Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
84
good
1,943 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:
1,943
Reviews:
788
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
12.9%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
239
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,943 |  Reviews: 788
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.

 449 characters

Photo of orangesol
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.

 3,096 characters

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.

 645 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

 602 characters

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.

 990 characters

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

 388 characters

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.

 394 characters

Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

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

 315 characters

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.

 489 characters

Photo of rab53
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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.

 791 characters

Photo of imperialking
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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...

 572 characters

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.

 624 characters

Photo of jgunther71
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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