Gordon Biersch FestBier | Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

78 Reviews
Gordon Biersch FestBierGordon Biersch FestBier

Brewed by:
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Gordon Biersch FestBier celebrates fall and the flavor profile of beers served at the modern-day Oktoberfest. FestBier emphasizes rich, malty undertones with a moderately hoppy finish. The maltiness is created via a combination of dark-roasted, Munich-style malt and Pilsner malt. The hoppy aroma is achieved via the imported Hallertau aroma hops.

Added by TexIndy on 01-21-2009

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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 175
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled On: 09/18/09.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, light-hued amber body with a small-sized, white head.

Smell: Floral, spicy hop aroma mingled with grainy pilsner malt and some further toasted bread notes.

Taste: Starts with lightly sweet, grainy pils malts, then in come some toasty tones, though the husky pilsner malt certainly dominates. Spicy, modestly floral Noble hops with a mild, cleansing bitterness. Drying, fairly clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Just a hair above medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Acceptable but ultimately forgettable. With it's blend of pilsner and Munich maltiness, I wonder if this beer could be replicated by blending their Märzen and Czech-Style Pilsner together...

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Very clear, dark orange/amber, slightly darker than their märzen, very creamy slight off white head, rises up then settles around 1 finger

S: Some bready carmel, not in your face at all, whiffs of hops, but in general very mild

T: Definite carmel malt, pretty focused on that flavor, hops kick in and provide good contrast and emphasize flavors already present, tastes very similar to many imports, a pretty accurate, if macrobrew approach to an oktoberfest

M: Very smooth, but still has some carbonation, good pleasant medium body, not really dry, but finishes a tad on the drier side

D: Good, the german session beer in the form of an oktoberfest, just not super flavorful

Notes: An average beer. No huge complaints, but not much praise for it either.

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Photo of illidurit
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at some Gordon Biersch restaurant at the San Jose airport. Pours golden orange with a big lacy white head. Aroma is bready malts with a citrusy twang. Flavor is similar, mostly bready with a bright orangey note. Sweet and thin but drinkable enough.

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Photo of kevinjosephlee
3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a glass

A: A coppery yellow with a white head that dissipates rapidly.

S: Sweet malt and some toasty notes, but very clean; no fruity esters or diacetyl.

T: Some malty sweetness but a good initial hops bitterness. Finish is dry. Also very clean.

M: Carbonation gives the rich and frothy texture. Dry finish, goes right down. Not too much body that I can sense.

D: This beer is too drinkable. It goes down smooth and the body offers little resistance.

Overall: A rather simple beer. Meets it category well.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a firm white head, good lace.

S: Nice Munich malt, caramel candy.

T: A more direct, fuller malt flavour than the regular marzen. Great Munich malt taste, some walnut, light hop character, but the Oktoberfest flavour is there which is hard to find in this style sometime.

M: Medium/full-bodied for the style, firm carbonation, good overall body.

D: A very impressive American Oktoberfestbier, I could certainly find myself buying this again.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here we go, beer number two of the American Oktoberfest Invitational. So if Gordon Biersch already makes a Marzen, how does the Festbier differ? To find out, we go on to the beer:

Orange amber color, still liquid, head over an inch thick. Good head retention initally, leaves a little lace on the glass.. The smooth malt aroma is sweet and pleasant...almost like upside-down cake, the touches of oxidation (cardboard) are not.

It's a bit lighter in feel than other O-fests. The flavor is really good, and the yeast seems to be doing a lot of work to make it that way. It has a spiced clove flavor to go along with the mild maltiness and nutty yeast. I'm thinking funnel cake now. I like it. The beer leaves a sweet dark bread flavor with a pinch of hop bitterness.

Final verdict: forget the year-round Marzen GB makes, go for the festbier. Surprising. We're halfway done tasting American O-fest in this invite....we'll be back tomorrow night for another segment.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sadly, this one was not available in the area until post-Oktoberfest. Still, it's the Oktoberfest season here in the States, and therefore still prime time for another Festbier.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Seidel.

Pours bright amber in color with a creamy cap of off-white froth that shows a fairly mediocre retentive ability and fades to a thick crown that lingers a while, leaving a few patchy rings of lace on the glass. Krystalklar.

Mildly hoppy in the nose, with some bright grassy herb and a faint whiff of sweet bread.

Medium-bodied with a moderate carbonation; lightly toasty malts show themselves briefly up front and then it's hops all the way. Bone-dry throughout, with a grassy noble hop character that lingers into the aftertaste. Finish is ever-so-dry, making me want more with every draught. The malt shows itself a bit more in the finish, with a faint honey-toffee sweetness, but always fails to take hold.

