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Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
84
good
771 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
FestbierFestbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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:
771
Ratings:
1,878
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
12.9%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
220
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 771 | Ratings: 1,878
Photo of fattyre
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium orange color with a moderate dissipating tan head. The smell is a pleasant roastiness with a faint background hoppy aroma. The taste/mouthfeel is very slightly roasted maltiness with a mild hopiness which gives it a crisp clean finish. A drinkable clean octoberfest, while not the best it is very drinkable.

 346 characters

Photo of Terp96
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my annual buys around this time of year. For the record, I think it was better last year.

Pours a bright amber into the glass with minimal head. The beer is clean and pretty highly carbonated which I thought was strange.

Smell is decent for the style. Typically malty but not over powering. I couldn't smell too much of the hop profile.

Taste is a little sweeter than I expected. The sweet malted backbone soon gives way to a surprisingly strong hop presence. As a hophead, this was the best part.

Mouthfeel was decent as well. A little sweet and thick for my liking. Bitterness in the end allows the beer to linger a little longer and that helps.

Overall, a decent attempt at an Octoberfest Marzen. I liked the variation of the theme with the hop presence but I think it lends itself to more criticism from the style police. It is still pretty drinkable but not as much as a Hacker-Pschorr or Paulaner. I will go back for this one.

 962 characters

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

Updated on 11-1-08
I must say that I am certainly enjoying this years vintage of Festbier. Generous malts and a perfect hint of hops make for a brew that is massively enjoyable and delicious. The last time I imbibed unto this brew, last season actually, it was quite one dimensional and uninspiring. If you can find this at your local, pick it up and try it; I think youll like it. Rated as the number two "Oktoberfest" brew by the NY Times recently, blowing away the mass Germanic imports in a tasting competition.
For once I agree with the leftest SOB's at the NY Times. ;-0

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Photo of RussBecker1
2.49/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a somewhat cloudy orange. Much more colorful than a number of other marzens I have had. It is also a good deal lighter, and reflects light in a pretty fashion. Maybe a 1-2 finger white head that was decently thicker than I expected. Little to no lacing to be had however.

S-Not the most appealing smell. The malts are the most apparent, but they appear to be roasted slightly too much, as the caramel and toffee flavorings are too burnt for my taste. There are hints of light fruit (something muted like a banana although that is not quite it).

M-Nothing too special. Carbonated enough to make it easy to drink, but it neither enhances nor detracts from the experience.

T-Very bland for a marzen. As to be expected, European marzens have ten time the flavor (German/Austrian), but even for an American style marzen, this fest beer did not make much of an impression. The tastes did not mix, and it was surprisingly bitter for a beer of this style. As expected, the malts were too smokey which left an undesirable taste.

O-Had it not been described as an oktoberfest then I may have seen this beer differently, but overall I will avoid festbeer in the future

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Photo of JackStraw22
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Beer pours a crystal clear amber body, very nice to look at. About an inch of off-white head. Retention wasn't great.

Smell: Nice nutty aroma, malty but not sweet. Slightly spicy.

Taste/feel: Clean malty taste at first. Crisp mouthfeel and a light clean bitterness. There's a big nutty/cheesey aftertaste that gets addictive the more I drink.

Good Oktoberfest beer, certainly worth a try.

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Photo of numenor1
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours light copper with decent enough head and some lacing. Smells a touch doughy with some soft caramel and hops. Upfront is a nice lightly toasty malt note that gives way to a nice mellow malt base. All balanced by an even hop bitterness, ends drying. Mouthfeel is damn near perfect for an O'fest, i think. Almost medium bodied with vibrant carbonation and a terrific creamyness without getting too heavy. Impeccable balance. Drinkability is good. Best O'Fest i've had this year, though I'll admit to only having tried 5 or so. Extra points to this one for not being overdone.

 578 characters

Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer has a dark amber color with not much head. It tries to lace, but it doesn't last. Smells of floral hops and a bit of cardboard. Has some hoppy bitterness and malts. Finishes very dry with a tad bit of biscut flavor. Medium mouth feel with very light carbonation.

Overall not much of a beer. Seems to be missing something. Maybe some more maltiness.

 362 characters

Photo of bahumutx
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copper color with about a one finger white head.

Smell: Bread dough leads the aroma with hints of caramel and hops.

Taste: Starts with a slight citrus taste and then moves right on to a doughy malt flavor. As the beer warms there is more malt presence and a caramel taste appears. There is also a slight sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could have a few of these in a sitting.

This is another good beer from Victory Brewing. Keep up the great work!!!

 621 characters

Photo of ibashmuck
2.2/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured little to no head on an amber body. Smells were very sweet, malty, maple syrup, caramel and a touch of floral. Sadly, those did not translate over to taste, which was dominated by a distinct unappealing dusty and skunkiness. Overpowers anything else in there. Also remarkably flat for the style.

I'm guessing that I got a bad bottle. I hope I did, as otherwise this is big disappointment.

 460 characters

Photo of MrStark
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is a clear orange amber with a small off white head that settled fairly quickly.

Smell is sweet caramel and toasted malts with a bit of earthiness to it.

