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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,458 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,458
Reviews: 711
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 26
Gots: 57 | 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: 1,458 | Reviews: 711 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NODAK
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%

Smell is somewhat muted on this one, though it does have some caramel present. Not bad.

Pours a reddish blonde in the glass...minimal head.

Taste is initally malty, with the German caramel malt sweetness that often embodies this type of beer. This is followed by a very good nutty flavor at the back, which is accompanied by a slight hoppiness. (as the bottle says, it's a "kiss" of hops...it's definitely minor).

This is a winner of an oktoberfest for me. Love the malt sweetness, love the nutty flavors, and I love how it wraps up well.

NODAK, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of drumrboy22
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Spaten stein. Beer was a clear copper color, with a foamy, two-finger, sandy colored head. Soft carbonation and light lacing around the glass.

Aroma was malt, caramel, nuts and bread.

Taste was grains, cereal, nuts, caramel, bread and light hops.

Very clean and smooth. Goes down very easily. A pretty solid interpretation of the style.

drumrboy22, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of Phelps
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%

Appearance: amber-orange, perfectly clear, with a foamy khaki head about a finger thick that leaves nary a spot of lace.

Smell: very light nuttiness, akin to walnuts and peanut skins. There's also some lightly toasted bread and honey, along with a distinct cereal grain mustiness. Pretty solid.

Taste: yeasty. Sourdough, wheat, peanuts and light caramel. This is solidly in-style.

Feel: light in body with fizzy, light massaging carbonation. A dry finish keeps you thirsting for the next sip.

Drink: a pretty classic representation of the style, Festbier goes down easy and combines perfect measures of European hops and sweet German malts. Who needs Munich?

Phelps, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of beerphan
3.95/5  rDev +7%

12oz bottle -> SA taster
the best by date is unreadable... my best guess:
4 1 10 2911

Pours a bright orange amber with a creamy dense white head. The head fades to a thin sparse layer of dish suds. Thick rows of droopy lace. Carbonation is steady and intense.

Nose: Crackery malts, leafy hop

Creamy nutty mouthfeel. Thick chewy malts up front. Caramel, more nuts and some burnt cocoa. A tad of spicey bitterness but the sweet nuttiness dominates here and dominates well. I love the thick chewiness of this brew. Makes me think Imperial Okterberfest.

Really surprised i haven't reviewed this before, as I can remember drinking it quite often.

beerphan, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

My boi VDubb86 tipped me off to the quality of this brew, so I gave it a chance in my mixed sixer from DICarlo's. It pours a clear amber orange topped by a finger or so of very light ecru foam. The nose comprises caramel, clove, vanilla, and brown sugar, with a hint of orange in the back. The taste ups the orange's ante slightly, diluting the sweeter notes, but the caramel maintains itself nicely, making up for some of the once-lost ground. The body is a nearly-heavy light, with a light carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a very nice O-Fest, proof that Mike ain't completely crazy just yet.

TMoney2591, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
4.58/5  rDev +24.1%

Out of three Oktoberfest's I had last night. This one was the best.

A - Poured a semi dark copper/amber color with a nice foamy white head.

S - Toasted malts, nuts, caramel. and slight bready.

T - Smooth. Started off malty and sweet, then pushed a but with some toasted almond and nut and finished creamy and caramelized. I can dig it.

M - Medium boded and full of flavor

D - I really liked this Festbier. It gave a great representation of the style and I kept the "local brewed" aspect in mind when enjoying it. If victory had this in a variety case I would not be disappointed.

DrDemento456, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

I nead a break from packing. How about a marzen? On to the beer:

A low forming semi-fuzzy looking head forms on top of this brilliant amber orange colored beer. Lots of bubbles are racing through the clean body. If only the heead retention were better. The nose brings out a modest maltiness. The malt reminds me of a pumpkin aroma, a brush of husky malt and hay.

This is a pleasant tastng O-fest. The maltiness is there, providing big doughy flavors and a reminder of pumpkin. Lighly whipped with caramel and nutmeg notes. There's a little kick of alcohol that I find as the beer dries. It's a highly carbonated beer, which can work depending on style, here it is pushing the limits. The body weight is alright, and it drinks well.

Not all O-fest beers are created equal, and Victory Fstbier is one of the better domestic examples I've had. This is one to try during the fall.

DoubleJ, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of vette2006c5r
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%

This beer pours a dark amber color with a good size head that stayed throughout. The beer has a sweet complex smell, similar to a marzen style. There is an earthy taste, and its a bit light, but still enjoayble. The taste dose get old a little too quick. overall not bad, but not the best ockotberfest

vette2006c5r, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of weller1js
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%

appearance: pours a clear, vibrant orange with light carbonation, little foam and no lacing.

smell: well-balance with a rich harvest malt scent, a light hop aroma is present as well.

taste: starting surprisingly and unexpectedly clean, the maltiness presents itself late in the finish, with a very light, yet pleasing hoppy-maple undertone complemented by a just as pleasing harvest earthiness, finishing with a spicy-bitter sensation.

mouthfeel: I typically don't make the effort to critically review in the mouthfeel category, but it is worth noting that while the appearance lacked in significant carbonation, the spicy-bitter sensation serves to give the impression of carbonation, very surprising.

drinkability: was pleasantly surprised with this one, it has everything to expect in the Märzen style, and the progression of the experience is spot-on. If they could make this with a slightly higher abv and maintain the same consistency, it would have put it over the top.

weller1js, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of John1985
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours a medium amber with quickly disappearing quarter inch head with no lacing. Faint malty aroma. Very good burst of rich malt up front with some balancing bitters. Smooth finish, medium body. I can quaff a few of these with no problem. Nice example of style but at almost $10/sixer, I'm not running out to stock up. I'd like to catch this on draft.

