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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: 206 | 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 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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Photo of Seanibus
4.31/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is an amazing session beer, a real pleasure to find on draft.

It pours a lovely reddish amber with light head. There is a pleasant but slight malty aroma. The flavor is of a perfect amber malt character with a light floral hop flavor, with hints of pear and apple on the finish. The mouthfeel is light, but more than a mere throwaway draft beer. This is an outstandingly drinkable beer, worth far more than the sum of its parts.

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Photo of malthead
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nice amber color, big head... smells very clean - a lot of malt, some nice german hops... tastes very nice. a little nuts, nothing overly complex, but a very solid caramel maltiness with a good hop balance. mouthfeel is light, but that's what i'm looking in an octoberfest... great drinkability.
it's not perfect, but especially fresh, this is an awesome session beer.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, enjoy by Jan. 13 08. Very clear, rich deep amber color. Decent off-white head fades away pretty quick.

Rich toasty caramel malt in the nose, with hints of spicy, floral hops. Certainly malt driven in the aroma.

Rich toasty malt, not quite bready. Malt flavor lingers omn the tongue, but does not become cloying. Just enough spicy bitterness to keep things in check. Very robust, without being overwhelming.

So smooth, and easy to drink. Good body. A rich version, that was a real treat. One of my favorites.

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Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a perfectly clear brown with a small head, moderate carbonation and little to no notable lacing.

Smell: Toasted caramel and bread with a creamy malt tone and hints of cinnamon fruits and vanilla lift up to the nose.

Taste: A brilliant surge of sweet malt fruit and grain strike the palate and tease the taste buds immediately and at once. Fresh bread creamy buttery malts, cinnamon vanilla caramel and zippy floral hops a peppery snap tingle on the tongue and even a hint of cloves in the finish are all creating a euphoria of taste pleasures.

Mouthfeel: Light and lively in the mouth; this beer is easy in and built for drinking!

Drinkability: This may be the ultimate session beer. A beer FULL of terrific flavors, light in the mouth and stomach and a perfect addictive aftertaste that makes it and impossible beer to put down. Once you pop you cant stop =)

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/19/11
*From notes

A: Lovely blood orange-amber. A good pour yields a 1.5 finger frothy head and some really thick and chunky lacing.

S: A generous amount of nuttiness hits the nose here, which I find really appealing. The toasty malt mingles well with the nutty-earth quality, making for a solid bouquet.

T: First of all, it's not sweet - thank God. I like my O-Fest's crisp and dry, with some decent toast and a kiss, I mean a just a peck of hops. Luckily for me, all of the qualities I just mentioned describe this wonderful, easy drinking and delicious Märzen.

M: Compared to most in the Oktoberfest style, this is one well put together lager. It's not overly rich. Rather, the carbonation is a tad bubbly, making this something that's not only crisp, but packing solid substance.

O: Victory's Festbier is easily one of the top two or three American Märzen's I've had the pleasure of quaffing, and reminds me yet again of just how well Victory lagers. It's rustic in all the right ways, yet it's something I can return to again and again. Crazy, insanely drinkable. Buy it by the case.

Between this and Great Lakes Oktobefest, there's no need to look elsewhere for your next Märzen fix.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz oured into a pint glass. It looks like the date is jetted on the label, but its unreadable.

Clear amber, with a rather small white head that shows some retention and stickyness.

Malts that are a bit roasted with some floral hops that are a bit spicy.

Starts off with sweet malts, and a little caramel and toast. Fades nicely into bitter hops with a nice crisp bite from the carbonation that almost clears the palate but leaves some toast in its wake.

The body has a nice balance between the swet malts and the carbonation and hop combo. Best Okto I've had this year. Could drink it all night.

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Photo of longdivision
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
A - A really rich red amber/copper color. It does stand out in being a little dark than most lagers.
S - A very "signature" smell. I think it's the hops or yeast they use. Not being a big fan of hoppy stuff, I was fine with this, and even liked it.
M - Not too heavy on the tongue. Has some good bite of carbonation.
T - Really tasty. The balance of hops and malt is great. It seems at first you get the sharpness of the hops, but it smooths out nicely with malts after that.
D - I could enjoy a few of these easily. Very pleasant to drink.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a smooth amber color as a O’fest should be. With a decent lasting, pillow like, off-white colored head. The aroma is mostly of Barvarian malts, slightly nutty, and caramel . On the palate more of the malts, caramel, german hops make a slight bite, toasty, slight graininess, not really complex but it has nice full flavor with depth, nice sweetness, smooth mouthfeel. This is a very good O’fest IMO…

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been working my way through a lot of Marzens, and this is the best so far by a good margin.

Pours deep copper. Some hops, most likely of the German variety, on the nose.

