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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

770 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 770
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: 770 | Hads: 1,853
Photo of sraimondi
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An interesting take on a Marzen. Auburn colored brew, a bit darker than traditional German O'Fest. Aroma is bready, but with just a hint of hops. The taste is very good, bread and malt conquer the hops on this one for sure. Nice mouthfeel, fullish. Drinkability is good. This one rivals the best USA O'Fests; not quite as balanced as this year's Brooklyn O'Fest though. I'm glad I can get this one in Ct, although the supply was very limited.

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

Poured into a chilled mug. Head pops up then dies completely. Thin lacing, but as I say the head deteriorates almost immediately. Garnet color and very clear. Smells of vanilla and a hint of bitter orange. Very creamy mouthfeel, smooth as silk going down. Flavors of toasty malt, nice orange, spicy, hoppy citrus, with a slight metallic wash that pierces through in the finish. Refreshing, somewhat spiky carbonation. Nothing bad to say about this beer. Very drinkable, noticeably less malty than other Octoberfest brews, which is a nice change. This is a brewery that knows what it is doing, producing consistently good beer, and this Festbier is no exception. You'll want more than one of these.

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Photo of GnomeKing
2.85/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm surprised how thick and heavy this is. The moutfeel is surprisingly creamy, and the beer goes down heavy. This is not what I wanted out of a marzen. The taste is grainy, with a little hops and a little maltiness. There's not much to say. It goes down hard, but the taste isn't complex enough or stron enough to explain why it goes down that way. Eh, Oktoberfest only comes once a year.

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Photo of racer2k
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass

A: Dark translucent amber color with a tan colored head. Very little lacing on the glass after the pour.

S: Sweet malt profile with caramel, corn and grains with a slight hop smell.

T: Sweet malt with a fruit and nut background. There is a presence of grains and earthy tones in the taste. This is a chewy and bready beer.

M: Moderate carbonation with a malty sweet backbone. There is a moderate body to this beer

D: Good fall session beer in the spirit of Octoberfest.

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Photo of pvsob
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Bright, clear copper color with a half-inch head that seems to disappear almost instantly. Leaves little to no lacing.

S- Roasted malt, burnt bread crust, toffee, faint smoke, musty earth, and just a touch of hops.

T- All malt, with very little sweetness. Some soapy flavor comes through in the finish. Finishes dry with some nice hop bitterness.

M- Medium texture with above average carbonation. The level of carbonation keeps the usually sweetness of this style in check and allows the malts to really shine through.

D/O- A well done interpretation by Victory. Nice malt characteristics and a balanced sweetness. This is one of my favorite American takes on a German Märzen. Recommended. Cheers.

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Photo of dmfrench
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A sweet, hoppy, spicy Oktoberfest that is somehow off.


A: Light, fairly clear amber/orange body with a somewhat persistent one finger off-white head. Not much lacing.

S: Spice is the first thing that jumps out at you, followed by caramel and pilsner malt. There's also a certain earthiness. An acceptable smell, but not my favorite Oktoberfest nose.

T: Similar to the nose, but floral hops are much more prominent. Really, this beer has a lot to offer flavor wise... a solid pilsner-ish malt foundation, sweetness, bitter and floral hops, and spice, but somehow I'm not enjoying it too much. Perhaps it's the slightly metallic taste that I'm also getting. Perhaps it's because Oktoberfest is not a favorite style of mine. Perhaps it's because it's stale (I'm drinking this in December). Regardless, I probably won't drink it again, but fans of the style should try one.

M: Typical slightly chalky medium weight Oktoberfest.

D: Would be quite high if it weren't for the metallic finish I"m experiencing.

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

No clear date.

A: Amber.

S: Grainy malt with a touch of spice.

T: Bready grains with less butter than I often get in marzens. Nice clean hops on the finish. Crisp finish.

M: Fiesty carbonation.

O: I'm not usually a fan of the style, but I rather like this one. It is remarkably drinkable.

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Photo of Ryan4120
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Really strong malty, roasty characteristics. Smooth and easy to drink with a taste that matches is characteristics but treadss outside the realm of Oktoberfests in my opinion.

