Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

788 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

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

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Reviews: 788 | Ratings: 1,943
Photo of Zach136
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, redish orange, OK lacing.

Aroma/Flavor: Medium intensity caramel, cereal, bready malt character with a touch of fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of Slynger
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful clear amber with a slight brownish tint and a goodly sized off-white head.
Earthy and toasted malts lead the nose with a slight caramel and vanilla sweetness.
A bit sweeter on the tongue than expected (not in a bad way) with some caramel malts, followed by the earthy toasted malts and a lightly bitter and earthy hop finish. The mouth feel is medium and drinkability is high.
This beer is great by sight, good by nose, and solid in the flavor department. For certain one of the better domestics of the style.

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Photo of jkrich
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with enjoy by jan 13, 2008.

Poured into a stein revealing a reddish, clear copper with a quickly dissipating off-white head; no lacing on glass.

The smell is typical of the Oktoberfest style: rich, tangy malt odor.

The balance of hops and malt make this an easy-going festbier which is what you would want to have at a festival; very fresh tasting. There is a slight sweetness at the very end of the taste. The sweetness becomes a bit more prominent as the beer warms in the stein.

Moderate carbonation and medium bodied.

Certainly not the most complex of oktoberfest beers I have tried this year, but it is well worth seeking out for the season.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear deep copper with thin creamy white head.

S - Sweet with some toasty & bready notes.

T - Toasty malt with some sweet caramel and fresh baked bread. Light noble hops are present. This one tastes even better as it warms slightly.

M - Great mouthfeel. Has a full mouthfeel but still feels light and creamy at the same time.

D - I could drink this all night. It went down so easy it was gone before I even finished my review.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, fresh from this year.

a- great carbonation. clear, almost rose color amber color. frothy head with tiny close bubbles. good retention.

s- roasted caramel smell. lager yeast notes as well. very clean smelling.

t- malty beer. lager yeast finish. Slight acidity that adds a nice complexity. Very slight oxidation at the end of the sip. Seems to be good at both warm and cold temps.

m- Full body, nice crisp beer. Again, only slightly oxidized, I'm usually pretty critical about that. well balance, complex, and delicious.

d- I could drink this for a while. Good beer.

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Photo of TapTitan
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was going to grab a keg of Sam's Octoberfest but they were out and this is I was recommended, good choice! Copper color with an amazing head, extremely flavorful October beer that had a wonderful malty finish, bravo to Victory on this amazing October beer which made me come back for multiple rounds!

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Photo of loren01
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange color, not too much head, very little lace down the glass
S: Smell has some definate spice to it. Nice sweet malt scent in there as well
T: Much the same as smell, caramel/brown sugarry sweetness followed by earthy spiciness. More hop flavor than I anticipated.
M: Medium bodied, good amount of carbonation
D: This is a very drinkable beer, would love to get some more of this one.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is Victory's version of a German festbier. Like most marzens, this one opens in a quick rush of froth that immediately sinks into a thin head crowning a body of translucentl light copper. There seems to be moderate carbonation bubbling and little or no extant lacing

The nose detects subtle orange while the palate gets some chewy malt, which finishes in a corn syrup fade. A tad sweet, actually.

Otherwise, a finely balanced Oktoberfest beer with which to greet the changing winds of Autumn.
This said, I could envision myself drinking it year round. Prosit!

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice crisp amber colour with a decent sized off white head that has minimal retention time and dissolves quickly, leaving nary a trace of itself on the glass.

The aroma is a basic but solid blend of caramel sweetness, some chalky, toasted bread (if that makes sense) a slight hint of spice and hops.

The flavour brings out some more toasted bread flavour along with a hint more spice and an overall dryness that was not expected from the sweetness noted in the aroma. That said, sweetness is still here from the caramel, but is concentrated primarily in the middle of each sip. There's a touch of a nut flavour at the finish as well. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with nice carbonation and a touch of slickness.

This is good stuff. As far as Oktoberfests go, this is one of the better ones out there. Beers true to the style don't leave much wiggle room for twists and turns in the flavour, but those that can do it right make for a tasty beer, and that's what this one does.

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Photo of grub
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

DrJay hooked me up with this one. thanks jay!

pours a nice copper colour, crystal clear, with a very fine white head. bit of lace.

aroma is good. nice and fresh. hint of smoke. bit of spice, maybe corriander.

taste is nice. bit of roast and smoke. spicy, almost peppery, but mostly in the mouthfeel. excellent malt base. rye bread. moderate bitterness.

mouthfeel is great. light with a good carbonation level. very smooth.

drinkability is great. really smooth and easy drinking. thanks jay!

