Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #270
Ranked #39,103
3.7 | pDev: 12.7%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Notes: Friendship and camaraderie: the two keys to any festive event. And then there’s the beer. It should be full-bodied, yet infinitely smooth. Seductively malty, with a kiss of the hops for balance. This is our Festbier. Painstakingly crafted from German malts, decoction brewed for full flavor and carefully aged for depth of character. Subtly sweet with a delicate malt nose, our Festbier gains its impressive body from our use of all imported German malts and decoction brewing process. Gather with your friends for a festive moment of Victory!
Reviews: 842 | Ratings: 2,079 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BJB13
BJB13 from Maryland

4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tumbler style pint glass.
Best by: 17 DEC 2020

L: Clear, copper, tiny bubbles rising, over one finger of khaki head with good retention, leaves some lace.
S: Mild bread aroma with a hint of spicy hop.
T: Full flavored, balanced fairly close malt to hop, bread and toast to herbal and spicy, restrained bitterness, semi-sweet and drying a touch to the finish, aftertaste leans to malt.
F: Light and crisp, slightly creamy.
O: Easy to drink, good flavor but possibly leaning malty, very good in my opinion.

Oct 21, 2020
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by 12/18/20

Pours a clear, deep copper body with brownish hues and topped with about a finger of creamy, pale beige foam; decent head retention yields spotty islands of paper-thin cap, a rocky ring of frothy collar, and a lazy splotching of dense, established webby lacing spread around the walls of the glass.

Aroma opens burly and impactful, with a stiff, bready malt overtaking the senses as hops offer ample competition, contributing interwoven floral tones verging toward light straw; a distinct honey note enters on the middle, though a natural charry essence dominates into the back end, with black bread crusts, brown bread, and a caramel sweetness in the close that feels uncharacteristically in-place.

Taste offers more outright sweetness upfront, highlighting caramel and lighter toffee supplemented by a subtle bready quality; honey remains a presence beneath the surface, flowing into notes of apple core and a touch of mushy fig on the back end before burnt bread crusts, grass, and caramel resume on the finish.

Mouthfeel greets the tongue with a medium-full body and subdued, moderate carbonation spritzing mildly into a drying yet somehow simultaneously slick texture over the mid-palate; a rounded, malty grit meets a well-maintained bitterness, softening into back end and finishing cleanly and with a minor 'snap'.

Underneath a one-dimensionality encouraged by its forthright robustness, this Märzen shows an almost surprisingly stalwart composure from start to finish; there are few edges, and any imperfections are eased over while the blunt overall character remains the primary deterrent to more consummate drinkability.

Oct 17, 2020
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle
enjoy by 18 DEC 2020
L: deep amber-brown colored bier; thin beige head
S: sweet grain, caramel, bread crust, spicy hops
T: rich toasted grain, caramel, rye bread crust, nutty malt; hops are spicy & earthy
F: fuller body, well balanced, pleasant carbonation, dry finish
O: very good Märzen, just a tad too rich taking away from sessionability

Oct 16, 2020
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milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper appearance with a good sized head and decent lacing. Herbal hops and toasted malts pop up in the understated aroma. Malt driven flavor, notes of brown bread and just a bit of residual sweetness. Rich malt taste continues in the finish. Creamy textured, medium bodied mouthfeel.

Oct 13, 2020
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datstankadank from New Jersey

4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep mahogany, 4 finger head. Smells velvety malt, layers of malt flavor ranging from nuts to chocolate. Good body, great use of decoction mash. Finishes dry. Not really a festbier, more properly a marzen. Great example. Would recommend.

Oct 06, 2020
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Foyle from North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. A 2" cream color sudsy head drops slowly with moderate lacing. Color is deep amber with plenty of streaming carbonation. Aroma is rich barley malt syrup with floral and spicy hop notes. Mouthfeel is light to medium with a drying finish. Flavors of raisin, plum, biscuit, floral and grassy notes. Overall: a very good Marzen.

Sep 21, 2020
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adrock314 from Pennsylvania

3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Deep, bright orange pour. Very clear. Head quickly dwindles to a thin layer.

Faint bready aroma. Not getting much here.

Tastes of sweet bread and caramel. Some biscuit-like flavor with hints of roast. Suggestions of hop bitterness provide some balance. A little underwhelming.

Nice mouthfeel with some prickly carbonation. Finishes slick, oily almost.

Solid overall, but left me wanting. This bottle isn't living up to my recollection of this beer in previous years.

