Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
FestbierFestbier

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BA SCORE
85
very good

727 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 727
Hads: 1,684
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 7.45%
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: 1,684
Photo of gabe23
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep golden color with a sudsy white head. Nice retention with average lacing.

S - Bready malt, caramel sweetness, and earthy/herbal hops. Just as a Marzen should smell.

T - Nice malty base with a sweetness that is not overwhelming. A nuttiness leads into a fairly bitter hop finish. Very clean flavor, though.

M - Medium body with plenty of crisp carbonation. Just about right for the style.

D - This was a nice Oktoberfest beer with a bit more hops than expected to balance out the malt sweetness. Perhaps a bit too bitter for traditionalists, but I liked it a lot. I'd have no problem drinking these all night. (621 characters)

Photo of Ksoden1186
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

While I love Victory's Prima Pils and Hop Devil, this was a disappointment. Overall, an unbalanced beer that I wouldn't pick up again. If you are looking for an easy-drinking Octoberfest, there are better options out there. (224 characters)

Photo of eljefe21
3.44/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light copper color with a 1 finger head.

S: Slightly faint malty smell.

T: Malty balanced nicely with a slightly dry and bitter flavor.

M: Sharp and carbonated up front, thin in the middle, and a dry finish.

D: A nice beer that tastes like fall in Germany.

Served: in a standard pint glass (297 characters)

Photo of MONKandTUCK
4.21/5  rDev +12%
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! (1,484 characters)

Photo of jstilwell
1.85/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Let me first say that I am a fan of the Victory offerings...Not this one. Tasted like a nice Paulaner ruined by adding Water and corn syrup.

A: Medium Brown, Amber, very small quickly disappearing head, no lacing.

B: Not overwhelming, mild roasted malt, hazelnut

T: Blah, boring watery, not much flavor followed by slight bitterness. The aftertaste reminded me of diet Coke.

M: Water! Might quench thirst on a summer day, but this is an Octoberfest brew, right?

D: The highlight perhaps is they are drinkable, but who'd want to?, certainly not I. (551 characters)

Photo of ChillMike
2.8/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into my Oktoberfest Maßkrug

A: Appears as a traditional Marze, a somewhat murky reddish orange color with a decent off-white head that recedes fairly quickly but does leave just enough lace around the glass.

S: Smells of bread, caramels, sweet malts and that's about all I'm getting out of it, just your standard Oktoberfest beer.

T: Fairly heavy on the dough flavor and sort of a bitter hop tint to it as well, and a bit of a floral aftertone. Nothing too special.

MF: Again nothing really stands out about this one. It's not really bad by any means but there really isn't anything great about it either.

D: I'm going to have to go low on this one, when I've got to pay $10 for a sixer when I can grab a hack or paulaner for a few bucks less and know I'm going to enjoy it more.

This came as a big shock and disappointment to me, because all of the other brews I've had from victory has been really tasty and bold, this one just screams mediocrity. Sorry Victory. (979 characters)

Photo of beerking1
4.97/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful garnet-amber color, crystal clear, pure white, small head. The aroma is a great combination of Munich Malt and subtle hops. That, however, is only the beginning. The real pleasure comes with the first sip, and last until the last drop. This is a great example of the style, exhibiting the unique flavors of a true decoction mash, with the wonderful malliard flavor components this brings. Seek this beer out! (418 characters)

Photo of auntfloyd
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a glass stein. This is a clear light copper lager with a tiny head that quickly dissipates into nothingness. The smell is malty, minty and slightly acerbic.

This is a classic marzen, sweet, and malty, with caramel notes and faint hops aftertaste. But the sweet flavors predominate (as they should). This beer is extremely creamy and smooth, and marks very high on the drinkability scale. (423 characters)

Photo of mbusster88
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 120z bottle.

A: Amber color with little carbonation. Head is really nonexistent. Rather clear, not much haze to speak of.

S: Get a lot of caramel right away. Also get the bready characteristics and spice. Some dried fruit type smells. However not an overwhelming amount of aroma.

T/M: Right away get some hop bite on the tongue. Some apricot like taste lingers on the tongue. Toffee and caramel are definitely present here. Finishes clean, but lacking some wow factor. It's an octoberfest but I was hoping for more flavor than I got.

D: Easy drinking beer, but not very satisfying. Very malty but not very flavorful. However, you could session this quite easy and would be appealing for some entry level drinkers for sure. Would try this one again for sure, not a complete bust for me. (802 characters)

Photo of Drewcifer
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly clear copper color with a finger's worth of light tan head.

