Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
84
good
788 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:
788
Ratings:
1,943
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
12.9%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
238
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 788 | Ratings: 1,943
Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

My boi VDubb86 tipped me off to the quality of this brew, so I gave it a chance in my mixed sixer from DICarlo's. It pours a clear amber orange topped by a finger or so of very light ecru foam. The nose comprises caramel, clove, vanilla, and brown sugar, with a hint of orange in the back. The taste ups the orange's ante slightly, diluting the sweeter notes, but the caramel maintains itself nicely, making up for some of the once-lost ground. The body is a nearly-heavy light, with a light carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a very nice O-Fest, proof that Mike ain't completely crazy just yet.

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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 WVbeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Copper amber with an orange glow to it leaves a nice sized cream vanilla colored head with sufficient lacing left after the foam wains away. Aroma: Slight floral hop note lingers in there but more importantly a toasted malt character that is possibly the most delicate and pleasant from an Oktoberfest bier to this point mildly sweet Bavarian malts a blended so nicely here. Tase: Defines a well balanced beer, not tame or muted just made in an accurate approach toward the Oktoberfest or Marzen style that is consumed by the liter in Munich every year rolling syrup like malt sweetness with toasted nuts representing as the backbone of delicious tasty brew from Victory. Mouthfeel: Not watery but medium to light bodied has a slightly sticky texture that glides well down the palate. Drinkabilty: Must surely be the most drinkable example of an American made Ofest to date, wow just awesome beer everyone needs to sample this beer then go out and buy a case like I am going to.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the river road tavern.
Pours a deep golden amber color with a smallish off white head with minimal retention and lace. Smells of caramel and bread and a bit of toast with an earthy floral hop component to it. The flavor is bready pilsner malt with a bit of caramel and sweet sugary malt. A bit heavy on the hops for the style, lots of earthy herbal hops compete with an inadequate malt base. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and an earthy slick mouthfeel. Decent enough beer, but like a lot of American interpretations it just doesn't measure up to the German brewed versions.

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

Pours a clear amber that has a brownish/orange hue to it. Crème head. This beer just looks good. Nose has some leafy character to it. Just earthy overall. Flavor is vibrant and full. Nice deeper leaf tone to it. Very, very minor roasted thing going on. Leaves what I think is an inky aftertaste. Feel has a very good level of carbonation to it and the liquid is good. Overall a good marzen. Probably a bit too deep to make a session out of it, but would probably pair very well with food.

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale amber with 1/4" of bubbly head that fades to a thin lacing. Rich, caramel malt notes dominate the nose. Taste is deep, toasty malts with a rich, caramel follow through. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good deal of carbonation.

Overall not a bad marzen. The toastiness is a little more than you'll get from most marzens, and it's not as rich as most. A good beer though.

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A two finger off white somewhat yellow head is produced. with a real nice orange almost deep red amber body. No lacing and a simple puck, but the body color is very impressive.

Nose has a slight sticky banana and brown sugar, but some strange sticky yeast rankness. Small but noticeable, fairly alright but nothing too mind bending or heavily impressive.

Palate hits with a good richness and body. Malt sweetness balances with some nice warm caramel, and sticky toffee. Finish almost light coffee roast bitter, with lots of caramel coating action. Some banana estery qualities really seem to come out also on the aftertaste, with some warming tobacco like notes.

Overall pretty impressed and a solid Marzen to be had, with a lot of flavor.

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Photo of ejimhof
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- light amber color not much head or lacing

Smell-malts are the main smell

Taste-Sweet and malty just like an Octoberfest should taste like

Mouthfeel- very good smooth and light

Overall- I always like this beer not sure what took so long to review but definitely one of the best Octoberfests out there

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Enjoy by Jan. 13, '08:

Pours orange/amber with plenty of clarity and a half-inch off-white head that soon becomes a slowly vanishing thin patch. Minimal lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of light caramel with a slightly nutty/earthy spice background.

The taste is of brown sugar, caramel and bready notes. Slightly nutty. Subtle hop spice balances out some of the sweetness. A hint of vanilla passes through as it warms. Something slightly burnt about it. Pretty clean finish. Medium-bodied.

Decent...The slightly burnt edges irks me a bit, but overall it's decent enough to put in the yearly line-up of O-fests.

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

Bottle pour from Deciccos in Ardsley, NY
Pours clear medium amber, w/ a slight golden hue. Typical khaki head, moderate retention and then a film, collar and upon a moderate swirl, the appearance ofminor spots of lace. Dull malty nose. Pretty typical O'fest brew, the expected smooth malt, the expected clean bready notes, the expected easy to drink quality. Never been my favorite style, on the dull side IMHO. This one fit my expectations. Works in a marinade if you have more of this type of brew sitting around and you are not real interested in drinking more of it...

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy, bubbling, humdinger head; a perfect darkish amber color. Aroma: fresh, clean, floral, nuts, buttery and sweet, vanilla, bananas, soft spices. Little hops, heavy with malt. Incredibly sweet on the tongue, long and lovely finish. A tasty sizzle on the palate, very flavorful, and an unusually characterful lager. One of the more subtle, but satisfying Oktoberfests I've ever enjoyed.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, slightly hazed, orange-amber coloring with a slow cadence of carbonation bubbling and a thin, sparse, off-white filmy coating on the surface. Aromas of roasted malt, both nutty and richly sweet, with a bready backbone and some old world fruit highlights. Flavors are rich and thick, with a roasted backbone supporting fresh and sweet flavors of pumpkin, nuts, and a spice blend of nutmeg, cumin, and cinnamon. Very forward and bold on the palate. Sweetness has a touch of brown sugar going into the aftertaste, which is tangy sweet and only lightly roasty/toasty. Good transition of the flavors as you drink. The finish is rich and smooth, with a tangy, slightly lingering sweetness. Very flavorful and very easy to drink. The light body keeps the sweet, rich flavors from overpowering.

