Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
FestbierFestbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,684 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,684
Reviews: 733
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 27
Gots: 139 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Festbier Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,684 | Reviews: 733
Photo of praufs01
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Clear copper color with a creamy off-white head.

Aroma - Sour dough bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary.

Mouthfeel - Moderate small bubble carbonation. Clean, but not thin.

Taste - Bready tasting with caramel and bitter orange.

Overall - the taste experience is one dimensional form start to finish. A good brew that is very sessionable.

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone IRS tulip. Gorgeous amber color and a frothy, off-white 2 fingers of head. Smells of sweet malt, earthy grain, a roasted nut quality, light hop scent. Up front a light fruity sweetness, followed by a blast of nuttiness. Lots of barley/undefined grains. Extremely light hop bitterness on the finish. Dry. Very creamy mouthfeel. Little to no prickly bubbles. Just smooth, easy drinking. Great Marzen.

Photo of wailingwench
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Eye Candy: Dark transparent copper, pours with a fizzy white 1 finger head.

Aroma: Toasted malt character. Slight nuttiness. Clean and balanced.

Tongueland: Well balanced beer, toasted malts that finish with a nutty finish. Light to medium m/f.

Bender Factor: Adheres to the O-fest style.Perfect to guidelines. Similar to Otter Creek without the metallic afttertaste.

Photo of jancona
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the taps at the Victory brewpub - I'm not a fan of most American marzen beers - they tend to be too hoppy and too close to the ambiguous world of the apa. This beer is spot on. Sweet bread, fresh apples, and caramel, with a touch of hops at the end. Definitely in the realm of Ayinger or Hacker Pschorr. Great with a big meal!

Photo of rx-beer
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 fl oz bottle poured into a 0.5L dimpled stein

A -Clear Orange amber with about two inches of cream-colored head. Light carbonation..Head fades to a nice, slim ribbon. Patchy lacing sticks beautifully to the dimpled glass.

S - Toasty breadiness with slight dash of hops

T - Malty, toasty, biscuity with a touch of spice and a hint of caramel (very light on the sweetness). Light bitterness from the hops comes out for a crisp finish.

M - Minimal carbonation for this medium-bodied beer. Some tingling accompanies the finish.

O - Very enjoyable beer. I would definitely have this beer again - glad I got two of them...and I'll likely be going back for more. Although I prefer the caramel sweetness from Samuel Adams' Octoberfest, I still think this is a pretty great beer. Hell, doesn't need to be one or the other - I'll have both!

Photo of bierman2000
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A better Oktoberfest beer, very malty and somewhat dry. There is a slight hop character. Very refreshing and a great beer to drink with almost any food. It is not overpowering and leads to being drank with ease and in copious amounts. Worth seeking out on tap as it is much better than the bottle version.

Photo of Misfit138
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Nice deep amber color with two finger head

S- Soft scent of caramel malt, not much else

T- Very malty. Smooth. Not much bitterness to it at all.

M- Fairly heavy with mild carbonation

D- My initial reaction to this beer is that it reminds me of Fat Tire. I like it but it probably isn't my favorite octoberfest beer. It is an enjoyable beer and pretty easy drinking.

Photo of TopherBreski
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I keep finding new beers from this brewery and loving them! Red and caramel with a small amount of foam that sticks around. The taste is unique. It's part Oktoberfest part pale ale with its bitter hoppy aftertaste. But it is really sweet and pretty good. If you are looking for the traditional Oktoberfest beer, it's not that but I like it. I don't even like Pale ales except for Victory's.

Photo of fattyre
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium orange color with a moderate dissipating tan head. The smell is a pleasant roastiness with a faint background hoppy aroma. The taste/mouthfeel is very slightly roasted maltiness with a mild hopiness which gives it a crisp clean finish. A drinkable clean octoberfest, while not the best it is very drinkable.

