Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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 MetalHopHead6
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Victory Festbier poured golden amber with a slight head and a little bit of lace.

It smelled and tasted like any ordinary lager. It was sweet, malty, and yeasty, with no significance in the flavor or feel. It was refreshing; however, and went very well with pizza.

 265 characters

Photo of NCSUdo
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

A: Pours a nice looking caramel shade of brown under a small to medium white head. No lace, slight retention.

S: Sweet malt, big caramel with some toffee undertones. Not getting a lot toasted tones, which I'd like.

T: Sweet again, toasted malt is more prominent. Caramel and toffee take back seats. There is a certain point on during mid drink where the sweetness is a little too much, a bit like syrup. Not much bitterness. Slight hint of vegetable.

M/D: Medium bodied, carbonation is a tad high, a bit too prickly on the tongue. Drinkability isn't too bad. Overall, a flawed beer, but not deeply so.

 618 characters

Photo of mjc410
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The pour into my Mahr's mug raises a light tan, two finger head that falls pretty quickly. The lacing is also quite sparse. The beer's color is a lovely deep amber/copper. The nose is sweet, bready, and touched by a hint of floral hops, but also has a bit of a burnt aroma. The taste is richer than many O-fests, but not necessarily in a good way. I think the burnt flavor creeps in here, as well. It doesn't ruin in, but it takes away from the overall impression. The other flavor aspects, light breadiness and a bit of hop bitterness, are quite nice. The mouth is right where I want it, medium, with medium carbonation too. This is definitely not one of the better O-fests I've had, but it is still enjoyable, if flawed.

 722 characters

Photo of ski271
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear medium-light amber with a small, off-white, foamy head with little retention. Only a little lacing as well. The aroma is malt-dominant of course, without smelling too sweet and bready. A pleasant nuttiness to it. The taste is a bit lacking at first with the malts coming off a little on the weak side. The hops only really make their presence known toward the finish. However, by the time I got halfway through the second bottle, I was enjoying it more. The mouthfeel is a bit watery and on the thin side. I don’t know, I guess I have just grown to expect more from Victory. It’s not bad by any means, but I’ve had better Oktoberfests this year. And with the higher-than-average price tag, I won’t be getting this again.

 738 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From: Bad Apple, Chicago, IL
Date: None noticed, but released in mid-2012
Glass: US pint glass

Victory's Festbier is a fairly typical American expression of the style, fairly mild caramel and toasted malt flavors combined with a low hop profile, rounding the flavor out with a mild, brown bread quality. While not unappetizing, the beer does not distinguish itself from its brethren, and is somewhat lacking in flavor and robustness compared to the German imports.

Pours a 1.5cm head of slightly off-white foam with below-average retention, lasting less than a minute in its quick fade to oblivion. The declining head leaves little to no lacing along the sides of the glass. The body of the beer is a transparent amber color, with light bringing out reddish-orange tints. Carbonation is visible and fairly active.

Aroma is primarily of grainy, slightly sweet caramel and toasted malts, bread, minerals, and yeast. In general, the scents seemed underwhelming when compared to some of the bolder German varieties out there.

The primary flavors of the beer are grainy, slightly sweet malts with slight breadiness and caramel lurking in the background. Tasting opens with slightly sweet, grainy and modestly mineral-flavored malts on the front of the palate. Mid-palate continues the sweet grains, adds some bread, and very slight bittering German hops. Back of palate finds caramel malt flavors, slight breadiness, and continued modest bitterness from German hops. Aftertaste is similar to the initial taste: grainy, slightly sweet malts with slight breadiness and caramel lurking in the background.

Beer has a medium to medium-light body with carbonation of medium intensity, creating a beer that slightly fizzes across the palate, ultimately coming across as crisp and smooth. Closes semi-dry, with moderate stickiness lingering across the palate.

 1,851 characters

Photo of far333
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper color with an oatmeal colored thick and foamy head that fills the top of the glass an inch high and lingers long. Very low aroma of bready malt and some sweet fruit, mostly apple. Flavor is biscuity malt, some caramel, and an autumnal smokey dry leaves kind of flavor that's hard to describe or decipher. Mouthfeel is dry and tannic.

