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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 Celtics76
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I decided to have one of these before heading out to Thayer St. to meet up with my fiance. I had it last year and thought it was a nice alternative to the usual, that being Sam Adams Octoberfest. Time to re-visit.

Well, it looks like a Marzen and smells like one too. The profound malty aroma definitely has me thinking of Patriots football and Halloween. Really flavorful - strong malt base with some caramel undertones. Has a "roasty" aftertaste. There is some mild carbonation and a medium-bodied feel to it. Quite drinkable - not a "slow sipper" for me by any stretch.

I have yet to dislike a beer from this brewery. This is no exception. Will buy more if I come across it again.

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Photo of socon67
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber color with a tan foam. Cloudy look and not much lacing.

S - Slight scent of caramel malt, but also some characteristics I'd smell in a hefeweisen. I'm semlling banana and cloves. Ummm, is this the right beer?

T - Taste is more like the style. Malty notes, some caramel flavoring, and a dash of spices.

M - Very easy drinking. Exactly how a good festbier should be. Quite sessionable and feels light enough to enjoy a few.

O - Can't get past the odd scent of this one. It is a very enjoyable beer but for a marzen I have plent yof other options.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden amber color with a fingers worth of head that quickly fades to nothing

S: Lager yeast, malts, and a bit of husk. Fairly simple, but definitely to style

T: Follows the nose, tastes a lot like a dark pils. Yeast brings forward grains and very light fruitiness. Husky. Leafy hops

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice O-Fest that displays a bunch of the characteristics of the style. Easy to drink too. Solid

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Photo of claspada
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light reddish-brown with a sturdy tan head which recedes to leave some minimal lacing.

Aromas begin with doughy bread with some yeasty light fruit and caramel malty notes.

The tastes begin with a rich caramel maltiness with subtle hints of toffee. There is a slight doughy, toasty, grainy maltiness that joins as well. As it warms the grainy aspect is joined by surprising amount of earthy and spicy hops.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is fairly clean and crisp as the style would call for.

Overall this is one of the better American interpretations of a Marzen/Oktoberfest that exist in today's market. The caramel, sweet maltiness is probably overstated for the style but I enjoy that more than one that is heavy on grainy, pilsnery flavors. Good, not great, worth a go amongst others.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-dark amber with a thin cream colored head

S-honey nut cheerios. Roasted cocoa malts. Good strength. A bit off for the style.

T-comes in with a bitter roasted flavor of honey grains. It's an odd and lightly watery flavor. Doesn't quite fit right. After-taste is oddly bitter.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a semidry finish.

O-this isn't a good Oktoberfest beer. The flavors just don't mesh well and it's not drinkable as the style is supposed to be. 

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Photo of jimmah120
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle 2 months past expiration

Look is an amber-orange with a khaki head. Smell is hay, wheat, yeast, caramel rolls, pumpkin spice, and clove. Taste is wheat, spice, yeast, pumpkin, and roasted malts. Feel is medium, medium carbonation, slightly syrupy and thick.

Solid fest beer, but nothing special. At the high price point, it's not especially desirable.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint (although this begs to be poured into a mug.)

A: Deep, clear amber with a one finger white head. Dissipates kind of fast.

S: Slightly roasty malts and caramel make up the smell.

T: Lots of malt present....it has the slight roast flavor giving it a distinct taste. Also a nice, clean grain flavor, as well. There's a nice dose of leafy hops to balance the malt out a little bit. Finishes with a very slight bittenessr and roastiness.

M: Dangerously drinkable. Smooth, creamy, medium-bodied.

O: A highly drinkable, flavorful marzen. It's pretty standard for the style and doesn't really bring anything too new to the table. It's easy to appreciate the simplicity of this beer, though. A perfect fall party beer.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark color nearing copper. Decent glow. Head is minimal. Little bubbly clusters. Also, mild lacing.

S-Standarn Oktoberfest aromas. Caramel, dark baked bread, barley and an elegant Noble hop whiff. The hops are fairly noticeable which is definitely a plus.

T-You getting all the toast and caramel and grains, but you are also awarded with a significant grassy hop finish that lingers respectably. One of the better overall Oktoberfest beer flavors I have stumbled upon.

M-Medium bodied with zippy carbonation and a creamy feel. Light bitterness and dryness. Sessionable.

O/D-One of the better takes on a style I don't love. Enjoyed the hop intensity. Another solid Victory brew.

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Photo of Luigi
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear and rich amber color, almost caramel like. Nice two finger off white head with great retention, with plenty of lacing going around the glass till the last drop.

The aroma is rich with toasted malt! Big caramel hints but roasted enough to give some smoky characteristics. Keeping with the style of lager the hops a well blended a bit leafy, but the toasted malt is the focus of this lager.

The taste is rich with toasted caramel and smoky malt. Nothing fancy, just rich toasted malt with a bit of earthy/ medicinal hop lingering at the end.

Rich, almost full bodied and slick on the palate. Yet, easy going down the hatchet.

This was the first time I have ever seen and Oktoberfest lager from Victory, so I had to pick it up. Probably one of the best American made versions of this style of beer.

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

Aroma: sweet, toasty malts, slightly vegetal in aroma which fades to a complex malt/medicinal, solvently aroma

Appearance: Amber/red color; thin/off-white head dissipates quickly,

Flavor: complex, but balanced more towards bitterness than malts for the style. Tastes slightly woody/toasty with german noble hop presence

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, medium to low carbonation. Although a decotion mash is used, I don't pick up on the rich complex malt character, but finish is slightly sweet

Overall: very smooth and drinkable, but for a decotion mash being used would have liked to see a more assertive malt background and less bitterness

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Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark amber color, with an initially generous head that fades pretty quickly. The smell is strong, with bread and biscuit scents standing out. Toasted bready malts are dominant in the taste, reminding me of sourdough bread. There is a bit of nutty flavor, and a floral bitterness in the finish. Just average mouthfeel. Nothing really remarkable about this beer, but nothing bad either.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: orange/copper body, finger beige head,
light lacing

S: caramel, bread, malt, grain

T: caramel, nutty, big malt/sweet bread, mild
bitter/earthy finish

M: med body, solid carbonation/smooth mouth

O: Very flavorful American Marzen brew, Love
the style and brewery. Would get again + recommend.