Photo of JDK
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very nice clear amber color with about 1/2" of head that quickly diminished.
Very light lacing which didn't hang on very long
Nice taste but has just a bit too much hop after taste for me.
Good Oktoberfest beer but I like others like Summit, SA better

Photo of Terp96
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my annual buys around this time of year. For the record, I think it was better last year.

Pours a bright amber into the glass with minimal head. The beer is clean and pretty highly carbonated which I thought was strange.

Smell is decent for the style. Typically malty but not over powering. I couldn't smell too much of the hop profile.

Taste is a little sweeter than I expected. The sweet malted backbone soon gives way to a surprisingly strong hop presence. As a hophead, this was the best part.

Mouthfeel was decent as well. A little sweet and thick for my liking. Bitterness in the end allows the beer to linger a little longer and that helps.

Overall, a decent attempt at an Octoberfest Marzen. I liked the variation of the theme with the hop presence but I think it lends itself to more criticism from the style police. It is still pretty drinkable but not as much as a Hacker-Pschorr or Paulaner. I will go back for this one.

Photo of RussBecker1
2.49/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a somewhat cloudy orange. Much more colorful than a number of other marzens I have had. It is also a good deal lighter, and reflects light in a pretty fashion. Maybe a 1-2 finger white head that was decently thicker than I expected. Little to no lacing to be had however.

S-Not the most appealing smell. The malts are the most apparent, but they appear to be roasted slightly too much, as the caramel and toffee flavorings are too burnt for my taste. There are hints of light fruit (something muted like a banana although that is not quite it).

M-Nothing too special. Carbonated enough to make it easy to drink, but it neither enhances nor detracts from the experience.

T-Very bland for a marzen. As to be expected, European marzens have ten time the flavor (German/Austrian), but even for an American style marzen, this fest beer did not make much of an impression. The tastes did not mix, and it was surprisingly bitter for a beer of this style. As expected, the malts were too smokey which left an undesirable taste.

O-Had it not been described as an oktoberfest then I may have seen this beer differently, but overall I will avoid festbeer in the future

Photo of Greenlabel
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a very fresh 6-pack at Julio's Liquors in Westboro, MA in the first week that Octoberfests arrived on the scene.

This is a very solid but a bit short of exceptional Octoberfest. Pours an attractive amber color with reasonable head. According to the small print on the label side, this beer is "full bodied yet infinitely smooth" and "seductively malty with a kiss of the hops for balance." The brewer stated it well and I quite agree with that description. It's also described as an "Amber Lager" and this is probably a better category than the more common "Marzen" for this particular Octoberfest.

The 5.6% ABV does not assert itself in such a way as to be obvious. Not hard to enjoy more than one and I intend to do so. I didn't expect to be disappointed by a Victory product and I definitely wasn't with this one.

Photo of JackStraw22
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Beer pours a crystal clear amber body, very nice to look at. About an inch of off-white head. Retention wasn't great.

Smell: Nice nutty aroma, malty but not sweet. Slightly spicy.

Taste/feel: Clean malty taste at first. Crisp mouthfeel and a light clean bitterness. There's a big nutty/cheesey aftertaste that gets addictive the more I drink.

Good Oktoberfest beer, certainly worth a try.

Photo of barknee
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Updated on 11-1-08
I must say that I am certainly enjoying this years vintage of Festbier. Generous malts and a perfect hint of hops make for a brew that is massively enjoyable and delicious. The last time I imbibed unto this brew, last season actually, it was quite one dimensional and uninspiring. If you can find this at your local, pick it up and try it; I think youll like it. Rated as the number two "Oktoberfest" brew by the NY Times recently, blowing away the mass Germanic imports in a tasting competition.
For once I agree with the leftest SOB's at the NY Times. ;-0

Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer has a dark amber color with not much head. It tries to lace, but it doesn't last. Smells of floral hops and a bit of cardboard. Has some hoppy bitterness and malts. Finishes very dry with a tad bit of biscut flavor. Medium mouth feel with very light carbonation.

