Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
84
good
1,945 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
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
Ratings:
1,945
Reviews:
788
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
12.9%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
239
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,945 |  Reviews: 788
Photo of NomadDawg
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of EdFed
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A group of local imbibers held the #PumpkinChallenge2016 recently, wrapping up on M, 03 Oktober 2016. I then proposed the #OktoberfestChallenge2016 & while I do not know how many participants there are, I am hitting it full bore. Today will be my New OktoBierFest Sunday (Week TBD) with an opportunity to do a horizontal tasting.

From the bottle: "Victory for Your Taste"; "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 hops for balance. This is our Festbier. Painstakingly crafted from German malts, decoction brewed for full flavor and carefully aged for depth of character. Gather with your friends for a festive taste of Victory! [undersigned] Bill [Covaleski &] Ron [Barchet] The Brewmasters of Victory".

I often rail against bottles, but I take a sense of satisfaction in Pop!ping the cap on a bottle of Victory beer. I live ~ 40 miles west of Downingtown & I not only date back to the very early days at the brewery, but I know many of the early investors and I remain a thorn in Bill & Ron's side (especially Bill). Further, the central PA Victory rep, Megan (Moose) Moore resides here in Lancaster & she ensures that the wares on local shelves is consistently fresh. Mine reads: "Enjoy By: 11 Jan 2017 0756 P" so I would say that I am right in the sweet spot.

A Pop! of the cap, an aggro pour and I had two fingers of dense, foamy, tawny head with good retention. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality & deep amber highlights. The color was actually closer to 17 than to 22, but that is the range with which I work. Nose was really sweet, reminiscent of maple syrup! I had to get a little smarter about decoction brewing as a result of this unexpected sweetness. I think that there must have been some caramelization going on at some point. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, one of the bigger Marzen/Oktoberfests that I have encountered up to this point. The taste was sweet, but less sweet than the nose had led me to expect. Instead, it had almost a burnt caramel taste, malty, but not cloying with a light smokiness. It reminded me of candy production during Foods 3 in high school. I came to realize pretty quickly that I wanted to be a baker and not a confectioner since the production takes places at incredibly high temperatures and making caramel & toffee is incredibly labor intensive, plus you really have to watch the temps. I am not saying that this had a burnt flavor, but it had a smokiness that would indicate that it is time to get the pot off of the stove. Finish was semi-sweet with that lingering smoke-infused caramel flavor dominating well past the swallow. This represented a real departure in the style from anything that I had previously reviewed. I liked it if for no other reason than many American versions of the style have been cloyingly sweet & this showed restraint. If you liked my Goldilocks & The Three Bears analogy earlier, this would have been closer to Momma Bear's Oktoberfest. I will keep searching.

 3,096 characters

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BrewNoob1
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Corburk
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Alphakitty
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Brew_ski
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mikr
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Timfromthemainland
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of schoolboy
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is an odd beer from Victory. I don't think I have had anything from them that tried as hard as this to be mediocre. It doesn't succeed, thankfully, but it also underwhelms.

It's a dirty light brown color, slightly red. The aroma is of malts and yeast. Pretty down to earth. Hops aren't really out front. The taste mimics this - malty, yeasty taste, and somewhat boozy tasting too.

The aftertaste is of a heavy burp. Its a good thing I did not have a heavy meal yet today. This is recommended for a different, heavy-ish taste and popular price.

 551 characters

Photo of DocD
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jjmj51
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Czequershuus
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a deep brown-copper, very clear, with a solid brownish head. The aroma offers sweet biscuity malt, caramel, toffee, a woodsy bitterness, and baked fruits. The flavor features rich caramel with slightly roast malts, nutty qualities, solid bitterness, and a rich and toasty balance. The mouthfeel is thin, with low, bashful carbonation. Overall this has very nice complexity and balance, it is rich but with enough bitterness to counter - maybe not traditional, but enjoyable.

 490 characters

Photo of aknalley
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jgido759
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IrishColonial
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of warpedrevolution
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SiepJones
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of gregangley
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of Casey3236
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KingQuinn
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Buck89
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Pilsner glass. Mildly hazy reddish-copper color with a thin off-white head. The foam left pretty quickly. The nose featured brown bread and toast. Some banana esters and a bit of cigar ash. The taste was very bready and toasty, with melanoiden (which I like). Some hop bitterness on the finish but no floral notes. Overall, it's pleasant but I prefer more Vienna presence.

 386 characters

Photo of MMOSNN
3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,945 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.