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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
FestbierFestbier

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,673 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,673
Reviews: 729
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 26
Gots: 130 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,673 | Reviews: 729 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DijonKetchup
2.81/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice amber pour - very appetizing color. Head collapsed within minutes despite a perfectly clean glass. The dissipated foam then took on an unappetizing feel - looks like it actuall has floaties in it.

Taste is OK - I had expected more. Very malty and dry - almost over-hopped. I'm missing a bit of sweetness. I keep pouring, hoping that the head will build - too cold? No lacing, and I give up trying to make this more appealing.

Mouthfeel is good, I suppose average for the style. The aftertaste is rather unpleasant, with a bit of metallic. Where are the aroma hops? Now i know it's overhopped, as my teeth are grinding like an IPA - definately not in accordance to style.

I have heard much from Victory, but I just don't get this one. I do like the style, but this is off. A bit too free-wheeling in the interpretation of Festbier.

Photo of kkipple
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Good 'n clear. Bold amber-orange with a little fizz and a smallish toasted tan head. Retention is just ok. No lacing here.

S. Fine grainy and sweet malt profile. Crisp lager bite, nice reserved caramel sugars, the slightest touch of bittering hops. Not complex, but it shouldn't be. Very clean, very well put together. Impressive.

T, M. Taste follows - this is a very good Marzen. Slightly nutty and grainy malt sweetness conjures up visions of chill autumn afternoons spent in treehouses. The hops provide some balance and earthy notes. The finish is long and mildly sweet with a starchy, bready and nearly pumpkin quality. Very clean and well-nigh flawless, extremelly sessionable. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and fine-tuned for gulping. A six pack of this would die fast in the right hands... perhaps yours?

D. Very high if you like this sort of thing. Would go great with meaty and starchy dishes like bratwurst or a Shepard's pie.

Festbier is an above-average Marzen and one of the better American examples I've had. Recommended for those of us who can't afford a trip to Munich. This is good beer.

Photo of praufs01
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle tried 15 Nov 2008.

Poured in 0.4 L glass stein. Small parchment colored head. Medium carbonation. Clear rusty copper color. Aroma is light, slight maltiness and apples. Flavor is also light, caramel and pecans. Moderate maltiness. Finishes somewhat acrid. Medium light body. Alcohol very light.

Not my favorite from Victory.

Photo of Fredk24
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I snagged a forlorn bottle of this beer from my local package store's shelf a week ago, and I'm just getting to it. Sadly there is no production or freshness date on the bottle.

Upon pouring, the beer has a nice copper color to it, with a decent, quickly dissipating head.

The smell is unobtrusive, if anything there is a smell of slightly sour bread.

Decent maltiness, thin-to-medium body. Finishes clean.

I prefer Harpoon Octoberfest to this one because it has a deeper malt flavor. I'll probably give this another try next October.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beautiful deep orange color. Decent off-white head with great retention and some lace.

Smells fallish - toasty malt and herbal hop with some mild spice and orange rind.

Crisp bready malt up front follwed by a smoother hop bitterness. Mild orange here and there. Despite the crisp carbonation up front, Festbier had a dissapointing syrupy mouthfeel.

Retained itself very well despite being near the end of shelf life.

Photo of jimsimply
2.66/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Well past its Enjoy by date, this poured a hazy amber into a pint glass with thin head. Not much aroma at all, a faint yeasty smell is all I can discern.

Taste is not much better. I generally like Victory's beers, but this isn't fantastic. Fairly sweet, but lighter in the mouth than I like, almost watery consistency. Carbonation there, but it doesn't add much.

All in all, not my favorite Oktoberfest by any stretch. I had to force myself to finish it.

Photo of Brewnami
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just found this in the back of my fridge and I forgot how good it is. This particular one is not the freshest Victory Festbier I've had as I bought this in October and its been sitting in my fridge for almost 4 months, but its still great. Honestly one of my favorite Oktoberfest beers. I put this one up there with Paulaner and Spaten. Best American Oktoberfest I've had so far. Obviously you probably wont be finding this very easily right now and perhaps it may be best to wait for August of this year to try it for the first time. Sweet and malty, crisp and clean, very drinkable. Highly recommended for Oktoberfest fans.

