Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

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FestbierFestbier

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,664 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,664
Reviews: 728
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 26
Gots: 123 | 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: 1,664 | Reviews: 728 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jstilwell
1.83/5  rDev -50.3%
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
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
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
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
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
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
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
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
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
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
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
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
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
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
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
4.53/5  rDev +23.1%
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
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
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
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
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
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
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
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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

This beer pours a nice copper color with a bit of foam atop it. A big bready aroma with some earthy notes. A medium body greets the palate in a pleasing way. Big, but nice, malt flavors. Slightly sweet bread flavors with some background huskiness. The beer finishes with some spiciness. A clean malty beer with decent drinkability. A good beer for the best of seasons.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Clear deep amber color. Thick frothy head with good retention. Moderate amounts of lacing.

3.5 S: A little bit fruity, a little bit grainy, a little bit spicy, but not a whole lot of aroma overall. Just a touch of herbal hops.

3.5 T: This has a unique taste. No other Oktoberfests are quite like this one. I admire that Victory would make a product that isn't just a clone of a generic Oktoberfest. However, the taste leaves something to be desired. Biscuity and caramel from malts. Spicy. Then there is something pungent. Maybe that is what makes it unique, but it is a bit off-putting. By no means is this a bad brew, but it isn't up to its potential.

3.5 M: Medium body, a bit under-carbonated. Otherwise smooth.

3.0 D: It's the pungency in the taste that lowers the drinkability by quite a bit.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle purchased as a single with stamped freshness date.

A- Orange light amber with a huge offwhite head that fades fairly quickly and good overall clarity

S- MALT! and lots of it. A Sweet fruitiness with mild spice that bowls you over and makes you want to grab some wurst. I kid you not...this one made me salivate.

T- Huge malt flavor that knocks you over with an undertone of a grassiness and a nuts. A full flavored full bodied beer.

M- A full mouthfeel, with low carbonation. A center-glass pour nearly flattened this out, which is not good.

D- I would definately go for this again. Probably not something that I would sit around and knock down, but one that I would love to pair with food.

Photo of dacrza1
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark orange body with a swiftly descending head that leaves no trace--semi-opaque... solid malt aroma with hints of fruitiness to develop a sense of complexity.. slightly effervescent, with a mellow, medium body that is pleasantly fulfilling... smooth, malty presence in the back of the mouth; little hops to speak of, but at this refreshing a taste, they'd only get in the way! Hops actually manifest on the teeth in time (by mid glass)... this lager is easy drinking--I could have finished the six-pack tonight--and leaves room for improvement, in the sense that it fits the season well but would not be sought out of it....another Victory.

Photo of dfillius
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 2/3 finger of off-white head that subsides to nothing. More head please. Liquid is a crystal clear amber color.

S: Crisp fruity nose, but very little smell overall.

T: Malty sweetness at first with a hint of crisp hops. Very balanced and clean. No fruity yeast taste, what a lager. Special because it is so solid.

M: So smooth, no off feel or flavor

D: A session beer all the way. Gimme more.

Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew courtesy of SeaBass.

A: Pours a nice golden hue with very bold carbonation. Big bold head with good retention and a touch of lace.

S: Wonderful malt aromas. Nice sweet caramel malt with hints of biscuit. A touch of hops can be detected if you really concentrate.

T: Nice malt bomb. Nice caramel malt up front with hints of biscuit. Corn comes thru in the middle with a nice late hop addition to round things out. Overall Good.

M: Medium in body with nice carbonation.

D: Good, a wonderful fest bier. Wish it was on the shelves in Tampa.

Photo of lindenboy
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

German malts do come through to me on this. Pilsener as a major part of the base. Vienna possibly? Munich for sure.

Clean beer, smooth, with slight bitterness. I'm just looking for more in an Octoberfest. I can't pinpoint what "festbier" style IS exactly, but I certainly expected this to be maltier. Period. It's got good flavor and complexity, but all in all it's a bit on the thin side. I'm more the fan for maltier, sweet Oktoberfests style beers. I would keep that simple distinction in mind.

Drinkable for a few pints, sure, but Sessionable? At 5.6% I'm not so sure that is the right description.

Photo of Domingo
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good Oktoberfest that showcases the difference between American versions and old Bavarian versions (Marzen, not the "Festbier" style).
Pours a burnt orange color that's probably as close to copper or bronze as it is orange. The head's not too big, although it does lace better than expected.
Unlike the German originals, many American brewers are making their Marzens even maltier and cutting back on the hops presence a little. This one has a lot a sweet caramel, gingerbread, graham cracker, and even some natural pumpkin pie flavor. Finish is sweet, but slightly drier than a few others. Hoppiness is mild, but it does keep the brew from being cloying and overdone.
Pretty drinkable and definitely something you could make a session out of.
Not quite as overkill malty as some, but I'd still prefer a hint more hops just to keep things in balance. Still, the flavors are very clean, and I'd guess the Ayinger offering was likely a role model.

It's really good, and if you actually prefer the maltier Marzen to the more balanced ones, this one could arguably be one of if not THE best around. Personal preference will dicatate how much you like this one, but I don't think anyone will argue with the beer being exactly what they were shooting for.

Photo of jackorain
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light amber, 3/4 inch head that fell quick to thin coat. no lacing to speak of

not much smell at all. If anythinf just a little caramel and yeast

malty, caramel, nutty, mild earthy hops

crisp, high carbonation, medium body

I could have several of these. not bad within style except for the near non-existent aroma

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,664 ratings.