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Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
FestbierFestbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

736 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 736
Hads: 1,715
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 32
Gots: 159 | 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: 736 | Hads: 1,715
Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (990 characters)

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

Pours a clear amber that has a brownish/orange hue to it. Crème head. This beer just looks good. Nose has some leafy character to it. Just earthy overall. Flavor is vibrant and full. Nice deeper leaf tone to it. Very, very minor roasted thing going on. Leaves what I think is an inky aftertaste. Feel has a very good level of carbonation to it and the liquid is good. Overall a good marzen. Probably a bit too deep to make a session out of it, but would probably pair very well with food. (489 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.37/5  rDev -10.4%
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 (410 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
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. (329 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Copper amber with an orange glow to it leaves a nice sized cream vanilla colored head with sufficient lacing left after the foam wains away. Aroma: Slight floral hop note lingers in there but more importantly a toasted malt character that is possibly the most delicate and pleasant from an Oktoberfest bier to this point mildly sweet Bavarian malts a blended so nicely here. Tase: Defines a well balanced beer, not tame or muted just made in an accurate approach toward the Oktoberfest or Marzen style that is consumed by the liter in Munich every year rolling syrup like malt sweetness with toasted nuts representing as the backbone of delicious tasty brew from Victory. Mouthfeel: Not watery but medium to light bodied has a slightly sticky texture that glides well down the palate. Drinkabilty: Must surely be the most drinkable example of an American made Ofest to date, wow just awesome beer everyone needs to sample this beer then go out and buy a case like I am going to. (990 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent start to the head with great ring lace. Very clear and lighter than I'd expect.

Overall, strong amber malt (crystal?) smells like a marzen should be.

The taste matches the aroma--malty, smooth and milky. Light hop gives some balance. Good body, low carbonation.

Overall, a nice entry into the marzen world. (317 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy, bubbling, humdinger head; a perfect darkish amber color. Aroma: fresh, clean, floral, nuts, buttery and sweet, vanilla, bananas, soft spices. Little hops, heavy with malt. Incredibly sweet on the tongue, long and lovely finish. A tasty sizzle on the palate, very flavorful, and an unusually characterful lager. One of the more subtle, but satisfying Oktoberfests I've ever enjoyed. (389 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 12/11/2012. Pours lightly hazy orange copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of pear, apple, caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, earth, and herbal. Nice aromas with good balance and decent strength. Taste of big pear, toast, caramel, biscuit, toffee, apple, earth, herbal, and light nuttiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, light fruit, earth, and herbal on the finish for a short bit. Nice balance and robustness of flavors; with no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Oktoberfest lager. Nicely robust with good flavor balance; extremely smooth to drink. Enjoyed this. (935 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz Undated bottle served in Peroni glass.

Clear copper with a creamy tan head. The head has decent retention but leaves little lacing.

Good malty aroma with a matching flavor! Although I thought the flavor was better than the nose. Sweet malt flavor with enough hops to produce a balance sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel is OK, but more carbonation seemed desirable,

A marzen that is a bit above average. (407 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Enjoy by Jan. 13, '08:

Pours orange/amber with plenty of clarity and a half-inch off-white head that soon becomes a slowly vanishing thin patch. Minimal lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of light caramel with a slightly nutty/earthy spice background.

The taste is of brown sugar, caramel and bready notes. Slightly nutty. Subtle hop spice balances out some of the sweetness. A hint of vanilla passes through as it warms. Something slightly burnt about it. Pretty clean finish. Medium-bodied.

Decent...The slightly burnt edges irks me a bit, but overall it's decent enough to put in the yearly line-up of O-fests. (624 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this beer is the #32 Märzen / Oktoberfest on the beeradvocate.com best of styles list, poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

Beer is dark amber with a mild haze, lazy head, low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly nutty and mildly sweet, nice.

Beer is medium in body and sweet, nice finish, mildly bitter, really drinkable, good mouthfeel. I enjoyed it and would have it again, the munich malt comes through nice on the finish and midpalate. (489 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear very dark copper in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense beige head that reduces to a medium sized thin patch and a very thin ring around the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel and toasted malts.

T: Lots of real malty flavors to the taste of this beer - toasted and caramel malts with a fair amount of sweetness. There is a touch of grassy hop bitterness in the finish and just a touch of spices.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and clean with some very light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Enjoyable and very easy to drink - there is a nice balance between the malty sweetness and hop bitterness. (770 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a nice one finger head. Decent head retention and lacing.

S: Lots of malt and caramel. Also get a breadiness, as well as some toffee and maple.

T: Sweeter than expected, mainly due to the toffee/maple/caramel combination. There is also a honey flavor mixed in. There is a nuttyness as well.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall a pretty good beer, one of the better Oktoberfests I have had. (444 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Fresh 2011 bottling.

