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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

765 Reviews

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Reviews: 765
Hads: 1,813
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 19.84%
Wants: 32
Gots: 195 | 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
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Reviews: 765 | Hads: 1,813
Photo of Hansford
4.48/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Guiness glass.

A: Beautiful shade of brownish red/copper. Not very dark, but you know that you are going to get a full taste. Thin head, off-white.

S: Malts, malts, malts. Faint scent of hops, but this thing is all malts on the nose.

T: You get a ton of sweet malts. As Victory always does, the malt is very well-balanced with a touch of hops. Perhaps a little dried fruit as well. Fantastic flavor here.

M: Unlike a lot of "Oktoberfest" beers, this is pretty crisp.

Overall, this is definitely one of my top 3 favorite beers out there, if not my favorite. I found this bottle in the basement, thinking that all of them from the case bought in September's case were gone. What a surprise! But it's always available at the brewery, thank god.

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Photo of noel2977
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This - to me - is the sign that fall has come. My favorite Octoberfest brew out there...

Copper appearance, head dissapates upon the pour, very little lacing. The aroma is fruity/malty. The taste is malty-goodiness. A slight hint of yeast, intermingled with some simple fruit flavor and a return of malt on the finish. Not a long lasting finish, but it doesnt need to be. This beer is to the point. Mouthfeel has a perfect amount of carbonation. In summary, i could see myself sitting around with friends on a fall day on the deck drinking a few of these. Very drinkable. Seek it out and try one on for yourself.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In my opinion, one of the finest domestically brewed Oktoberfests; but more importantly, one that easily rivals those of Munich! It pours a clear reddish/orange-tinted amber body topped by a frothy ivory head that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace. Clearly well-brewed! The aroma begs you to delve deeper with a softly sweet and mildly toasty (even gently bready) maltiness that's enhanced by a delicate floral hoppiness that's quite alluring! The mouthfeel is gently crisp from a fine carbonation, and slick across the palate with a medium/full maltiness. The flavor starts with a sweetish maltiness that expresses a soft toastiness and mild toffee notes as well as some lightly floral hop flavor. It sweetens slightly as it warms, but then finishes dry with some gentle bitterness and a lingering nutty and toasty 'crust of bread' note that gives it exceptional drinkability. It continually becons to you taste again! Exceptionally well-balanced and rich without being overbearing! As much as Victory is known for their heavy-handed beers (such as the hop drenched Prima Pils), they should also be recognized for their beers that display impeccable balance. This is one of them and it should not be overlooked!

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Photo of Pinto21
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shade red of being copper. Very nice white head.

Herp hop at first followed by sweet malts, a lot of sweet malts.

Malt, oh the malt. The malts have been carmelized. Herbal hops come through in the finish to bring everything together.

Great O-fest, actually best I've had. more hops and malts than the spaten or any imports i've treid

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Photo of dsa7783
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another solid offering from a great company... have not been dissapointed by any brews from Victory... Strange to say, I copped this Oktoberfest beer in late Decemeber, probably being only one of two six-packs left at Bottle King in Glen Ridge... best before January 14, so I still got some time to enjoy this one... Pours a brownish copper color with a ruby red glow... smell is very buttery and creamy... The taste is great, with caramel, vanilla, butter, and bread flavors... The best thing about this beer is that it went down so easily... like drinking water... mouthfeel was equally exceptional, and although this isn't the most flavorful offering I've sampled from Victory, it's clean, creamy taste truly satisfies... will definitely purchase this again next autumn... Certainly recommended...

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Photo of sacfly
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoy by Jan 1 06 on front of bottle.

Pours a clear amber color with a large, thick head of medium bubbles. Smell is a gentle mix of musty grains and slight sweetness. Fresh bread.

Taste is grainy, bread again, with a slight caramel sweetness and subtle hops. Mild bitterness comes in the aftertaste. Medium to light body.

Very enjoyable. I could drink this all day. Not too sweet like some Oktoberfest. A very well crafted brew!

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Photo of nomad
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dead clear light copper, this beer had a thin head and little lace in the served pint glass. It smelled of husky grain, Munich malt, coming together to be bready in a wonderful way. Also, a strong presence of lemony hops. Tasted of these lemony hops on top of smooth and quietly strong Munich malt. Slightly textured grain accents in the middle, this beer was fruity without being necessarily this or that fruit.

A true embodiment of that classic amber flavor of Oktoberfests, mainly because of the thin body and flavor profile. Quaffable and easy, yet a sipper too if you wish. Next to Paulaner, for me, as a great Oktoberfest beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Copper amber with an orange glow to it leaves a nice sized cream vanilla colored head with sufficient lacing left after the foam wains away. Aroma: Slight floral hop note lingers in there but more importantly a toasted malt character that is possibly the most delicate and pleasant from an Oktoberfest bier to this point mildly sweet Bavarian malts a blended so nicely here. Tase: Defines a well balanced beer, not tame or muted just made in an accurate approach toward the Oktoberfest or Marzen style that is consumed by the liter in Munich every year rolling syrup like malt sweetness with toasted nuts representing as the backbone of delicious tasty brew from Victory. Mouthfeel: Not watery but medium to light bodied has a slightly sticky texture that glides well down the palate. Drinkabilty: Must surely be the most drinkable example of an American made Ofest to date, wow just awesome beer everyone needs to sample this beer then go out and buy a case like I am going to.

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Photo of jdlivezey
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very drinkable Octoberfest. Very smooth, with a clean finish. From a lager perspective, I really like it. I was expecting a different finish, thinking there would be more bite at the end. Nothing like that at all...very smooth. This is a beer that should be available all year long.

