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Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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783 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: 783 | Ratings: 1,937
Photo of BranfordBound
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap last night at BAR Pizza in New Haven. Pours really dark ruby/amber with no head. Smell is of some sweet malts. Pretty strong flavor in this one, notes of brown sugar, leafy hops in the back, caramel malts, this leans more towards brown or amber lager than Marzen. Overall a heavier body than expected, slow to drink this one. It's really hard to call this one a good Marzen. I think stylistically it's way off, but as a beer it's pretty good for the fall. Drink this one thinking it's an amber lager and you'll come out happier.

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Photo of gr0g
2.76/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle. Copper in color with a nice head. Good head retention, streaky/spotty lacing. Aroma is... weird. It resolves to a caramel aroma, but it definitely starts out with a strong grape juice note (I shit you not). The flavor is similarly unspectacular, though it isn't offensive. While it clearly has the taste of an all-malt lager, the finish is lifeless and devoid of character, and there's little hop character. Very bland for the style.

I'm now reminded of why I haven't picked up Victory's O-Fest offering in a while -- it simply isn't any good. Very disappointing beer from a usually strong brewery.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant orange tinted amber under a 2” persistent and clingy white foam cap. S: Bread and spice aromas lightly seasoned with kettle sugars rise from the glass. T: It has a clean palate with no fruit. It starts rich and malty with bread crust and mid-range kettle sugars, spice, and a mild bitterness. F: It is very creamy and smooth with medium to just a little more on the body with medium carbonation to a little less. O: A very good fest beer.

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Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Lightly floral, with toasted malt and lightly fruity notes.

Flavor is deeply toasted and malty, with stronger fruit character and a residual sweetness that lingers. Odd, but I'm drawn to it.

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Photo of TopherBreski
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I keep finding new beers from this brewery and loving them! Red and caramel with a small amount of foam that sticks around. The taste is unique. It's part Oktoberfest part pale ale with its bitter hoppy aftertaste. But it is really sweet and pretty good. If you are looking for the traditional Oktoberfest beer, it's not that but I like it. I don't even like Pale ales except for Victory's.

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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 SaltofOH
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/5/14. BB 12/24/14.

A: Pours a dark amber w 1/2" off-white head. Fades to a tiny ring. Steady slight carbonation.

S: Sweet. Big on the roast. Slight yeasy/breadiness. Roasty, yeasty, and sweet. Smells like a brown ale.

T: Roasty, slightly tart. Not too sweet. Sweet/tart arrival, dry across mid-palate; tart flash, then bitter finish.

M: Mid-weight. Seems light for the style. Slick, lots of carbonation.

O: Of my 4 Marzen this year (GLBC, Paulaner, Sam Adams, Victory), this is my least favorite, by far.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 12 oz bottle in a pint glass, this solid example of a festbier pours cloudy orange brown with a nominal off white head and decent lacing. Nose of biscuit, caramel malts, and some light bittering hops. Flavors are straight forward for the style. Rich caramel malts on all sides with a bready characteristic and light bittering hops to the rear. Smooth lightly coating mouth feel finishes wet with a light sweet aftertaste mingling with light hops. Very true to the style.

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Photo of arizcards
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle from TW Arrowhead in late September for $1.99. Best by 12-11-14. TW received sticker was 9-11-14.

Beer poured amber with a head that fizzled immediately after the pour.

Nose is grainy with some hints of floral hops.

Taste is nutty and biscuit with a decent hop bite balance to reduce the sweetness level.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth yet decently carbonated.

Overall not a bad beer, glad I had the opportunity to try.

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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 Urk1127
2.44/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into tumbler. Brown. Not much of a head or lacing. Smell is sweet caramel. Malty. Taste is dry sweet bold malt. I do not like marzens mostly and this we not much different than those.

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Photo of rapayn01
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

I'm not a big fan of the style because it tends to tilt toward malt and I'm a hop lover. This beer is definitely malt forward, but there is enough hop balance to make it interesting to me. I probably wouldn't seek it out again. This was part of a flight for me.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

This pours with a cloudy yet bright amber hue and a tidy close knit head. The nose is quite malty with a sweet grain, barley, roasted nut and biscuity aroma. The flavors emulate the nose with a more toasted tone. The malts are kilned and toasty with a prominent pecan. Very smooth lager but the flavors of an ale.

