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

Poured amber-orange with a half-inch of light foam, no lacing. Smell is lightly malty but rather non-descript. Malt presence on the taste buds is sweet, biscuit, bread, Earthy, almost chalky. Some light herbal hop late into a slightly dry finish. Body falls apart on the tongue, but the carbonation is decent. Overall a decent malty Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Terp96
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my annual buys around this time of year. For the record, I think it was better last year.

Pours a bright amber into the glass with minimal head. The beer is clean and pretty highly carbonated which I thought was strange.

Smell is decent for the style. Typically malty but not over powering. I couldn't smell too much of the hop profile.

Taste is a little sweeter than I expected. The sweet malted backbone soon gives way to a surprisingly strong hop presence. As a hophead, this was the best part.

Mouthfeel was decent as well. A little sweet and thick for my liking. Bitterness in the end allows the beer to linger a little longer and that helps.

Overall, a decent attempt at an Octoberfest Marzen. I liked the variation of the theme with the hop presence but I think it lends itself to more criticism from the style police. It is still pretty drinkable but not as much as a Hacker-Pschorr or Paulaner. I will go back for this one.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Sunset Grille. Poured a tawny, brown color, and it was quite cloudy. What's up with that? Had a creamy, tan head, which faded quickly, and left no lacing. Verrry mild malt nose...where is it? Mouthfeel was quite nice, though; good body and smooth. Flavor had some ok malt, a smooth flavor but mild. Even a hint of some fruitiness present. Not bad, but not really fest-like. Perhaps it's the tap lines? I'll try it again elsewhere, and keep an open mind.

overall: 3.45
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


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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 yelterdow
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Freshness date: "Enjoy by Dec 12 05". Served at fridge temperature in a Fuller's nonic, around lunchtime.

Appearance- A clean, clear reddish amber which displays a small, one inch head that deteriorates immediately. A thin rim of foam survives, without any lacing.

Smell- German malts, with their nutty, sweet undertones... not much else! Vienna malts and a mildly bready aroma.

Taste- A very familiar Oktoberfest flavor that incorporates the malts, bread, and very slight bittering in the finish... approachable, and basic. You can't write a book about it, you just enjoy it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A bit too carbonated in the mouth, it gets in the way of the taste and drinkability; Almost a tongue-encompassing hostage scenario ensues. Overall a decent interpretation of a Fest, just a bit loud.

Victory's brewing mastery resides outside of this beer, just try Storm King...

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boulevard in J'Town, PA had the Victory Festbier on tap. It poured a clear amber with decent frothy head and laced. The aroma included malt, barley, and some spiciness. The tase was powered by barley and malt....very grainy beer. The mouthfeel is ok, the taste leaves something to be desired. Over all it was ok,,,never been that big of a october Marzen fan. Certainly worth a try though.

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Photo of Onceeven
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Probably my last Oktoberfest for the year, and not a bad one to finish off the batch.
Poured a crystal clear amber followed by a small head of foam, and spotty lacing. This one smells different from the rest, and I'm not sure if thats good or bad. It's a sweet smell that smells like the ripe grapes that used to grow on my neighbor's vine. Never smelled anything like it in a beer before. It's echoed in the taste too, a bit tart.
It's not a bad beer, the maltiness still pulls through, with almost a bit of nuttiness. Maybe Victory was trying something a bit different with this one.

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

Served on tap in a pint glass from notes, Oct. 2008. Pours a mostly clear reddish amber in color with a thin cap. Retention is brief and lacing is thin.

Light hops on the nose, warming up to yield some sweet toasted malts. Offers some more noticeable noble hops only when agitated aggressively.

Somewhat malty on the tongue, thick and simple with a uniform malt presence and a touch of woodsy spice. Rather bitter and smoky on the finish in sharp contrast to the initial sweetness. Carbonation was high and resulted in some oscillation between sweet and dry in the second half of the glass. Too confusing to reach for again.

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Photo of Fredk24
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I snagged a forlorn bottle of this beer from my local package store's shelf a week ago, and I'm just getting to it. Sadly there is no production or freshness date on the bottle.