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Photo of mattbk
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear, amber/copper, minimal carbonation.
S: Malty, faint noble hop aroma. Nice.
T: Nice munich malt flavor, backed by subtle bitterness and subtle noble hop flavor. A bit musty, maybe slightly oxidized. Maybe slightly estery, but otherwise fairly clean. A nice beer.
M: Medium bodied, medium-low carbonation. Appropriate for style.
O: Enjoyable, fairly flawless except for slight oxidation I am getting in taste, simple yet enjoyable beer.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.88/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Having had nothing but pumpkin ales for the last two weeks, I tired of that and decided to get back to the fall classic: Oktoberfest-Marzen. For good lager-type brew, can't do better. Saw this in the store and picked it up, as I love Victory Brewing and surprisingly haven't had it yet.

Freshness date is: enjoy by Jan 29 '12

Here goes:

Pours a beautiful shiny orange/copper-amber with a solid thick and bubbly white head. Nice retention. Thin lacing that sticks for a reasonable while.

Aromatic notes of sweetness, caramel-like barley, bread and dryness.

Toasted barley, and sweetness all around wave on the tongue,followed by a slight hint of faint hop twang, and finishes nice and dry. Medium body, with very minimal carbonation,allowing the barley sweetness and other characteristics to come through easily.

I really like this one. As good as any authentic made-in-Germany Marzen. And a lot better than some.

Victory scores another home-run with this one, but then again, when do they not?

Four Stars(out of four)

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

A clear reddish-amber color with a nice 1"-ish very light tan head that falls to a thin cap.
Light aromas but still distinct aromas of toffee and caramel, some breadiness. Light hop aroma as well.
Lagery twang followed by dark and/or toasted bread, toffee, caramel and hop bitterness.
Light-medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation.
Quite drinkable. Meets the goal of a good Oktoberfest in that I could down several of these without too much worry.
A very good example of one of my favorite beer styles.

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Photo of KWolf
3.54/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap, with nice autmn orange hue and little to no head, faint malt in nose. Solid malt backbone from start to finish, very slight grainy/ hop bitterness to keep from cloying. Nice example of style from Victory!.

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Photo of praufs01
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Clear copper color with a creamy off-white head.

Aroma - Sour dough bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary.

Mouthfeel - Moderate small bubble carbonation. Clean, but not thin.

Taste - Bready tasting with caramel and bitter orange.

Overall - the taste experience is one dimensional form start to finish. A good brew that is very sessionable.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone IRS tulip. Gorgeous amber color and a frothy, off-white 2 fingers of head. Smells of sweet malt, earthy grain, a roasted nut quality, light hop scent. Up front a light fruity sweetness, followed by a blast of nuttiness. Lots of barley/undefined grains. Extremely light hop bitterness on the finish. Dry. Very creamy mouthfeel. Little to no prickly bubbles. Just smooth, easy drinking. Great Marzen.

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Photo of wailingwench
4.57/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Eye Candy: Dark transparent copper, pours with a fizzy white 1 finger head.

Aroma: Toasted malt character. Slight nuttiness. Clean and balanced.

Tongueland: Well balanced beer, toasted malts that finish with a nutty finish. Light to medium m/f.

Bender Factor: Adheres to the O-fest style.Perfect to guidelines. Similar to Otter Creek without the metallic afttertaste.

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Photo of rx-beer
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 fl oz bottle poured into a 0.5L dimpled stein

A -Clear Orange amber with about two inches of cream-colored head. Light carbonation..Head fades to a nice, slim ribbon. Patchy lacing sticks beautifully to the dimpled glass.

S - Toasty breadiness with slight dash of hops

T - Malty, toasty, biscuity with a touch of spice and a hint of caramel (very light on the sweetness). Light bitterness from the hops comes out for a crisp finish.

M - Minimal carbonation for this medium-bodied beer. Some tingling accompanies the finish.

