Weihenstephaner Festbier | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

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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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Reviews: 620 | Ratings: 1,541
Photo of Ciocanelu
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden color with white head. A lot of sweet honey character in the aroma along with white bread crust. Taste follows the nose exactly, slightly on the sweet side but overall quite balanced. Light body and carbonation is also pretty low, which I like. Alcohol is not detectable at all, making it very easy to drink. Probably on of the best Märzen beers I ever had.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a .5L bottle into a glass tankard, comes out golden and clear with a decent head that fades. Sweet grainy smell on this, flavor is pretty light, very similar to their Munich lager. Very doughy, malty, sweet, dry on the back and a little bitter. Thinner body, easy to drink, but mostly unremarkable. I guess if you're at Oktoberfest and need to crush some beers, these would do the trick.

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Photo of SuomiHobbit
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Not much malt flavor at all; not very sweet; surprisingly bitter for the style, though not unpleasantly so. Just a so-so beer; wouldn't know it was an Oktoberfest offering but would have considered it more like a ballpark brew.

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Photo of Getalegup
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very clean tasting and easy to drink oktoberfest beer, light malt, balanced carb, slight sour aftertaste to matches will with brats, mustard, cabbage dishes etc.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

this beer is super smooth so i gave it a five on feel. this isn't my favorite style of beer but this one has got to be the best one of the bunch that i've tried so far.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From an 11.2 oz single into a willi becher
pours a surprisingly pale gold with 3 finger foamy head that subsides after 2 minutes and leaves some decent lacing. Nose is fairly delicate but underwhelming: some faint sourdough notes together with a little lightly sweet apple. Follows the nose but a lot more depth, a bit perfumy and flowery, some honey, faintly tart, some crackery malt....it all integrates nicely. I get a little flowery hoppiness but next to no spiciness (which would be really nice). crisp and clean and perfect carbonation (on the high side)...drying out a little at the end but not too much.

This definitely isn't an amber marzen, but it is a very nice festbier. Super-fresh, I bet it would probably be the bomb. As is, I tasted it side-by-side with a local festbier (by Bauhaus) and they each had their strengths. This German is more refined but I don't know that it is more enjoyable for all that. Happy to have either one.

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Photo of VikingBeer
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Paddy Wagon (Richmond, KY). Pretty,if unexpectedly light-colored, pour. Aroma is rich as hell, all malty, slightly nutty, and honey-kissed. Malt-forward, naturally, with flavors of apples, honeycomb, hints of pepper, and a touch of grassy, herbal hops. Not as superlative as some Weihenstephaner brews, but nearly the definition of the style.

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Photo of Brolo75
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a stein

Pours a golden straw color, clear, lots of carbonation, white head with lots of tiny bubbles. Aroma, very malt forward, biscuits, hint of honey, graham cracker sweetness, no alcohol on the nose, pretty straightforward lager like aromas. Hit of honey up front, spiciness, getting tartness notes like green apples, very smooth and drinkable, very clean finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium body with a semi-dry finish. Overall, this is a very tasty beer but I don't understand why it's categorized as a marzen, it's pale straw colored, lack toffee and caramel malt notes, but it is very drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of logicalparadox
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An interesting offering for an Oktoberfest, from a brewery that ought to know a thing or two about the style!

This is perhaps the most distinctive Oktoberfest I've ever had.

First, it pours with an outstanding clarity and lightness. The color is light straw and clear as glass, completely translucent without a speck of haze. The head pours like a fluffy cloud, about 2-3 fingers for an aggressive pour. The head is about the purest white I've ever seen. If you'd not told me, I'd have thought this was one of the world's best pilsners.

The aromas are familiar for an Oktoberfest/Marzen, but lighter and more subtle--delicate. Cracker, bread, and a slight doughiness from the malts.

The flavors are crisp and astoundingly clean. A light sweetness showcases a refreshing and thirst-quenching pallet of flavors, that somehow are both in keeping with the style, and yet at the same time are more reminiscence of a fine pilsner (not that the two style are that far apart in terms of general character).

