Weihenstephaner Festbier | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

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Weihenstephaner FestbierWeihenstephaner Festbier
1,644 Ratings
Weihenstephaner FestbierWeihenstephaner Festbier

Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

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

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Ratings: 1,644 |  Reviews: 655
Photo of mmmbeer
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with some code on the back label. The beer is gold with low carbonation, two inches of creamy white head that clings to the glass, along with some coagulation/floaties. Fairly sweet and lightly grainy in the nose. Similar in flavor, with a dose of mildly bitter, spicy/grassy hops on top of an almost tingly, light, dry body, that has medium carbonation and finish. Pretty tasty and quite clean, but it almost tastes more like a German pils than a märzen.

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Photo of AaronRed
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had not seen this beer before in NY, so being in the sunny state of Florida I figured I would try this offering. Nice pour from the bottle, typical yeasty haze with a nice foamy heard. Had that banna clove taste and smell, but with definetely more sweetness upfront. Also, this beer did not seem to go down as quickly- a little heavier, spicey and clove like. I did enjoy it, but I prefer their old standard brew.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 1 Pint, .09 fl oz bottle copped in Short Hills... Pours a clear, lucid, pale color with a decent frothy head that soon receded... smell was typical of the style, with a nice combination of malts and hops... taste wasn't bad, but was somewhat bland, with a slight mixture of caramel, vanilla, and fresh florals... mouthfeel was about average, and the points took a hit here due to the somewhat watered-down mouthfeel that was thin and wasn't too rich or creamy... drinkability was decent due to the modest ABV and the light, refreshing, crisp taste that would go well on a hot, Summer day... definitely not a winter-time brew... Weihenstephaner's Hefeweizen is a much better selection... Overall, not a horrible brew, but certainly nothing to write home about...

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Photo of Vancer
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good ol' hazy lemon yellow with a sticky frosting of white lace on top, and sticks to the sides all the way down. Aroma checks in with some soapy malts and a touch of euro yeast. Spicy li'l quaff, black pepper seems to be lurking in the mix. Well balanced, finishes with a dry hop.

Tasty, easy drinking - this would make a good hot weather beer.

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Photo of RedBeerHead
2.69/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Light carbonated head. Pretty good fruity and hoppy smell. Hoppy bitter flavor that gets worse on the second sip. Actually starts to taste a little like cough syrup. Definitely overwhelming. The taste of this beer is excessively complicated and way to bitter. This one still needs a lot of work.

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Photo of SMark
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer from a 500ml bottle at 38° into a .5l wheat glass using the recommended pour, swirl, pour. The beer poured a hazy pale yellow with a two finger white head and a lot of carbonation. There was a considerable amount of lacing as the head dissipated over 4 minutes.

There was a pleasant clean yeast bread aroma. A slight hint of spice came on later.

A nicely carbonated cool wheat taste was first noticeable with a slight hint of spices and yeast. Then malt taste came about later.

This beer was slightly bitter in the mouth which must be due to the hops but I was unable to detect hops anywhere else. The taste lingered for a while adding to the overall acceptability.

This was not an outstanding beer in any category but was well crafted when all aspects are combined. I was surprised by the bitterness at the end but it married well with the slight spiciness, malt and yeast throughout.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting II on 10/19/07: This beer is a clear straw color with a thin white head that burns off quickly. Spotty lacing. Sweet malt and fruit in the nose, and a touch skunky. Light-bodied with a fruity character along with light grain and hops flavors. The finish is short and leaves a bready malt aftertaste. So-so overall.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12/14/07- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 16.9oz bottle with a freshness code on the bottom of the back label. Poured into my Weihenstephaner hefe glass.

Appearance- Super clear golden color with a vibrant but smaller 1/4 inch head which fades a few seconds after the pour is complete. Zilch in the lace department.

Smell- Suprisingly hoppy for a lager style brew. Saaz hops about with a light but sweet malty nose. Some lemon rind in the nose as well.

Taste- Even tastes hoppy. Balances out well with the malt which is very sweet and sugary. Reminds me of a macro style beer, but no corn flavor to go with it. As an added bonus you even get some orange-lemon rind citrus flavors in the mix.

