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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

769 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 769
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: 769 | Hads: 1,853
Photo of blackie
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: Pours a scant head that recedes to practically nothing. Good medium-dark amber color.

s: Pretty standard pale German malts under a medium sweet leafy amber malt and a touch of skunk.

m: dull, low carbonation and medium-full body seems way out of balance and fails to carry the flavor and aroma well

t: Good earthy toffee and light German malts with a moderate sweetness and a hint of toast. Low hop presence with an unchecked aftertaste and lingering mouthfeel...needs a snappier ending.

d: not bad flavor but the mouthfeel and aftertaste hinder

best by Feb 24, 2008...single bottle from WF Raleigh

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Photo of Winter
2.51/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours amber with a thin, off-white head. The aroma seems slight skunked. If it's the hops, they're rather musky and not welcomed. Can't really detect any maltiness in the aroma. The mouthfeel is a little on the thin side. Festbier is a malty lager with a touch of hop bitterness. An ale fruitiness is introduced in the middle and lingers into and almost unnoticeable finish. Overall, I was not impressed by this example of an Oktoberfest.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is classic Oktoberfest copper with a frothy white head on top. Smell is mainly caramel like malts, sweetness on the edge.

Flavour is similarly lightly malted, caramel tones, bread like aspects, light hop bitters on the back of the tongue throughout. A pleasant and somewhat more bready take on the style than usual, and one that pushes it up to a 4 for me.

The mouth is thin but with some hop presence, this is what one would expect for the style. Drinkability, not an issue, but again, this is also normal for this type of beer.

The bottom line: Oktoberfest is what it is, a lighter bodied, softly malty Fall quaffer. Of the major micros I've had in the style, this is one of the better examples. Ideally suited for a dimple style pint glass on a crisp Fall day with the window open.

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Photo of Kendo
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is clear coppery-brown with a 1-finger ivory head. Plenty of fine carbonation rising. Some lacing left behind on the way down.

S: Malty sweetness -- caramel malt and warm bread -- with a hint of nuttiness.

T: Caramel malt up front with a touch of brown sugar sweetness as well. Toasted grain or cereal is there too. At the back of the mouth there'sa slight bitterness that becomes more prominant as it warms. That bitterness coats the mouth and lingers, providing a nice counterbalance to the malty sweetness.

M: Seemed a bit lighter (or thin) in bodyweight than expected. Finished with a slightly spritzy feel to it.

D: Excellent. Highly quaffable. I could imagine myself at Oktoberfest in Germany downing mug after mug of this, all day long. It's flavorful enough to keep you interested but light enough to keep 'em coming.

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Photo of animal69
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i was inspired to get this one by their other styles; pours a clear copper color w/ a very slight head which dissapates quickly, minimal lacing; not the strong malty aroma I expected, more fusels than anything; the taste was malty w/ notes of caramel a slightly "alcoholic" aftertaste & a little thin; again i'm getting that kinda "watered-down" feeling here, a light-med body w/ slight dextrins; not an unlikable brew at all, tho, i'd drink it again

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Photo of Abita45
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer from the tap and by bottle. Each time, it offers up a clear, clean copper color, little to no head, and a sweet, brown sugar aroma and maltiness. The taste is smooth, malty, and for a drinkable as I find this beer to be, the malt gives it some substance and there are enough hops to give it a little bite. Unlike many Octoberfests, where there is a roasted malt or dark molasses taste, this beer is on the sweeter side of this style, but it works well and makes for a well rounded autumn beer. This beer will appear to a broad spectrum of people because it bridges darker fall beers and amber lagers.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a really thin head, which evolved to a thin ring quickly. Color is an amber/copper that appropriately recalls the color of autumn.

Pleasing, earthy aroma, with plenty of caramel, breadiness, sweet spices. Also has that unmistakeable lager-y character: a little steely, a little corny, though hardly reminiscent of a macro.

Flavor nearly crosses over into Winter Warmer territory, with its sweet, dessert-like spices at the fore the sip. Maltiness come through in the form of caramel, while the finish is crisp, the mouthfeel slick and clean.

Nothing special, but certainly an enjoyable brew that does seem to hit the spot this time of year. Probably would've liked it more if it were "imperialized", ha!

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Photo of jkrich
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with enjoy by jan 13, 2008.

Poured into a stein revealing a reddish, clear copper with a quickly dissipating off-white head; no lacing on glass.

The smell is typical of the Oktoberfest style: rich, tangy malt odor.

The balance of hops and malt make this an easy-going festbier which is what you would want to have at a festival; very fresh tasting. There is a slight sweetness at the very end of the taste. The sweetness becomes a bit more prominent as the beer warms in the stein.

Moderate carbonation and medium bodied.

Certainly not the most complex of oktoberfest beers I have tried this year, but it is well worth seeking out for the season.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Great caramel character, nicely toasted breadiness, and just the right level of malt sweetness balances will with a mild hop bite. Mouthfeel is decent and the toasted finish is fairly satisfying.

Not bad at all, Victory always manages to produce great interpretations of German brews, and this one is no exception.


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Photo of dgallina
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle dated best-before January 19th 2008.

Pours clear copper with a half-inch of tan head on top and sparse lacing on the sides. The aroma is nicely balanced between toasted caramel malts and grassy hops. Flavor is more malt-focused. Plenty of nutty and toasted bread malts with a bit of clean bitter hop in the finish. Medium body is both creamy and nicely carbonated. A little weak on the hops, but easy-drinking and pleasant for a malt-lover.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a relatively thin head and little lacing. Smell is malty and fruity, maybe cherries. Slight tang from the yeast on the finish. Taste is smooth with dry malt noticeable, but slightly watery. Earthybitterness in the middle and a spicy finish. Not bad, but a little disjointed. Mouthfeeel is spritzy and spicy. Smooth, but not creamy. Pretty easy to drink, but the whole package just doesn't make me shout.

