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
Reviews by JohnnyK:
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JohnnyK from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +8.1%

Oct 08, 2013
More User Reviews:
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WesMantooth from Ohio

3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a mostly clear copper with a pretty good sized head, but it is mind of soapy and doesnt last very long.

Smells very malty and sweet with some grains and nuts.

It's a malt bomb. Toasted grains, some malt sweetness that could easily be mistaken for caramel. Maybe it is. Some brewers have used caramel malts in their versions. It almost tastes like a candy apple. Slight floral notes. I swear I taste chocolate, which obviously doesn't belong, but it is like a little bit of chocolate malt got spilled into the mash.

This is not a bad tasting beer by any means, but it isn't a great example of a Marzen either. Honestly, it has a lot of brown ale qualities. Good, not great. If you want to get your malt on you will enjoy it. This is like many American versions of Marzens. Too sweet, with some flavors that don't fit the style.

Aug 23, 2015
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matcris from Arizona

3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A very clear caramel/amber in color. Half a finger of off white head that dissipates fairly quick. A bit of lacing left down the glass. The aroma is sweet, almost a butterscotch candy type of smell. Malty, a little nutty, like fruitcake. The flavor is all of these elements, and is bready, lots of caramel sweetness; a bit too much, I think. The feel is medium thin body, mildly dry, and average carbonation. Overall, it is a bit too sweet and tame, for me.

Oct 03, 2017
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stella77artois from New York

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - Dark amber. Smallish head.

S - General hoppiness. Earthy aroma, small hints of of caramel and smoke.

T - Solid malt backbone. Slight amount of hoppy bitterness. I notice earthy hops. An ever so slight bit of smokiness. Solid malt backbone has elements of toasted wheat bread and earthiness.

D - Slightly thick. About how a Marzen should be. Definitely drinkable.

O - A solid Oktoberfest. I don't drink a lot of this style as so many seem similar to me, and there isn't much variation it seems. This is a solid Oktoberfest though. Somehwta complex, full of flavor and fairly easy to drink. I recommend it.

Aug 23, 2014
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SABERG from Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a recently purchased bottle dated best by 12/17 into the test glass.
A - Deep copper toned, clear and beautiful. thin cap is supported by gentle carbonation.
S - Malts all the way, sweet caramel, with a hint of orange, brown sugar.
T - Follows the nose well, excellent malt display.
M - Medium in body, soft on the palate, finish is sweet but nicely dry.
O - A robust interpretation, with a lot of caramel in the offering, a very nice beer

Sep 11, 2017
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark bronze with a thick tan-tinted head. Malty aroma with a bit of a coffee impression. This continues to the taste: malt-forward with nutty, burnt caramel, low-quality coffee notes. Not real hops to speak of. Light to medium bodied. More char/burnt character than most Oktoberfests. It's okay.

Sep 06, 2016
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tillmac62 from South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

EBD 12/17/15. Pours a clear medium amber with a beautiful garnet hue. Normal head volume, lacing and retention.

Light nose of caramel with hints of grainy biscuit.

Light medium body with a smooth texture. Superb carbonation with a fair amount of effervescence in the middle and a nice prickly burst in the finish.

The flavor profile is very good, but not typical for a marzen. Like the color, it has a heavier dark malt character that speaks more to toasted chocolate malt rather than caramel. It begins with toasted, nutty and grainy malt with almost no sweetness. The middle brings an earthy hop flavor with a very light bitterness and only a subtle sweetness, which lacks caramel character. The finish is semi-dry and has a slow fade of herbal and earthy hop flavor. As it warms, sweetness does become more noticeable.

Sep 23, 2015
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Stimack from New York

3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served to a nice clear amber color with a good-sized frothy head that had a nice retention leaving a good amount of lacing at the top of the glass. The aroma seems to be musty with a great deal of malt wrapped together. Some spiciness seems to be present as well along with a slight nut and alcohol scent breaking through. Over all a pretty good smelling brew. The taste, to me, seemed to disappoint. It did not seem to have enough oomph, seemed watered down. The Malt flavors where there but they did not stick out. The flavors that where present where caramel, nuts, toasted grain and a hop/dry finish. Not a bad beer but do feel that it holds up against some of the better Marzens from Germany and is mediocre to a number of Marzens brewed here domestically.