Mouthfeel- About your average carbonation level. Mild and quick fading bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Easy drinker. Thought this was a winter beer from the "fest" part of the label, but I guess it was a holdover from the fall. Not really my favorite style, but I did enjoy it and it's perfectly drinkable.

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Photo of AltBock
3.11/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pint 0.9 fl oz. bottle with almost the same label as every other Weihenstephaner bottle has. The only difference is that there is a Christmas wreath surrounding the white oval. The back label has the brewery's crest, web address, name of the beer, ABV%, US Government warning, US importer, refund values, barcode, and Weihenstephaner's own mysterious bottle dating code that no average person could decifer.

Appearance: When I popped the cap, the beer flowed out as if it wanted to be poured into a glass. So I went with the beer's wishes and decided to pour the beer into a Weizen glass. What came out was a bright and bubbly straw yellow colored beer with a nice 1 1/2 to 2 inch head of creamy head of white foam. That head of foam took it's sweet old time to recede to a point where I could actually drink the beer. After it finally receded, it left behind tons and tons of beautiful white foamy rings and white lace in its tracks.

Smell: The beer's aroma was nothing to write home about. At first, the only things I could smell were the peppery hops and a hint of toasted malt. When I swirled it around, a nice but still very faint aroma of banana and citrus fruits emerged.

Taste: It was a light taste that only contained a few flavors. Festbier only had a pinch of toasted malt, a few drops of lemon, and then it abruptly ended with some fine dried German hops. There really wasn't much going for this beer.

Mouthfeel: There's no mistake, this was a light beer, but for some reason, it tasted lighter than the 5.8% ABV they said this beer had. It's just a tad bit sneaky. The aftertaste was quick with just a taste of dried bitter hops.

Drinkability: Not the best beer I've had for Weihenstephaner so far, but at least it's a decent light offer from them. I wouldn't mind having this beer again, but if I saw this next to their other offerings, I would go for the other ones instead.

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Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of plaid75
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a near flourescent light straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a suprisingly robust graininess coupled with a strong grassy hop.

The taste was very well balanced and rather robust for such a light colored beer. A very good grainy cereal malt led the charge, and was closely followed by a more than adequate noble hop.

The mouthfeel was average for the style.

Overall a very well balanced beer which is full of suprises. Extremely drinkable and a nice change of pace from those overly sweet Oktoberfest offerings.

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Photo of Zorro
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yellow beer with a slight chill haze and a slight white head.

Smell is sweet and full of Pilsener malt and fragrant toasted grain and pleasant hop aroma. Nobel hops are grassy and spicy to the nose with a green herb scent.

The taste begins mildly sweet but very stoutly bitter with a very sharp hop bite. This is quite grassy and a little lemony but it is mostly Nobel hops in flavor.

The mouthfeel is good.

Quite drinkable, but only for those who like a strong hoppy Pilsner. Despite what the style says this is really a strong and balls to the wall Pilsner. A beer I can recommend for the Lager Hophead.

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Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a bright yellow, slightly dimmed with hints of orange, and a moderate head, all typical of the style.

Smell – The malts here are lightly toasted and carry a firm hop compliment.

Taste – The flavors are big, especially the stiff hop balance. The malts are absolutely gorgeous though. They are just ever so lightly toasted with that beautiful grain aftertaste one can only find in a quality German lager.

Mouthfeel – This is not quite medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a rich, creamy finish.

Drinkability – This doesn’t knock your socks off like the weizen offerings from Weihenstephaner but it is a solid Festbier.

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Photo of jackorain
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Yellow-straw color. 1-inch head fell to thin splotchy coat, great lace. Looks like a pilsener.

S-Husky grain, earthy hops, very grainy nose. Smeels like a pilsener

T-very lightly roasted grains, biscuit malt, earthy hop bitterness, a late malt sweetness followed by a lingering mild bitterness. Taste like a pilsener.

M-Light to medium body, crisp carbonation, feels like a pilsener.

D-Really good drinker.