John1985, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of rootbeerman
3/5  rDev -18.7%

A: poured into my duvel tulip, with a nice clear amber/copper body, with a thin finger of off white head that fell semi-quickly with not much lace.
S: not a powerful nose, very light grainy, nutty and bready
T: grain and nut comes through from the aroma, a bit dry cooked grain and a very light grassy hop.
M: the grain makes it seem a bit rough. carbonation fits the style.
D: mostly fits with the style but is not my favorite due to the cooked grain flavor.

rootbeerman, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of TapTitan
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%

I was going to grab a keg of Sam's Octoberfest but they were out and this is I was recommended, good choice! Copper color with an amazing head, extremely flavorful October beer that had a wonderful malty finish, bravo to Victory on this amazing October beer which made me come back for multiple rounds!

TapTitan, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of farrago
3.8/5  rDev +3%

Finger of deep tan foam with a mild orange tint, loose and bubbly, weak retention but does a solid dusting across the surface, the lacing slides easily down the glass sides. Noticeably clear amber copper, mixes in browns, red and oranges, transparent, few bubbles visible inside. Lots of cereal, granola, biscuit and grains in the nose, quinine or mineral water too, pepper spice, takes awhile for a caramel or toffee scents to get going, walnuts, limited but steady orange citrus, no real distinct fruit component. Medium-bodied, there's a strong, wiry carbonation to it which keeps it moving at a brisk pace. Not that sweet, seems closer to the "traditional" Märzen recipe with grain, pumpernickel bread, corn husk, walnuts and chestnuts, white pepper. As in the nose, subdued orange citrus as well as peach, pear, yellow apple fruit. Thin patina of milk chocolate and caramel. Overall, it's a nice little brew but not really that interesting.

farrago, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of bruachan
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%

good clear copper. decent froth

phenomenal lagermalt aroma--pils and toasty vienna. spicy, herbal hop scents. smells like a delicious biscuit (a slightly hoppy biscuit)

not as richly flavored as the scent intimates. clean and caramelly with a refined bittering finish. good toasting. spicy hops--make it kinda refreshing, actually. i was first tempted to express dissatisfaction with the body (it's solid) but i dig it, for style

bruachan, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev +8.4%

12oz bottle, poured into a pint glass. This beer, along with Victory Lager, more than proves that Victory brewing is an American master of craft lager beers.

The beer is dark orange copper color, SRM of 8 or 9, clear, with a thin off-white foam. It smells malty and sweet, sort of clean and very Munichy if that's a term. This has a German feel to the aroma and flavor, at least to my palette. Sweet up front and sweet in the aftertaste, with just enough bitterness to give a little balance. Very clean and simple flavor.

The body is about even, maybe a bit thicker than water, very easy to pound. I'll be getting more of these as we approach Oktoberfest season.

TurdFurgison, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of Fish113d
2.63/5  rDev -28.7%

Pours a dark amber color with some copper as well. A thin 1 finger thick of bone white head forms on top but quickly dissipates to a white surface layer on top.

Sour grapefruits hit my nose first along with a bit of brown caramel malt. A slight bit of spice maybe (cinnamon) but nothing too apparent.

Sipping reveals a less sweet flavor than I expected from the style. The caramel maltiness is there along with a mild floral flavor.

More full-bodied than expected. Nice balance but somewhat of a "weird" feel that I can't truly explain from this one. Perhaps this is a "bad batch" or something, but it is nothing like a 'Fest brew that I've had before.

Overall, one is enough for me. Not one of my favorite Fest brews ever by any means. I hate to slam a beer, but this one just misses the mark completely for me.

Fish113d, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of feelmefoam
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%

Victory's Festbier pours a dark peach-skin color with some lighter orange highlights. A finger of white, creamy head sits atop the beer for a few minutes before dissolving back into the liquid. Not a lot of lacing left around the glass.

Ok nose, but not really that fragrant. I can pick out some malts and a bit of nuttiness as well. Also smells a bit musty. Just need a little more strength here.

The taste is pretty good... a little sweet caramel malt, but mostly bready malts and a bit of musty grain and nut combo. Just a little bit of bitterness on the tail-end of the flavor.

Good mouthfeel, pretty smooth and silky with a body that's a notch or two below medium. Also some restrained carbonation that helps the beer remain smooth.

