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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
FestbierFestbier

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

734 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 734
Hads: 1,711
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 32
Gots: 154 | 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
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Reviews: 734 | Hads: 1,711
Photo of Scoats
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Unlike several American takes on o-fests, like Flying Fish and Brooklyn, which have a great hoppy finish, this beer beer seems to be very true to what I recall of real German o-fests. Very malty, somewhat sweet and not very hoppy. The result is a beer that is very well made, very true to the style, but to my tastes not very satisfying. Not by any means dumbed down, but not smarted up either.

Heaven knows Victory has more than enough great beers to keep us beer geeks more than happy.This one though is probably made to keep their less adventurous brewpub patrons content. (578 characters)

Photo of Abita45
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (621 characters)

Photo of fo5s
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a sam adams oktoberfest mug. Bottle best by Jan-12.

A- pours a vibrant amber with a nice 2-finger foamy head. Minimal lacing.

S- very full nose. Good dose of caramel, but a noticeable hop presence as well. Malty

T- Burn caramel dominates, but leaves the beer oddly one-dimensional. Finish is dull with a residual bitterness that's unimpressive...almost acidic in a way.

M- lively on the palate. Body is in-line with the style.

O- a lot of nice aspects to this one, but I really didn't dig the flavor. Not a bad version of the style, and appropriately priced for those who are fans of this. (617 characters)

Photo of MikeRa
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

A: This beer has a real deep amber color with a 1" head
S: It has a unique malt smell
T: It has a unique tast of fresh bread, honey, clover, with a real nice noble hops finish. Light and enjoyable malty lager
M: The beer goes down real smooth
D: This is one of the better Octoberfest beers that I've had, and I will drink this again (356 characters)

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

the beer pours a deep amber with a one finger tan head

aroma is of rich toasty malt, kettle caramels, some nuttiness, munich character and german hops.

on the palate, it's surprisingly light. there's a lager crispness about it that is astounding considering the richness of aroma. the toast and rich malt flavors hit the palate nicely with a leap to some less integrated hop bitterness. it's not raspy, just pronounced. diverse in flavors with the elements balanced nicely.

refreshing in texture and rich in aroma. lots of complexity with judicious noble hop bitterness.

overall, very good. i was hoping for more richness, but the beer is so nuanced and balanced that even without the weight it's delicious. (714 characters)

Photo of jed
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Brown, 12 oz bottle with illustration of two peasants stirring beer. Small blurb explaining the beer. "Enjoy by" date 12/22/05.

Appearance: Pours a solid, reddish brown with one finger of head. Head rapidly shrinks, but around a quarter inch remains with good retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind a trail of light brown lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Warm aroma, lots of toasted malt without associated citrus or spice of hops. Some caramel sweetness, hint of alcohol lingering.

Taste: Slightly sour mouth with slight hop bitterness, which gives way to toasted malt and lingering sweet notes. Finish leaves behind strong malt and more subdued bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly, a little bit on the thin side. Disappointing.

Drinkability: Would make an excellent session beer, flavorful without being too strong.

Victory Festbier has nothing to set it apart from a large pack of American craft brewers who make Oktoberfest biers. This isn't necessarily meant as a criticism — Festbier is one of many well-executed versions of the style that are good, but not amazing. I'd give the nod to Brooklyn's Oktoberfest over this, but if I found Festbier on tap I'd happily order a pint. (1,237 characters)

Photo of halo21
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:Enjoyed in a Duvel tulip, this marzen is a solid glowing orange, with a white thin head, that left beautiful lacing all the way down.

Smell:Doughy and a little toasted malt; with a little bit of hops and yeast esters at the end.

Taste:Toasted malt sweetness up front, with herbal hops in the middle, and a drying coating sweetness back on the end. The flavors come full circle leaving you wanting to take another sip.

Mouthfeel:Solid medium bodied, with a nice creaminess that I love in Oktoberfests

Drinkability/Palitability: High, which is what this style really needs.

