1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Festbier - Victory Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,296 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1296
Reviews: 696
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%

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
Ratings: 1,296 | Reviews: 696 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rifugium


3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at ? (possibly Johnny Brenda's)

A clear amber beer with a patchy layer of white head. Biscuity aroma, caramel malts. More of the same in the taste--it's a märzen, basically--nutty, bready, with a caramel sweetness, and some light floral hoppiness for a good balance. Medium-bodied and tasty. Easily drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2011 00:54:55 | More by Rifugium
Photo of JAXSON


4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Amber gold with a white head. Nose is lightly suggestive of grainy malt and vague spices. Subdued and difficult to pin down given the stylt and the type of glass it was served in. Mouth is fresh with a lightly sweet, grainy expression. Pumpkin sugars? A super fresh, balanced and enjoyable Oktoberfest, enjoyed at the source.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2011 03:36:50 | More by JAXSON
Photo of MONKandTUCK


4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- poured on draught into the proprietary victory .3l glass. It's clearly a lager, with its thick full body holding still in the glass. It's an Amber hue, with a dark note similar to hardwood.

A- malty, nutty, sweet, crisp. Nothing about this beer is hop-forward, but I detect a nice spiciness which balances the bready malt nose very well.

T- This is the nutty and toasted flavors they describe in malts. There's definitely a reminder of sweetbread and cracker. This caramel notes are restrained. It's a delicious beer when the flavor peaks, but it just doesn't hold long enough. Really, it feels a tad thin.

The finish is nice; there's clearly a lot going on. My only complaint is that it has the classic lager bite.

My main complaint, and I think it's substantial, this beer is a lot thinner than I'd like it to be. I know it's not a Bock, but it's as robust as a session lager should be. Sometimes storage causes the beer to have a more noticeable dryness. I think it's great they provide a clean and clear beer, but some of the malt chewiness I was expecting is sadly left to be desired for.

M- It's a bit thin, almost like a pale lager. Otherwise, it's a very drinkable beer.

O- I could easily make this my go-to beer, and regret that the mass-produced stuff can't be on this beer's level. It's very drinkable: the more you drink of it, the more it grows on you. Still, it's clearly missing something; just a little more girth to the body and Victory has a perfect beer!

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2011 19:20:21 | More by MONKandTUCK
Photo of asabreed

New York

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Ale House in Vestal. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice copper color with good bubbles and a slightly off-white lingering head in raindrop lacing but no real sheets.

Smell: A good malt body with hints of honey, caramel, earthiness, maple, an a bit of citrus hops to round it out.

Taste: A very solid brew for the fall, with enough nice complexity from the malt flavors, a clean yet mildly sweet malt body contending with the finishing milder citrus hops. I like the maple and honey aspect here, as it gives off the sweetness nicely, but at the same time, the finishing hops are well-balanced to keep things highly drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a moderate creaminess.

Drinkability: Another solid brew from Victory. One I will be seeking out in the future during the season.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2010 22:07:08 | More by asabreed
Photo of TapTitan


4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was going to grab a keg of Sam's Octoberfest but they were out and this is I was recommended, good choice! Copper color with an amazing head, extremely flavorful October beer that had a wonderful malty finish, bravo to Victory on this amazing October beer which made me come back for multiple rounds!

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2010 12:47:37 | More by TapTitan
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Meridian Pint. This is...well...it's a Marzen. It's fine. Don't Marzen's pretty much all taste the same (with the exception of the Kaiser, which I had in the same tasting). What...fairly highly carbonated, full caramel malt flavors with very subtle hops, nice fruity caramel nose, orange-amber color. Tastes like fall. Definitely works, although it's not a style that generally bowls me over.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2010 22:15:35 | More by soupyman10
Photo of MikeRa


3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

A: This beer has a real deep amber color with a 1" head
S: It has a unique malt smell
T: It has a unique tast of fresh bread, honey, clover, with a real nice noble hops finish. Light and enjoyable malty lager
M: The beer goes down real smooth
D: This is one of the better Octoberfest beers that I've had, and I will drink this again

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2010 15:16:34 | More by MikeRa
Photo of jwhancher


4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stopped by the brewpub for lunch. Had one of these at the bar then got a growler filled.