Overall-This beer is excellent but I had to downgrade considerably as it does not meet style. Outside of the style I would have given this beer 4.0 across the board.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy light yellow color and surprisingly light, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, some spices and a touch of hops, again it’s very light and different for an O-Fest.

T: The taste is very sweet with flavors of light malts and a little bit of hops. I know this is the world’s oldest brewery and they have remarkably held to the noble concept of brewing with only the most elemental of beer ingredients, but this beer doesn’t taste much different than the Weihestephaner Original (which is a Munich Helles Lager) and certainly doesn’t taste anything like a Marzen/Oktoberfest beer.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, this is a good beer in and of itself, but I’m very disappointed by the lack of adherence to the style. I respect this brewer a great deal but I don’t understand how you can call this an Oktoberfest with the characteristics that this beer has. Again, this is a very good beer, it’s just not even close to being an O-Fest.

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Photo of berserker256
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's November 8th today and there was a sale on this Oktoberfest beer so I'm not so sure how fair this review will be. But the color of the beer was what is expected of a Marzen... Maybe a little lighter. Nice foamy white head accompanied by lasting lacing as I drink it down. I smell the same smell that I've smelled for many of the German Oktoberfest beers. Sweet malt, touch of hops, some yeasty bread-like qualities, and so on. Chewy and sweet and tasty. The right carbonation and the right flavor. Good beer.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a tall glass mug the liquid is a light gold with good carbonation. The head is 2 fingers white and fluffy, it fades quickly leaving nice lace.

The smell is very good, very big and bready, hints of caramel but not toasty.

The taste is good. This brew is a big bready style fest beer, good hop balance. But not of the toasted caramel type that I like better.

The mouthfeel is nice good medium body and a good cutting carbonated bite.

The drinkability is good as is normal in the style, yet it is not one of my favorites. All in all a solid brew. Prosit MK

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Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle purchased at O'Hara and Flynn's several months ago into a weizen glass.

A. Poured a hazy bright yellow with a healthy head and wispy lacing. Very carbonated.

S. Yeasty bready malt with nice grassy bittering hops. The yeast is apparent as I have noticed in many Marzen's.

T. Toasty taste with good balancing hops. Smooth brew.

M. Very good. Highly carbonated and smooth finish.

D. Very drinkable and crisp. Wish it were easier to get here in Charleston!!!

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Photo of number1bum
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of NEPA BC split #8.

Pours a pale, straw yellow color, crystal clear but thin looking. About a finger and a half of off-white head builds on top and recedes to a patchy lace, leaving a bit of stick too. Umm...this is an oktoberfest? Sure looks like a pilsener or maybe a crappy macro lager.

Did I say it looks like a pilsener/macro lager? It smells like one too. Primary aromas are grain and veggies. There is some spicy, floral hops in there too to save it a little bit. Where's the caramel and toasted malt? What's going on here?

I'm still confused while tasting this beer, but at least it has some flavor. Not toasted malt or caramel falvor, but pale malt and noble hop flavor. Spicy saaz flavor, in fact. It's actually not half bad, it's just not an oktoberfest. No skanky veggie taste like the smell, either.

Mouthfeel is light and creamy, pretty low on the carbonation front in fact, especially for an imported lager which usually are exactly the opposite. It's tolerable.

Ok, I don't get this beer. I was told this is one of the original oktoberfests, but in this case original doesn't mean good. This seems like maybe a pilsener or a euro lager. I don't know. But those aren't styles I enjoy, and oktoberfests usually are. I won't be coming back for more.

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Photo of MiScusi
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

for a festbier it sure does seem light in color. Not that its inherently bad, just different, and to be honest, for these octoberfest-themed fest beers I really like that burnt orange color a lot more. The aroma is very close to a light lager, very pale malt-ish, alcohol, and a corn type smell. The taste is also very similar to a light lager but there is something extra in there. Something trying to give it just a hint of sweetness between the alcohol/pale malt sharpness. Finishes with a little bit of metallic aftertaste. As a light lager and nothing else, this isn't bad. As a seasonal beer somewhat aligned with the oktoberfest tradition, it is not all that great, and there are many other seasonals out there I would rather drink over this (spaten, hacker-pschorr etc).

