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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,636 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,636
Reviews: 726
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 29
Gots: 111 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,636 | Reviews: 726 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dmfrench
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

dmfrench, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of horshack7
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A hazy amber with about a finger worth of head that thins out quick. Overall a good looking Marzen.

Aroma: Citrusy notes with a little bit of brown sugary sweetness. In the malt side a breadiness with notes of caramel malt.

Taste: Nicely malty, bready, toffee notes quite the malty and sweet backbone. The hops are a citrusy but more floral. A crisp mouthfeel start to finish with a good bit of dryness towards the end of it.

Notes: A good Marzen to pick up and a rather tasty and drinkable beer. Cheers.

horshack7, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of spinrsx
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear copper colour with an average size frothy/fizzy beige head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is just a little bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, an earthiness, toffee, hay/straw, cask wood?

Taste & Mouth - The beer doesn't have a whole lot or carbonation and it feels slightly watery. The beer has a very interesting taste consisting of malts, toffee, and lots of bread/grain flavour. It really has a lot of earthy notes as well.. even some hay/straw. It finishes with an earthy/malt aftertaste.

Drink - Another beer that falls in the category of 'not for me'. It's not an awful beer but not something I'd seek out again. It reminded me too much of a barnyard smell..

spinrsx, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of jjboesen
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is Victory's version of a German festbier. Like most marzens, this one opens in a quick rush of froth that immediately sinks into a thin head crowning a body of translucentl light copper. There seems to be moderate carbonation bubbling and little or no extant lacing

The nose detects subtle orange while the palate gets some chewy malt, which finishes in a corn syrup fade. A tad sweet, actually.

Otherwise, a finely balanced Oktoberfest beer with which to greet the changing winds of Autumn.
This said, I could envision myself drinking it year round. Prosit!

jjboesen, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of climax
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one starts out average to be nice. Clarity is a bit hazier than I was expecting out of the style. The caramel color had a bit more brown than amber. The head was pretty weak considering how raucous I poured it.

The nose continues with definite malt assertiveness. Doughy wheat and caramel lead the show. Some darker bread, maybe rye, tones and ripe fruit about round it out.

The flavor pleases a bit more than the aroma. Some added spice and a kiss of dry hop flavor add to the otherwise malt fiesta. Autumn pumpkin spice, rye, and caramel, lead into a sour fruit aftertaste.

The body is medium/light with crisp carbonation. The finish is quite dry, making it easy to come back to and finish. There just wasn't too much to remember in this one, not Victory's best.

climax, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of uustal
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber, almost brown with a one finger off-white head. Not much lacing or retention. Bready aroma with hints on dark fruit and caramel. Doughy flavor to start. Sweet bread, grain, yeast along with the typical oktoberfest caramel and toffee malt. Toffee a little stronger than in most. Very sweet finish.

uustal, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of Bouleboubier
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(This review stems from an Oktoberfestbier tasting on Nov 6, 2010, that included 13 examples of the style, of German and US origin. The variations brew to brew fascinated and surprised)

Taken on its taste and drinkability alone, this is a decent drinking beer. I'd have one after another. As far as matching up to the quintessential balance between malt flavors and what the yeast lends, Festbier falls a bit short in convincing me of what it's trying to be.

The color is a dark mahogany, looking richly malty and inviting, but where's the head, Herr Victory brewer? The malt content in the aroma and taste comes off toasted-grainy, nicely sweet and yet a tad syrupy, however, something's lacking - a certain something that fails to round out the flavor to its full potential. Throw in some mustiness up front and vague cabbage (greens) in the back, and that sums up the taste. Compared to the others, the body is fuller, touching on viscous in its smoothness, yet it finishes dry enough not to stick. I can't help but feel this would go well with dishes that include potato - German (red) potato salad, potato cakes - things like that.

Bouleboubier, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of halo21
3.68/5  rDev 0%
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.

halo21, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of nrbw23
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a copper color with ann off-white head. Head fades away very quickly and leaves pretty much no lacing.

S- Smells of light caramel and toasted malts. Spot on for the style. A touch of floral hops too.

T- Taste is caramel and toasted malts. Nothing really special here at all. Seems a little sweet too.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

D- I found this one to be easy to drink just not my favorite of the season.

nrbw23, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of mbusster88
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 120z bottle.

A: Amber color with little carbonation. Head is really nonexistent. Rather clear, not much haze to speak of.