Notes: Solid all around; toasted malt sweetness, creamy mouthfeel, and high drinkability. I'm going to miss this seasons Oktoberfests come winter. (734 characters)

Photo of littlelorib
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish amber with a thin wheat colored head that rather quickly diminishes. Smell mostly of malt but not overpowering amounts of malt. There's also something else there (hops?) that my poorly developed olfactory machinery has trouble sorting out. Taste is substantial and well balanced, with that malt detected in the smell balanced by a pleasing amount of hop bitterness.

Overall, nothing about this beer really jumps out at me except that it is an enjoyable beer. (474 characters)

Photo of ROBORB
2.77/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a regular pint glass this beer produced a amber hue with a short lasting 1 finger white head. The aroma smells like like malts and perhaps sugar/something sweet. The carbonation is light but the taste is not great. I felt like this beer really goes outside of the regular Marzen characterization. Unfortunately this is not a repeat for me. (351 characters)

Photo of musicjustintime
2.51/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm actually disappointed. I LOVE Victory's offerings...but this one is just WEIRD! Maybe I got a "bad bottle?!" (Don't think so though) Tastes kinda like dirt, with a little bit of old hops added. Not sure what this beer is... The worst Octoberfest I've ever had...so far, and I really hate to say it. Again, Victory is a wonderful brewery, and this is THE FIRST of theirs that I've had that I don't like. Maybe it's not me, 'cause my buddy DID say he's tried it, and hated it as well?!.... Sorry friends. I don't recommend this....unless you like a "dirty"-tasting Oct-fest. Sorry Victory friends. Cheers and SAAAALUTE my BA friends!!! (637 characters)

Photo of Onceeven
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Probably my last Oktoberfest for the year, and not a bad one to finish off the batch.
Poured a crystal clear amber followed by a small head of foam, and spotty lacing. This one smells different from the rest, and I'm not sure if thats good or bad. It's a sweet smell that smells like the ripe grapes that used to grow on my neighbor's vine. Never smelled anything like it in a beer before. It's echoed in the taste too, a bit tart.
It's not a bad beer, the maltiness still pulls through, with almost a bit of nuttiness. Maybe Victory was trying something a bit different with this one. (588 characters)

Photo of shertz
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Chalice. The temperature was 43 degrees. Best by Jan 13 08.

A- Very little head goes away to nothing on top. Pretty clear amber red with some bubbles rising towards top.

S- Floral hops with some biscuity malts in backround.

T- Floral hops quickly gives way to plums and sweet, bready malts. Real nice balance between the hops and malts. I really enjoy this immensely.

M- Fairly well carbonated but the bready malts give it a nice thickness.

D- Wow, I really enjoy this brew. I was surprised that it didn't get higher ratings. This is by far the best fall brew I have had this season.

Cheers Friends,
Scott (648 characters)

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

12 oz bottle, pilsner glass

Pours an amber color with orange tint. Big frothy head with good retention and some decent lacing.

Aroma of malts with some hop presence. Could maybe be a little stronger.

Toasty, malty with some sweetness. Hops bitterness rather evident for the style, at least for the ones I have tried, not complaining by any means.

This is quite robust in my opinion, but still is quite drinkable. Will go good with seasonal brats and pork. (461 characters)

Photo of djeffbee
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep amber body with an off-white head.

Smell: Toasted and caramel malts a slight fruity aroma.

Taste: Mostly malt with a slight caramel presence. Nicely bitter and a surprisingly drier finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Appropriate carbonation for this example and style.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and a year-round offering that is a nice find when looking for something malty during the warmer months of the year.

Cheers! (456 characters)

Photo of noel2977
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This - to me - is the sign that fall has come. My favorite Octoberfest brew out there...

Copper appearance, head dissapates upon the pour, very little lacing. The aroma is fruity/malty. The taste is malty-goodiness. A slight hint of yeast, intermingled with some simple fruit flavor and a return of malt on the finish. Not a long lasting finish, but it doesnt need to be. This beer is to the point. Mouthfeel has a perfect amount of carbonation. In summary, i could see myself sitting around with friends on a fall day on the deck drinking a few of these. Very drinkable. Seek it out and try one on for yourself. (613 characters)

Photo of AlexanderSelby
2.96/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

With a delightfully dense amber color, Festbier's appearance is beautiful and on-point for the style. The hops sneak themselves behind the sweet and buttery first wave and barely hit the side of your tongue with slight bitterness, but then the malts come back for the finally. The flavor is too unbalanced for me, weighing heavily on the malty sweet, almost buttered bread, side.

