Weihenstephaner Festbier | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

BA SCORE
84
good
1,543 Ratings
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Weihenstephaner FestbierWeihenstephaner Festbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Germany
weihenstephaner.de

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full rich bodied, hoppy, seasonal lager. Especially brewed for the Festbier season. This beer truly represents the Bavarian way of celebrating. Deep gold color, great mouth-feel and lots of flavor. Prost!

Added by mzwolinski on 10-27-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,543
Reviews:
620
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
12.7%
 
 
Wants:
50
Gots:
204
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,543 |  Reviews: 620
Photo of Sammy
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on-tap at the Buckeye Beer Engine. Apple juice colour with some white wheat. The aroma and tase of sour wheat. Below average mouthfeel. Not up to expectations for this brewery. Some astringency offset by sweetness from wheat. Drinkable in a pinch.

 255 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of kylehay2004
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.92/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This review is from a possible bad bottle...

A - Pours a hazy super pale brown/orange color with a 1/2 inch head that fades to nothing. No lacing.

S - Smells of sweet malts and metal. Almost a smell of rust.

T - Slightly bitter hop taste to start followed up by a very subdued malty bread flavor. There is a metallic aftertaste on this beer.

M - Low carbonation (not quite flat) with a sticky quality in the mouth.

D - So this may be a bad bottle of this beer, but who knows? There was only 1 bottle left on the shelf at a small liquor store where I live and I haven't seen this one anywhere else. If this is the normal quality the drinkability isn't too good and I wouldn't get it again. However, if I see another bottle someday I might pick it up out of curiousity to rereview.

 784 characters

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this is straight up where its at in the fall, beer geeks seem to need complexity these days, barrels and wild microbes and blends and everything else. well. this proves that simplicity can still be amazing. crystal clear yellow beer here, none of the oranges and caramel colors we are used to in octoberfest types. it has a ton of carbonation, and a puffy white head with great retention, smells like fresh german pale malts, even pils based, with a nice grassy hop thing going on and an autumnal lager yeast that brings it all together. purity in its finest form here, this is traditional and standard setting in my opinion, a perfect example of the style. i dont miss the sweeter malts, and actually prefer this drier and lighter version. i think its really light but still fits the early fall. afterall, octoberfest is in september, not october, and its still warm out, this works beautifully this time of year. refreshing and infinitely drinkable. i wish my fridge was full of them on this first nfl sunday, i could hammer these all afternoon. these guys continue to be the gold standard of german stuff. so affordable too, buying this again for sure. perfect really, underrated by a mile

 1,192 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Knapp85
2.1/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm not a big fan of most Pilsners, and even though this brew is classified as a Marzen I still felt like this was more like a Pils. Big time grassy notes on the palette which is not my favorite thing in beer. The more I drank of this brew, the worse it got. Normally when a good beer gets warmer the flavors get better. This one wasn't like that. I was very happy once I finished this because I was afraid that I wasn't going to.

 430 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and poured with a finger high white head that quickly settled down, consistently leaving a thin film of bubbles covering the surface. A slight amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of bready malts in the nose. Some hints of floral hops are also perceptible.
T: The initial taste is very malty and has some sweetness with some hints of caramel; these flavors are balanced by the hops, which lend a slight amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is highly drinkable. I could easily have a few of these in a single sitting.

 700 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As with many other BA's, I was surprised at the unusually straw colored beer. Where most Oktoberfest beers begin with a bright copper/orange hue mixed in with ligher highlights, this beer reminds me a lot of German Lagers. Even the nose is more hop-forward with a spicy saaz note and haullertau herbal, grassy character. Malts stay clean, crisp, sweet, and bold, with no hints of caramel, toast, or melanoidin taste. Instead, a bold lager-like flavor comes through, though pushing the threshold on sweetness and body. Confectionate sugars with fresh fruity notes (pez-like), give a very pleasant sweet tastes to accompany the pilsner malts. A bit heavy in the body for a pils, begins to bring out a marzen-type weight. Nicely carbonated and bitter. Finishes quite clean with a hop note late and some malty sweet breadiness / yeastiness. It's a very good beer, but not what I consider a Festbier. So, the rating may not reflect the quality of the beer, but style accuracy.

 971 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, at the Oak Cafe in Wyandotte, Michigan.