 340 characters

Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer has a dark amber color with not much head. It tries to lace, but it doesn't last. Smells of floral hops and a bit of cardboard. Has some hoppy bitterness and malts. Finishes very dry with a tad bit of biscut flavor. Medium mouth feel with very light carbonation.

Overall not much of a beer. Seems to be missing something. Maybe some more maltiness.

 362 characters

Photo of kruthar
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Extra in a great box i got last week.

A - a perfect amber color, very little head though only about half a finger that diminishes to a thin layer quickly.

S - interestingly not much smell, being an oktoberfest its a very familiar smell, sadly it kind of smells a littel like a cheap lager.

T - Can't say i taste anyting outstanding here. Its realy just a watery oktoberfest beerslightly hoppy witha full malt background.

M - initial cold bight with a small rough leave

D - as normal as any other off the shelf beer i would say.

Don't get me wrong i dont hate this ber, its just not a stand out brew that I can rave about.

 627 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally getting around to finishing the 6-pack.

Pours a nice pumpkin/copper orange with a slight haze, off-white head starts at about a finger, turning to a thick ring quickly.

Weak scent overall, takes a while to get a hint of anything. Nutty and caramel malt with some warmth.

Taste delivers some nutty, toasty, caramel malts. Herbal and some spicy hops there too. Slight grainy notes. Decent mouthfeel, carbonation is a bit high.

Decent, but pretty unremarkable, lacks complexity.. Drinks more like a red lager with some fall vibes rather than a true oktoberfest.

 571 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass it's orange amber in color. The head is about a half an inch and beige in color. Not much lacing is left on my glass. The aroma malty and sweet. Some hops can be detected but only after a good hard whiff. The flavor is malt with a hint of caramel sweetness. Hops are there but, not real strong. It has a flowery finish. The mouthfell is medium to light. A tad watery. Lots of carbonation. Another American Marzen beer that I feel is lacking. I'm going to try to stick to European Marzens for now on if this keeps up.

 541 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into my pint. Pours a crystal clear copper with a thin off-white head on top. No lace whatsoever. Smells of caramelized malts, and fresh breads. Nothing standout.

The mouth on this one is a bit harsh. This is way overly carbonated. Hinders drinkability a bit. Fresh slight hoppy bite at the onset, but this finishes mellow and slightly sweet. I really like the aftertaste on this. Nice bready flavor going on. Not too bad of a beer here.

 450 characters

Photo of rapayn01
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

I'm not a big fan of the style because it tends to tilt toward malt and I'm a hop lover. This beer is definitely malt forward, but there is enough hop balance to make it interesting to me. I probably wouldn't seek it out again. This was part of a flight for me.

 261 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
3.24/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle to a hazy burnt orange with very little head or lacing, and a nose that is malty cookie dough and candy, with a faint side of hops, apples and citrus fruit. Mourthfeel is fairly flat and non-descript, and I actually picked up the hoopy apples more than the malt side in the taste. No alcohol ever makes itself know, and the finish is so-so.

 362 characters

Photo of iceball585
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark reddish color, clear, tiny bubbles throughout, thin white head

S- Toasted malts, bread, flowery, hint of hops

T- Nice blend of malt and hops, bready, slight flavor of peanuts

M- Medium body, fairly smooth

D- Definatly worth trying

Not my favorite Oktoberfest but it's worth giving it a try. Also I expected more flavor out of a beer from Victory Brewing Company.

 375 characters

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.22/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

slightly cloudy amber pour with a small white head. Big aroma of malt, bread and a bit of dark fruit. Taste is malt forward with flavors of toast, nut and caramel standing out backed by a touch of earth. Medium bodied. Finishes with a lingering malt and caramel flavors.

 270 characters

Photo of froghop
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a clear copper-red with a very small dirty white head, and some lacing.

smell of malt, caramel, and a touch of spice.

taste is tangy, malt, some nuts, some caramel, a bit of hops in the back, and a touch of spice, ends tangy on the tongue.

overall a good brew.

