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Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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BA SCORE
84
good
786 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
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FestbierFestbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
victorybeer.com

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
786
Ratings:
1,940
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
20.16%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
237
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 786 | Ratings: 1,940
Photo of SitkaSteve
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a mug (one of these days, I wouldn't mind getting a true stein for this style, think I'm gonna have to if I keep up with the oktoberfests). Anywho:
The appearance was a ruddy light brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated pretty quickly. Lacing was light and sliding right on into the beer.
The smell started off with a light nutty/caramel/toffee. Some burnt breadiness rides the line underneath.
The taste was mainly sweet through the previously mentioned flavors. A light sweet bready aftertaste runs into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about light bodied with a crisp sweet sessionable feel to it. Carbonation felt good and light. Gets a tad syrupy.
Overall, decent take on an Oktoberfest by an American brewer, most likely ask for a Weihenstephaner one before this if found, but I don't mind this one.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draught at the Mill Hill Saloon in Trenton, NJ: The beer pours a clear copper color with a medium thin light beige head that dissipates slowly. Spotty lacing. Light malt and caramel along with hops in the nose. Medium body with a soft mouthfeel. Flavors of toasted malt and caramel, plus mild hops and fruit. The finish is sweet malt and a hint of hops. Slightly above average all around.

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Photo of RJIV
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a keg.
The color is a glassy bronze.
There is a slight caramel notes on the nose.
The mouth feel is light and crisp.
There is a sweet light toffee note throughout that ends in a caramel aftertaste.

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Photo of eljefe21
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light copper color with a 1 finger head.

S: Slightly faint malty smell.

T: Malty balanced nicely with a slightly dry and bitter flavor.

M: Sharp and carbonated up front, thin in the middle, and a dry finish.

D: A nice beer that tastes like fall in Germany.

Served: in a standard pint glass

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Clear deep amber color. Thick frothy head with good retention. Moderate amounts of lacing.

3.5 S: A little bit fruity, a little bit grainy, a little bit spicy, but not a whole lot of aroma overall. Just a touch of herbal hops.

3.5 T: This has a unique taste. No other Oktoberfests are quite like this one. I admire that Victory would make a product that isn't just a clone of a generic Oktoberfest. However, the taste leaves something to be desired. Biscuity and caramel from malts. Spicy. Then there is something pungent. Maybe that is what makes it unique, but it is a bit off-putting. By no means is this a bad brew, but it isn't up to its potential.

3.5 M: Medium body, a bit under-carbonated. Otherwise smooth.

3.0 D: It's the pungency in the taste that lowers the drinkability by quite a bit.

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Photo of BB1313
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 1/2/17. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours amber with a subtle haze but has solid clarity; small off-white head that fades leaving solid retention and little lacing. Nice color. The aromas have lots of caramel malts and bread notes. Lots of caramel and toffee. The flavors seem to follow the nose. More caramel and toffee. Lots of grains. Very earthy. Subtle bitterness. Finishes clean. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is great. It's light with very active carbonation. Fluffy and smooth. Very easy to drink.

This is a solid Oktoberfest. It might not be my favorite or the best, but it's not bad.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured amber-orange with a half-inch of light foam, no lacing. Smell is lightly malty but rather non-descript. Malt presence on the taste buds is sweet, biscuit, bread, Earthy, almost chalky. Some light herbal hop late into a slightly dry finish. Body falls apart on the tongue, but the carbonation is decent. Overall a decent malty Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Terp96
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my annual buys around this time of year. For the record, I think it was better last year.

Pours a bright amber into the glass with minimal head. The beer is clean and pretty highly carbonated which I thought was strange.

Smell is decent for the style. Typically malty but not over powering. I couldn't smell too much of the hop profile.

Taste is a little sweeter than I expected. The sweet malted backbone soon gives way to a surprisingly strong hop presence. As a hophead, this was the best part.

Mouthfeel was decent as well. A little sweet and thick for my liking. Bitterness in the end allows the beer to linger a little longer and that helps.

Overall, a decent attempt at an Octoberfest Marzen. I liked the variation of the theme with the hop presence but I think it lends itself to more criticism from the style police. It is still pretty drinkable but not as much as a Hacker-Pschorr or Paulaner. I will go back for this one.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

9/8/2016 notes:

Haven't had this one since my initial review so figured I'd give it another shot. Head is larger than I remember with better retention. Pretty good looking Märzen. The malt is so heavy though and has a coffee overtone to it that really doesn't belong and makes the beer feel heavier than it actually is. Strong toasted malt dominates the flavor. Medium-full bodied.