This beer pours a clear, pale golden yellow hue, with two fingers of soapy white head, which leaves surprisingly little lace as it slips under. It smells of fairly crisp pale malt, and earthy hops. The taste is sweet wheat, grainy malt, and a bit of acrid, edgy hoppiness. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, and not unsmooth. It finishes with a mildly astringent wheat graininess.

A decent off-dry Oktoberfest, but the German-ness is slightly in question - it's more on the American side of hop indulgence.

 579 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.87/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: Brown glass. 330ml. Classy label art. Branded gold colour pry-off crown cap. Purchased locally in Centennial, Colorado as part of a 6 pack.

Served cold into a .33L krug. Expectations are sky high given the brewery, for which I have massive respect. Reviewed live as a festbier per the label (and name).

5.80% ABV. 2015 vintage. Imported to the U.S. by Total Beverage Solution.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: About 4 inches wide. Off-white colour. Quite frothy, to style. Nice consistency. Decent complexion. Retention is rather good - about 10 minutes.

BODY: Clear clean yellow. Filtration is obvious. No yeast is visible within. So transparent one could easily read text through this beer.

It's a clean, crisp looking festbier and is spot-on for the style, but isn't unique or special.

AROMA: Clean barley, flaked malts, pilsner malts, Munich malts. The restrained Noble hop character is grassy, but I'm impressed they get so much aroma for so little in terms of hops. Grainy to style. Attenuation seems ideal. Hints of sweet bread-like malts. Clean and fragrant, suggesting a balanced festbier with a classic flavour. Still, it does seem surprisingly sweet for a festbier...

Aromatic intensity is average. No off-notes, alcohol, or overt yeast notes come through.

TASTE: The sweet bready malt notes lend this beer surprising sweetness, and it never returns quite to form; the pilsner & Munich malts get trumped by the sweetness. Attenuation isn't quite high enough, with the yeast struggling to keep pace with the sugars. It does have a nice Noble hop presence, but the subtlety of the grassy notes gets lost in that pesky off-style sweetness.

I hoped for more balance in a festbier, especially coming from Weihenstephaner. I do like it, but this build just isn't dialed in. Not a gestalt beer, but an enjoyable and drinkable one.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, refreshing, light-bodied, and well-(if over-)carbonated. It's not the fragile delicate light-as-a-feather mouthfeel of the very best beers in the style, but it aids drinkability and complements the taste nicely.

OVERALL: There are effortlessly drinkable festbiers, but this is not one of them. Highly drinkable, yes, but not in the upper echelon of the style. I wouldn't want to put down more than one litrekrug of this beer - and that's essentially the test of a festbier, isn't it? I won't say I'm disappointed in this, but one always hopes for greatness when approaching any beer from a brewery as incredible as Weihenstephaner. Worth trying, but much to my shock, it isn't neatly within style conventions, and suffers from a troublesome sweetness.

C

 2,641 characters

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of emerge077
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Style aside, this is a nice clean German Pils.

Pours a high-clarity golden tone, with a finger of foam. Small bits of lace here and there. Typical grainy malt aroma, clean not skunky.

Taste has a hint of apple and herbal hops that linger in the aftertaste. Well carbonated, giving it a medium level feel. Ultra quaffable, think liter mugs in the shade at a summer picnic.

Subtlety is the key here. It's not an extreme US craft oktoberfest, so lets not get our hopes up too much folks...

 492 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Extremely clear pale straw. The head pours amply with lots of sticky lace, but retention could be better.

Smell - Toasted grain and caramel with mild noble hops.

Taste - Sweet and spicy, grainy and grassy; a bit mineral as well. Sharp hops in the finish. Long-lasting finish of spicy hops and minerals.

Mouthfeel - On the heavier side of light-bodied with crisp carbonation.

Notes - Quite good but not as noteworthy as some of the other beers from this excellent brewery. An enjoyable lager nonetheless, though one that I feel would be more suited as a summer beer.

 582 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, straw yellow color with a creamy/foamy, white, two-finger head. It left no lace.

S - It smelled of light caramel malt, grains and some grassy notes.

T - It tasted of sweet grains and had a very light hoppy/grassy kick.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is a little disappointing for Weihenstephaner. It was also a little disappointing for a Marzen/Oktoberfest.

 420 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of LXIXME
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into dimpled mug, bottled on 4/16/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear bright gold color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and clean mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pale Oktoberfest style. All around good balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,285 characters

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Weihenstephaner Festbier from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
3.7 out of 5 based on 1,543 ratings.
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