Aroma is malty sweetness, bready tang, and some flowery hops.

Flavor is mostly bready, slightly sweet malts, pretty much no hops. Well balanced, but very mild flavors.

Mouthfeel is very good - a medium/light body, light carbonation, very smooth.

Overall, a very drinkable brew. One of the better American representations of the style, not as unique as some Marzens/'Festbiers, but very accessable. (476 characters)

Photo of Phillyduke
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: 12 oz. NR bottle with an "Enjoy By" date of 01/06/2009

A: Clear, deep copper/amber with a two-finger head of off-white foam that slowly recedes leaving a thin cap with decent lacing.

S: Clean and aromatic smells of doughy yeast and grassy herbs with a faint whiff of alcohol.

T: Crisp, malty and delicately hoppy. Medium-bodied malt base is a wonderfully tasty combination of sweet caramel, husky grains, and nutty toastiness. Complex on so many layers, yet it all seems to work together seamlessly and effortlessly. The finish stays with you for awhile and leaves a sweet stickiness on the palate.

M/D: Mouthfeel is slick and a bit thick and sticky on the palate. It toys with being cloying as the beer warms, but this is definitely an easy-drinking lager that fits the bill perfectly for an Oktoberfest Märzen that is both sessionable and flavorful at the same time.

Victory impresses yet again with another German-style lager! (938 characters)

Photo of kpantz
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Executive Review: Not Victory's best, but still a great Oktoberfest...one of my favorite American versions (along with Brooklyn).

Appearance: Clear copper/gold with a small head that quickly reduces to a ring.

Smell: Not as fest-y as I'm used to...kinda thin. Definite malt presence, but comes up a bit short for my tastes.

Taste: Very nice. Not overpowering, but not without character. It's got a solid malt backbone with a shot of spice. No notable hop presence here.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light. I'd use this as a beer to carry you into fall, not out of it. Definitely suited for the milder autumn nights.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. A good fall session beer. Less than 6% ABV and no overpowering flavor or body so as to make this tough to drink more than once. I could easily cozy up with a sixer and call it a night! (838 characters)

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

Pours a nice bright orangey amber color with a tall foamy tan head.

S - Bready and sweet aroma. Caramel tones.

T - Sweet and malty. Very much caramel with a little bit of a toasted flavor. Small amount of citrus as well.

M - Smooth and creamy. Light bodied.

D - Very high. Light and refreshing despite its maltiness. (320 characters)

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

Hooray Autumn. I love Marzen!

A: Deep, slightly hazy amber, more on the red/ orange end of the spectrum than gold-yellow. Thin off-white head leaves very little lacing. To compare, this is certainly a few shades darker than say Blue Point's marzen offering.

S: Smooth malt and slight hops. Honestly not much smell, though there's a bit of a graininess that is reminiscent of their pils.

T: Bready malts not apparent in the smell are balanced by some mild hop bitterness. Nothing unpleasant, and pretty well balanced.

M: Smooth and medium bodied, with a really nice texture.

D: Smooth and delightful. Certainly a sessionable beer.

Overall a slightly underwhelming example of Marzen, but solid all around. (711 characters)

Photo of dbtoe
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a good not great O-fest. I liked it, but probably will not be seeking it out.
12 oz bottle poured into a pint
Look is a darker golden with a finger of head.
Smell just like almost all Ofest beers, mild and malty.
Taste is full of fest malt maybe a tad bit of char. This really comes out in the finish witch lasts forever.
Feel is a little too much carbonation.
Overall it is a good tasting O-fest. I just think the after taste lasted way too long. Good beer if I’m only having 1, may become too much if having a sixer at a time. (538 characters)

Photo of hippityhops85
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. 2011 release. Case bought for consuming during Hurricane Irene after my plans for DMB Caravan were blown to shit.

Pours a clear amber with deep red tones. Pours with a nice 1 1/2 inch off-white/khaki head that settles down pretty quickly to a thin layer. Really nice tight bubbles.

The aroma has major bread notes to it but not a whole lot more than that. It's almost like if you smelled dough before it was put into the oven. Really delicate nose.

This beer is fall to me. You get all of the nice malty, bready notes immediately upon sipping it. That's they followed by a dried leaves. This beer is still a little young even for the style. The hop bitterness is a little harsh right now on the mid palate but I think that that will ease away in the next couple of months.

