Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

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FestbierFestbier

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BA SCORE
85
very good

727 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 727
Hads: 1,685
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 27
Gots: 141 | 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
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Reviews: 727 | Hads: 1,685
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Stinkypuss
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle: An amber colored brew with a slight off white head.

Smells of caramel malt and sweet bread.

Flavor revolves around malt sweetness, but is not cloying at all. Caramel, Munich and a hint of Chocolate malt in the flavor profile. Subtle light herbal hopping.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth on the back end.

A middle of the road Octoberfest beer, easy to drink and always available in this area. Solid. (429 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)

Photo of tempest
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yeah, its a good fest beer. Its got a basic, mostly sweet taste of caramel malt with a bit of grassy/spicy hops at the end. The carbonation seems a touch low and I cant get any head or lacing. There's a slight burnt or heavy roasted note in the back of the flavor, like some black patent malt was used. I'd drink it, but I wouldn't really seek it again. (353 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (421 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber, light copper color with golden orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger off white head that quickly fades into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic thin rings of lacing throughout.

Sweet malty aroma with hints of brown sugar, cinnamon and subtle hops. There is also a very faint roasted malt presence that is very promising.

Surprisingly very full bodied and chewy, especially for the style with a lot of sweet malt and fall spices. Hints of cinnamon, brown sugar, biscuit, and that slight toasted malt flavor that the aroma alluded to. There is also a very subtle hop presence which provided an excellent balance of bitterness to the sweet malts and spice notes. An excellent example of an American interpretation of the style but I can't really see to many Germans liking it. Either way I highly recommend it. (856 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a copper toned amber with a decent white head that sticks around. Lots of sticky lacing tries it's best to cling.
Smell is of rich malt, a bit of sweet fruit, a touch of sour bread, along with a mild helping of hops for good measure.
Taste is a nice blend of the above making for a nice rendition of the style with just enough difference to make it a Victory beer.
Mouthfeel is malty sweet with some sours and bitters and a crispness on the tongue and palate.
Pretty enjoyable. (489 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the river road tavern.
Pours a deep golden amber color with a smallish off white head with minimal retention and lace. Smells of caramel and bread and a bit of toast with an earthy floral hop component to it. The flavor is bready pilsner malt with a bit of caramel and sweet sugary malt. A bit heavy on the hops for the style, lots of earthy herbal hops compete with an inadequate malt base. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and an earthy slick mouthfeel. Decent enough beer, but like a lot of American interpretations it just doesn't measure up to the German brewed versions. (602 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled due to the efforts of Lackenhauser and The Great Pumpkin BIF.

Pours a nice orange to amber colored beer with a nice tan head.

Smell is quite fragrant, strong scent of malt and fruitiness. Scents of grain and caramelized sugar with a hint of rye? Maybe not any rye in this but that is what it smells like to me.

Taste is semi dry and fruity at the beginning. Moderate sweetness and mild herbal hop flavor throughout the experience. A tasty mild beer here.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Very drinkable beer here. Tasty and mild this is easy to drink and is a fine everyday type of beer. (597 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, slightly hazed, orange-amber coloring with a slow cadence of carbonation bubbling and a thin, sparse, off-white filmy coating on the surface. Aromas of roasted malt, both nutty and richly sweet, with a bready backbone and some old world fruit highlights. Flavors are rich and thick, with a roasted backbone supporting fresh and sweet flavors of pumpkin, nuts, and a spice blend of nutmeg, cumin, and cinnamon. Very forward and bold on the palate. Sweetness has a touch of brown sugar going into the aftertaste, which is tangy sweet and only lightly roasty/toasty. Good transition of the flavors as you drink. The finish is rich and smooth, with a tangy, slightly lingering sweetness. Very flavorful and very easy to drink. The light body keeps the sweet, rich flavors from overpowering. (850 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (1,791 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a amber brown body with a thick creamy light tan head with a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The smell of light graham note is balanced with a honey malt smell that finishes with a faint hop hint.

T- This beer has a smooth nutty fresh malt flavor with a light toasted dry note. There is a green pine and noble hop finish with a slight mineral water hint. There is a pot caramel flavor that is soft with a slight tangy almost sweet note in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight slippery finish.

D- The flavor of this beer are good but a bit muted making it a little thin and not that exciting for a session beer. (701 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The lager is a copper colored wonder, crystal clear, with a decent fluffy head that retains well.

S: Sweet caramel malts dominate the nose.

T: The lager has a malty sweet flavor that has hints of biscuit and caramel. The grains are mixed very well, imparting just enough sweetness. The hops are practically nonexistent, which is good because the malts here are doing a very good job on their own.

M: The mouthfeel is a delicious sweet flavor that invites another sip.

D: Very drinkable, a well made Oktoberfestbier. (530 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/19/11
*From notes

A: Lovely blood orange-amber. A good pour yields a 1.5 finger frothy head and some really thick and chunky lacing.

S: A generous amount of nuttiness hits the nose here, which I find really appealing. The toasty malt mingles well with the nutty-earth quality, making for a solid bouquet.

T: First of all, it's not sweet - thank God. I like my O-Fest's crisp and dry, with some decent toast and a kiss, I mean a just a peck of hops. Luckily for me, all of the qualities I just mentioned describe this wonderful, easy drinking and delicious Märzen.

M: Compared to most in the Oktoberfest style, this is one well put together lager. It's not overly rich. Rather, the carbonation is a tad bubbly, making this something that's not only crisp, but packing solid substance.

O: Victory's Festbier is easily one of the top two or three American Märzen's I've had the pleasure of quaffing, and reminds me yet again of just how well Victory lagers. It's rustic in all the right ways, yet it's something I can return to again and again. Crazy, insanely drinkable. Buy it by the case.

Between this and Great Lakes Oktobefest, there's no need to look elsewhere for your next Märzen fix. (1,243 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boulevard in J'Town, PA had the Victory Festbier on tap. It poured a clear amber with decent frothy head and laced. The aroma included malt, barley, and some spiciness. The tase was powered by barley and malt....very grainy beer. The mouthfeel is ok, the taste leaves something to be desired. Over all it was ok,,,never been that big of a october Marzen fan. Certainly worth a try though. (388 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
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. (541 characters)

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

Review from 11/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber. Slight head dissipated slowly leaving light lacing. Grainy, light malt aroma. Caramel, malt, slightly sweet. A pleasant light malty ale. A straightforward, but unremarkable Marzen. (275 characters)

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 727 ratings.