Sep 29, 2007
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williamherbert from New York

4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a clear, glassy reddish orange. One finger of foamy cardboard-brown head. Totally see through.

Well-balanced sweetness in the light hops and mildly bitter German malt. Great combination! Smells fresh and flowery. Great aroma, like a fresh harvest ale.

Bitter German malt dominates the taste, but the sweetness of the yeast balances that. Hops are very delicate, but also add a lot. Very malty and autumnal. Slightly bitter ending.

Unusually smooth, nice body. A bit of Yuengling-like milkyness. Smooth feel perfectly offsets that bitterness. It's really delicious and easy to drink. A truly excellent fall brew. Drinkable but not thin.

Oct 25, 2007
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grayburn from South Carolina

3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very pretty copper color with virtually no head, and the head that there is disappears rapidly with no lacing. Not sure what happened here, as there are bubbles of co2 flying all around the glass.

The smell is a bit one dimensional, there might be some malty depths and hoppiness going on somewhere, but all I can really pull from it is a faint sense of alcohol.

The complexity of the malt really comes through in the flavor, very well rounded with just a touch of hop flavor to balance things out. The appearance and smell had me worried, but this is a nice tasting beer.

The mouthfeel starts off nice and heavy and finishes dry with just a hint of bitterness, nice.

Easy drinking, a bit over carbonated but not shabby at all.

Nov 14, 2009
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NatsnSkinsDC from Maryland

3/5  rDev -18.9%

Dec 13, 2013
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jmarklan from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +8.1%

Nov 16, 2011
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bzach from Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Oct 24, 2012
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AD17 from New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Apr 25, 2016
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ogman from Pennsylvania

3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Feb 24, 2018
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toast9 from New Jersey

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

Aug 18, 2019
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SwillBilly from Virginia

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Forgot I had this in the back of the fridge from the fall. Glad I had another one.

Appearance: Pours copper in color and crystal clear. Head is very minimal and fades very quickly to the faintest wisps of lacing topping the beer. Lacing on the glass is minimal.

Smell: Nice and malty with hints of caramel, brown sugar, with a bit of a bread or biscuit like quality as well.

Taste: Starts nice and malty with the crystal malt showing a nice caramel like sweetness along with hints of brown sugar and possibly raisins. Festbier finishes with a very nice, light bitterness as the hops make an appearance. A nice finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium in the mouth with decent carbonation. Somewhat slick.

Drinkability/Notes. Glad I found this guy in the back of my DBF, just what I was looking for to offset all of the big winter beers I've accumlated. A nice malty beer with plenty of caramel malt giving the beer its sweetness that also finishes with a nice hoppy twang that lingers long on the tongue after the swallow. Super drinkable and one the would make a good session beer if so inclined. Definitley recommended and will buy again next fall.

Feb 10, 2007
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Bowdoinbeerboy from Maine

3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with no head at all and very little apparent carbonation. Smell is of fresh baked bread a hint of warm spices.

Taste is malty and slightly sweet, the carbonation doesn't add much pop on the tongue. The beer is very balanced and ever so slightly peppery, a very subtle and malty beer.

Oct 14, 2012
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eagles22 from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

beautiful ofest brew nice white tannish head with a copper color body

Smell: rich malty and also hints of floral hops

Taste: wonderful malts and caramel and also nice buttery biscuit taste

Mouthfeel: wonderful not to much carbonation

Drinkability: all day

Oct 02, 2009
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morrowd3 from Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Sep 28, 2013
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jk3 from New York

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Oct 18, 2012
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Honeycutt from Delaware

4/5  rDev +8.1%

Oct 13, 2012
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ArsMoriendiOU818 from Virginia

3/5  rDev -18.9%

Sep 21, 2014
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iRun2Beer from Minnesota

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

Sep 02, 2015
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GnomeKing from Pennsylvania

2.85/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm surprised how thick and heavy this is. The moutfeel is surprisingly creamy, and the beer goes down heavy. This is not what I wanted out of a marzen. The taste is grainy, with a little hops and a little maltiness. There's not much to say. It goes down hard, but the taste isn't complex enough or stron enough to explain why it goes down that way. Eh, Oktoberfest only comes once a year.

Sep 09, 2005
Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 2079 ratings