Sep 19, 2020
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realJohnnyHobo from Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Having had Paulaner a day before going to an American-German style märzen is always a risky bet, especially when having a real tent beer and looking at style clone. Overall it is acceptable, but still an average example of a German-style beer. American water has something a bit 'off' when you consider the mouthfeel. Nice balance of Munich and Vienna style malts that accompany one another. No hoppiness, which I found a lot more in the Paulaner marzen, so for me this would be more aligned to what I expect from Spaten. The mouthfeel is still light, though I still think the water is not nearly as soft as the Bavarian original. Oddly this is nearly a similar taste I found in the Sam Adams Oktoberfest, which I think was the best Americanized example of the beer this year.

Sep 12, 2020
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defunksta from North Dakota

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a deep copper color that is clear. Bright and reflective. A strong off-white head. SRM of 18. (4.00)

Aroma: Aromas of sweet but sour grass, cinnamon and toasty malts among a grassy caramel flavored bread. There is brown sugar, cinnamon, sugar, on toast or stale bread. Relatively strong grassy caramel. (4.00)

Flavor: Flavor upfront has more grassy caramel, but with a lemon and flower tartness. Then following that there's toast, burnt crumbs, all topped with cinnamon and brown sugar. Mostly brown sugar though. I think there is caramel there too. Less cinnamon and french toast. Strong toast and bread flavors. Lots of malts. Moderate sweetness, but appropriate. Mild bitterness. On the end there's toast and brown sugar. (4.00)

Feel: Medium-bodied. Low to average carbonation. Finishes smooth and mildly sweet. (3.75)

Compared to Leinenkugals Oktoberfest 9/11/20: Pours a similar color that is slightly darker. Stronger aromas of toast, brown sugar, and bread. Less

Compared to Sam Adams Oktoberfest 10/14/20: Pours a similar color. Aromas/flavors have more grassiness, lemon, and bread crumbs. More tartness. Less caramel and red fruit. Winner: Victory

Overall: A delicious and toasty lager with a tart grassy profile. Malty (but not too sweet) for sure. Fantastic appearance, nice aromas/flavors of grassiness, tart lemon, with a nice toast of the end. Drinks more like a bock than a festbier. Reminds me of a good bock? Nonetheless, darker, toastier, but not sweeter than the traditional style. (Final Rating: 4.03)

Sep 12, 2020
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mikeinportc from New York

3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear reddish-copper, with moderate off-white head.

Smell is mostly caramel malt , with a hint of something spicy. Brief flash of earthy (old) dried straw or wood.

Taste is similar to aroma, but less sweet, more bready, and spicy(coriander+black pepper). Rye in it? Tastes like it. Moderate bitterness. Some lingering tang and slightly bitter herbal flavor.

Feel is medium, with moderate soft carbonation, that has a slight bite near finish.

Overall, while not among my favorite OFest beers, it is enjoyable and satisfying. I wouldn't mind having it again. When the favorites disappear in October, and if this is still around (Often is) , I'll probably grab a 6pk or 2.

Sep 08, 2020
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Greywulfken from New York

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

A relatively bright and juicy entrant to the style - citrus is muted but present with soft spices and sweet chewy malts beneath; on par with marzens made by Bell's and Brooklyn Brewing - a solid choice very enjoyable...

Aug 13, 2020
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; bronze in color; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 1+ finger light tan head that receded to a wispy cap; nice lacing;

S: slightly sweet; toast, a bit of tobacco;

T: sweet malt; a little pumpernickel bread; very mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: well made, but not one of my favorites of this style;

May 01, 2020
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dcscientist from Colorado

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hadn't had anything from Victory, as it's not readily available in my part of the country, but my local store had a bunch of this beer, and I love me some Oktoberfest, so I gave it a go. Pretty good, and I'd say I'm an Oktoberfest snob. It's a bit spicy, and a bit sweet, but nicely balanced between the two. Pretty light at 5.6%, which is in the range of where this beer should be. Obviously form the rankings this is one of their most popular beers, and I can see why. I'll look for other stuff from them if I see it in my area.

Feb 10, 2020
Photo of Mekz91

3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Just decent across all boards. Has a semi-thick taste but in a kind of dirty way. I've bought 3 or 4 of these in a "build your own 6 pack" at the store and think I'm completely done with it. The first one I tried I thought was great but, after having multiple I can only say this is very mediocre but not to be entirely ruled out. Try one, you might like it - a 6 pack might be too much unless you plan on drinking a couple and saving the rest for down the line

Nov 23, 2019
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izraelc from New York

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber. Smells malty. Big refreshing malt body. Sweet finish. Very smooth. This one is sweeter and fuller than most Oktoberfests I've tried. I would definitely drink more of these.