Overall, Festbier is a malty, buttered bread experience that spoils my appetite, especially during a big Octoberfest celebration where you are encouraged to drink a few rounds. I am, however, tasting this offering on the later end of it's life-span, so it is very likely the hop flavor has subsided, thus creating an imbalance. (709 characters)

Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Reddish-copper in hue. A cap of persistent bubbles, fed by a few constant streamers.

S: Great whopping malts here. Biscuit, rye bread, sweet grains--like a European bakery. Slight citrus/orange notes, very understated.

T: Big, smooth malts are inviting and delicious. Hops enter a bit of the way in, rounding out the middle of this one. Nice balance, really chewy malt flavors.

M: A bit thicker and chewier body than some other O-fests I've tried. However, this characteristic fits the big ol' Old World malt flavor.

D: I love this time of year--so many highly drinkable O-fests. I've been particularly impressed with the American offerings this year, and this one is no exception. (746 characters)

Photo of saccro
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - amber/orange color. Nice layer of foam sticks around.

S - very bready. slight hop. sweet malt aroma.

T - sweet. a little too sweet. clean. no hop flavor. slight bitterness. Slight astringent? aftertaste.

M - medium carbonation. thick

D - not bad. a bit too sweet for me. (278 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 stingo
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice offering from Victory - a bit thicker/chewier than its German counterparts, it fills the stomach quicker, but not without some great taste. Nice light caramel throughout with a dash of hops at the back to round out the flavor. Definitely a beer to have with food (pizza and/or pretzels come to mind) as well as on its own. (334 characters)

Photo of brewbucker
3.08/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original tasting - Nov 12, 2007. Pours a darkish copper with a thin head. Aroma is over sweetened malts, sort of a faint vomit smell. Flavor also has an overpowering sweetness of malts, grains and caramel syrup. I think this the first beer from Victory I have not been impressed with. (284 characters)

Photo of JMWEB2
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice copper body, decent head with some lacing.

S: Very toasty malt smelly, some nuttiness, little earthy.

T: Toasty and malty, very traditional Marzen, quite tasty.

M: Medium body and very clean.

O: Victory strikes again, great fall beer, traditional American Marzen beer. (281 characters)

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

Poured this beer into a pint and my what a huge frothy head. The body was deep red amber. This looks the part, so how does it taste? This beer had an extremely clean and smooth, yet slightly sweet beginning. By my third sip, the beer's complexity becomes apparent. I started tasting that true caramel nut Oktoberfest. The beer ends gets a bit bitter, but smoothes out by the end. Enjoyable. (390 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 seesnow3
2.64/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Heavy Seas pint glass, no freshness date, $1.90/bottle in NH

Pour-Pours a small head that quickly fades to a washy film with a thin ring of bubbles. Deep copper with a little less of an orange color. A faint stream of large effervescence bubbles here and there. Essentially no lacing that sticks.

Nose-Caramel malt for sure with just a hint of skunky musty aroma. There seems to be just a touch of dark fruit. The spice aroma is a little bit subdued.

Palate-Sweet right away followed by a hint of sour and some noticeable bitterness. The taste is predominantly rich caramel malts. The lingering qualities are fairly short. The sweetness is a little bit fruity and off. Alcohol, despite the low percentage is slightly warming and noticeable.

Body-Medium to heavy, very little effervescence renders this one a tad closer to syrupy in texture. It is sort of creamy but has a slightly drying finish.

Final-I’m not really sure what to make of this. Out of all of the Marzen’s I’ve tried this probably has the least amount of bubbles in it. I’m not sure I personally like it, due to the odd sweetness, but there is nothing in there to severely offend anyone. It’s fairly balanced though a little bit off kilter on the sweetness, but overall worth a go for the price if you don’t mind a fairly “flat” Marzen. Maybe this bottle wasn’t any good, because I know it wasn’t old and my review seems quite contrary to the others. (1,441 characters)

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 734 ratings.