Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
84
good
1,951 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:
1,951
Reviews:
791
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
12.9%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
239
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,951 |  Reviews: 791
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The rich aroma is off malt, spice and caramel, with a little bit of hops.

T: Bready & malty tea-like flavor comes out first with some spice to it. Then there’s some hops and a little bit of caramel sweetness. The after-taste is mild with a slight touch of sweetness.

M: Crisp & smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very good representation of style, tasty, not very filling for this style, easy to drink, I could stick with this one for the duration of an evening.

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

A: Pours a crystal clear very dark copper in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense beige head that reduces to a medium sized thin patch and a very thin ring around the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel and toasted malts.

T: Lots of real malty flavors to the taste of this beer - toasted and caramel malts with a fair amount of sweetness. There is a touch of grassy hop bitterness in the finish and just a touch of spices.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and clean with some very light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Enjoyable and very easy to drink - there is a nice balance between the malty sweetness and hop bitterness.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of Kegatron
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Resurrection Ale House (Philadelphia, PA) on 10/3/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with thin covering of eggshell-white head. Fizzy retention around the edges, with some thin film in the middle, leaving back minimal lacing. The aroma has a deep sweet tang to it of bread and citrus, along with plenty of festive hoppy spicing and earthy undertones. This smells like Fall in a glass.

The taste is very bready in the mouth, but isn't coming off as overly sweet. Leafy and spicy Noble hop character really makes this pop in the mouth. Nice balance overall. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a prickly and crisp feel to the carbonation, which fills the mouth up nicely.

Just a solid take on an O-Fest by Victory. Of all the times I've had this in the bottle over the last few years, I believe that this was the first time that I've had it on draft. I'm glad that I did.

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Photo of mactrail
2.87/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Coppery color is lovely, but somehow the carbonation seems to fail midway through the pour. Kind of a tea flavor with a wave of syrupy sweetness. Then, unfortunately , followed by a dirty, resiny hop flavor. It's not exactly a sour note, but the malt seems to turn earthy and dank.

I had hopes for another "Victory" having had some good Oktoberfest brews this season. This was my least favorite, maybe in a tie for last place with Leinenkugel’s anemic orange lager. I can't think of anything good to say about this and I still have five more to drink or dump. Enjoy by 26 Jan 2016 on the label, but I think it's past it's prime already. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Liticker's in San Diego.

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

First had: on tap at ? (possibly Johnny Brenda's)

A clear amber beer with a patchy layer of white head. Biscuity aroma, caramel malts. More of the same in the taste--it's a märzen, basically--nutty, bready, with a caramel sweetness, and some light floral hoppiness for a good balance. Medium-bodied and tasty. Easily drinkable.

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

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

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of smithj4
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of atrocity
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%

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 smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent start to the head with great ring lace. Very clear and lighter than I'd expect.

Overall, strong amber malt (crystal?) smells like a marzen should be.

The taste matches the aroma--malty, smooth and milky. Light hop gives some balance. Good body, low carbonation.

Overall, a nice entry into the marzen world.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a white head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted malts with a bit of caramel and a light fruitiness.

Taste: Bready maltiness with only a light caramel sweetness to it. Very, very light hint of roasted grain. Faint yeastiness. There's a soft, tea-like bitterness on the dry, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Make no mistake, this beer may not be overly complex, but it is exceedingly drinkable, in every possible way. In fact, it's the best Oktoberfest beer I've had all year (only two, as of writing this).

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a nice one finger head. Decent head retention and lacing.

S: Lots of malt and caramel. Also get a breadiness, as well as some toffee and maple.

T: Sweeter than expected, mainly due to the toffee/maple/caramel combination. There is also a honey flavor mixed in. There is a nuttyness as well.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall a pretty good beer, one of the better Oktoberfests I have had.

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

Bronzed orange peel with honeycomb highlights. Three fingers of sandstone hued foam looks good initially and even better as it settles. Unfortunately, other than a few dots and spots, the glass is untouched by lace.

This is still pretty fresh beer by the smell of things. The floral quality of the hops is almost as prominent as the toasted-earthy quality of the malts. The grain bill is pretty classic for the style: pilsner, Munich and Vienna.

Given the brewery, it's no surprise at all that Festbier is the real deal. And that's coming from someone who doesn't usually care for Munich and Vienna malts. This beer won't change my mind, but it's tasty as hell... and nicely drinkable too.

Wonderful combination of sweet and bitter, with the former having the reins at all points along the way. The flavor profile is akin to toasted whole grain bread, toasted nuts with caramel, and a light sprinkling of tea leaves. The finish is fairly tight and tends toward drying.

