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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
FestbierFestbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,594 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,594
Reviews: 721
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 26
Gots: 95 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,594 | Reviews: 721 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yen157
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing this from notes, otherwise it would be a pretty old Oktoberfest!

Drak, golden amber with a medium-coarse head. Pretty nice an sticky. Fresh hop taste and surprisingly grainy for a beer from these guys. Malt a bit less pronounced then I like and expected. Still, it had good balance and smooth, creamy carbonation. Not my 1st choice if in an Oktoberfest mood, but still a good, easy drinknig session beer.

yen157, Dec 15, 2003
Photo of biegaman
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whether it's a really deep orange or a softer hue of brown can be debated; that it is a stunningly handsome colour cannot. Its body is clear and possesses a charming little bit of sparkle. Bubbles flutter in the same way autumn leaves fall to the ground. The beer is carbonated like a soda pop; pouring produced a whole lot of sizzling but not much foam.

This brewery has a particular fondness for using hops in all their beers - whether traditional style guidelines call for them or not - and so, naturally, they couldn't resist using whole flower German ones in this recipe. Surprisingly, the result isn't all that apparent. Only a touch of that spicy, earthy resonance is sensed over all the sweetness of the malts.

It took me not one sip but rather a few to be able to formulate any kind of opinion about this flavour. And, after a lot of lip and tongue smacking, I'm still not able to offer much of one. The malts procure only the faintest suggestions of bread and caramel. Now that I think of it, this both smells and tastes more like a Helles than a Märzen.

And it drinks like one too. The malts are hardly (if at all) caramelized and contain no hints of dried fruits, toasty crumbs or toffee. They aren't substantial, they aren't even all that sweet. Between the minimal presence of the malts and the nonexistence of any hops, this beer makes for easy drinking but not all that exciting or gratifying drinking.

Victory Festbier is likely to appeal as much (if not more) to the mainstream crowd as it is to craft aficionados. Given its lighter body and lighter flavour it might also go over well with those looking to celebrate Oktoberfest in the stereotypically gluttonous and over-indulgent fashion. As for me, I'll likely celebrate it responsibly - and with a different beer.

biegaman, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of ncvbc
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

ncvbc, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of Starchild
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this beer into a pint and my what a huge frothy head. The body was deep red amber. This looks the part, so how does it taste? This beer had an extremely clean and smooth, yet slightly sweet beginning. By my third sip, the beer's complexity becomes apparent. I started tasting that true caramel nut Oktoberfest. The beer ends gets a bit bitter, but smoothes out by the end. Enjoyable.

Starchild, Nov 27, 2003
Photo of seaoflament
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerTruth for this extra!

Pours a fiery orange color with about a half inch of foam that rapidly trickles down to a ring.

A bit of nutty malts and brown sugar with notes of caramelized yams, dried fruits, corn and flaked maze. I'm also getting some subtle notes of flaked milk chocolate. A touch of earthy, floral, and spicy hops. Very tamed aroma, you really have to get your nose into the beer to pick up the nuances...not bad but not great. A bit of vegetable notes too.

Quite malty upfront with caramel and a bit of toast followed by some fruit, I keep thinking of pumpkin for some reason...spices and nutty malts in the finish. A bit thin on the flavors, they just seem to rush through the palate without stopping.

Very easy to drink but seems a bit watered down.

seaoflament, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of andrewinski1
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass with a half inch dirty white head that thins into lacing relatively quickly. The body is a nice copper color without haze.

The smell is predominately sweet malt; somewhat typical of most brown ales. Not much hop aroma.

The taste is a slightly sweet from start to finish. A hint of caramel is detected in the finish.

A nice offering and a recommended version of the style for someone who wants a sixpack of fresh Octoberfest beer.

andrewinski1, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a white head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted malts with a bit of caramel and a light fruitiness.

Taste: Bready maltiness with only a light caramel sweetness to it. Very, very light hint of roasted grain. Faint yeastiness. There's a soft, tea-like bitterness on the dry, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Make no mistake, this beer may not be overly complex, but it is exceedingly drinkable, in every possible way. In fact, it's the best Oktoberfest beer I've had all year (only two, as of writing this).

ChainGangGuy, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of Luigi
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear and rich amber color, almost caramel like. Nice two finger off white head with great retention, with plenty of lacing going around the glass till the last drop.

The aroma is rich with toasted malt! Big caramel hints but roasted enough to give some smoky characteristics. Keeping with the style of lager the hops a well blended a bit leafy, but the toasted malt is the focus of this lager.

The taste is rich with toasted caramel and smoky malt. Nothing fancy, just rich toasted malt with a bit of earthy/ medicinal hop lingering at the end.

Rich, almost full bodied and slick on the palate. Yet, easy going down the hatchet.

This was the first time I have ever seen and Oktoberfest lager from Victory, so I had to pick it up. Probably one of the best American made versions of this style of beer.