O - Very enjoyable beer. I would definitely have this beer again - glad I got two of them...and I'll likely be going back for more. Although I prefer the caramel sweetness from Samuel Adams' Octoberfest, I still think this is a pretty great beer. Hell, doesn't need to be one or the other - I'll have both!

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Photo of bierman2000
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A better Oktoberfest beer, very malty and somewhat dry. There is a slight hop character. Very refreshing and a great beer to drink with almost any food. It is not overpowering and leads to being drank with ease and in copious amounts. Worth seeking out on tap as it is much better than the bottle version.

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Photo of Misfit138
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Nice deep amber color with two finger head

S- Soft scent of caramel malt, not much else

T- Very malty. Smooth. Not much bitterness to it at all.

M- Fairly heavy with mild carbonation

D- My initial reaction to this beer is that it reminds me of Fat Tire. I like it but it probably isn't my favorite octoberfest beer. It is an enjoyable beer and pretty easy drinking.

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Photo of fattyre
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium orange color with a moderate dissipating tan head. The smell is a pleasant roastiness with a faint background hoppy aroma. The taste/mouthfeel is very slightly roasted maltiness with a mild hopiness which gives it a crisp clean finish. A drinkable clean octoberfest, while not the best it is very drinkable.

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Photo of JDK
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very nice clear amber color with about 1/2" of head that quickly diminished.
Very light lacing which didn't hang on very long
Nice taste but has just a bit too much hop after taste for me.
Good Oktoberfest beer but I like others like Summit, SA better

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Photo of Terp96
3.43/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of TH28
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. 12/13/15 code date. Appearance: light brown with reddish hue, clear, with light off white foam cap. Aroma: Bready and caramel maltiness. Light toast. Taste: Rich bready and caramel malt sweetness, light toast, and low hop bitterness Mouthfeel: medium to high body for the style, with a light carbonation. A little syrup like. Finish: Bready caramel sweetness lingers. Overall: A very malty sweet marzen with caramel as opposed to the more traditional toasted, bready versions. Closer to Sam Adams Ofest than tradional marzens.

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Photo of rjd722
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice rusty amber with a one-finger foam head that dissipates quickly and doesn't leave any lacing. The aroma I picked up initially was nutty, malts, and raisins, a bread and caramel also prominent. Bread and caramel up front in the flavor, sweet malty bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is slight bitterness and a little metallic, medium carbonation.

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Photo of RussBecker1
2.49/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a somewhat cloudy orange. Much more colorful than a number of other marzens I have had. It is also a good deal lighter, and reflects light in a pretty fashion. Maybe a 1-2 finger white head that was decently thicker than I expected. Little to no lacing to be had however.

S-Not the most appealing smell. The malts are the most apparent, but they appear to be roasted slightly too much, as the caramel and toffee flavorings are too burnt for my taste. There are hints of light fruit (something muted like a banana although that is not quite it).

M-Nothing too special. Carbonated enough to make it easy to drink, but it neither enhances nor detracts from the experience.

T-Very bland for a marzen. As to be expected, European marzens have ten time the flavor (German/Austrian), but even for an American style marzen, this fest beer did not make much of an impression. The tastes did not mix, and it was surprisingly bitter for a beer of this style. As expected, the malts were too smokey which left an undesirable taste.

O-Had it not been described as an oktoberfest then I may have seen this beer differently, but overall I will avoid festbeer in the future

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

Purchased a very fresh 6-pack at Julio's Liquors in Westboro, MA in the first week that Octoberfests arrived on the scene.

This is a very solid but a bit short of exceptional Octoberfest. Pours an attractive amber color with reasonable head. According to the small print on the label side, this beer is "full bodied yet infinitely smooth" and "seductively malty with a kiss of the hops for balance." The brewer stated it well and I quite agree with that description. It's also described as an "Amber Lager" and this is probably a better category than the more common "Marzen" for this particular Octoberfest.

The 5.6% ABV does not assert itself in such a way as to be obvious. Not hard to enjoy more than one and I intend to do so. I didn't expect to be disappointed by a Victory product and I definitely wasn't with this one.

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 770 ratings.