S: Get a lot of caramel right away. Also get the bready characteristics and spice. Some dried fruit type smells. However not an overwhelming amount of aroma.

T/M: Right away get some hop bite on the tongue. Some apricot like taste lingers on the tongue. Toffee and caramel are definitely present here. Finishes clean, but lacking some wow factor. It's an octoberfest but I was hoping for more flavor than I got.

D: Easy drinking beer, but not very satisfying. Very malty but not very flavorful. However, you could session this quite easy and would be appealing for some entry level drinkers for sure. Would try this one again for sure, not a complete bust for me.

mbusster88, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of IronCitySteve
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an orange amber color with a nice fluffy brown foam head. There is no lacing.

S: A little light on the note. There are some bready and caramel malt scents with a small amount of herbal hop character.

T: A nice balance between hops and malts. Not overly sweet as the floral hops provide a solid underlying taste. The primary flavors are toast, caramel and roasted nuts.

M: A nice slightly dry taste on the palate. Just enough carbonation.

D: A nice solid Oktoberfest. Well balanced.

IronCitySteve, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of FickleBeast
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours clear orange with a finger of foam that fades away quickly. Aroma is sweet, minerally, crystal malt.

This beer has a great, sweet flavor that smacks you during the first sip. Flavor is very nice and with no lingering aftertaste at all. Finishes clean witha nice body. Overall, this is very enjoyable. Excellent Octoberfest.

FickleBeast, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bronzed orange peel with honeycomb highlights. Three fingers of sandstone hued foam looks good initially and even better as it settles. Unfortunately, other than a few dots and spots, the glass is untouched by lace.

This is still pretty fresh beer by the smell of things. The floral quality of the hops is almost as prominent as the toasted-earthy quality of the malts. The grain bill is pretty classic for the style: pilsner, Munich and Vienna.

Given the brewery, it's no surprise at all that Festbier is the real deal. And that's coming from someone who doesn't usually care for Munich and Vienna malts. This beer won't change my mind, but it's tasty as hell... and nicely drinkable too.

Wonderful combination of sweet and bitter, with the former having the reins at all points along the way. The flavor profile is akin to toasted whole grain bread, toasted nuts with caramel, and a light sprinkling of tea leaves. The finish is fairly tight and tends toward drying.

Like most beer from VBC, the mouthfeel is a quality affair. It's easily big enough for the ABV and the bubbles are well-buried, yet still active. Solid. Solid. Solid.

It was almost a given that Victory, which has a German beer sensibility for the most part, would hit a home run with their Oktoberfest. Festbier is a wonderful celebration of the harvest season. Those of you fortunate enough to live within easy driving distance of Dowingtown can enjoy it year-round on-tap.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of coachdonovan
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, Enjoy by Jan 3 2011. Pours a chestnut brown that's mostly clear although there is a slight haze to it. Very little head/lacing but it may be a bit too cold out of the fridge.

This is such a hard beer to review. The aroma and taste - bready and malty - is so muted and mild, but it's very true to style. An authentic Octoberfest is just not going to blow you away with strong flavors, and this doesn't do it either. I found the carbonation too thin and the mouthfeel a little watery. For me, that put Festbier a notch below the average O-fest.

coachdonovan, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of mdaschaf
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

mdaschaf, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of prototypic
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Festbier is a copper in color. It's very clear and has an orange tint when held to light. An off-white head rises to about a finger in depth before falling quickly. Lacing was definitely on the light side. Eh. The color's alright. The rest? Not really.

The nose is good. It starts out with light caramel and toasted malts. Spot on for the style. Yeast is rather prominent throughout. There's a praline-like nutty scent to it. Hops are in the mix and I'm very happy about that. They smell floral, but add a really nice element to the mix. Alcohol is a non-factor. It's not complicated, but neither is the style.

The flavor is pretty good. It starts out with an impressive blend of caramel and toasted malts. It's a nice, simply base that's a little sweet. Hops jump into the mix early. They are floral, and add a little edginess to the flavor. It's not very bitter, but I like it. Secondary flavors include yeast and pralines. As nice as it starts out, it seems to lose its way and finishes a little bland. I like it, but it needs a little something extra on the finish.

The body is light and quite thin. Carbonation is active, but not overly so. It's not smooth, but it doesn't have a bad feel. Drinkability is good. Festbier has a pretty good flavor overall, and it goes down super easy. I could take down quite a few of these.