Photo of magnj
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - Orangey Amber color, 1 finger head settles to a faint ring. Quite a bit of bubbles rising from the bottom, fairly clear.

s - Fruity, a little dry.

t - Banana and Orange. Not real malty, sweet or hoppy. Has a slight twang. It really tastes like a Hefeweizen without the Belgian yeast. It's not bad but I've had better Octoberfests.

m/d - Pretty thin, flavor lasts only briefly. Sessionable but not too tasty. On the low side of carbonation. I bought this mid December on a whim. It's now mid January and probably past it's prime...I'll have to give it another chance next year.

EDIT: Bottle was in fact past it's Enjoy by date...but they must be drank.

Photo of jstilwell
1.85/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Let me first say that I am a fan of the Victory offerings...Not this one. Tasted like a nice Paulaner ruined by adding Water and corn syrup.

A: Medium Brown, Amber, very small quickly disappearing head, no lacing.

B: Not overwhelming, mild roasted malt, hazelnut

T: Blah, boring watery, not much flavor followed by slight bitterness. The aftertaste reminded me of diet Coke.

M: Water! Might quench thirst on a summer day, but this is an Octoberfest brew, right?

D: The highlight perhaps is they are drinkable, but who'd want to?, certainly not I.

Photo of rtratzlaff
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This Marzen pours a clear reddish copper with a 1" head that dissipates leaving little lacing.

The aromas are bready malt, earthy hops and slightly metallic.

The flavor is dry with biscuit malt with a light sweetness that is matched and balanced by a herbal and earthy hop flavor.

The body is medium with a crisp carbonation that sits well on the tongue.

This is nothing to seek out, but a decent brew that hits the style spot on.

Photo of rajendra82
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The amber bodied beer was amply carbonated, and readily formed a durable three finger thick, head. The smell was sweet and malty with slight hints of cooked corn. The taste was driven by honey dipped bread sweetness of the malt with some counter taste by spicy hops. The body was thicker than typical for the style and aftertaste had a touch of sourness. One of the better festbiers I've had.

Photo of biggred1
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange tinted amber with a tight white head that quickly recedes after pouring. Smells of bready yeast and sweet maltiness. Tastes very rich and malty without being sweet, something like fresh pumpernickel with fresh butter flavor. Mouthfeel is fairly light and crisp, highly drinkable. Really nice, probably the best U.S. made oktoberfest i've had.

Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear amber with a short head. Pleasant lager aroma; sweet caramel, straw, and corn. Taste is watery and flat for the style. Bread dough, metal, graham cracker, and corn. Wanted more and didn't get it. I am convicnced that marzens and me just do not go together.

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having missed Victory's Fall Fest, I had to live vicariously this year through a 6 pack of the Festbier...

Clear pour, orange color with faint white head, and just very minor retention.

Pleasant caramel, malty sweetness in the smell.

Taste traveled from caramel to butterscotch, with good earthy/grainy balance, and hint of nuts.

Decent carbonation for the style, with slightly oily / smooth mouthfeel.

Terrific drinkability - pleasant to smell, taste, and easy on the palate.

Photo of brewbucker
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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

A 12-ounce bottle poured into a pint willi glass yields a clear, bright golden-orange body capped with a thin layer of grainy, off-white foam. A slow and steady stream of active carbonation feeds the cap of bubbles, barely sustaining its ability to leave a few freckles of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is fruity with a toasty, brown sugary maltiness and a soft note of tangy fermented grain.

The taste is mellow and nutty-sweet with an oily, semi-seco malty cereal syrupiness. A note of dilute brown sugar and wet corn flakes contributes to the theme, overpowering a touch of bitterness that makes a fleeting appearance mid-mouthful. Just a touch of hop spiciness lingers late in the aftertaste.

The drink is light-bodied, lightly-carbonated, and heavy on the drinkability.

