. Big bold head with good retention and a touch of lace.

S: Wonderful malt aromas. Nice sweet caramel malt with hints of biscuit. A touch of hops can be detected if you really concentrate.

T: Nice malt bomb. Nice caramel malt up front with hints of biscuit. Corn comes thru in the middle with a nice late hop addition to round things out. Overall Good.

M: Medium in body with nice carbonation.

D: Good, a wonderful fest bier. Wish it was on the shelves in Tampa.

 554 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark copper color with beautiful clarity. The head starts off as a creamy, off-white color that's about one finger high, but fades fairly quickly.

S: This one is actually really nice aromatically. The malts are very rich in caramel, and even some chocolaty hints. After it opens up a bit, it develops some floral, grassy hop notes. Hell, I even notice a distant quality of allspice. Surprisingly deep for a marzen.

T: There's a definite hoppiness (in a grassy expression) to the finish that separates it from some of the sweeter 'Merican-made oktoberfests. It really does help balance out the initial burst of caramel malts well, and even gives a touch of stone fruit flavors. There's also a distant toffee note on the aftertaste, also.

M: I'd call the body medium, the finish semi-dry, and the carbonation bang-on. This one seems to be a bit more savorable than others, too. And it's still very drinkable, as the style dictates it should be.

O: I like this one a lot - it's well crafted, hoppy, yet balanced very well. There isn't much more to say other than the fact that it's quite good.

 1,139 characters

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 769 ratings.