Festbier is a solid Oktoberfest release. I think it performs alright for a style that's simple and straight forward. My only complaint about is that the flavor seems to trail off to a weak finish. I don't know what it needs to carry it through. Maybe more hops? All in all, it's a good release. Definitely worth checking out.

prototypic, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of hosehead83
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper/bronze in color, with a nice, two-inch head of white foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt, caramel notes.
Taste-Sweet toasted malt, caramel, wheat bread, subtle hop note.
Overall, a nice oktoberfest brew, smooth and sessionable.

hosehead83, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of mjaskula
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. Pours clear copper with a thin head that fades fast.

The aroma is malty and smooth with just a little bit of roasted character. Flavor mimics the aroma. It is very smooth clean mild and malty. Carbonation is moderate and pleasant. This is a smooth, easy drinking, no-frills Oktoberfest.

mjaskula, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of Soonami
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I hope that my general dislike for malty, low-hopped beers didn't just taint my experience of this beer, but I did not really enjoy Victory's Festbier very much. The beer looked okay, it was a clear russet brown with very little head that completely vanished within a minute. The smell was intensely malty--toasty and grainy. The beer tasted just like this, very malty, a little sweet, some grain astringency and a weird herbaceous hop aftertaste. There is a little nutmeg or cinnamon spiciness and a raw walnut nuttiness. The beer is definitely under-carbonated and feels a little thin.

Soonami, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of TonyVic
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Good pour, copper red with a a good head, although it dissipated quickly. Caramel and malty notes on the nose. The mouthfeel has a medium body. I was not a fan of the taste though as the balance between the malt and hops was out of wack and left a slightly astringent finish.

TonyVic, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of evansrdbrew
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on 10/22/10
12 oz. In NB ballon

A- poured a beautiful clear honey amber with a 1/8" head which disappeared to leave swirls of bubbles a a nice halo which leaves a fine lace on the glass. Fine streams of carbonation.

S- malt up front with good toasted notes and a slight sweetness.

T- a nice toasty character, wonderful malt flavors with a slight noble hop freshness.

MF- upfront tingle of carbonation with a very slight bitterness. Finishes with a dryness. Nice refreshing body.

D- could definitely enjoy a couple playing horseshoes on a nice fall day.

evansrdbrew, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of Bendurgin
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. The body is a clear honey amber color with about three fingers of rocky off white head that leaves sticky lace all along. The smell is full of toasted malt, a touch of honey and bitter hops. The taste follows to be a big grainy and very earthy. The toasted malts are very predominant in the one and the beer has a slight honey sweetness to it. However, the grainy taste is a bit overpowering. The mouthfeel is light and somewhat watery. No complaints on the carbonation and the drinkability is very nice. I could see myself having this around.

Bendurgin, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - The beer appeared a nice dark amber color, with some carbonation streaming to the top of the glass. The beer had a nice slightly off-white head that was retained nicely which made for some lacing.

S - The beer had a nice, slightly sweet, but good malt aroma. Not much else, but I would not really expect from else from the style.

T - Followed the nose well, a nice, full malted barley taste. Solid and not complex, but as expected from the style.

M/D - Lighter body with nice carbonation. The beer was very easy to drink, I thought. The beer was smooth with a light creaminess to it. Overall, this is a solid brew from an excellent brewer and to be honest, I thought that it would have a better rating than it does. I would recommend this beer to anyone.

PhillyStyle, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Ale House in Vestal. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice copper color with good bubbles and a slightly off-white lingering head in raindrop lacing but no real sheets.

Smell: A good malt body with hints of honey, caramel, earthiness, maple, an a bit of citrus hops to round it out.

Taste: A very solid brew for the fall, with enough nice complexity from the malt flavors, a clean yet mildly sweet malt body contending with the finishing milder citrus hops. I like the maple and honey aspect here, as it gives off the sweetness nicely, but at the same time, the finishing hops are well-balanced to keep things highly drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a moderate creaminess.

Drinkability: Another solid brew from Victory. One I will be seeking out in the future during the season.

asabreed, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of tigg924
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, orange-brown in color, hazy, moderate carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and honey

Taste: honey, sugar, toasted malt, and some alcohol

Mouthfeel: slightly sweet with a bit of an alcohol burn, moderately high carbonation, light bodied

Drinkability: A nice and complex marzen. Very good for the style. I could have several of these.

tigg924, Oct 18, 2010
Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,636 ratings.