Luigi, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of Spikester
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I bought this beer thinking it was a winter brew and discovered it is an Octoberfest/ Marzen. Enjoy by date is Dec. 16, 2013.
The beer is a handsome copper color with a small head that flees the scene all too soon. No lace to be seen. Smell is deep rich malts with a good amount of caramel. Taste is similar to the smell lots of caramel malty goodness with just enough hop bitterness to balance the flavor.
Mouthfeel is full for a lager and carbonation is just right. It has a clean bittersweet finish.
Overall a very good Octoberfest beer. I wish I had tried it a couple of months ago.

Spikester, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of delta490
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours a beautiful deep and clear amber. A thin and fizzy white head dissipates quickly but a steady stream of carbonation leaves some bubbles at the top. The aroma is sweet and all I get is caramel. It's almost too sweet, bordering on candy. The taste has a much more refined caramel quality with a little nutty aspect and there's just a hint of earthy hops. A little thinner on the body but not off. A slight tickle from the carbonation. A decent example of the style.

delta490, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Big bubbly and frothy head, good retention at that. Light orangey copper hue that shows bright to the light. An appetizing brew.

Smell: Aromas of doughy bread, herbal hop and a clean alcohol in the rear. Clean to the nose yet still quite aromatic.

Taste: Sturdy medium body laying down a slick and crisp mouth feel. Big twang of toasted malt and soft herbal hop runs across the palate. Chewy hit of caramel in the middle, a tasty hit I might say. Maltiness is clean yet flamboyant with an icing of nutty toasted grain. Herbal hop is very noticeable with an ample bitterness and long lingering flavour. Finishes semi-dry with faint toasted grain.

Notes: Next time I have this beer I’m going to pair it up with a big fat juicy Ruben … extra kraut please. I think Victory tackled the style quite well with this one, a must try for any beer geek that makes their round of Oktoberfest Beers.

Jason, Oct 24, 2002
Photo of prototypic
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Festbier is a copper in color. It's very clear and has an orange tint when held to light. An off-white head rises to about a finger in depth before falling quickly. Lacing was definitely on the light side. Eh. The color's alright. The rest? Not really.

The nose is good. It starts out with light caramel and toasted malts. Spot on for the style. Yeast is rather prominent throughout. There's a praline-like nutty scent to it. Hops are in the mix and I'm very happy about that. They smell floral, but add a really nice element to the mix. Alcohol is a non-factor. It's not complicated, but neither is the style.

The flavor is pretty good. It starts out with an impressive blend of caramel and toasted malts. It's a nice, simply base that's a little sweet. Hops jump into the mix early. They are floral, and add a little edginess to the flavor. It's not very bitter, but I like it. Secondary flavors include yeast and pralines. As nice as it starts out, it seems to lose its way and finishes a little bland. I like it, but it needs a little something extra on the finish.

The body is light and quite thin. Carbonation is active, but not overly so. It's not smooth, but it doesn't have a bad feel. Drinkability is good. Festbier has a pretty good flavor overall, and it goes down super easy. I could take down quite a few of these.

Festbier is a solid Oktoberfest release. I think it performs alright for a style that's simple and straight forward. My only complaint about is that the flavor seems to trail off to a weak finish. I don't know what it needs to carry it through. Maybe more hops? All in all, it's a good release. Definitely worth checking out.

prototypic, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of scooter231
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber/copperish color with a good amount of frothy white head. Bubbles throughout. Smell is sweet, very herbaly- also getting touches of cinnamon every now and then. Malty.

Taste reminds me a lot of lemon iced tea. As I'm not a fan of iced tea, this kind of kills something for me a little bit. However, the hints of cinnamon and the herbalness balances things out for me. Maltyness is nice, too.

Mouthfeel is bubbley, smooth, light. Drinkability is pretty decent on this guy, though maltyness could get to be too much after a few. Still, I'd drink this again.

scooter231, Jul 25, 2005
Photo of mfnmbvp
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Another new beer to me from Victory Brewing Co., acquired as part of a mixed six pack at the local beer store. Expectations are about moderate, given the style and the brewery.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours about one finger of thin soapy off-white head that dissipates rather quickly. Body color is a beautiful burnt copper with stunning clarity. Very nice.

S - Smell is pretty light, but nice. Subdued nutty roasted malt character, toasted grains, and some brown bread.

T - Taste follows the nose: nutty malt, toasted grain, hint of corn, wet paperboard, and some metallic well water presence. Maltiness belongs to the Munich malts, I think.

M - Feel is clean, smooth, and malty with a somewhat metallic well watery finish. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a solid, if slightly above average representation of the style by Victory. Crisp and light with a rewarding, moderate 5.60% abv. Definitely makes for a nice fall / winter warmer. Recommended.

Victory Festbier ---4/5.

mfnmbvp, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of LaLaSnite
3.68/5  rDev 0%

LaLaSnite, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a rich copper, with a slight off white head.
the aroma is clean, malty, but not much to it.
the flavor malty, clean, hint of hop spice, finishes clean.
thie is a good beer, but not as good as i would expect form victory. this beer is worth a try for sure.

plaztikjezuz, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of halo21
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:Enjoyed in a Duvel tulip, this marzen is a solid glowing orange, with a white thin head, that left beautiful lacing all the way down.

Smell:Doughy and a little toasted malt; with a little bit of hops and yeast esters at the end.