A: Clear orange/copper colored body with a creamy, slightly off-white head. A moderate retention cap sticks around the entire time; however in traditional lager nature no real lace sticks around.

S: Sweet caramel, allspice, brown sugar, candy apple, toasted malts and some cereal. It does smell good and there are a lot of elements coming through but the style doesn't really allow for an overly aromatic nose.

T: Sweet dark grains, toasted malts, touches of honey and spice come through and last into mid-palate. A touch of floral hops and caramel are in the finish, with almost a quenching quality to the beer. It's extremely good and very flavorful, especially for a style some would argue is lacking in terms of flavor.

M: Bubbly and lively carbonation but not overly so giving it a medium body. It's very crisp and clean with a semi-dry finish.

In all honesty, this is one of the best Oktoberfests I've tasted. It has much more flavor than a majority of the American brewed (and even some German brewed) ones, with no off flavors. Easily one beer I will be stocking the fridge full of this fall. (1,177 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (590 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale amber with 1/4" of bubbly head that fades to a thin lacing. Rich, caramel malt notes dominate the nose. Taste is deep, toasty malts with a rich, caramel follow through. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good deal of carbonation.

Overall not a bad marzen. The toastiness is a little more than you'll get from most marzens, and it's not as rich as most. A good beer though. (394 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber in color with a thick 2" tan head. Carbonation levels seemed a little low, but some minor lacing did develop. The aroma is of caramel and a hint of roasted nut. The flavor is simple yet pleasing as malt, caramel, mild bitterness, and a touch of nut were well balanced. This isn't an overpowering oktoberfest like some others.

The mouthfeel was smooth at the start, and had a slightly dry and smooth finish. The caramel tones lasted briefly on the tongue after swallowing. Very drinakble and quite enjoyable. (522 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (2,045 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
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... (572 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A two finger off white somewhat yellow head is produced. with a real nice orange almost deep red amber body. No lacing and a simple puck, but the body color is very impressive.

Nose has a slight sticky banana and brown sugar, but some strange sticky yeast rankness. Small but noticeable, fairly alright but nothing too mind bending or heavily impressive.

Palate hits with a good richness and body. Malt sweetness balances with some nice warm caramel, and sticky toffee. Finish almost light coffee roast bitter, with lots of caramel coating action. Some banana estery qualities really seem to come out also on the aftertaste, with some warming tobacco like notes.

Overall pretty impressed and a solid Marzen to be had, with a lot of flavor. (791 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours orange with a small white head, average retention.

S: Strong malt, light caramel, sweet.

T: Strong caramel and cereal malt flavours. Sweet, almost a pastry flavour. Hops are noble and give a light grassy and herbal feel, all around a great taste.

M: Carbonation is quite light, you could drink a lot of these, creamy, soft.

D: This is a really good marzen, my first of the season, even though it is only August. I would not hesitate to have this again, this is one of the best Oktoberfests I've ever had. (543 characters)

Photo of ejimhof
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- light amber color not much head or lacing

Smell-malts are the main smell

Taste-Sweet and malty just like an Octoberfest should taste like

Mouthfeel- very good smooth and light

Overall- I always like this beer not sure what took so long to review but definitely one of the best Octoberfests out there (315 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle just a few days past best by date

A: Bright, clear copper with orange/brown tint. Cream/off white head that is thin and quickly dissipates to a film with little lacing
S: Mild mix of sweet from malt, caramel, etc and a little bitter. Nice, but not overpowering.
T: Medium body, very mild well balanced flavors (sweet and bitter). Toasted malt is most pronounced flavor with toffee, caramel flavors and a semi dry finish with some hop bitterness. Medium carbonation.

Overall, very easy to drink. Flavors are very mild, but not in a bad way. Very smooth and light in the mouth. Nothing bold going on here, but very good, probably my favorite of this style I had this year. (685 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I nead a break from packing. How about a marzen? On to the beer:

A low forming semi-fuzzy looking head forms on top of this brilliant amber orange colored beer. Lots of bubbles are racing through the clean body. If only the heead retention were better. The nose brings out a modest maltiness. The malt reminds me of a pumpkin aroma, a brush of husky malt and hay.

This is a pleasant tastng O-fest. The maltiness is there, providing big doughy flavors and a reminder of pumpkin. Lighly whipped with caramel and nutmeg notes. There's a little kick of alcohol that I find as the beer dries. It's a highly carbonated beer, which can work depending on style, here it is pushing the limits. The body weight is alright, and it drinks well.

Not all O-fest beers are created equal, and Victory Fstbier is one of the better domestic examples I've had. This is one to try during the fall. (881 characters)

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 736 ratings.