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Photo of Kendo
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is clear coppery-brown with a 1-finger ivory head. Plenty of fine carbonation rising. Some lacing left behind on the way down.

S: Malty sweetness -- caramel malt and warm bread -- with a hint of nuttiness.

T: Caramel malt up front with a touch of brown sugar sweetness as well. Toasted grain or cereal is there too. At the back of the mouth there'sa slight bitterness that becomes more prominant as it warms. That bitterness coats the mouth and lingers, providing a nice counterbalance to the malty sweetness.

M: Seemed a bit lighter (or thin) in bodyweight than expected. Finished with a slightly spritzy feel to it.

D: Excellent. Highly quaffable. I could imagine myself at Oktoberfest in Germany downing mug after mug of this, all day long. It's flavorful enough to keep you interested but light enough to keep 'em coming.

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Photo of beergoot
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle label data: ENJOY BY : 20 JAN 2015 1019P

Dark copper body with a thin yet lasting head. Roasted grain, nutty aroma. Charred sugars, maple, roasted nuts, and, in the background, an almost smokey character. Medium body with a semi-dry feel.

A very flavorful, full-on malt character, rich in dark malt and woody, nutty flavors.

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Photo of rowew
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, enjoy by date clearly marked. Label has 2 people working over what appears to be a big beer kettle.

Appearance: mmm.. smells like Oktoberfest. Just the right combination of malty sweetness with some good bready and caramel flavors in there, and just a hint of some noble hopping.

Smell: Medium to light bodied, low carbonation. Flavors are a good combination of malt - sweetness, some bready flavors. Finishes clean.

Taste: Nice example of an Okto - interesting enough to make you want to keep drinking it, and drinkable enough that you certainly can. Man I love this time of year!

Overall impression:

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Photo of jancona
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the taps at the Victory brewpub - I'm not a fan of most American marzen beers - they tend to be too hoppy and too close to the ambiguous world of the apa. This beer is spot on. Sweet bread, fresh apples, and caramel, with a touch of hops at the end. Definitely in the realm of Ayinger or Hacker Pschorr. Great with a big meal!

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Photo of jsprain1
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Tanned amber. Quite clear with a two finger almost white head. Retention is so-so.
S- Pretty simple aromas. There is doughy bread, with some herbal hop characteristics also. A bit of toffee to it.
T- Really nice flavors to it. Toffee, some doughy bread to it. Caramel. Just when I'm starting to this that the sweetness is a bit overwhelming, some herbal hops kick in and round it out a bit. Hints of toffee.
M- Medium body. Carbonation is just a bit below where I think it should be.
O- A good octoberfest beer. Worth having.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown color into my tulip. It's odd, when held into natural light, it is dull brown-orange, but when held into artificial light it gives a beautiful ruby mahogany color, very different. Pour produces a one finger white head with pretty good retention. Light strings of lacing are left behind.

The nose is light, but appealing. I get a nice caramel malt backbone and the lightest of light hop bittnerness. There is a nice biscuity sweetness going on.

As part of my Oktoberfest tasting, I did a 2 oz sample of each side by side, and then the rest of the bottle were for enjoying casually afterwards. This might be my favorite (the jury is still out) of all the Oktoberfests I tried, and here is why

The taste is really quite good. So often do American breweries miss the mark when brewing Oktoberfests, or put their own spin on it, but this (in my opinion) is very true to style. It's all German malts (which is very obvious when you drink it) and European hops. It's incredibly smooth and the perfect combination of sweet and bitter. There are no offensive off flavors to speak of, no lingering unwanted bitterness, and no alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is gloriously smooth. There is a nice carbonation level but it is very appropriate for the style and this brew in particular.

Drinkability is through the roof. I may just have to make this my fall session brew. I think this is extremely underrated.

I'm very impressed with this brew. I don't know why it gets a low average (thats assuming you think a B is low) but it is what it is. In my opinion, and mine is the only one that matters in my review, this is a very good representation of the style, and a very good fall session brew. I will definitely be purchasing this again.

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Photo of Contra
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with a burgundy tinge. Minimal head with a ring around the edge of the glass. The aroma is almost non-existent, but sweet. Very doughy-biscuit flavor with a well spiced taste. I could down tons of these.