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Photo of Tone
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of strong caramel malt, pale malt, slight sweet malt, slight nut, hint of butterscotch, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of a Marzen / Oktoberfest. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, caramel malt, slight earthy malt, slight pale malt, hint of hops, and hint of yeast. Overall, a little too sweet and the nuts are an odd characteristic, but otherwise a decent Oktoberfest.

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

At the time of this review, this beer is the #32 Märzen / Oktoberfest on the beeradvocate.com best of styles list, poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

Beer is dark amber with a mild haze, lazy head, low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly nutty and mildly sweet, nice.

Beer is medium in body and sweet, nice finish, mildly bitter, really drinkable, good mouthfeel. I enjoyed it and would have it again, the munich malt comes through nice on the finish and midpalate.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Fresh 2011 bottling.

A: Clear orange/copper colored body with a creamy, slightly off-white head. A moderate retention cap sticks around the entire time; however in traditional lager nature no real lace sticks around.

S: Sweet caramel, allspice, brown sugar, candy apple, toasted malts and some cereal. It does smell good and there are a lot of elements coming through but the style doesn't really allow for an overly aromatic nose.

T: Sweet dark grains, toasted malts, touches of honey and spice come through and last into mid-palate. A touch of floral hops and caramel are in the finish, with almost a quenching quality to the beer. It's extremely good and very flavorful, especially for a style some would argue is lacking in terms of flavor.

M: Bubbly and lively carbonation but not overly so giving it a medium body. It's very crisp and clean with a semi-dry finish.

In all honesty, this is one of the best Oktoberfests I've tasted. It has much more flavor than a majority of the American brewed (and even some German brewed) ones, with no off flavors. Easily one beer I will be stocking the fridge full of this fall.

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

Review from 11/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber. Slight head dissipated slowly leaving light lacing. Grainy, light malt aroma. Caramel, malt, slightly sweet. A pleasant light malty ale. A straightforward, but unremarkable Marzen.

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

Clear amber in color with a thick 2" tan head. Carbonation levels seemed a little low, but some minor lacing did develop. The aroma is of caramel and a hint of roasted nut. The flavor is simple yet pleasing as malt, caramel, mild bitterness, and a touch of nut were well balanced. This isn't an overpowering oktoberfest like some others.

The mouthfeel was smooth at the start, and had a slightly dry and smooth finish. The caramel tones lasted briefly on the tongue after swallowing. Very drinakble and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of tempest
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yeah, its a good fest beer. Its got a basic, mostly sweet taste of caramel malt with a bit of grassy/spicy hops at the end. The carbonation seems a touch low and I cant get any head or lacing. There's a slight burnt or heavy roasted note in the back of the flavor, like some black patent malt was used. I'd drink it, but I wouldn't really seek it again.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is very mild, slightly sweet. Taste is very easy drinknig, malty and finishing a tad bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good selection.

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Photo of WesWes
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thin offwhite head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a musty and slightly malty scent that is dry and nutty. The taste is decent also. It has a complex, but not very good flavor. It is slightly malty with nutty hints and a dry lager yeast finish. It has a breadlike quality that detracts from the taste. There are hops in the aftertaste, but they are weak. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an average Festbier. It tries to be unique and it succeeds. It is uniquely average.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I nead a break from packing. How about a marzen? On to the beer:

A low forming semi-fuzzy looking head forms on top of this brilliant amber orange colored beer. Lots of bubbles are racing through the clean body. If only the heead retention were better. The nose brings out a modest maltiness. The malt reminds me of a pumpkin aroma, a brush of husky malt and hay.

This is a pleasant tastng O-fest. The maltiness is there, providing big doughy flavors and a reminder of pumpkin. Lighly whipped with caramel and nutmeg notes. There's a little kick of alcohol that I find as the beer dries. It's a highly carbonated beer, which can work depending on style, here it is pushing the limits. The body weight is alright, and it drinks well.

Not all O-fest beers are created equal, and Victory Fstbier is one of the better domestic examples I've had. This is one to try during the fall.

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

12 oz bottle: An amber colored brew with a slight off white head.

Smells of caramel malt and sweet bread.

Flavor revolves around malt sweetness, but is not cloying at all. Caramel, Munich and a hint of Chocolate malt in the flavor profile. Subtle light herbal hopping.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth on the back end.

A middle of the road Octoberfest beer, easy to drink and always available in this area. Solid.

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Photo of dar482
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a copper color.

The flavor hits of a toasty malts and bread, light fruity esters of apple come through, the beer however leans towards the sweeter side for the style, onto a light hoppy bitterness.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a relatively thin head and little lacing. Smell is malty and fruity, maybe cherries. Slight tang from the yeast on the finish. Taste is smooth with dry malt noticeable, but slightly watery. Earthybitterness in the middle and a spicy finish. Not bad, but a little disjointed. Mouthfeeel is spritzy and spicy. Smooth, but not creamy. Pretty easy to drink, but the whole package just doesn't make me shout.

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