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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
FestbierFestbier

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

733 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 733
Hads: 1,704
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 32
Gots: 149 | 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: 733 | Hads: 1,704
Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent start to the head with great ring lace. Very clear and lighter than I'd expect.

Overall, strong amber malt (crystal?) smells like a marzen should be.

The taste matches the aroma--malty, smooth and milky. Light hop gives some balance. Good body, low carbonation.

Overall, a nice entry into the marzen world. (317 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 mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 08/30/10 notes. Had on tap at Fire Works in Arlington, VA.

a - Pours an amber color with very light carbonation and an inch of white head.

s - Smells of sweet biscuits, caramel malts, bready malts, and a hint of spice.

t - Tastes of bready and caramel malts mostly. Some grain or wheat as well.

m - Medium bodya and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent beer. Mostly bready and caramel malts; would drink again but probably wouldn't seek out. (449 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 12/11/2012. Pours lightly hazy orange copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of pear, apple, caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, earth, and herbal. Nice aromas with good balance and decent strength. Taste of big pear, toast, caramel, biscuit, toffee, apple, earth, herbal, and light nuttiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, light fruit, earth, and herbal on the finish for a short bit. Nice balance and robustness of flavors; with no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Oktoberfest lager. Nicely robust with good flavor balance; extremely smooth to drink. Enjoyed this. (935 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz Undated bottle served in Peroni glass.

Clear copper with a creamy tan head. The head has decent retention but leaves little lacing.

Good malty aroma with a matching flavor! Although I thought the flavor was better than the nose. Sweet malt flavor with enough hops to produce a balance sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel is OK, but more carbonation seemed desirable,

A marzen that is a bit above average. (407 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Enjoy by Jan. 13, '08:

Pours orange/amber with plenty of clarity and a half-inch off-white head that soon becomes a slowly vanishing thin patch. Minimal lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of light caramel with a slightly nutty/earthy spice background.

The taste is of brown sugar, caramel and bready notes. Slightly nutty. Subtle hop spice balances out some of the sweetness. A hint of vanilla passes through as it warms. Something slightly burnt about it. Pretty clean finish. Medium-bodied.

Decent...The slightly burnt edges irks me a bit, but overall it's decent enough to put in the yearly line-up of O-fests. (624 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this beer is the #32 Märzen / Oktoberfest on the beeradvocate.com best of styles list, poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

Beer is dark amber with a mild haze, lazy head, low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly nutty and mildly sweet, nice.

Beer is medium in body and sweet, nice finish, mildly bitter, really drinkable, good mouthfeel. I enjoyed it and would have it again, the munich malt comes through nice on the finish and midpalate. (489 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear very dark copper in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense beige head that reduces to a medium sized thin patch and a very thin ring around the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel and toasted malts.

T: Lots of real malty flavors to the taste of this beer - toasted and caramel malts with a fair amount of sweetness. There is a touch of grassy hop bitterness in the finish and just a touch of spices.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and clean with some very light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Enjoyable and very easy to drink - there is a nice balance between the malty sweetness and hop bitterness. (770 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a nice one finger head. Decent head retention and lacing.

S: Lots of malt and caramel. Also get a breadiness, as well as some toffee and maple.

T: Sweeter than expected, mainly due to the toffee/maple/caramel combination. There is also a honey flavor mixed in. There is a nuttyness as well.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall a pretty good beer, one of the better Oktoberfests I have had. (444 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thin offwhite head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a musty and slightly malty scent that is dry and nutty. The taste is decent also. It has a complex, but not very good flavor. It is slightly malty with nutty hints and a dry lager yeast finish. It has a breadlike quality that detracts from the taste. There are hops in the aftertaste, but they are weak. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an average Festbier. It tries to be unique and it succeeds. It is uniquely average. (590 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 tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale amber with 1/4" of bubbly head that fades to a thin lacing. Rich, caramel malt notes dominate the nose. Taste is deep, toasty malts with a rich, caramel follow through. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good deal of carbonation.

Overall not a bad marzen. The toastiness is a little more than you'll get from most marzens, and it's not as rich as most. A good beer though. (394 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber in color with a thick 2" tan head. Carbonation levels seemed a little low, but some minor lacing did develop. The aroma is of caramel and a hint of roasted nut. The flavor is simple yet pleasing as malt, caramel, mild bitterness, and a touch of nut were well balanced. This isn't an overpowering oktoberfest like some others.

The mouthfeel was smooth at the start, and had a slightly dry and smooth finish. The caramel tones lasted briefly on the tongue after swallowing. Very drinakble and quite enjoyable. (522 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single bottle into a East End pint glass. Haven't had this one yet, strangely.

Victory Festbier pours out a bright copper/orange color with a very light brown mixed in. The liquid does not look so thin which bodes well. A two finger head rose up with a vanilla white head & fluffiness, some minor bubbles within. A cap stays on the surface throughout, no lacing though.

The smell is a mix between a lager & marzen. It's not huge but when your nose gets near the glass some sparks fly. Festbier is malt driven and that's noticed through fresh baked bread and some sweet sense. This has a somewhat more earthy scent than most in this style from a different form of using the hops. The little green cones don't give off normal hop scents(Tropical fruit, pine, citrus) but more of a down to earth smell.