Mouthfeel is refreshingly, clean, light, and yet has a bit of chew to it. Really quite impressive the way it balances those traits.

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This crystal clear, highly effervescent pale straw festbier has a large, albeit transient, snow-white rocky head that leaves moderate ladders and clouds of lacing in its wake. On the nose, it is moderate in intensity: predominately biscuity malt, with lesser amounts of green apple and spicy noble hops, and faint alcoholic overtones. On the palate, it expresses itself moderately as well, up front as sour green apple; mid-palate, a moderate, balanced amount of spicy hop flavor emerges and fleeting peeks of the graham-crackery malt foundation are seen. The finish is graham-crackery malt with a hint of sweet, followed by the gradual onset of a moderate spicy hops bitterness that lingers a few minutes. The mouthfeel is biggish for the light body, and the texture is slightly creamy and prickly from the very fizzy carbonation. I find this beer replacing a lot of my pilsner consumption during the fall season. (11.2 oz bottle, 120 days after pkg.)

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Photo of James954
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer can easily be a 5/5 for the style.

L: Clear light golden yellow with a light carbonation that looks reminiscent of champagne.

S: light sweet fruit

T: Light Honey wheat bread and sweet and brisk fruit...well balanced.

F: Full-bodied and smooth with carbonation that is consistant enough to maintain a full head, but is light, soft, and fizzy.

O: It goes down so easy! I can't recommend it enough. Weihenstephaner always gets it right with me!

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Photo of dgmirelli
3.17/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

look is a light yellow pale color, smell is grain and grass, taste again is grassy with a slight malt mid to low carbonation on the feel, will be looking for a true Oktoberfest beer instead of this. need something heavier to kick off play-off baseball and cooler weather

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Photo of TH28
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

330cl bottle. Appearance: Crystal clear yellow with a light white foam head. Aroma: Bready malt with a strong floral, spicy hop aroma. Taste: Light, bready malt with a spicy, moderate bitterness. Very similar to a Helles, maybe slightly more on the bitter side. Mouthfeel: Light body with a brisk carbonation. Hint of alcohol warmth in the finish. Finish: Bready, spicy hop flavors linger after the swallow. Overall: Very similar overall to the Weihenstephaner Original Helles. Bitterness is slightly more pronounced and there is a touch of alcohol warmth not found in the Original.

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Photo of Buck89
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden color with a thick white head. Good retention. Muted aroma with some malt but little else. Taste solid but nothing special for the style, with malt but little hop character. Clean finish.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From bottle, Clear golden color with one finger head. Sweet malty aroma, grassy. Taste is similar, with hint of banana easy to drink and not too sweet.

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Photo of Myotus
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a beer mug.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger's worth of white foam that halves itself after 30 seconds. Straw yellow in color. Lots of ascending bubbles. Lacing is subtle and thin.
SMELL: Mild aromas of pale malts, caramel malts, and sweet bread meet subtle aromas of spicy hops.
TASTE: Initial taste is of strong caramel malty goodness and sweet bread. Mild pale malt and spicy hop flavors enter immediately after. A hint of floral hops enter lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for spicy hops, which grow a little bit stronger.
FEEL: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated. Doesn't really go down too smooth. Finishes with a subtle dryness.
NOTE: I was disappointed. A good beer if you take it as it is. But a bad one if you look at which brewery made it. This brewery makes top notch brews and this specific beer was not one of them.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.14/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear, straw color with an all-white head that's gone quickly. The head leaves almost no lacing.

The aroma is subdued and slightly floral, with notes of sweet, doughy malt.

The taste is rather sweet and bready, with faint hints of hops on the back end.

The feel is somewhere between light and medium, with decent carbonation. No alcohol is detected however there's a lingering spicy flavor that sticks on the tongue after each sip. Extremely crisp.