 269 characters

Photo of aquatonex
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at The Gate. A good but not extraordinary marzen.

Pours transparent brown with a light foamy head. Nose is slightly malty with hints of alcohol. Taste is light with some sweet caramel malts. Not a lot of complexity, but refreshing. Easy drinking, you can definitely down several without a problem.

 309 characters

Photo of fo5s
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a sam adams oktoberfest mug. Bottle best by Jan-12.

A- pours a vibrant amber with a nice 2-finger foamy head. Minimal lacing.

S- very full nose. Good dose of caramel, but a noticeable hop presence as well. Malty

T- Burn caramel dominates, but leaves the beer oddly one-dimensional. Finish is dull with a residual bitterness that's unimpressive...almost acidic in a way.

M- lively on the palate. Body is in-line with the style.

O- a lot of nice aspects to this one, but I really didn't dig the flavor. Not a bad version of the style, and appropriately priced for those who are fans of this.

 617 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle tried 15 Nov 2008.

Poured in 0.4 L glass stein. Small parchment colored head. Medium carbonation. Clear rusty copper color. Aroma is light, slight maltiness and apples. Flavor is also light, caramel and pecans. Moderate maltiness. Finishes somewhat acrid. Medium light body. Alcohol very light.

Not my favorite from Victory.

 340 characters

Photo of lindenboy
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

German malts do come through to me on this. Pilsener as a major part of the base. Vienna possibly? Munich for sure.

Clean beer, smooth, with slight bitterness. I'm just looking for more in an Octoberfest. I can't pinpoint what "festbier" style IS exactly, but I certainly expected this to be maltier. Period. It's got good flavor and complexity, but all in all it's a bit on the thin side. I'm more the fan for maltier, sweet Oktoberfests style beers. I would keep that simple distinction in mind.

Drinkable for a few pints, sure, but Sessionable? At 5.6% I'm not so sure that is the right description.

 605 characters

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.

 445 characters

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

I hope that my general dislike for malty, low-hopped beers didn't just taint my experience of this beer, but I did not really enjoy Victory's Festbier very much. The beer looked okay, it was a clear russet brown with very little head that completely vanished within a minute. The smell was intensely malty--toasty and grainy. The beer tasted just like this, very malty, a little sweet, some grain astringency and a weird herbaceous hop aftertaste. There is a little nutmeg or cinnamon spiciness and a raw walnut nuttiness. The beer is definitely under-carbonated and feels a little thin.

 587 characters

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.

 256 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a mostly clear copper with a pretty good sized head, but it is mind of soapy and doesnt last very long.

Smells very malty and sweet with some grains and nuts.

It's a malt bomb. Toasted grains, some sweetness that could easily be mistaken for caramel. Maybe it is. Some brewers have used caramel malts in their versions. It almost tastes like a candy apple. Slight floral notes. I swear I taste chocolate, which obviously doesn't belong, but it is like a little bit of chocolate malt got spilled into the mash.

This is not a bad tasting beer by any means, but it isn't a great example of a Marzen either. Honestly, it has a lot of brown ale qualities. Good, not great. If you want to get your malt on you will enjoy it. This is like many American versions of Marzens. Too sweet, with some flavors that don't fit the style.

 834 characters

Photo of tophers
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer was too dry for me without the malt backbone that I was expecting. The bitterness didn't seem to blend with the malt very well. I really enjoy Victory beers so I was a little disappointed with this one.

a: Deep amber in color and mostly transparent but a little hazy. Head is not very long lasting and is white in appearance. Ring of head around the glass.

s: Malt aroma consists of a raisin and Munich. Some earthy hop aroma detected. No esters.

t: Dominant malt flavor that is toasty and bready in nature. Some floral hop flavor. Moderate amount of hop bitterness that seems to be more noticeable in the aftertaste.

m: Moderately high carbonation with a moderately light body. Fairly dry finish that may be due to a bit of astringency.

 751 characters

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