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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 Caveworm
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Festbier - Victory Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a seidel, this brew's got a 3 finger thick lumpy off white head with spottier lacing, and a clear medium-dark amber body.

I smell a fruity characteristic alongside the usual caramelized malt traits associated with the style of brew.

The taste is that of fruit and sweeter notes much more than roasted malt tastes. A very unique take on a marzen brew, at least in my opinion.

Mouthfeel here is clean and crisp. Nothing lingers with this beer.

Overall a 4 for Festbier - Victory Brewing Company. I might grab this again, but it wasn't anything to write home about.

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Photo of fx20736
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Wegmans Calkins Rd on 9/28/14. Poured into a dimpled mug at fridge temp.

appearance: orange, no head or lacing.

aroma: sweet, rich, toasted caramel

taste: tasty toasted caramel with mild hops for balance

mouthfeel: a little flat

overall: tastes good. maybe this bottle was flat.

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Photo of Genx
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Growler, had given this beer a 3.24 when tasted from a bottle. It is a good example of the style. I will not hesitate to drink it again but will not seek it out.

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Photo of 57md
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%

Light brownish-copper. Nose is bready and nutty. The flavor profile is solid but not particularly impressive. There is also an odd off sour note in the flavor.

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Photo of logicalparadox
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

Meh. A sub-par Oktoberfest offering. Too sweet, one dimensional, and coming off like a soda-beer. Malty, but that's all that's going on here. Like wet biscuits, but in a bad way. Not terrible, but not a beer I'd return to, especially with so many great examples of the style during the height of the season.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: This is one of the most crystal clear beers I have ever seen that is this dark. It’s a deep, dark amber, almost a Barleywine-like mahogany color. The head is off-white and about a half-inch thick to start. It stays strong for a minute, but it suddenly plummets and just becomes a patchy, wispy cover to the top of the beer. No lacing at all.

SMELL: A lot of bread on this one with a hint of caramel behind it.

TASTE: The caramel flavor, like this nose, is strong. A nice, rich, bready, yeasty flavor plays right alongside the caramel. There is also a nice little toastiness to the bread here.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and unlike many other beers, this one seems to go from dry to sweet, instead of the other way around. The sweet finish is what makes this beer feel like fall. It isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, maybe semi-sweet is a better term. The sparkle is fairly strong as well, making this a malty, yet refreshing beer.

OVERALL: This is an insanely drinkable beer. Although it could be construed by some as a rich beer, it just goes down so easy. This is what Marzen should taste like to me.

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Photo of MarkQ617
4.5/5  rDev +21%

This is my new favorite octoberfest. Had it poured from the bottle into a mug. The color is perfect, a reddish copper. The aroma and flavor are outstanding. It's a smoky mix of molasses and malt, capturing the flavor while avoiding the syrupy constitution of some other offerings of the genre. Love it.

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Photo of delta490
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep and clear amber. A thin and fizzy white head dissipates quickly but a steady stream of carbonation leaves some bubbles at the top. The aroma is sweet and all I get is caramel. It's almost too sweet, bordering on candy. The taste has a much more refined caramel quality with a little nutty aspect and there's just a hint of earthy hops. A little thinner on the body but not off. A slight tickle from the carbonation. A decent example of the style.

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Photo of Dwkasper
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

A- foamy ivory white head, <1 finger, dark amber color

S- earthy, malty, slightly bready

T- biscuity, earthy, smooth, this beer was a littlemore bland to me compared to Ayinger.

M- light, smooth

O- nice. Overall I had never really been into Marzen/octoberfest beers until I went to a tasting. I tried 3 including Ayinger Oktober fest-marzen and firestone walker oaktoberfest. I felt that this was on the same level as firestone walker but not as good as Ayinger

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Photo of DIM
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Somewhat hazy coppery amber color; poured with a medium sized fizzy head.

Light toasty grains and they marginally outsized sugary quality. decent enough, but this lacks the depth and breadth of maltiness that I was hoping for. I expected a bit more from Victory.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%

A: Darker amber. Fast rising carbonation gives small head (3.75/5)

S: Mostly munich malt, but with some green grass (4/5)

M: Lacks carbonation, but maintains crisp, dryness (3.5/5).

T: Clean malt taste, but not smooth. Low hop flavor. Slight bitterness, only moderately sweet (3.5/5). Toasted hay

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,937 ratings.
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