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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 12 oz mug- pours a clear dark orange with one finger of light beige head, decent retention, minimal lacing.

Smell is pretty grainy- munich barley, a hint of caramel. Good, but a little faint.

Taste is very nice and certainly a rousing oktoberfest. Lots of good solid barley flavor, some caramel, a little toffee, BARELY noticeable hops that just sort of tend the edges of the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good as well- medium bodied, light carbonation on the tip of the tongue. Very drinkable. I love this style but haven't had the opportunity to try too many- this one is good but perhaps in a month I might say differently.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the brewpub in Downingtown, PA

A: thin head which may be related to the pour on a clear golden with copper hues body. Nice lacing.

S: toasted and sweet caramel malts. Light herbal and earthy hop notes. Fairly simple and a light aroma.

T: toasted and caramel malts throughout. Oak and nuts. This one isn't very spicy and is very simple as so many breweries do with this style. Light citrus bitterness up front as well.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: typical large craft brewery marzen. Doesn't have the spiciness or malt profile to stand out or be memorable. Very drinkable and clean overall.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 11/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber. Slight head dissipated slowly leaving light lacing. Grainy, light malt aroma. Caramel, malt, slightly sweet. A pleasant light malty ale. A straightforward, but unremarkable Marzen.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Warners at the bay, poured into a Mikkeller tulip.

Light amber appearance with an off white foam that laces sporadically.

Smell is of sweet malt, not honey sweet, but just sweet malt in general with some small herbal note there as well early on.

Tastes clean, decisive and as you are led to expect with sweet malt the cornerstone. Some toffee as well.

Good medium body, nice oilyness to start with and then smooth out with a slight herbal bitterness at the end stops it becoming cloying.

Really nice, well executed. Not an overload of the senses, but what is there serves a good purpose. Hard to fault what Victory do, one of the more consistent breweries across styles.

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Photo of Offa
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper amber, medium pale tan head soon thins to thin ring.

Aroma is toasty, caramelized barley, peppery resiny hop, hint of brown whole wheat bread dough, wood stain – a nice, full, but not complex Vienna style.

Taste is nice caramelly barley, toasty bread crust, woody-peppery hint, light bitterness. It’s very slightly on the sweet side. It is very good, enjoyable, solid, but simple and 2-dimensional .

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Photo of danieelol
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber with OK head and lacing.

Nose is quite enjoyable. Yeast, earthy hops and sweet malt. Gritty, earthy toffee.

Taste is yeast dominated with a bit of the amber malt sweetness coming through, and gritty earthy toffee. Fruity, hoppy qualitites.

Mouthfeel is thin but appropriate for the style.

Overall quite a good beer, interesting somewhat Americanised take on an Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Fcip78
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Victory's Festbeer is one of the better Marzen style beer available. Nice amount of malt, mouthfeel is pretty good. Marzens can be a little too light or way too much malt, but Festbeer is a perfect balance. Nice hop bitterness to cut some of maltyness.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from session notes.

A. Another orange-tinted amber beer, with a minutes worth of sand-colored foam head and mediocre lacing.

S. Very light on the nose, just a faint caramel malt with a dash of floral and citric peel hopping. Could benefit from about 20% strength amplification.

T. Kind of generic compared to other marzens. Malty sweetness and a kiss of noble hopping, nothing particularly memorable stands out as special or unique in the flavor here.

M. Pleasant enough medium body but somewhat undercarbonated in texture again...

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up the other day at Travis AFB.

Appearance- amber color, thin head that goes away quickly

Smell- malt

Taste- big malt flavor up front

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- A pretty good beer, kinda average, nothing spectacular about it.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a clear amber color with some nice tangerine highlights. The tan head displayed decent lacing and moderate lacing as well. The aroma was of caramel, bread, butter and a bit of toasted malt. The flavors were an interesting balance of very sweet caramel malt and dry but floral hops. The bready malt and dry yeast also came through in the middle and I also got some toast and pine nuts as it warmed up. The sweetness seemed a little too much for a Marzen to me and I wasn’t exactly ‘wowed’ but I suppose this could just be my impression of the Victory interpretation. The mouthfeel was good, the body medium and the carbonation moderate.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer when i poured it into a pint glass, it has a nice amber color body with not a lot of head that thins down to a thin lace. The smell is of carmel and malty. The malt hits you up front, first thing i taste. Then some earthy hops comes along, but not strong. The mouth feel is nice and crisp. Overall this is a average marzen.

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Photo of dexterk1
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance is a nice copper and head is small and light.
Odor is light. Doesn't really have much. A little malty, but still pretty light.
Mouth feel is pretty good. It is a nice beer that is in the middle ground(not too heavy, not too light).
Taste is good. It is the best thing about this beer. It is very malty and low on hops. Taste is pretty balanced and has a hint of sweet or nutty. Finish is a little plain.

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Photo of curasowa
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper color with one finger of head that fades quickly to a ring with little lacing.

Aroma: Pretty clean; mostly toasted malt with a little tobacco in the background.

Taste: Big malt flavor upfront, then some mildly earthy hop bitterness starts to creep in and build towards the end. The finish is lingering and somewhat metallic and with a touch of tobacco.

The Rest: A decent, medium bodied Marzen, nothing spectacular, though.

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