Not a bad beer, overall. It's good that these fall beers are starting to come out more now, and though this isn't my favorite, it's getting me in the autumn state of mind. Give me a bit more aroma and a little more in the flavor department and this would be a pretty nice beer.

feelmefoam, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of Stunner97
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%

Appearance - brown to reddish, small head light amount carbonation, small thin head

Smell- rum and raisony, very malt and sweet dominated, good malty nose

Taste- malty and sweet up front with drying bitter finish on the end keeping it in check, mostly drier and more hopped then i expected on the nose, decent balance almost could of used a kick more of malts but overall enjoyable

Mouthfeel- low carbonation and fairly light then i expect

Drinkability- easy drinking and goes down really easy, level of dryness and hops keeps you able drink and want more, not my favorite October of year but decent example of the style that wasn't hard to finish the 6er

Stunner97, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%

Pours a dark brown with a nice, sturdy tan head and good lacing. Smell is doughy bread with some night, light fruit and caramel touches to it. Taste is similar, with a nice sweet maltiness coming through. I really like the balance they've struck between the flavors, as well as the overall intensity. Mouthfeel is nice, creamy, and rich without being filling. Drinkability is very nice. I believe this is my favorite American version of the style to date.

Thorpe429, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of ZeroSignal
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%

12 oz bottle; freshness date mostly illegible, but something 2011

A - Pours a brilliantly clear copper with about a finger's worth of white head; head quickly dissipates and leaves some slippery lacing

S - Nose is roasted malts with a distinct nuttiness. Just a hint of bitterness

T&M - Clean flavors, medium-light in body; caramelized and medium roasted malts, a bit of earthy bitterness to provide some balance. Some yeasty, bready, nutty characters. The finish is sweet malt, the nuttiness resonates, and the light hop profile provides a bit of crispness at the end.

D - Victory always impresses with very authentic German style brews. A terrific amount of flavor for a 5+ ABV brew. Clean flavors provide for high drinkability.

ZeroSignal, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of Morey
4/5  rDev +8.4%

This fall seasonal from victory pours a beautiful red amber color with nice clarity. The white colored head faded rather quickly following my pour and is now just a thin lace with minimal head retention (I find these both to be common traits with Octoberfest style beers).

Smell is on the bolder side for the style. I'm even getting some slight chocolate notes on top of the more common sweet and malty aromas.

The chocolate notes also come through in the taste. There is a bitey carbonation up front and then the malts round things out on the back end for a smooth finish.

Medium moothfeel with moderate carbonation.

I could easily drink a few of these on a fall afternoon.

Morey's Bottom Line: An above average Octoberfest. Slightly darker in color and bolder in taste than others I've had within the style.

Morey, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of sweethome
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%

The best of my mid-atlantic fest beer tasting.

Pour is light copper color, looks like autumn. Nose is spot on to fest beer tradition - fresh, sweet malts. Complex, fruity.

Such a smooth, yet full flavored entry. Rich malts, builds to beautiful ending of maltisweetness moved on by a hint of noble hops. Carmel malts, nutty complexity.

A winner.

sweethome, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Quite a nice looking beer. Amber/Red and maybe a touch of golden color to it, excellent clarity. Small white head that goes away pretty quickly, not a heck of a lot of lacing but it's there a little. I really like the look of this.

Smell is great. Very sweet, malty and a little bready/yeasty with a slight touch of hop. I've never found too many octoberfests to be all that strong in smell, but this one kicks it up a notch in my opinion. Caramelized sweet malts dominate most octoberfests, but something about this is the slightest bit stronger.

Taste is about as good, unique, it's good without setting itself apart as the smell does. Caramelized malts with bread and yeast coming at you. Almost like fresh baked bread maybe slightly overcooked to give it a toasty flavor as well. Slight bitterness that balances out well slight earthy taste from the hops.

Mouthfeel is good and a little complex. Fuller in body yet it maintains a crisp bitter finish. Great coronation level, good overall.

Very drinkable, nice fall beverage, but easily could be a year round beer. Nice job Victory!

AndyAvalanche, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of soupyman10
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%

On tap at Meridian Pint. This is...well...it's a Marzen. It's fine. Don't Marzen's pretty much all taste the same (with the exception of the Kaiser, which I had in the same tasting). What...fairly highly carbonated, full caramel malt flavors with very subtle hops, nice fruity caramel nose, orange-amber color. Tastes like fall. Definitely works, although it's not a style that generally bowls me over.

soupyman10, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of mlazzaro
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%

12 oz bottle, fresh from this year.

a- great carbonation. clear, almost rose color amber color. frothy head with tiny close bubbles. good retention.

s- roasted caramel smell. lager yeast notes as well. very clean smelling.

t- malty beer. lager yeast finish. Slight acidity that adds a nice complexity. Very slight oxidation at the end of the sip. Seems to be good at both warm and cold temps.

m- Full body, nice crisp beer. Again, only slightly oxidized, I'm usually pretty critical about that. well balance, complex, and delicious.

d- I could drink this for a while. Good beer.

mlazzaro, Sep 20, 2010
Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,458 ratings.