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Photo of AnalogReigns
4.83/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A really attractive beer with the characteristically German big-headed-blond look... lacing remains all the way through. This is probably the lightest color Oktoberfest/Märzen I've ever seen--looks like a Helles actually, of the new crop out of Germany, but still with tons of flavor, much more than the color would indicate. Beer snobs in America will no doubt dis this beer, as it doesn't fit the "Oktoberfest" craft-beer profile we've come to expect in the USA. Many craft-beer aficionados I've met in the homebrew community, automatically sneer at anything lighter in color than a Sam Adams lager, and that's a shame.

S: Has a nice aroma with both hops and malt present. The malt doesn't come out until the head subsides (5 minutes after the pour!) and is a typical-for-German-beer fresh-bread aroma, but all seems incredibly well ballanced.

T: Toasty-ness in a light, subtle way--and there's a lot going on in the back of the throat, hops I suppose, giving it a clean not-quite-crisp finish--really lovely actually. As I mentioned above, American craft-beer palates usually associating darker beefier beers with quality, will surely miss the subtle but rich flavor in this beer. TOTALLY BALLANCED! It looks like a pils, but doesn't taste like one!

M: Has a medium to light mouthfeel, making for drinking it quickly--to keep the fresh bread taste coming....

D: Definitely a session beer, in that Festbier is extremely drinkable. One or two (or three?) are simply not enough. So drinkable this would be an excellent beer to have at a party of mass-marketed-beer drinkers. This beer could turn any beer drinker into someone appreciative of über high quality....

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Photo of kimcgolf
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This poured to a pale yellow with thin white head and a little lacing. Aroma is a mix of grassy hops and slight skunky grain. Mouthfeel from this somewhat carbonated beer is slightly tingly, but this moves right into a flavor of grass and grain. Finish is short, stale and a littel skunky. Not one of Weihenstephaner’s best by any means.

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Photo of Redwood21
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: no a looker, at least in my opinion straw color with almost no head, sorta sad looking beer, i was taken aback when i poured it into the glass. the "dark copper" color is far from this beer.
S: it has almost a a skunked aroma which is very unpleasant but goes away as the beer breathes, leaving almost nothing, maybe a little malt.

(other): i was disappointed in this beer, i expected more, this beer seems almost too weak and lacking. i could certainly see why chugging mugs of this beer at an oktoberfest celebration would be easy, but thats not what i was looking for...

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours surprisingly pale yellow. I expected an orange or amber tinge. Thick frothy head dissipates rather quickly to a thin sheen and slight soapy lacing.

Aroma is sweet pale malt and grainy. Nice touch of biscuit.

Taste is grainy with a strong metallic sting. Surprisingly light malt, and unusually strong spicy hop for the style. Very crisp finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied.

This beer is not what I had expected. I would consider this an excellent Czech style pilsner. Overall the flavor is light and balanced but leans toward the mild citrus hop. Definitely drinkable, however it lacks the toasted malt character I had expected for a Marzen.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Spaten stange whilst sitting outside grilling. This will be my 100th review. I was saving a few rarer beers for my 100th, but I was craving a beer after work and this was what I was craving at the time. it did not disappoint.

I really like the appearance of this beer. It poured a light transparent straw gold. Definitely lighter than any Oktoberfest I have had. According to a thread a few weeks back, this is apparently closer to the color of Oktoberfests that are served at the fest. I dont know if that is true or not, but I enjoyed the change in pace. It had a nice tow finger white head; OK lacing.

Very nice aroma of malts and caramel. I think I get a touch of bitterness as well. Not much hop aroma, but a nice balancing bitterness.

Typical marzen flavor> Nice malt presence with a medium body. I really love that so much flavor can from a beer that is straw colored. I have been programmed that beers this color are flavorless, and this one tricks my brain and explodes with flavor.

Great drinkability. This may be my new go to Oktoberfest. Definitely the best of what I have had this season.

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Weihenstephaner Festbier from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 1,644 ratings
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