Photo of mikereaser
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured from a bottle into my rolling rock pint glass.
it was an amber/orangish color with a little foam that disappeared quickly into a tiny ring of bubbles

S - slightly sweet malty aroma

T - as expected from an oktoberfest, slightly sweet malt, a bit of zestiness on the tongue

M/D - not a bad beer for the style, not a whole lot of flavor but a good beer overall.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A while back I bought a six-pack of Festbier and decided to save one bottle for a review. Tonight, I decided to drink it side by side with Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest. What a great experience this was, seeing how an American brewery has taken a very traditional style and put its American stamp on the beer. What I ended up determining by trying these two next to one another is that they are both of equal caliber, yet they must be considered in different categories. Festbier is clearly an interpretation of an original (and an excellent one at that!). Hacker-Pschorr is the mold for Oktoberfest beers, so it is by default, a classic and almost flawless beer.

The label says "Enjoy by Jan 06 09". Poured into an Amber Bock glass.

A: Good two fingers of almost white head sits on top of a perfectly clear, radiant copper body. The clarity is better than Hacker-Pschorr. The head retention is pretty good, and there is a minimal amount of lacing that is evident.

S: There is a faint smell, yet what can be perceived is predominantly malty with little wisps of hops. I can easily pick up notes of bread and honey in this beer. The smell is very clean. Overall, I would say that this beer has a great smell, but it could use some volume.

T: Definitely hoppier than the Hacker-Pschorr...well-balanced, giving an edge to the malts while keeping the hop flavor present. The aftertaste is sweet and bread/biscuit. Notes of honey. A well designed beer that follows a traditional German brew in the style of an American brewery.

M: Wet mouthfeel, with crisp carbonation. Smoother and less body than the Hacker-Pschorr. It is still medium bodied though.

D: Excellent drinkability. I would highly recommend that you drink this offering from Victory. It is delicious and a great example of the style. I could drink this all day.

Photo of cameraman
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A medium to light amber color, with a light beige head forming on top, that is two inches thick. Then it quickly dissolves away, to being very feint appearance along the sides the glass. A strong maltiness at the front of the aroma. That is followed by bread and biscuit fragrances. There is a lemon citrus scent in at the end. The malt is very dominant right at the front of each taste. There is a very feint grassy bitterness at the end. A thin feel at the front, it gradually gains weight as flows across the palate. I am of the believe that there is no such thing as an undrinkable oktoberfest/marzen. This beer fits that believe, though a littlr more hop character would be nice to balance it out better.

Photo of Cresant
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Spaten mug. Best by date: 1-18-09. The body was clear and bright honey. The head was mild. The small tan head faded quickly to nothing.

Smell was steely. Malts. Grape-like. Honey covered biscuits popped later, as it warmed.

Taste was pretty balanced. Caramel. Bready. Light tangy bitterness.

Mouthfeel was slick and somewhat zesty.

Photo of karengarys
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours rich and clear, leaving a small head. I picked up a somewhat sweet smell. Taste is tawny, fairly rich in the spices, somewhat malty not all that hoppy. Mouthfeel isn't bad, as it sits it goes away so drink it cold and fast. Finish is sweet and dlean.

This is worth a try if you enjoy the style or not.

Photo of damienblack
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ordinary copper with a thin, quickly dissipating head. I can't really put my finger on the smell, like a funky malt sweet smell, almost like the smell I get from some of DFH's funkier products (think Midas Touch). Whatever it is, it really doesn't appeal to me.

Medium body, malty and biscuity. Not a whole lot of spiciness or hoppiness here, but the body doesn't stand out all that well. A far thinner body than I recall from my last time tasting, I never thought I'd call a Victory offering "watery", but that's the impression I'm getting. It's pretty clean, but there's not a lot behind it. Feels a little dead, could use some more carbonation. Easily sessionable, but this time around I get so much worse an impression than when I first tried it this year that I wonder if my bottle didn't hold up in the 2 months since purchase.

Photo of hero27
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.
Enjoy by Jan 18, 2009.

Pours a bright amber, manilla-colored head diminishes quickly.
Faint aroma of toasted breadcrumbs, earthy malts, and nuts.
Malt-laden flavor..toasted grain, sweet caramel malt, vanilla, and brown sugar.
Medium-bodied & slightly slick..some spicy hops linger in the aftertaste, and it goes down relatively easy.

an alright Oktoberfest, but I was expecting a bit more from Victory.

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,673 ratings.