Oct 14, 2019
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ATL6245 from Georgia

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear, brilliant copper. Fluffy off white head with moderate retention

Aroma: Floral and spicy hops. Bready with slight toast malt.

Flavor and aftertaste: spicy hops and toasty bread malt aroma. Restrained bitterness.

Palate: Medium bodied. Finishes semi dry and medium length. Bitterness present in finish; but not detracting.

Overall: An enjoyable Marzen style beer. Victory always does a nice job. Head retention seemed shorter in this years batch. But still one of my favorite American Marzens.

Oct 04, 2019
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Claude-Irishman from New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a fast receding off white head,. Smell is reminiscent of malts, bread crust. Taste toffee, malts, bread taste to some extent,mild hops. Feels light bodied,medium carbonation,very drinkable,( as are most fest beers) Overall a pretty standard Marzen style. 2019 has a different label than shown

Oct 03, 2019
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good_to_sea from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Rapidly vanishing white head. Medium-dark brown, clear, with large rising bubbles.

Smell: Malty and light. Some lemon citrus and a hint of spicy hop aroma.

Taste: Deliciously malty. A bit of the lemon citrus and hop character. Raisin, brown sugar. Clean.

Feel: Crisp, medium-bodied.

Overall: I really like this beer, look forward to picking it up again.

Sep 29, 2019
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AvengeTheRavel from Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had it in bottle format. With its lack of cinnamin and nutmeg spices, it is approriately named vs an Octoberfest which - right or wrong - had come to imply presence of those flavors. So if you like the idea of a marzen style without that, then you might lime this beer. It is on the sweet/bready side flavor wise, which i myself love and would have this beer again, but i would still prefer a bready/sweet octoberfest over this if given the choice.

Sep 22, 2019
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Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear amber color with slightly off white head that thinned out quickly. Looks relatively still as far as carbonation goes. Smell is pretty clean malt, but there is an herbal quality to the aroma. Taste follows nose. Sweet malt up front with a nice bready taste. Finishes with an herbal kick from hops and this leaves a an aftertaste behind. Not a totally clean finish. Feel is medium bodied, soft carbonation, and a it feels like a thin coating gets left behind leaving that aftertaste. Overall a pretty good festbeir and it can be had fresh in my neck of the woods.

Sep 22, 2019
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JRed from New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish body with thin off-white head. Aroma of toffee, lemon skin, sweet bread, vague cinnamon. Tastes of sweet bread, light cinnamon, toffee, lemon skin, some grass. Light bodied with light carbonation.

Sep 18, 2019
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JediMasterLenin from District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Look: Pours a very pretty dark amber with a reddish tint to it. Thin white head dissipates but leaves a persistent ring of foam and lacing that slides back down the glass.
Smell: Sweet caramel grain. Not a very intense aroma.
Taste: Caramel, sweet grain, slightly bitter finish.
Feel: Medium bodied with pretty good carbonation and medium bubbles.
Overall: Not a bad American-made Marzen!

Sep 14, 2019
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Nass from Florida

3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like the bottle label artwork. The pour is an amber color. The taste follows the nose with a lot of roastiness for the style, brazilian nut, & caramel. Cheers! B

Sep 13, 2019
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VABA from Virginia

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

A-Pours a very nice amber color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma had caramel malt hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a caramel malt flavor
M-A light bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A decent Festbier

Sep 01, 2019
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nicholas2121 from Ohio

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Festbier brewed by Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown, with an ABV of 5.60% This Oktoberfest brew pours out of a 12oz bottle into a pint beer glass a deep golden amber color with a small white head. Really digging the copper color of this brew. There is some nice light lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The smell is rich with sweetness mixed with grains and malts. Festbier has the look and smell of most Oktoberfest brews on the market, not saying that is a bad thing. So far this is a nice inviting brew. Now for the taste, it is Bold with flavors. You first pick up a sweet but smoothness from the grains an malts. There is a lot going on in this Oktoberfest brew. Festbier has a super nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew it. The body of this Oktoberfest is a solid medium. This brew would go nice on a cool fall day or with dinner. The mouth feel is Rich, Bold, Clean, Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I'm going to give Festbier a solid 4 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again giving the opportunity to.Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown, did a super nice job with this Oktoberfest brew.

Nov 02, 2018
Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 2079 ratings