Overall, a much lighter and hoppier brew than their malt-forward Märzen; initially I was skeptical as to how different the two beers would be, the styles being so similar, but the difference is quite distinct.

A rather light and drinkable Festbier, but nothing spectacular. Solid, yes, but not holding up to the original.

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Photo of BlackBearForge
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear golden amber with orange highlights with a small whitish fizzy head which disspates quickly leaving an small oily collar.

The initial aroma is of "beer" which I noted in my review of the Marzen from this brewery as well. This quintessential beer smell fades leaving some bright grassy hops and a light caramel malt.

The flavor is clean and bright with a lightly toasted biscuity slightly sweet malt with caramel notes backed by a crisp hop bitterness. Nicely balanced and tasty. Flavors intensify on warming.

Mouthfeel is light and nicely carbonated, smooth and a bit slick on the finish.

The Festbier, while closely related to it's Marzen cousin from the same brewers, is perhaps a tad more drinkable due to it's somewhat lighter body and the nicely balanced malt and hops. Very tasty, and like the Marzen very good with food and very sessionable.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the California Brewer's Festival

A - Poured copper-gold with 2 fingers of white head. Dissipated moderately slow and left nice lacing.

S - Honey, ample amounts of breadiness, and some light bittering hops in the background.

T - Honey, bttering hops, light caramel, and a bigger presence of bittering hops.

M - Moderately bodied, well-balanced, sweet and smooth.

D - Overall, a good job at an easy drinking fest beer. Impressed a macro did this good of a job.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Bottled on 07/08/09 (Pretty Cool Date!)

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear copper color with an off-white

S- The aroma is slightly toasted and fruity malt, caramel and a touch of floral hops.

T- The taste like the aroma is on the malty side with toasted malts and caramel and a touch of hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, not a bad Oktoberfest beer but doesn't really stand out against some of the better examples of the style for me to purchase again.

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Photo of lhaqq
3.37/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: I think it was a cloudy dark orange body with not much head. But have been finishing off a case just drinking from the bottle.
S: Typical oktoberfest smell, pretty heavy on the roasted malt.
T: Pretty true to the smell. Not too much more in the taste than the strong malt flavor. Also a bit of honey half way through.
M: Maybe a bit light, but generally a well-balanced body.
D: Easy to chug. Not bad but a bit uninteresting as a session beer.

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Photo of BigBry
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft pint from the Gordon Biersch in Glendale.
The beer poured slightly hazy, deep reddish gold color. White head, thin but good retention. Smell of sweet malts, with hop bitterness. Mild hop flavor matched with a solid sweet caramel malt. Earthy, leafy hop bitterness (not fruity/citrus hops). Medium mouthfeel and body, dry finish. Very nice compliment to my meal, another good one from GB.

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Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 11/24/08.

Medium golden beer presented by the bartender with a two-finger white head. The head soon reduces to a thin skin of foam with plenty of sticky lacing.

Aroma is slightly spicy and has subtle juicy, fruit overtones.

Flavor-wise, this beer splits the difference between a marzen and a pilsener. Caramel malt flavors with slight metallic overtones come on first. Slightly fruity (golden apples) follow, then a crisp, dry finish with some bitterness. Aftertaste is that malty marzen flavor I like so much.

I drank this beer without much trouble and enjoyed it pretty well; I could see myself drinking this again when/if it is available.

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Photo of ender796
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer at Columbus's tapping party. Tasted malty and bready. Full bodied and slight hop flavor. Drank many pints of this that evening and since! Didnt know that they had this in bottles in other parts of the country. Brewed on premisis here in Columbus and tasted great.

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Photo of roadhouse
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap 11/05/08 into a 32 oz. dimpled mug.

Appears a slightly cloudy golden orange with a nice one inch thick creamy white head. It sunk down eventually and left a bit of lacing.

Aroma was like most Oktoberfests with sweet caramel, toasty malts, and a clean noble hop aroma.

The taste was similar. Clean caramel sweetness up front followed by some toastiness and some spicy hops at the backend.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, crisp, and drinkable.

Quite a tasty Oktoberfest. Not the best I've had this year but it was certainly very tasty and if I hadn't been so full from the food I would have easily been able to put down the 32 oz. mug a lot faster than I did.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As previously noted, this year this location of Gordon Biersch dubbed this "Festbier."

Draft, a bright but deeply colored orange-highlighted brown. Poured with a frothy head that dissipated to leave a nice white cover.