A: Crystal clear amber in color. Nice carbonation rising throughout. Very nice off-white head after a vigorous pour. Looks great.

S: Smells bready & malty, maybe a little doughy. Malts give a nice sweet aroma.

T: Sweet malts that provide abundant flavors. Nutty (almost walnut like), bready, dough-like, a tad toasty, maybe some slight fruit notes.

M: Nice velvety, medium bodied beer. Very smooth. Has a somewhat creamy texture to it.

D: A very solid, drinkable beer. I like this one in the fall. Not sure if I could drink it year round, but one I would certainly turn to when given the option.

Serving type: growler

09-16-2010 00:48:15 | More by jwhancher
Photo of Vdubb86


4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tall pokal glass

Got this one at The Firkin in Libertyville, IL

Pours orange with a nice white head of foam that slowly fades. The aroma is of citrus and orange zest along with caramel malts. The taste is of German malt and slight German hop taste on the back of the tongue. There is also taste of white grapes and orange. There is a medium body to it with appropriate carbonation. I could seriously sit and drink this all day. I'm thinking that this maybe one of my favorite Oktoberfests out there, but I wonder if that is due to the fact that it's on tap and not out of the bottle. Either way if you have the means I highly recommend it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2010 17:00:29 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of zoso1967


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served up a breathtaking deep copper amber that is crystal clear. The head is slightly off-white and looks superb with tightly packed, shiny bubbles that stick around forever and leave near perfect lace. If this beer tastes nearly as good as it looks I will be most happy.

The aroma is classic Oktoberfest with plenty of toasty brown sugar malt. Some toffee notes and a very clean maltyness beg me to take a sip.

The flavor picks up where the aroma left off, but with perhaps a bit more breadyness. It is malty with plenty of toasted character and some nice toffee and brown sugar color to the flavor. Once again it is very clean with some caramel and herbal hops that creep in towards the finish. If there is one thing that detracts from this beer is that though all the desired flavors are there, many of them seem a little flat.

The mouthfeel is on medium to full with a slight chewiness and a nice slick finish. Caramel and hops linger on the palate before the next sip.

Somewhat filling, but nicely drinkable. I could definitely put back a couple more of these with the wonderful soft pretzels they have here at the brewery. A very solid domestically brewed Marzen.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2010 13:47:17 | More by zoso1967
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 08/30/10 notes. Had on tap at Fire Works in Arlington, VA.

a - Pours an amber color with very light carbonation and an inch of white head.

s - Smells of sweet biscuits, caramel malts, bready malts, and a hint of spice.

t - Tastes of bready and caramel malts mostly. Some grain or wheat as well.

m - Medium bodya and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent beer. Mostly bready and caramel malts; would drink again but probably wouldn't seek out.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2010 18:24:02 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Ezekiel81923


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a keg of this for a Halloween party I had last night. This was my first go around with festbier so I was really really hoping it'd be good for the price of the keg.

Appearance: A dark copper/auburn color with two fingers of off-white head. The foam has staying power, with some amount constantly sitting on top of the beer the whole time I drank it. Active carbonation in this beer.

Smell: Some floral hoppiness with some malt sweetness and some honey aroma. The apparent honey aroma was unexpected but appreciated.

Taste: Bready caramel malt flavor up front followed by the floral hops giving it a nice balancing bitterness. It finishes with sweet caramel malts again and a lingering hop bitterness. I still think a honey flavor lends to the sweetness of the malts, it's definitely there.

Mouthfeel: Some slick hop oils on the tongue, some lingering sweetness, active carbonation on the tongue. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: High. Some of the keg is still left, but not because it filled us up. This was a more sessionable Octoberfest than I had expected. Enjoyed this one.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2009 18:12:33 | More by Ezekiel81923
Photo of Kadonny


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into a mug.