I still love Victory but their Festbier is still a miss for me. Probably won't buy again but always happy to give a Victory beer another shot. They do most German styles very well but there are much better Oktoberfests out there.

-----

Review and rating of 3.48/5 on 10/24/2014:

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

Deep amber color with a small white head. Poor retention. Sweet caramel malt aroma. Flavor was lacking that dry, bready, Oktoberfest profile. Chalky mouthfeel. I'm usually a fan of Victory but this was a miss for me. I would recommend most German and some other American versions of the style over this one.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Sunset Grille. Poured a tawny, brown color, and it was quite cloudy. What's up with that? Had a creamy, tan head, which faded quickly, and left no lacing. Verrry mild malt nose...where is it? Mouthfeel was quite nice, though; good body and smooth. Flavor had some ok malt, a smooth flavor but mild. Even a hint of some fruitiness present. Not bad, but not really fest-like. Perhaps it's the tap lines? I'll try it again elsewhere, and keep an open mind.

overall: 3.45
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5

352

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: orange/copper body, finger beige head,
light lacing

S: caramel, bread, malt, grain

T: caramel, nutty, big malt/sweet bread, mild
bitter/earthy finish

M: med body, solid carbonation/smooth mouth

O: Very flavorful American Marzen brew, Love
the style and brewery. Would get again + recommend.

QUITE NICE, WORTH TRYING!

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Photo of yelterdow
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Freshness date: "Enjoy by Dec 12 05". Served at fridge temperature in a Fuller's nonic, around lunchtime.

Appearance- A clean, clear reddish amber which displays a small, one inch head that deteriorates immediately. A thin rim of foam survives, without any lacing.

Smell- German malts, with their nutty, sweet undertones... not much else! Vienna malts and a mildly bready aroma.

Taste- A very familiar Oktoberfest flavor that incorporates the malts, bread, and very slight bittering in the finish... approachable, and basic. You can't write a book about it, you just enjoy it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A bit too carbonated in the mouth, it gets in the way of the taste and drinkability; Almost a tongue-encompassing hostage scenario ensues. Overall a decent interpretation of a Fest, just a bit loud.

Victory's brewing mastery resides outside of this beer, just try Storm King...

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boulevard in J'Town, PA had the Victory Festbier on tap. It poured a clear amber with decent frothy head and laced. The aroma included malt, barley, and some spiciness. The tase was powered by barley and malt....very grainy beer. The mouthfeel is ok, the taste leaves something to be desired. Over all it was ok,,,never been that big of a october Marzen fan. Certainly worth a try though.

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Photo of Onceeven
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Probably my last Oktoberfest for the year, and not a bad one to finish off the batch.
Poured a crystal clear amber followed by a small head of foam, and spotty lacing. This one smells different from the rest, and I'm not sure if thats good or bad. It's a sweet smell that smells like the ripe grapes that used to grow on my neighbor's vine. Never smelled anything like it in a beer before. It's echoed in the taste too, a bit tart.
It's not a bad beer, the maltiness still pulls through, with almost a bit of nuttiness. Maybe Victory was trying something a bit different with this one.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a pint glass from notes, Oct. 2008. Pours a mostly clear reddish amber in color with a thin cap. Retention is brief and lacing is thin.

Light hops on the nose, warming up to yield some sweet toasted malts. Offers some more noticeable noble hops only when agitated aggressively.

Somewhat malty on the tongue, thick and simple with a uniform malt presence and a touch of woodsy spice. Rather bitter and smoky on the finish in sharp contrast to the initial sweetness. Carbonation was high and resulted in some oscillation between sweet and dry in the second half of the glass. Too confusing to reach for again.

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Photo of Fredk24
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I snagged a forlorn bottle of this beer from my local package store's shelf a week ago, and I'm just getting to it. Sadly there is no production or freshness date on the bottle.

Upon pouring, the beer has a nice copper color to it, with a decent, quickly dissipating head.

The smell is unobtrusive, if anything there is a smell of slightly sour bread.

Decent maltiness, thin-to-medium body. Finishes clean.

