Weihenstephaner Festbier | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

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Weihenstephaner FestbierWeihenstephaner Festbier
1,651 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,651 |  Reviews: 656
Photo of yemenmocha
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not what I was expecting for an Oktoberfest.

Pours hazy golden yellow, almost hefe-weizen like.

Nose & Palate are more like a traditional helles.

Nose has faint malt with saaz-like hop aroma.

Palate is saaz-like hops up front followed by subdued maltiness. Overall dry and crips, refreshing, but certainly not a malty "festbier" that I was expecting.

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Photo of LittleCreature
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 3.5
Poured two fingers of foamy white head over a clear body of pale peach. Looks lice iced tea?

Smell - 4.0
Pale malt sweetness plays alongside mixed spice, slight fruit aroma and grassy hops.

Taste - 4.0
The first Oktoberfest I have tried, so it is very hard to judge. Loads of flavour for a pale lager, very spicy, quite sweet. Slight hop bitterness and a somewhat stale aftertaste that is probably due to the age of the beer.

Mouthfeel - 3.0
Light carbonation like all Weihenstephaner beers, thick, heavy syrupy mouthfeel. Too heavy for its purpose.

Drinkability - 3.5
I'd definitely come back to this, but I wouldn't pick it as a session beer.

OVERALL - 3.75
Weihenstephaner sets a very high standard for itself, and this, in my opinion, falls somewhat short of their usual excellence. Still, a clearly good and enjoyable beer that I will certainly drink again, although I would usually choose their Helles over this. Come September I can see myself buying at least a 4-pack of this beer.

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Photo of arizcards
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a pint at Magnum's in early November for $2.99.

Beer pours a golden color with a nice head initially that is leaving lacing behind. Nose is grassy, malty, and perfumed with euro hops. Taste is balanced, hints of lemon in the malt and nicely hopped upon the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with no special characteristics across the palate. Overall drinkability is quite refreshing. It is bordering on the edge of sessionability but one could consume several of these without being overwhelmed. Style wise this strikes me more as a pils. This is worthy of a try.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sort of a chalky golden color, some streamers heading north to buoy the white, foamy head. Retention is impressive for a beer of this sort, and the lacing is remarkable.

Attractive, earthy-hoppy aroma, only a bit of grain sweetness. Smells like one of the hoppier German pilsners. Lots of citrics; not nearly as much sweet as I expect from this style. Definitely something different here.

The Festbier leads with the hops, definitely not going wild but keeping it nicely reined. The sweetness of the grain is really pleasant and out of the way, and leaves a refreshingly sugary dollop of flavor in the back of the throat. Despite being so hop-heavy, no bitterness in the finish or aftertaste.

Just a tiny bit thin to be a really strong lager, the hops take away from the chewiness. Definitely drinkable. A tasty beer, not one I'll go back to, but I had to round out the Weihenstephaner lineup.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a large Pilsner Urquell glass. Color is straw yellow that looks like bland fizzy beer at first, but the tiny particles that hang in suspension give it a rawer look, and the ultra-white head leaves a ton of lace in its dying wake.

Aroma is big and bountiful...lemony sweetness backed up by husky maltiness and yeasty like fresh bread dough. I like it, has a comforting cake-batter thing going on.

I also think of yellow cake batter when drinking...doughy, grainy, yeasty, lemons, everything light and buoyant, including a smooth mouthfeel that, while carbonated, brings in a slick bit of creaminess. Sweet, a little musty, a little pungent, superbly balanced.

Hugely drinkable. For a lighter style with plenty of flavor and sensible alcohol content, this is a great pick. Would be just as good a summer beer as an Oktoberfest thing. I'd definitely pick it up again.

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Photo of xare
2.09/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours as a lemon-colored very clear brew, has a good sized 3-finger white head. Overall, nice appearance but the color is very very light. I don't quite like it being that light.

Smells musty, lemony, somewhat wheaty. Doesn't appeal to me but I know others would go wild over it. Somewhat below average for me.

Tastes old, musty, and has touches of citrus. Definitely not something that I like, hopefully I didn't get an old bottle since there is no freshness label or made-on date.

Mouthfeel is slippery, almost like an unfiltered wheat beer but it isn't cloudy and lightly carbonated. I'd say average mouthfeel.

Drinkability - didn't want to finish this beer. Just wanted to find something else that I wanted to drink. I might give it a try again if I can find something that I can ensure is 100% fresh and not take a risk on a bottle without a date again.

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Photo of foles
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle containing this one was quite nice looking. Poured a cloudy lemon/citrus colour with a fluffy white head, that settles into a strange formations of white lumps and thin fizz.. A good start! The smell is a little lemony but not much odour is given off. The mouthfeel is quite pleasant. A little soft and slippery, a little like an unfiltered beer - decent carbonation. The slight lemon with a little bit of orange was present and the finish is slightly bitter and spicy almost in a kolsch type way. Perhaps a little one dimensional, but not bad. The 5.8% alcohol isnt as present as I would have expected.

I would have another if available, but not as a session.

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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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Weihenstephaner Festbier from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 1,651 ratings