The taste is familiar for a oktoberfest and doesn't really offer anything new, IMO a marzen is a marzen, at least American versions. Festbier gives off sweet malt first, than a mix of light hops, malts and grain, after that the sweet malt comes back, in that order. The malt is big, the hops are light and the mix makes this a enjoyable and familiar drink. Some bubblegum, cotton candy with some warming on the end.

Fest has a decent enough feel, when I let some sit on the tounge some fizz came off. I am used to these beers being pretty dead but this one shows some life. Not a lot of carb but enough to be felt. Fest is a very small step up from light bodied and could go down the hatch with ease, and pretty quick mind you. The malt base really smooths things over making this very approachable.

I enjoyed this, although I pretty much knew what I was getting into. Festy is a bit different if only for the way the hops gently come out to play. In most Marzens I really only get big malt globs. I would gladly enjoy a sixer of this in a sitting with the low ABV, but 1/2 way through I probably would be looking for a new style to tackle. I've yet to find a oktoberfest that could hold my interest, either way this is good for a go. (2,045 characters)

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

Bottle pour from Deciccos in Ardsley, NY
Pours clear medium amber, w/ a slight golden hue. Typical khaki head, moderate retention and then a film, collar and upon a moderate swirl, the appearance ofminor spots of lace. Dull malty nose. Pretty typical O'fest brew, the expected smooth malt, the expected clean bready notes, the expected easy to drink quality. Never been my favorite style, on the dull side IMHO. This one fit my expectations. Works in a marinade if you have more of this type of brew sitting around and you are not real interested in drinking more of it... (572 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +13%
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. (543 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A two finger off white somewhat yellow head is produced. with a real nice orange almost deep red amber body. No lacing and a simple puck, but the body color is very impressive.

Nose has a slight sticky banana and brown sugar, but some strange sticky yeast rankness. Small but noticeable, fairly alright but nothing too mind bending or heavily impressive.

Palate hits with a good richness and body. Malt sweetness balances with some nice warm caramel, and sticky toffee. Finish almost light coffee roast bitter, with lots of caramel coating action. Some banana estery qualities really seem to come out also on the aftertaste, with some warming tobacco like notes.

Overall pretty impressed and a solid Marzen to be had, with a lot of flavor. (791 characters)

Photo of ejimhof
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- light amber color not much head or lacing

Smell-malts are the main smell

Taste-Sweet and malty just like an Octoberfest should taste like

Mouthfeel- very good smooth and light

Overall- I always like this beer not sure what took so long to review but definitely one of the best Octoberfests out there (315 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle just a few days past best by date

A: Bright, clear copper with orange/brown tint. Cream/off white head that is thin and quickly dissipates to a film with little lacing
S: Mild mix of sweet from malt, caramel, etc and a little bitter. Nice, but not overpowering.
T: Medium body, very mild well balanced flavors (sweet and bitter). Toasted malt is most pronounced flavor with toffee, caramel flavors and a semi dry finish with some hop bitterness. Medium carbonation.

Overall, very easy to drink. Flavors are very mild, but not in a bad way. Very smooth and light in the mouth. Nothing bold going on here, but very good, probably my favorite of this style I had this year. (685 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I nead a break from packing. How about a marzen? On to the beer:

A low forming semi-fuzzy looking head forms on top of this brilliant amber orange colored beer. Lots of bubbles are racing through the clean body. If only the heead retention were better. The nose brings out a modest maltiness. The malt reminds me of a pumpkin aroma, a brush of husky malt and hay.

This is a pleasant tastng O-fest. The maltiness is there, providing big doughy flavors and a reminder of pumpkin. Lighly whipped with caramel and nutmeg notes. There's a little kick of alcohol that I find as the beer dries. It's a highly carbonated beer, which can work depending on style, here it is pushing the limits. The body weight is alright, and it drinks well.

Not all O-fest beers are created equal, and Victory Fstbier is one of the better domestic examples I've had. This is one to try during the fall. (881 characters)

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

Yeah, its a good fest beer. Its got a basic, mostly sweet taste of caramel malt with a bit of grassy/spicy hops at the end. The carbonation seems a touch low and I cant get any head or lacing. There's a slight burnt or heavy roasted note in the back of the flavor, like some black patent malt was used. I'd drink it, but I wouldn't really seek it again. (353 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle: An amber colored brew with a slight off white head.

Smells of caramel malt and sweet bread.

Flavor revolves around malt sweetness, but is not cloying at all. Caramel, Munich and a hint of Chocolate malt in the flavor profile. Subtle light herbal hopping.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth on the back end.

A middle of the road Octoberfest beer, easy to drink and always available in this area. Solid. (429 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a relatively thin head and little lacing. Smell is malty and fruity, maybe cherries. Slight tang from the yeast on the finish. Taste is smooth with dry malt noticeable, but slightly watery. Earthybitterness in the middle and a spicy finish. Not bad, but a little disjointed. Mouthfeeel is spritzy and spicy. Smooth, but not creamy. Pretty easy to drink, but the whole package just doesn't make me shout. (421 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the river road tavern.
Pours a deep golden amber color with a smallish off white head with minimal retention and lace. Smells of caramel and bread and a bit of toast with an earthy floral hop component to it. The flavor is bready pilsner malt with a bit of caramel and sweet sugary malt. A bit heavy on the hops for the style, lots of earthy herbal hops compete with an inadequate malt base. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and an earthy slick mouthfeel. Decent enough beer, but like a lot of American interpretations it just doesn't measure up to the German brewed versions. (602 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)

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 733 ratings.