Like most beer from VBC, the mouthfeel is a quality affair. It's easily big enough for the ABV and the bubbles are well-buried, yet still active. Solid. Solid. Solid.

It was almost a given that Victory, which has a German beer sensibility for the most part, would hit a home run with their Oktoberfest. Festbier is a wonderful celebration of the harvest season. Those of you fortunate enough to live within easy driving distance of Dowingtown can enjoy it year-round on-tap.

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Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Big bubbly and frothy head, good retention at that. Light orangey copper hue that shows bright to the light. An appetizing brew.

Smell: Aromas of doughy bread, herbal hop and a clean alcohol in the rear. Clean to the nose yet still quite aromatic.

Taste: Sturdy medium body laying down a slick and crisp mouth feel. Big twang of toasted malt and soft herbal hop runs across the palate. Chewy hit of caramel in the middle, a tasty hit I might say. Maltiness is clean yet flamboyant with an icing of nutty toasted grain. Herbal hop is very noticeable with an ample bitterness and long lingering flavour. Finishes semi-dry with faint toasted grain.

Notes: Next time I have this beer I’m going to pair it up with a big fat juicy Ruben … extra kraut please. I think Victory tackled the style quite well with this one, a must try for any beer geek that makes their round of Oktoberfest Beers.

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Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – This one poured a very nice light orange amber with a good looking two inch plus head on the top. Amble carbonation was kept alive throughout which really gave it great retention and helped to keep the lively look of it going. A nice bit of side glass lace was apparent, but the real story here was the complete and total clarity of the color and the great hue to it overall. A very nice, classic looking lager here.



S – Aroma was nice, very light with a touch of fruit to it. Dominated totally though by the earthen malted grans. Lots of cereal and spice with almost what smelled like a touch of pumpkin. I don’t know if itt was really strong enough to be a major competitor in the overall scheme of things, however it did round everything out very nicely. Overall a really good light fall like aroma.



T – The flavor was great. Very light and refreshing. Naturally the biggest player here would be roasted malts and yeast. Nice little floral taste in the finish, which was also quite dry, I have to say a lot drier then I thought it would be fore sure. A nice drinker that went really well with dinner. It did have a noticeable yeast flavor to it, but nothing that was distracting from the overall appeal of it. Really well done I have to say and I have had quite a few lately in these styles, and this was defiantly upper tier for sure.



M – Very smooth would be a perfect way to describe it. Great carbonation helped to keep the flavor light and keep the feel rolling along. A good crisp, quick, and clean finish to it really helped as well. Perfect feel though for the style as it was light enough to keep going but had enough depth to make you stop and think.



D – Great. I could have kept going on this one all night. It just had a great blend of properties that helped to show off at just the right time. The perfect blend of a spiced amber ale mixed with low abv and great carbonation, what more could you ask for other then a 32oz mug.



Overall what can I really say about this one. It was really superb and just what was needed at the time. This was an extremely drinkable, well designed and very filling brew that really gave a good represent of the style and offered a none complicated version. In a day and age where everyone and everything keeps going better, it was nice to see someone just keep it simple and put out a quality everyday brew, well done.

 2,396 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Slatetank
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Market Cross Pub and Brewery a few nights ago. Served cool in an Imperial pint glass.

A - A deep amber w/ mahogany shades w/ a full two fingers of off white head that settles quickly into a minimal lace pattern.

S - Nutty lactic odors of malt and yeast w/ a lightly spice hop aroma and buttery sweet nuances of German malts.

M - A blend of full carbonation and dry malty/toasted biscuity textures with subtle sweetness. A gentle bit of spice swirls into the dry finish.

T - A mildly smooth and sweet malty flavor that is crisp w/ a nice grainy fullness that has a creamy round element and a fair amount of twiggy hops in the mix. I like the subtle lactic yeasty aspect that nods to original fests - it has an aroma that is pungent w/ a mellower flavor. The taste is one of Victory's thta I have maintained a fondness for over the years and has stayed true to its origin.

D - A very drinkable Octoberfest/Marzen that is darker than most, but is more flavorful and overall very quaffable. It is a style that is for celebration and this one is fit for it. I am glad this is one of PA's best festbiers since I have been a fest fan since visiting Germany in '92, this one makes PA proud.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 08/30/10 notes. Had on tap at Fire Works in Arlington, VA.

a - Pours an amber color with very light carbonation and an inch of white head.

s - Smells of sweet biscuits, caramel malts, bready malts, and a hint of spice.

t - Tastes of bready and caramel malts mostly. Some grain or wheat as well.

m - Medium bodya and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent beer. Mostly bready and caramel malts; would drink again but probably wouldn't seek out.

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Photo of Gkruszewski
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,951 ratings.
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