Upon pouring, the beer has a nice copper color to it, with a decent, quickly dissipating head.

The smell is unobtrusive, if anything there is a smell of slightly sour bread.

Decent maltiness, thin-to-medium body. Finishes clean.

I prefer Harpoon Octoberfest to this one because it has a deeper malt flavor. I'll probably give this another try next October.

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

This brew was served to a nice clear amber color with a good-sized frothy head that had a nice retention leaving a good amount of lacing at the top of the glass. The aroma seems to be musty with a great deal of malt wrapped together. Some spiciness seems to be present as well along with a slight nut and alcohol scent breaking through. Over all a pretty good smelling brew. The taste, to me, seemed to disappoint. It did not seem to have enough oomph, seemed watered down. The Malt flavors where there but they did not stick out. The flavors that where present where caramel, nuts, toasted grain and a hop/dry finish. Not a bad beer but do feel that it holds up against some of the better Marzens from Germany and is mediocre to a number of Marzens brewed here domestically.

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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 NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Victory- Festbier

Appearance- Golden chestnut brown with no head.
Smell- Light sugary malt with hints of earthy hops.
Taste- Full flavored malt with mollasses. Nice earthy hop flavor well balanced.
Mouthfeel- Lighty sweet with a solid flavor throughout.

Overall- Much better 2nd time around. A good session beer!

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Biting, almost skunky hop aroma. Small, oatmeal colored head. Slightly sweet malt and biscuity flavors. Spicy hop flavors towards the middle. Transparent, light orange colored beer.Solid body, not too thick, very smooth and easy drinking. Solid flavor and feel, not much to look at and the aroma, while not bad, was not very appealing.

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Photo of JMD
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark copper color with small head that fades very quickly.

S: Light aroma of toasted malt and carmel. Not bad, but the nose is just too faint. Even letting the beer warm didn't do anything to improve the aroma.

T: The prominent flavor for me was bready and bisquity malt. Followed by some sweet carmel, brown sugar and some spice. Faint hops are present as well.

M: A little on the thin side for the style, somewhere between light and medium bodied.

D: Overall, a decent American made Octoberfest. I found this one to be a little too bready for my taste, and not enough sweetness and spice. Not bad, but there are better domestic Marzens out there.

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Photo of russpowell
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange with a finger of tan head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness & not much else

T: Herbal & metallic hops, grainyness & some caramel up front. Dryness, slight leafy hops & a touch of caramel as this warms. finishes dry with a little grainy breadyness & toffee

MF Medium bodied with low carbonation

Very drinkable, but alas, the flavor profile is lacking. I expected more from these guys

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Photo of bditty187
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This might be my last O-fest for the ’05 Season…

Clear, coppery-peachy-bronze in hue, the color of the liquid is typical of the style. A steady stream of animation slowly danced to the off-white head. At best the foam barley covered the liquid; there really wasn’t a true head. Disappointing. There was no subsequent lacing either, another bummer. For an O-fest I am saddened by the appearance.

The nose is clean. Too clean for me; it really doesn’t say much. I get hints of caramel malts and a trace amount of earthy hops. I get the impression this beer has German roots but it is difficult to tell exactly the direction this beer wants to go. Hells? Oktoberfest? I’m not sure. Low potency, it is too quite overall; the nose is passable.

The palate is soft but likeable. The maltiness is pliable, delicate with a caramel candy base, some bread, and some honey. The hop profile is light, some earthiness and spice at the back. Clean, as it should be, the finish is fairly long but uneventful. The palate is solid; I’ve enjoyed much better O-fests this season. I mean, this one is okay but forgettable. I was expecting Victory to nail the style, they didn’t. At least this beer wasn’t “Americanized” too much… but it was still a bit underdone. It is enjoyable but it is nothing extraordinary.

Medium in body, moderate-low carbonation, natural and fitting mouthfeel is firm but not rigid. On the tongue, this beer feels about right. Nicely done.