Overall not much of a beer. Seems to be missing something. Maybe some more maltiness.

Photo of everythingiszen
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Tasted more like an altbier to me than an Oktoberfest, but I love me an altbier. Not bad, not my favorite Oktoberfest either.

Photo of numenor1
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours light copper with decent enough head and some lacing. Smells a touch doughy with some soft caramel and hops. Upfront is a nice lightly toasty malt note that gives way to a nice mellow malt base. All balanced by an even hop bitterness, ends drying. Mouthfeel is damn near perfect for an O'fest, i think. Almost medium bodied with vibrant carbonation and a terrific creamyness without getting too heavy. Impeccable balance. Drinkability is good. Best O'Fest i've had this year, though I'll admit to only having tried 5 or so. Extra points to this one for not being overdone.

Photo of bahumutx
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copper color with about a one finger white head.

Smell: Bread dough leads the aroma with hints of caramel and hops.

Taste: Starts with a slight citrus taste and then moves right on to a doughy malt flavor. As the beer warms there is more malt presence and a caramel taste appears. There is also a slight sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could have a few of these in a sitting.

This is another good beer from Victory Brewing. Keep up the great work!!!

Photo of ibashmuck
2.2/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured little to no head on an amber body. Smells were very sweet, malty, maple syrup, caramel and a touch of floral. Sadly, those did not translate over to taste, which was dominated by a distinct unappealing dusty and skunkiness. Overpowers anything else in there. Also remarkably flat for the style.

I'm guessing that I got a bad bottle. I hope I did, as otherwise this is big disappointment.

Photo of Kolsch
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of MrStark
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is a clear orange amber with a small off white head that settled fairly quickly.

Smell is sweet caramel and toasted malts with a bit of earthiness to it.

Taste is a nice blend of sweet malts balanced with a floral/earthy hop bitterness. Pretty well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation that gives a little bite to the tongue. Fairly crisp finish.

Drinkability is pretty good. It goes down easy and is tasty, however not my favorite example of the style. Though I wouldn't mind having a few more and it would make a nice session beer.

Photo of CheezyBlaster
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid brownish-reddish heart with a 2 inch head.

Smell is toasty and dare I say floral?

Teeny tiny hops, malt is clearly the meaty backbone, not super sweet at all though. Toasted almonds, toast, caramel. Reminds me a bit of oatcakes -oatcakes are like a hearty kind of shortbready cookie with notes of honey. Might be the tinge of honey giving me that impression.

For me, this is a rock solid Marzen offering for the season. I started luke-warm on the offering, but am on my 3rd 6er. I really enjoy Southern Tier's Autumn Ale, but until someone gives me a better Oktoberfest spirited lager, this is the go to this season.

Photo of PA-hunter
4.6/5  rDev +25%

Poured bottle into glass. 5.6% abv

Appearance- Cloudy orange amber with a two finger slightly off white head that dissipates.

Smell- Lemon along with some fresh caramel malt and honey.

Taste- Rich caramel malt flavor. Toasted cracker tastes goes on to a mild bitterness as far as this style goes. A short and simple flavor profile but quite lively.

Mouthfeel- Medium-thin with great carbonation. Crisp.

Overall- A near perfect octoberfest in my opinion. So flavorful. The malt taste in this beer is great. Well done and a must try oktoberfest!

Photo of SaltofOH
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/5/14. BB 12/24/14.

A: Pours a dark amber w 1/2" off-white head. Fades to a tiny ring. Steady slight carbonation.

S: Sweet. Big on the roast. Slight yeasy/breadiness. Roasty, yeasty, and sweet. Smells like a brown ale.

T: Roasty, slightly tart. Not too sweet. Sweet/tart arrival, dry across mid-palate; tart flash, then bitter finish.

M: Mid-weight. Seems light for the style. Slick, lots of carbonation.

O: Of my 4 Marzen this year (GLBC, Paulaner, Sam Adams, Victory), this is my least favorite, by far.

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,684 ratings.