Taste:Toasted malt sweetness up front, with herbal hops in the middle, and a drying coating sweetness back on the end. The flavors come full circle leaving you wanting to take another sip.

Mouthfeel:Solid medium bodied, with a nice creaminess that I love in Oktoberfests

Drinkability/Palitability: High, which is what this style really needs.

Notes: Solid all around; toasted malt sweetness, creamy mouthfeel, and high drinkability. I'm going to miss this seasons Oktoberfests come winter.

halo21, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of taez555
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a reddish amber brown body with a white head.

Nose is very clean with mostly just a fresh dough-like smell, some caramel and a simple lager smell.

Taste is medium bodied with a rich bready malt. A surprisingly large bitterness comes up about half way through and fades by the end leaving little in the finish. Caramel, some toasted grain and a tad bit chewy. Really very simple but big and tasty.

It's funny how one of the few true american octoberfests is called a festbier. Anyway, a nice example of an octoberfest, very true to the german style. One of the best american octoberfests out there.

taez555, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of Foxman
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a flashy ambery gold, crystal clear and flitting highlights about. A finger of pithy white head settles quickly to spring-fed islets of foam. Mere pinpricks of lacing punctuate the inner surface of the glass.

The aroma delivers a quick, basic tenet of lightly toasted autumnal malt, along with an earthy noble hops ambience that promptly whispers away.

The first taste carries a light film of breezy malt sweetness, developing into a rather sparse melange of flinty fruitiness and smooth rondelles of earthen hops. The finish fades to a strain of baked pretzel doughiness and noble hops dryness. It actually comes across as unexpectedly light and airy, and might not be the very best credit to the style, but it delivers something worthwhile.

Between light and medium bodied, it physically has a bit more spine than the flavor it strives to deliver. A classical lager dryness lingers glowingly in the mouth.

As happens at times, the rather simple and thin flavor goes a long way toward making this quite quaffable. It’s utterly inoffensive, and pretty much unremarkable as well. Still, it’s well better than just average, and it absolutely qualifies as satisfying. It’s not likely to stand up well to much but the more mild food dishes, but as a standalone session beer it would be nicely recommended. You can’t be amazed by every beer you try, but this one impresses just enough to make it desirable.

Foxman, Oct 22, 2005
Photo of BlackBearForge
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, I've been waiting for Victory Festbier ever since Victory arrived here back in the Spring. Bright orange tinted amber, very clear with a small fizzy cream colored head, quite nice looking in the glass.

The aroma is softly pungent, much like a pilsner with a toasted malty sweetness.

Crisp and clean with a softly sweet maltiness, toasted and somewhat biscuity in character and niceley balanced with a mild floral hoppiness. In other words a quintessential easy drinking amber Festbier!

The mouthfeel is medium light, nicelty slick across the palate with just enough carbonation to help keep things crisp.

I love hoppy beers but Fall with it's advent of malty Oktoberfest style beers is my favorite season. Victory Festbier will definitely be one of my mainstay Festbiers this year.

BlackBearForge, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of sommersb
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 10-22-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Mug
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

Clear and bright copper beer topped by a healthy off-white head. Very good retention and a fair level of lacing. Lots of carbonation is seen streaming in the glass.

Aromas are rich and malty, with sweet caramel and bready notes. The taste starts off with the malty sweet flavors as noted in the nose, and then features earthy hop bitterness and roasted grains. The bitterness seems a bit high to me for the style.

Medium bodied and a feel of medium to high carbonation. The finish is balanced between the caramel malts and hop bitterness. Overall I liked this Oktoberfest, but would prefer a bit less hop profile.

sommersb, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of lpayette
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear, medium copper with a very small white head.

Smells- not too strong on anything, but mostly malty. Flowery notes come through too along with some alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel- again mostly malty - perhaps caramel to be more specific. No surprise there. Herbal tastes come through as well. Moutfeel is pilsner-like in carbonation. It has that tingly feeling. Ends grainy.

Drinks easy like a good lager does.

lpayette, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of shirfan
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper-orange with a thin but sticky cream-colored head.
Aroma is a bit weak, only giving away a vague bicuity malt.

Taste is medium-bodied, clean bready malts predominate. Light on hops; just a hint of bitterness before an almost soda pop finish.

Carbonation is a little high for an otherwise smooth mouthfeel.

A good beer, but not in the stratosphere like most of Victory's offerings.

shirfan, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark color nearing copper. Decent glow. Head is minimal. Little bubbly clusters. Also, mild lacing.

S-Standarn Oktoberfest aromas. Caramel, dark baked bread, barley and an elegant Noble hop whiff. The hops are fairly noticeable which is definitely a plus.

T-You getting all the toast and caramel and grains, but you are also awarded with a significant grassy hop finish that lingers respectably. One of the better overall Oktoberfest beer flavors I have stumbled upon.

M-Medium bodied with zippy carbonation and a creamy feel. Light bitterness and dryness. Sessionable.

O/D-One of the better takes on a style I don't love. Enjoyed the hop intensity. Another solid Victory brew.

VelvetExtract, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of JasonL02
3.68/5  rDev 0%

JasonL02, Sep 14, 2014
Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,594 ratings.