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Photo of sweethome
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

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Photo of weller1js
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Brewnami
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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Photo of ejimhof
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- light amber color not much head or lacing

Smell-malts are the main smell

Taste-Sweet and malty just like an Octoberfest should taste like

Mouthfeel- very good smooth and light

Overall- I always like this beer not sure what took so long to review but definitely one of the best Octoberfests out there

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Photo of dmarch
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper in color with a thin white head that leaves a nice lace. Malty aroma with just a hint of hops. Taste is on the sweet side with a caramel flavor. It's easy drinkability makes it an excellent session beer. Another solid beer from victory. One of the better oktoberfests I've had.

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Photo of magine
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a hazy deep copper/amber. Head is off white and fluffy, nice tight bubbles. Head settles to a patchy island. Good clinging lace. Good looking brew.

Brew smells very malty; caramel, sweet bready malts as well. Some floral hops. Good nose.

Brew tastes sweet and smooth initially; creamy roasted nuttiness in the middle. Almost has a smoked flavor in the end as it warms. Nice chewy full bodied brew here. Nice dry nutty flavors in the end as well. A nice floral hop in there as well. Good flavors and balance. A great drinking, great tasting marzen. Very good.

This is a top tier oktoberfest/marzen for me. Up there with Great Lakes take on the style. I would love to sample both to see which one I prefer, but this is a damn good brew. Case worthy indeed.

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Photo of generallee
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a big mug. There is a freshness date on the front label but I can not read it.

Appearance: The body has a deep orange amber color with very good clarity. Its head has a good two finger thickness and is just off white in color. It has very good retention and hangs on well making nice slick lacing on the glass as I drink it down.

Smell: Its nose is full off floral and spicy Pilsener like saaz hops along with some sweet bready maltiness.

Taste/Palate: There is a good bready malty base flavor with nice sweetness and mild caramel and nutty notes. Hop flavor quickly moves in with very tasty spicy/floral and grassy flavor notes. Hop bitterness is very bright and clean on the finish and well balanced to the malt. The body has a solid medium feel with smooth yet active carbonation.

Notes: This beer was very interesting and surprising. The malt was Octoberfest all the way but the hops were crisp snappy German Pilsner and they made for a very tasty combination.

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Photo of cdizinno
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz brown long neck bottle as pictured.

A: Dark orange/copper hue that shows bright to the light. Decent white head with minimal lacing.

S: Herbal hops and floral aromas.

T&M: Medium bodied with smooth and crisp taste of toasted malt and mild hops. Some mild caramel.
Finishes semi-dry with faint toasted grain.

Great Oktoberfest brew.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received via I Want That BIF 3 from ClockworkOrange. Thanks for the opportunity. Best by Dec 30, 07.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, forming a 1 1/4" beige head over the clear orangey amber brew. Dense head lasts well, with prevalent frothy lace. Aroma is sweet nutty malts with a top of hoppiness. Taste follows the nose, nutty sweetness balanced by lightly bitter hops. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinking is easy. This one combines interesting flavor profile with a sessionable fest-style brew. Just what the doctor ordered.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I get a very rich smell of roasted malts that almost smell burnt in a way. I also get some soapiness (not in a bad way) and some subtle earthy hop character. The taste is all smooth rich and sweet caramel, toffee and bready malt which ends up melding with the slight flowery, floral hop that you can taste in Victory's hoppier beers.

My favorite thing about this obviously the sweet rich malt character which adds to a very nice body for a beer of this alcohol content. I'm also getting a slight nutty flavor mixing in with the sweet malts. I heard the brewer explain its a party beer because they made it sweet on the tongue which is something the brain says to wash away so you take another sip.

In the end the hops round everything out and really balance out that roasted flavor. The malts really seem to be roasted closer to burnt but not really. It does add for a very autumn like beer. One of my favorites of the season. Exceptionally well crafted.

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Photo of dfillius
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of rx-beer
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 fl oz bottle poured into a 0.5L dimpled stein

A -Clear Orange amber with about two inches of cream-colored head. Light carbonation..Head fades to a nice, slim ribbon. Patchy lacing sticks beautifully to the dimpled glass.

S - Toasty breadiness with slight dash of hops

T - Malty, toasty, biscuity with a touch of spice and a hint of caramel (very light on the sweetness). Light bitterness from the hops comes out for a crisp finish.

M - Minimal carbonation for this medium-bodied beer. Some tingling accompanies the finish.

O - Very enjoyable beer. I would definitely have this beer again - glad I got two of them...and I'll likely be going back for more. Although I prefer the caramel sweetness from Samuel Adams' Octoberfest, I still think this is a pretty great beer. Hell, doesn't need to be one or the other - I'll have both!

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Photo of erosier
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice amber-orange color with a medium sized and medium bodied white colored head that faded slowly and laced all the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, some biscuity tones, a bit of hops at the end of it, but mainly very sweet balanced malt.
T: Follows the nose really well. Tastes of very sweet malts, a big biscuity taste, then a hint of hops, and then back to the malt for a very sweet finish.
M: Very fresh, smooth, and refreshing with the right amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable beer, this was one of the more flavorful marzens done by American brewers. In fact this is one of the better marzens because of the amount and balance of flavor it has.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this a couple times 2 years or more ago, back when I was lazy reviewing. Just having visited the brewery gave me the perfect motivation getting around to trying this one again (and reviewing it!).

Light copper with a monster head. Give it up for the bartender...sheesh.

Great Oktoberfest with bready yeast and malt representin'. Noble twang to the hops, with a spicy herbal/earthy profile. Good medium body with really wet mouthfeel. Sweet caramel and bitter hops hold up to eachother for a nice balance.

Good typical marzen abv makes this a fine drinker and something that won't knock you down before the nights begun. Good one Victory!

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Photo of kkipple
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 765 ratings.