Just a really perfect balance in the taste. Caramel notes with a strong malt backbone. Some butter tastes but in muted and playing in the background.

Nothing too strong, but a perfect session beer for a session beer style.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.29/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - English brown ale looking color, with minimal head even with aggressive pour.

Smell - a little roasty, malty, bready and sweet

Taste - Very balanced flavors, lots of sweet caramel. Minimal hop bite, smooth, refreshing.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied for a lager.

Overall - For a German Marzen/Octoberfest style session lager, this is a very good beer crafted and a great go-to beer when one doesn't crave crazy tastes but just want to relax with a beer (or several). Victory makes another finely crafted beer for its style.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- amber with lots of carbonation and a small off white head.

S- grainy, bready, and a slight hint of fruit

T- caramel malt, some bready tastes, and the grain that reminds me that this one is a lager

M- light, crisp, clean, and refreshing.

D- my favorite october fest beer so far and another victory success. this brewery hasnt done anything wrong in my book. something i could drink several of, and will be sad to see removed from the shelves once the season is over. check this one out people!

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Photo of UnderPressure
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Copper colored. Clear, with a nice off-white head. Retention is not great though.

Very sweet aroma. Almost like honey, with some roasted malt.

Grainy flavor comes right away. Then comes some bread/biscuit along with that honey. Reminiscent of a breakfast cereal with honey (Honeycomb, Smacks, etc). The malts blend together nicely. Enough hop bitterness to give balance.

Mouthfeel is very satisfying. Medium bodied, smooth, with tickling carbonation.

This is an awesome Oktoberfest style beer. Right up my alley. Much bolder with more to offer than any of the big name German Marzens I've tried.

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Photo of NODAK
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Givemebeer
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Enjoying while watching the Yankees Orioles game with good company.

A: Nice ruby red, brown color decent lacing. I can dig it.

S: Wow this smells good. Caramel, bread, nuts, all combine to make my senses tingle with pleasure.

T: Tastes better than it smells. This is definitely more along the lines of a german oktoberfest. It's got a great nutty, earthy quality. The sweet malty caramel goodness is there with a pinch of hops to balance it.

M: When compared to other oktoberfests, this is full-bodied.

O: This has surpassed Great Lakes oktoberfest and is now my favorite. Try it, I don't understand the mediocre ratings, this is good stuff.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant orange tinted amber under a 2” persistent and clingy white foam cap. S: Bread and spice aromas lightly seasoned with kettle sugars rise from the glass. T: It has a clean palate with no fruit. It starts rich and malty with bread crust and mid-range kettle sugars, spice, and a mild bitterness. F: It is very creamy and smooth with medium to just a little more on the body with medium carbonation to a little less. O: A very good fest beer.

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Photo of sraimondi
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An interesting take on a Marzen. Auburn colored brew, a bit darker than traditional German O'Fest. Aroma is bready, but with just a hint of hops. The taste is very good, bread and malt conquer the hops on this one for sure. Nice mouthfeel, fullish. Drinkability is good. This one rivals the best USA O'Fests; not quite as balanced as this year's Brooklyn O'Fest though. I'm glad I can get this one in Ct, although the supply was very limited.

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Photo of cbl2
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


An absolutely beautiful crystal clear orange-brown with an inch white head.


Spicy and sweet. Lots of hop character. This is one of those beers that the smell makes you want to start drinking.


Supple and insanely smooth. Tongue is awash in sweet malt right up to the end when the hops take hold. About midbottle the hops grow in flavor (not a bad thing), and blend oh so perfectly with the malt. This is one of the best Oktoberfests I've ever encountered.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours orange with a small white head, average retention.

S: Strong malt, light caramel, sweet.

T: Strong caramel and cereal malt flavours. Sweet, almost a pastry flavour. Hops are noble and give a light grassy and herbal feel, all around a great taste.

M: Carbonation is quite light, you could drink a lot of these, creamy, soft.

D: This is a really good marzen, my first of the season, even though it is only August. I would not hesitate to have this again, this is one of the best Oktoberfests I've ever had.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

September looms.

A: Very nice reddish copper color. Poured with a finger and a half of white head. Very nice lacing. Just about picture perfect for the style.

S: Some spices up front then a wonderful bouquet of apples and other assorted harvest fruits. Lager smell in the back.

T: Nothing better than a fresh Marzen. The fruit is all up front. Almost like a fresh slice of an apple. The spice is there as well. Damn this yeast is nice.

M: Medium body with a slightly syrupy tone.

D: Half the reason people overlook this style is that the beer must be fresh. By the time most of the German imports get over here they are past their prime. When they are fresh they are a wonderful style. Really well done by Victory.

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