Mouthfeel is nice. Smooth and silky with just the right amount of carbonation. No complaints here though nothing outstanding.

This beer is the quintessential "fall beer" to me. Love it. (995 characters)

Photo of drowninginhops
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in standard pint glass. From notes.

A: Hazy amber in color with white head that fades quickly.

S: Spicy with lots of malt and slight smell of pumpkin and pretzels.

T: Spice, grains with crazy amount of malt.

M: Creamy and well carbonated.

D: Well crafted. (271 characters)

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

nice amber color, big head... smells very clean - a lot of malt, some nice german hops... tastes very nice. a little nuts, nothing overly complex, but a very solid caramel maltiness with a good hop balance. mouthfeel is light, but that's what i'm looking in an octoberfest... great drinkability.
it's not perfect, but especially fresh, this is an awesome session beer. (369 characters)

Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (1,085 characters)

Photo of Scoats
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Unlike several American takes on o-fests, like Flying Fish and Brooklyn, which have a great hoppy finish, this beer beer seems to be very true to what I recall of real German o-fests. Very malty, somewhat sweet and not very hoppy. The result is a beer that is very well made, very true to the style, but to my tastes not very satisfying. Not by any means dumbed down, but not smarted up either.

Heaven knows Victory has more than enough great beers to keep us beer geeks more than happy.This one though is probably made to keep their less adventurous brewpub patrons content. (578 characters)

Photo of Abita45
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer from the tap and by bottle. Each time, it offers up a clear, clean copper color, little to no head, and a sweet, brown sugar aroma and maltiness. The taste is smooth, malty, and for a drinkable as I find this beer to be, the malt gives it some substance and there are enough hops to give it a little bite. Unlike many Octoberfests, where there is a roasted malt or dark molasses taste, this beer is on the sweeter side of this style, but it works well and makes for a well rounded autumn beer. This beer will appear to a broad spectrum of people because it bridges darker fall beers and amber lagers. (621 characters)

Photo of fo5s
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a sam adams oktoberfest mug. Bottle best by Jan-12.

A- pours a vibrant amber with a nice 2-finger foamy head. Minimal lacing.

S- very full nose. Good dose of caramel, but a noticeable hop presence as well. Malty

T- Burn caramel dominates, but leaves the beer oddly one-dimensional. Finish is dull with a residual bitterness that's unimpressive...almost acidic in a way.

M- lively on the palate. Body is in-line with the style.

O- a lot of nice aspects to this one, but I really didn't dig the flavor. Not a bad version of the style, and appropriately priced for those who are fans of this. (617 characters)

Photo of MikeRa
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
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 (356 characters)

Photo of beerbutcher
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the beer pours a deep amber with a one finger tan head

aroma is of rich toasty malt, kettle caramels, some nuttiness, munich character and german hops.

on the palate, it's surprisingly light. there's a lager crispness about it that is astounding considering the richness of aroma. the toast and rich malt flavors hit the palate nicely with a leap to some less integrated hop bitterness. it's not raspy, just pronounced. diverse in flavors with the elements balanced nicely.

refreshing in texture and rich in aroma. lots of complexity with judicious noble hop bitterness.

overall, very good. i was hoping for more richness, but the beer is so nuanced and balanced that even without the weight it's delicious. (714 characters)

Photo of jed
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Brown, 12 oz bottle with illustration of two peasants stirring beer. Small blurb explaining the beer. "Enjoy by" date 12/22/05.

Appearance: Pours a solid, reddish brown with one finger of head. Head rapidly shrinks, but around a quarter inch remains with good retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind a trail of light brown lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Warm aroma, lots of toasted malt without associated citrus or spice of hops. Some caramel sweetness, hint of alcohol lingering.

Taste: Slightly sour mouth with slight hop bitterness, which gives way to toasted malt and lingering sweet notes. Finish leaves behind strong malt and more subdued bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly, a little bit on the thin side. Disappointing.

Drinkability: Would make an excellent session beer, flavorful without being too strong.

Victory Festbier has nothing to set it apart from a large pack of American craft brewers who make Oktoberfest biers. This isn't necessarily meant as a criticism — Festbier is one of many well-executed versions of the style that are good, but not amazing. I'd give the nod to Brooklyn's Oktoberfest over this, but if I found Festbier on tap I'd happily order a pint. (1,237 characters)

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