A: A darker copper orange color with a one finger off white head. Very carbonated and nice lacing.

S: Grains, bready sweetness and floral hops.

T: Bready and biscuit malts with caramel flavors emerging first. From there the grainy, grassy, leafy, floral hops pound through with nice bitterness, caramel malt finishes with the hops sticking to leave a nice bitterness to mix with the sweetness. Nice balance for an Oktoberfest, hoppy enough to make it interesting. Nice beer.

M: Medium sticky and prickly. No alcohol evident.

D: High, real nice beer to snuggle with on a crisp autumn day.

Overall a nice Ofest that I would drink anytime. Well done.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2009 20:37:32 | More by Kadonny
Photo of BARFLYB


3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single bottle into a East End pint glass. Haven't had this one yet, strangely.

Victory Festbier pours out a bright copper/orange color with a very light brown mixed in. The liquid does not look so thin which bodes well. A two finger head rose up with a vanilla white head & fluffiness, some minor bubbles within. A cap stays on the surface throughout, no lacing though.

The smell is a mix between a lager & marzen. It's not huge but when your nose gets near the glass some sparks fly. Festbier is malt driven and that's noticed through fresh baked bread and some sweet sense. This has a somewhat more earthy scent than most in this style from a different form of using the hops. The little green cones don't give off normal hop scents(Tropical fruit, pine, citrus) but more of a down to earth smell.

The taste is familiar for a oktoberfest and doesn't really offer anything new, IMO a marzen is a marzen, at least American versions. Festbier gives off sweet malt first, than a mix of light hops, malts and grain, after that the sweet malt comes back, in that order. The malt is big, the hops are light and the mix makes this a enjoyable and familiar drink. Some bubblegum, cotton candy with some warming on the end.

Fest has a decent enough feel, when I let some sit on the tounge some fizz came off. I am used to these beers being pretty dead but this one shows some life. Not a lot of carb but enough to be felt. Fest is a very small step up from light bodied and could go down the hatch with ease, and pretty quick mind you. The malt base really smooths things over making this very approachable.

I enjoyed this, although I pretty much knew what I was getting into. Festy is a bit different if only for the way the hops gently come out to play. In most Marzens I really only get big malt globs. I would gladly enjoy a sixer of this in a sitting with the low ABV, but 1/2 way through I probably would be looking for a new style to tackle. I've yet to find a oktoberfest that could hold my interest, either way this is good for a go.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2009 23:18:26 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Kegatron


3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Resurrection Ale House (Philadelphia, PA) on 10/3/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with thin covering of eggshell-white head. Fizzy retention around the edges, with some thin film in the middle, leaving back minimal lacing. The aroma has a deep sweet tang to it of bread and citrus, along with plenty of festive hoppy spicing and earthy undertones. This smells like Fall in a glass.

The taste is very bready in the mouth, but isn't coming off as overly sweet. Leafy and spicy Noble hop character really makes this pop in the mouth. Nice balance overall. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a prickly and crisp feel to the carbonation, which fills the mouth up nicely.

Just a solid take on an O-Fest by Victory. Of all the times I've had this in the bottle over the last few years, I believe that this was the first time that I've had it on draft. I'm glad that I did.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2009 12:10:54 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour from Deciccos in Ardsley, NY
Pours clear medium amber, w/ a slight golden hue. Typical khaki head, moderate retention and then a film, collar and upon a moderate swirl, the appearance ofminor spots of lace. Dull malty nose. Pretty typical O'fest brew, the expected smooth malt, the expected clean bready notes, the expected easy to drink quality. Never been my favorite style, on the dull side IMHO. This one fit my expectations. Works in a marinade if you have more of this type of brew sitting around and you are not real interested in drinking more of it...