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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 david131
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- An ever so slightly coppery color with some streams of carbonation leading way to a thin ring around the top of the glass. Even with a hard pour, it was almost impossible to get much of a head out of this.

S- Sweet malt with some hop backing. There is really nothing outstanding here. I just kind of think "beer."

T- A great example of the style. The malt and hops compliment each other well here.

M- Good carbonation level and not harsh. Not drying, but just right.

D- This is a very decent example of the style. May not be the most outstanding, but a good ol' American shot at the Euro style.

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Photo of callmemickey
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber brown body with a thick healthy cream white head.

S: Strong malt aromas power through with a dash of hops in the back end

T: The malt aroma is manifested in a rich malty taste. Caramel comes through a bit towards the middle and a strong roasted finish.

M: Creamy mouthfeel that sits on the palate with a bit of carbonation.

O: Very refreshing... first had this at Victory's Fall Fest... fresh and lovely on a warm fall day.

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Photo of nickfl
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Amber-brown color with a two finger, just off white head. Retention is ok, but not great, clarity is almost perfect.

S - Deeply bready, malty aroma. Some yeasty character with a slight caramel note and a hint of hops lurking in the background.

T - More intense malty flavors. Quite a bit more caramel with dark bready flavor and some pleasant roasted malt. There is some hop flavor in the middle that leaves a lingering bitterness that blends perfectly with the roasted character in the finish.

M - Smooth thick and creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation and just a bit of astringency towards the finish.

D - Highly drinkable beer, it is easy to put a few of these down. Great festbier overall; the malt character is wonderful and it has just enough hops to balance. The head is good for an American beer, but a bit subpar by German standards and the beer could be just a little bit smoother but, aside from these minor flaws, this is easily one of the best festbiers I have had.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip pint glass. Was a orange-y red-y brown-y color, with a very thin head that quickly left quickly with a thin tracing on the edge of the glass. Aroma smelt yeasty and sweet. Tasted slightly acidic bitter, with spices and pepper. Felt good in the mouth, coated well. Easy to drink.

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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 musicjustintime
2.51/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm actually disappointed. I LOVE Victory's offerings...but this one is just WEIRD! Maybe I got a "bad bottle?!" (Don't think so though) Tastes kinda like dirt, with a little bit of old hops added. Not sure what this beer is... The worst Octoberfest I've ever had...so far, and I really hate to say it. Again, Victory is a wonderful brewery, and this is THE FIRST of theirs that I've had that I don't like. Maybe it's not me, 'cause my buddy DID say he's tried it, and hated it as well?!.... Sorry friends. I don't recommend this....unless you like a "dirty"-tasting Oct-fest. Sorry Victory friends. Cheers and SAAAALUTE my BA friends!!!

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Photo of meatyard
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a very clear, reddish amber. The head forms nicely, falls quickly and leaves no lace.
The smell is a pleasant malty caramel.
The taste is of bread, sweet and malts.
Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation.
Drinkability is very good, It's not high in ABV and has an interesting taste that keeps you picking up the glass.

A good fall beer.

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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 brentk56
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a modest head that declines quickly but still dots with lace

Smell: Excellent caramel aromatics with underlying bready elements

Taste: Starts with a rich taste of caramel with subtle hints of butterscotch and vanilla; a slight graininess appears by mid-palate; after the swallow, the grainy aspect is joined by surprising amount of earthy and spicy hops; some lager twang on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really nice attempt at the style; bursts with flavor and original, but traditional elements

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Photo of beerking1
4.97/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful garnet-amber color, crystal clear, pure white, small head. The aroma is a great combination of Munich Malt and subtle hops. That, however, is only the beginning. The real pleasure comes with the first sip, and last until the last drop. This is a great example of the style, exhibiting the unique flavors of a true decoction mash, with the wonderful malliard flavor components this brings. Seek this beer out!

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Photo of rowew
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, enjoy by date clearly marked. Label has 2 people working over what appears to be a big beer kettle.

Appearance: mmm.. smells like Oktoberfest. Just the right combination of malty sweetness with some good bready and caramel flavors in there, and just a hint of some noble hopping.

Smell: Medium to light bodied, low carbonation. Flavors are a good combination of malt - sweetness, some bready flavors. Finishes clean.

Taste: Nice example of an Okto - interesting enough to make you want to keep drinking it, and drinkable enough that you certainly can. Man I love this time of year!

Overall impression:

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Photo of shertz
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Chalice. The temperature was 43 degrees. Best by Jan 13 08.

A- Very little head goes away to nothing on top. Pretty clear amber red with some bubbles rising towards top.

S- Floral hops with some biscuity malts in backround.

T- Floral hops quickly gives way to plums and sweet, bready malts. Real nice balance between the hops and malts. I really enjoy this immensely.

M- Fairly well carbonated but the bready malts give it a nice thickness.

D- Wow, I really enjoy this brew. I was surprised that it didn't get higher ratings. This is by far the best fall brew I have had this season.

Cheers Friends,

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Photo of ncvbc
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour was a dark copper color, thin head and decent carbonation.

Smell was sweet and bready. A little earthy hop presence also comes through for a brief moment.

Taste is more sweet malts. Caramel and a light bit of chocolate, more and more as it warmed. Some hints of fruit and less hops than smell suggested.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium.

Overall the drinkability is pretty good here. Nothing stands out with this offering but it seemed solid enough.

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 769 ratings.