Not much of an aroma. It displays some light caramel malt notes. Crisp grains. Balance between malt and hops, but disappointingly watery.

A very crisp and well balanced brew. Grains. Some caramel rolls along with nuttiness. Grass. I'm not sure where the malt flavors end and the hop flavors begin. A slight dab of grains left on the palate.

Sharply carbonated, I thought this less-than-medium bodied beer was crisp and pretty darn drinkable, but somewhat lacking in substance.

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Photo of Murchmac
2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Beer pours a big two finger head which quiets down to nothing. Metallic copper to this oktoberfest lager.

Some bready sweet smells, some metallic smells, hops thrown in.

Tastes bubble sweet with not much malt backbone. Some resiny metallic notes.

Aftertaste of a macro can.

Not a very good beer. Their marzen is much better.

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Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into large German mug. Dubbed "Festbier".

Slightly cloudy burnt orage and amber hue with a two finger light tan head that slowly settles to a thin cap. The aroma is light and toasty grains, with maybe a touch of brown sugar. The toastiness is repeated along with a little bit of caramel. Medium bodied. The finish is pretty dry, with a little bit of lingering grain.

This one was pretty good, perfect for the time of year as the temperature is dropping. Recommended (if available).

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Photo of Redrover
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

During my latest trip to New Orleans, I was able to sample this on three different occasions. This is their version of an Otoberfest Beer and is a different recipe than the Marzen they offer as a regular.

Served in a dimpled glass mug, the beer is a bright copper with a tan head.

Nice aroma of breads, malts and light spices.

The taste is grainy and slightly sweet. The malts add a nice toasted cracker quality and they compliment the backend spicy finish. Nice notes of grain, bagel with a hint of fresh straw.

The mouth is right on style with a bit of heft and smoothness. Very easy drinker and it goes great with nonspicy food. Give this one a try!

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Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: orange in color with a nice 2" head but it broke apart immediately. No lacing developed.

Smell: loads of malt and some soft fruit sweetness comes through.

Taste: decent malt profile with some caramel, mild fruit sweetness, and a mild bitterenss. A hint of earthiness arrives at the finish. Straight forward version of the style.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: nice beer to pair with some german sausages. Easy to drink and since this was quite fresh it was also refreshing.

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Photo of spointon
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap tonight at the Gordon Biersch in Bolingbrook, Il.

A= This beer poured a fairly clear pale gold color with a 1/2" snow white head.

S= As with many fine lagers, this one did not have a very pronounced aroma. A bit of sulfur but mostly just clean malt smell.

T= This lager tasted very clean and fresh - filled with lots of sweet malts and a hint of orange/lemon zestiness. Also, a fine bisciut and nutty flavor throughout.

MF= Crisp and refreshing carbonation made this a real palate cleanser. Light to medium body.

D= This was a very good example. I really liked this one and will try to get back for more! Very easy to drink.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First of all I cant say why there so many listings for this beer. Anyways...Pours clear and golden with nice bubbly head and good retention and lacing. Smell is bread-like, malty, and somewhat yeasty. Taste is on par with smell. It has that dry malty, bicuity Oktoberfest taste to it. But something about this just doesnt stand out. Mouthfeel is somewhat light. Overall not a bad beer but not a standout at all.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a slightly hazy amber color with a two finger creamy white head that slowly erodes leaving a fine coating of lace to conceal the glass. Nose has a sweet malt aroma; earthy, spicy, crisp and pleasant, start has a sweet malt profile, light hop bitterness at back, top medium in feel. Finish has a determined acidity, hops mild but pleasing in their bite, dry lingering aftertaste, a quite nice beer, well worth a sample.

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Photo of July2Nov
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy copper-amber body with an off-white head.
S: Malty with some floral notes with some spice and light caramel tones.
T&M: Biscuit taste with a sweetness to it. Caramel touches and a smooth maltiness. Very nice.
D: This seasonal brew was a very pleasant surprise. Of the beers I had at this establishment...this one stands out. The Gordon Biersch site describes it as: Local breweries in Germany made a special beer for all to share during Oktoberfest celebrations. Gordon Biersch's Festbier is the style of beer most commonly served during the modern day Oktoberfest celebration. It a full bodied, rich, moderately hopped, bronze lager.

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Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

well hopped, unfiltered yeast. More sweet than bitter, best bitter in finish and aftertaste. Aggressive carbonation a negative on mouthfeel. Amber colour. Lace in glass is class. Malt in aroma. Some spice from hops. Tasty combo, was worth a second sample.

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Gordon Biersch FestBier from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
3.6 out of 5 based on 175 ratings.
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