Drinkable and tasty it is. Special? Not so much. Of course not every beer needs to be the greatest beer in the world. If I could get this locally I would drink it. It would be a no-brainer! Is this good enough for me too seek out in the future? No. I wouldn’t turn one down though! I am very happy I could try it. Thank you RedHaze!

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On draft

Medium brown in color, thin off white head that fades fast. Slightly sweet malty aroma. Taste is bready, a little brown sugar. Thin to medium body.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beautiful deep orange color. Decent off-white head with great retention and some lace.

Smells fallish - toasty malt and herbal hop with some mild spice and orange rind.

Crisp bready malt up front follwed by a smoother hop bitterness. Mild orange here and there. Despite the crisp carbonation up front, Festbier had a dissapointing syrupy mouthfeel.

Retained itself very well despite being near the end of shelf life.

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Photo of PhageLab
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap @ The Tap House in Hampton.

A - Nearly clear light brown, produced a 1/4 inch head that stuck around for a few after being poured into a pint glass. Minimal lacing.

S - Like roasted almonds and something sweet, possibly vanilla bean.

T - Lightly toasted malt profile with hints of something sweet, again I'm picking up vanilla. Well balanced as nothing overpowers your senses.

M - Average, decent carbonation and a light crispy body.

D - All in all, nothing spectacular here, but a decent brew that everyone should at least try once. I could definitely have a few, and next season, I will try a few more.

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Photo of WesWes
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thin offwhite head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a musty and slightly malty scent that is dry and nutty. The taste is decent also. It has a complex, but not very good flavor. It is slightly malty with nutty hints and a dry lager yeast finish. It has a breadlike quality that detracts from the taste. There are hops in the aftertaste, but they are weak. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an average Festbier. It tries to be unique and it succeeds. It is uniquely average.

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Photo of chodinheaven
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date, and since its an Oktoberfest beer, drinking it in May gives me some doubts. Cloudy orange hue, with a small off-white head on top. Smells malty and creamy almost. Maybe pecans in there too, or something giving it a nutty scent.

Not overly anything in the flavor, but certainly maltier than hoppier. Surprisingly, I pick up a note of booze in the flavor, right after a dose of unexciting malts and a small hit of hops that balances it out and gives it a little character, but its ultimately not enough to bring it to Victory standards. . It's smooth and goes down super easy, but it's also unexciting and unique like I have come to expect with Victory. I definitely need to try it again next fall just to compare and see how much freshness makes a difference.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into my New England Patriots pint glass while watching the surprisingly good Colts/Steelers game. Curtis Painter is not a real quarterback.

A: Poured with 1/2-finger of off-white head that imploded faster than the Vikings in the second half of any game this year. Festbier is an amber/honey color, as pleasing to look at as a football, thought somewhat lighter.

S: A whiff of piney/citrusy hops surprises the nose, much like the Buffalo Bills surprised the Pats today. Seriously, I expected a marzen to have a maltier nose (not a complaint), but it takes time to warm up and the real spirit of it to come through, much like Ryan Fitzpatrick.

T: Earthy caramel malts with a ghost of a fungus-like aftertaste. Cereal grain finish where I would have expected the hops. Curious what happened to the bit of hoppiness that was in the nose (and that the bottle promised). It was conspicuously absent, like the Steelers running game tonight.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation was light but this brew was still a bit foamier and and rougher than expected. It's not anywhere near the chewiness of the turf Jay Cutler is constantly picking out of his teeth, but still.

O: Festbier is not a bad seasonal brew, but much like the Chiefs, I do not associate fall with Victory.

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Photo of hero27
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

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Photo of brystmar
3.34/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Top Hops.

Average looking pour, minimal head atop the amber body. Aroma is the strongest part of this beer: spicy, fruity, floral, slightly hoppy, malts. Mmmmm.

Taste disappoints. Watery with sweet malt as the dominant flavor. Hoppy backbone shows itself at the end before fading. Not bad, not very good either.

Verdict: skip.

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