Overall, this was a lot lighter than I expected for a märzen but it worked very well. This beer is incredibly drinkable and has a pilsner-esque quality to it. The aroma was underwhelming but the flavors were excellent and more than made up for it.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at The Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a pale deep gold, fairly clear, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like grain y cereal malt, slight grassy bitterness, and light caramel.

This seems like basically the prototype for the pale festbier style. It's got a great sweet and grainy cereal malt character, very slight hop bitterness, very crisp. With this brewery, how could this not be good?

This is light bodied, very crisp, and super drinkable.

A really quite solid Oktoberfest here, nothing outstanding, but solid and incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale straw, hint of Amber, head quickly disapates, ultra thin ring like lace disapates also. The light color is unusual for an Oktoberfest.
Fruity sweet aroma in the nose, then a mostly clean aroma that is hard to discern. I picked up some bready malts and a hint of floral tones towards the end.
Ultra clean taste, low carbonation, sweet and malt forward overall. Sweetness in the finish, but slightly dry and mild hops aftertaste. The body is very light for an Oktoberfest. Very drinkable; I pounded this one in no time. Flavirful and tasty. As with other commenters, it doesn't feel like an Oktoberfest, but it's nice.

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Photo of Premo88
4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into nonic

L: brilliantly clear yellow ... very light yellow, only the slightest hint of gold in it, 4-6 SRM, very pale and light for a marzen; solid 3/4-inch head of white foam; no major sticking or lace

S: super fruity, like an English pale ale, peach, no discernible hop presence

T: fruity and lots of bread-malt sweetness ... like the nose, has a bit of an English pale ale aura ... nicely sweet and malty

F: good heft for a medium-weight brew, solid carbonation with just a hint of softness

O: fantastic brew ... very light and fruity sweet with the malt shining as the brightest star here ... even the feel is a bit ale-like, so it really has a kinship with the English pale ale; over time the hops offer a little earthy balance; easily my favorite Oktoberfest so far.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear pale to medium yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and faint golden yellow highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy bright white head that slowly reduces to a medium to large half finger tall cap in the center surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to heavy amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of slightly sweet bready malts and light aromas of floral hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of bready and slightly sweet caramel malts. That is followed by light flavors of floral hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness to the finish which does not linger.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Extremely easy to drink, flavorful, with well hidden alcohol make this beer seem sessionable. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of kpoole25
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear pale yellow, fluffy white head, lots of carbonation. Sweet crackery smell, a little sulphur. Taste is sweet and light malt, a little more sulphur, but blows off as I get into it, moderate to light bittering. Crisp and very drinkable, reminds me of a pilsner really. This is the last bottle of the handful of Oktoberfest beers I've tried so far this season. Clear 'winner' for me was the Paulaner, then the Sierra Nevada - Brauhaus Riegele Collaboration, then probably this beer, followed by a local offering (San Tan Brewing), and last for me was the Left Hand. Lots of variation in color, maltiness, alcohol..something for everyone.

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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

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Photo of McMatt7
4.45/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I don't know how to rate this, but it's beautiful and delicious, it smells clean, the cleanest, a little sweet, mellow hop, baked bread, love it, damn fantastic beer.

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Photo of HankSingle
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Drinking out of a pint glass, at work, because someone dropped a six pack.

Great light-gold color, very clear, with all but no head. Mildly aromatic, great gobs of honey all over the nose, but light enough to be enchanting. The honey returns on the palette, a bright sweetness riding on mild-to-medium bitterness that fades into a malty end. Great effervescence, no alcohol anywhere.

This is brighter and more inviting of a second than most Octoberfests I've had - I think someone, here, mentioned this is not a typical marzen? And it feels atypical, but in a very positive way, especially given the September heatwave we are suffering, right now. Gosh, but you could finish a pint of this quickly.

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Weihenstephaner Festbier from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
3.7 out of 5 based on 1,541 ratings.
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