Overall, a very enjoyable Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Brenden
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The head pours pretty well, dissipating after a time and leaving some thin foam behind. There isn't much lacing left behind. The color is a deep copper that verges on red.
The aroma is grainy with an earthy hops. There's also a breadiness and perhaps a touch of sweetness from some malts.
The taste follows suit very closely. There's a light malt to balance a gentle hops presence, but grains and the bready flavor turn out strongest underneath.
There's a medium body that almost seems fuller than it is. This one feels creamy but has a very nice crispness with a light carbonation.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This looked and smelled like an Oktoberfest, with a caramel swirls and a sturdy malt backbone, in fact, upon first taste I was surprised that it wasn't a stronger beer. There is no %alc on the label. The taste is nice and malty without being sweet or minerally, it has a victory water taste to it, a smoothness. The finish is nicely carbonated. This beer was a great find because it acheived moderate depth without the overuse of hops in the mix. There was balance but not to extremes.

All in all a terrifically drinkable festbier. Prost!

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Photo of kmo1030
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

clear brownish amber with a thin light tan head.
the aroma is malty with some sweet tosted caramel malts, a little bit of toffee, and some nuttiness. it seems o have some faint grassy herbal hops but not too much, just enough to detect.
the flavor brings more of the same with some bread crust and a slightly stronger toffee character. a little bit of a soft fruitiness develops towards the finish. the grassy herbal hops add a nice amount of balance to the package with a bitterness that is just a touch tin-y. sweet molasses pervades in a non in your face way.
mouth feel is a bit on the thin side, but makes sense, when combined with it's other attributes. crisp and cleans up nicely without being dry, very well crafted in that respect. drinkability was verygood, this is a quality sessionable beer that some thought was put into. somewhat mild and unassuming, but well worth a try. reminds me of an english bitter a little.

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Photo of wonothesane42
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Amber to light brown with a white head, not much head retention or lacing.
S-Smells very bready, with a hint of sweet caramel, smells decent but the smell didn't get me excited to taste it.
T-Wow, much, much better than the smell, nice caramel taste, and a good sweetness without being too sweet, there's a familiar taste in the finish I can't quite identify, that reminds me of spruce tip beers, but I'm sure that isn't it. Quite good though, surprised me honestly.
M-Pretty full bodied, and very smooth, I really am enjoying this.
O-Very nice beer that surprised me. From my first whiffs of it I thought it was going to be another mediocre Oktoberfest, but once I tasted it I enjoyed it very much, yet another high quality offering from Victory. I'm surprised this isn't rated higher, grab some if you see it.

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Photo of Viggo
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear orange, small off white head forms, some sporadic lacing. Smell is smoky and sweet, some grassy hops and a little bit of citrus. Taste is sweet and grassy, some caramel and citrus, light touch of smoke. Mouthfeel is light bodied, with medium carbonation. A fine example of Oktoberfest. Thanks DrJay!

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Photo of Phelps
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: amber-orange, perfectly clear, with a foamy khaki head about a finger thick that leaves nary a spot of lace.

Smell: very light nuttiness, akin to walnuts and peanut skins. There's also some lightly toasted bread and honey, along with a distinct cereal grain mustiness. Pretty solid.

Taste: yeasty. Sourdough, wheat, peanuts and light caramel. This is solidly in-style.

Feel: light in body with fizzy, light massaging carbonation. A dry finish keeps you thirsting for the next sip.

Drink: a pretty classic representation of the style, Festbier goes down easy and combines perfect measures of European hops and sweet German malts. Who needs Munich?

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a brilliant orange a good amount of bubbles headed skyward. A slightly yellow head bubbled up, less than one-finger, and subsided rather quickly.

Grainy, earthy, slightly sweet toasted German malts balanced out by a mild floral hop aroma. The nose is really quite seamless, everything is in check.

The front end is all malt. Pilsner malt with a toasted, biscuity, earthy, grainy character. Bittering hops finish off your palate with a crisp, dry mouthfeel.

Smooth and supple. Perfect carbonation.

For me, this was scary drinkable. No off-flavors at all. Definitely my favorite so far of the season. That may have had something to do with it.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: I was dissapointed, there was a fast dying head that completely goes away. the nice amber color is however appealing.
S: nice caramel and toasted bread aroma for me. i really enjoyed the aroma
T: very nice and flavorful. there is definatly caramel and malts with some earthy tones as well i feel it has a medium taste but not such a medium bodied beer, on the light side of medium bodied. its almost like drinking a thinner drink with alot of flavor. i still think its a great beer regardless. thisalso makes drinkability really high. very easy to drink beer

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,943 ratings.
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