I prefer Harpoon Octoberfest to this one because it has a deeper malt flavor. I'll probably give this another try next October.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle 2 months past expiration

Look is an amber-orange with a khaki head. Smell is hay, wheat, yeast, caramel rolls, pumpkin spice, and clove. Taste is wheat, spice, yeast, pumpkin, and roasted malts. Feel is medium, medium carbonation, slightly syrupy and thick.

Solid fest beer, but nothing special. At the high price point, it's not especially desirable.

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Photo of Stimack
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint (although this begs to be poured into a mug.)

A: Deep, clear amber with a one finger white head. Dissipates kind of fast.

S: Slightly roasty malts and caramel make up the smell.

T: Lots of malt present....it has the slight roast flavor giving it a distinct taste. Also a nice, clean grain flavor, as well. There's a nice dose of leafy hops to balance the malt out a little bit. Finishes with a very slight bittenessr and roastiness.

M: Dangerously drinkable. Smooth, creamy, medium-bodied.

O: A highly drinkable, flavorful marzen. It's pretty standard for the style and doesn't really bring anything too new to the table. It's easy to appreciate the simplicity of this beer, though. A perfect fall party beer.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Victory- Festbier

Appearance- Golden chestnut brown with no head.
Smell- Light sugary malt with hints of earthy hops.
Taste- Full flavored malt with mollasses. Nice earthy hop flavor well balanced.
Mouthfeel- Lighty sweet with a solid flavor throughout.

Overall- Much better 2nd time around. A good session beer!

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Biting, almost skunky hop aroma. Small, oatmeal colored head. Slightly sweet malt and biscuity flavors. Spicy hop flavors towards the middle. Transparent, light orange colored beer.Solid body, not too thick, very smooth and easy drinking. Solid flavor and feel, not much to look at and the aroma, while not bad, was not very appealing.

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Photo of JMD
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark copper color with small head that fades very quickly.

S: Light aroma of toasted malt and carmel. Not bad, but the nose is just too faint. Even letting the beer warm didn't do anything to improve the aroma.

T: The prominent flavor for me was bready and bisquity malt. Followed by some sweet carmel, brown sugar and some spice. Faint hops are present as well.

M: A little on the thin side for the style, somewhere between light and medium bodied.

D: Overall, a decent American made Octoberfest. I found this one to be a little too bready for my taste, and not enough sweetness and spice. Not bad, but there are better domestic Marzens out there.

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Photo of russpowell
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange with a finger of tan head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness & not much else

T: Herbal & metallic hops, grainyness & some caramel up front. Dryness, slight leafy hops & a touch of caramel as this warms. finishes dry with a little grainy breadyness & toffee

MF Medium bodied with low carbonation

Very drinkable, but alas, the flavor profile is lacking. I expected more from these guys

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Photo of bditty187
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This might be my last O-fest for the ’05 Season…

Clear, coppery-peachy-bronze in hue, the color of the liquid is typical of the style. A steady stream of animation slowly danced to the off-white head. At best the foam barley covered the liquid; there really wasn’t a true head. Disappointing. There was no subsequent lacing either, another bummer. For an O-fest I am saddened by the appearance.

The nose is clean. Too clean for me; it really doesn’t say much. I get hints of caramel malts and a trace amount of earthy hops. I get the impression this beer has German roots but it is difficult to tell exactly the direction this beer wants to go. Hells? Oktoberfest? I’m not sure. Low potency, it is too quite overall; the nose is passable.

The palate is soft but likeable. The maltiness is pliable, delicate with a caramel candy base, some bread, and some honey. The hop profile is light, some earthiness and spice at the back. Clean, as it should be, the finish is fairly long but uneventful. The palate is solid; I’ve enjoyed much better O-fests this season. I mean, this one is okay but forgettable. I was expecting Victory to nail the style, they didn’t. At least this beer wasn’t “Americanized” too much… but it was still a bit underdone. It is enjoyable but it is nothing extraordinary.

Medium in body, moderate-low carbonation, natural and fitting mouthfeel is firm but not rigid. On the tongue, this beer feels about right. Nicely done.

Drinkable and tasty it is. Special? Not so much. Of course not every beer needs to be the greatest beer in the world. If I could get this locally I would drink it. It would be a no-brainer! Is this good enough for me too seek out in the future? No. I wouldn’t turn one down though! I am very happy I could try it. Thank you RedHaze!

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On draft

Medium brown in color, thin off white head that fades fast. Slightly sweet malty aroma. Taste is bready, a little brown sugar. Thin to medium body.

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,940 ratings.
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