Serving type: growler

09-23-2009 21:59:55 | More by Billolick
Photo of JamesS


3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice light copper color with a bit of head and no lacing. Nice clean malty scent, but not very deep or strong. Nice amber ale flavor, but nothing deep or fall-like that an oktoberfest should have. Goes down fine. This would make a slightly above average amber ale, but as far as the deeper complexities that an oktoberfest should have, it just wasn't quite there. Not a bad brew, just not a great marzen.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2009 14:12:51 | More by JamesS
Photo of HalfFull


3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2009 23:01:44 | More by HalfFull
Photo of Pencible


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was drunk on-tap from a red plastic cup, so I'm not exactly sure what it looked like. It smelled like lemon hops and hearty wheat with some earthy barley and hints of sweet vanilla. It tasted like mild but zesty lemon hops with creamy vanilla and barley malt. It was oily with a bit of carbonation, and had a semi-sweet aftertaste. Overall this was more like a lager than an ale, but seemed like a fitting traditional Oktoberfest. It had a clean and enjoyable taste, good body, and was definitely easy to drink. Victory!

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2008 17:11:30 | More by Pencible
Photo of aquatonex

New York

3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2008 02:13:51 | More by aquatonex
Photo of pershan


3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a clear, deep amber with a thin white head into a pint glass. The aroma was of sweet caramel malt, and not much else. The taste was of sweet malt, with caramel undertones and a very subdued hop profile. Nice carbonation and lacing. Seems to be a fairly accurate representation of the festbier style.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2008 18:26:45 | More by pershan
Photo of sholland119


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a thin white head. No real lacing and a bit of retention.

Smells crisply malty, with a bready toasted grain aroma.

Taste is light and clean. A bit of malt with some hoppy zing in the finish. Nice.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light with moderate carbonation.

A nicely drinkable OKtoberfest. Not as dark and complex as the best of the style but not nearly as bland as most seem to be these days.


Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2008 17:52:12 | More by sholland119
Photo of PittBeerGirl


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Brew is pretty much what you would expect a good o-fest to look like. Clear nutty brown body with some bubbles that can be seen rising to the top. Head pours with about 2 fingers and is slightly off-white. fades to 1 finger and retains well from there. Leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

S- Nose is a great mix of soft piny hops and caramel/German malt. Nice.

T- Taste is very similar to the smell. Mild flavor upfront but caramel malt is defiantly the main character along with a mild German (can't put my finger on what type) malt. The finish adds a faint touch of piny hop flavor to the initial flavors but is very clean. Nothing lingers on the palate.

M- Medium carbonation and a nice, lightweight O-fest body.

D- This is a nice O-fest. I bought this last year but made bread with it rather than drinking it (good bread too). It has a nice hop character to it and had the nice caramel malt flavor that I like. Good, very drinkable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2008 01:50:40 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of TheMistler

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a lighter-than-expected orange-y brown, with a bright "autumn glow," so far as my friend was concerned. Though I myself probably wouldn't go that far, it is a pleasant looking brew. Displaying a good amount of carbonation, with an initial big-bubbled head that dissipated fairly quickly.

A hoppier nose than I expected, with some tang, and the malt foundation also does not come across as particularly sweet. Nuts, grains, some grass.

Nuts and grains in the taste, alongside a hint of caramel. A bit of spicy earthiness / grassiness. A well-balanced flavor. Finishes dry, and here arose my area of concern. The nutty taste and exceptionally dry finish left my palate with the thick impression of having just eaten unsalted nuts. Not great, and a bit surprising, because I otherwise found the Festbier to be medium-bodied and nicely carbonated, crisp and refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2008 04:18:29 | More by TheMistler
Photo of Kolsch


4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: On tap at home.

Appearance:very inviting dark amber with 1 inch head that dwindles to a wisp

Smell: malt and light hop

Taste: exceptional taste! Great balance of malt and hop produces a flavorful but not too sweet lager. I like marzen's when they are not malt heavy and this fits the bill.

Note: when I first had this on my tap system, I was not too impressed at all. But after having it on a couple of weeks now, this has really grown on me and is something I will have again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2008 11:35:15 | More by Kolsch
Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,296 ratings.