Taste is a nice blend of sweet malts balanced with a floral/earthy hop bitterness. Pretty well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation that gives a little bite to the tongue. Fairly crisp finish.

Drinkability is pretty good. It goes down easy and is tasty, however not my favorite example of the style. Though I wouldn't mind having a few more and it would make a nice session beer.

 627 characters

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

Solid brownish-reddish heart with a 2 inch head.

Smell is toasty and dare I say floral?

Teeny tiny hops, malt is clearly the meaty backbone, not super sweet at all though. Toasted almonds, toast, caramel. Reminds me a bit of oatcakes -oatcakes are like a hearty kind of shortbready cookie with notes of honey. Might be the tinge of honey giving me that impression.

For me, this is a rock solid Marzen offering for the season. I started luke-warm on the offering, but am on my 3rd 6er. I really enjoy Southern Tier's Autumn Ale, but until someone gives me a better Oktoberfest spirited lager, this is the go to this season.

 627 characters

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

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a clear, deep amber with a thin white head into a pint glass. The aroma was of sweet caramel malt, and not much else. The taste was of sweet malt, with caramel undertones and a very subdued hop profile. Nice carbonation and lacing. Seems to be a fairly accurate representation of the festbier style.

 366 characters

Photo of spokeydonkey
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber with a thin white head. Smells slightly of malt, caramel and a little hop spice. Not as much aroma as many octoberfests. Has a nice malt backbone in the taste. A little nutty with caramel and toffee notes. Mild sweetness throughout. Finishes with a nice malt spice and dryness. Mouthfeel--medium light bodied with a nice dry crispness throughout.

Overall a good octoberfest. A bit weak on the aroma, but full in flavor.

 439 characters

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Crystal clear amber with a splash of red. Head was thin and light beige.

Smell: Big aromas of sweet, toasted malts, nuttiness and subtle spicy hops.

Taste: Much the same as the aroma. A great balance of malt and hops. Sweet, toasty and nutty up front, spicy in the middle with a clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and with big carbonation. Prickly on the tongue.

Drinkability: This is a great Oktoberfest. It's tasty, refreshing and you can drink one after another (and you want to as well).

 519 characters

Photo of Contra
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with a burgundy tinge. Minimal head with a ring around the edge of the glass. The aroma is almost non-existent, but sweet. Very doughy-biscuit flavor with a well spiced taste. I could down tons of these.

Overall, a very enjoyable Oktoberfest.

 264 characters

Photo of joeskirkie
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rich copper with an off-white short-lived creamy head.

Smells doughy, thats the only way I can think to put it.

The taste has caramel notes, a balanced, spicy hop presence, and a slight tartness throughout. It's ok.

It's smooth and slightly sweet. Theres not a whole lot going on. It's good, but I suppose I was expecting more.

 338 characters

Photo of Pinto21
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shade red of being copper. Very nice white head.

Herp hop at first followed by sweet malts, a lot of sweet malts.

Malt, oh the malt. The malts have been carmelized. Herbal hops come through in the finish to bring everything together.

Great O-fest, actually best I've had. more hops and malts than the spaten or any imports i've treid

 336 characters

Photo of BostonBrewins
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Crystal clear copper with a white head. Dissipates fairly quickly.

S - Very nice and strong aroma. Notes of caramel and brown sugar.

T - Alot of sweetness upfront, mostly caramelized sugar. Not overwhelmingly sweet though. Breadiness comes next. Silky smooth. Absolutely delicious.

M - Low to medium bodied with a fairly high carbonation level.

O - One of my favorite marzens, a good example of the style.

 414 characters

Photo of beernut
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle a nice amber/orange color with a head that lasted maybe 10 seconds, no lacing at all. Aroma of caramel, malts and some spices. Pleasant taste, with some caramel and spice. Full bodied and pretty smooth with a touch of hops. Carbonation is not too heavy, very little if any. A good beer for the fall.

 325 characters

Photo of weasbri
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big bubbly head on this one. I had to slow the pour to get it all in the glass. Dark coppery color, with a sweet malty fragrance.
The taste was all about the sweetness of the malt to me with some caramel flavor too. There was a bit of a hoppy flavor in the finish to top it off as well.
On my recent foray to Norm's, I picked up a six-pack of this, with some singles to taste as well, and I'm thinking that the singles will have to wait, as I enjoyed this quite a bit.

 470 characters

Photo of maundythirsty
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear beer looks like a brand new penny, with a big and bubbly off-white head that collapses to a thin skin. Small, spotty lacing. Very few rising bubbles. Doesn't smell like a whole lot of anything. A little bready, and a little nutty. Soft herbal hops.

Just short of a knockout in the taste department. There's good stuff in there -- toasty bread, those soft and steady herbal hops, light fruitiness, a tough of honey -- it's just that it seems a bit faint. Light body. Quite crisp. Not much carbonation.

I'm not crazy about fest beers, but maybe it's right that this stuff tastes a little muted -- that is, if it is to be consumed all afternoon long from bottomless steins. I think Victory scores again with this one. It may feel a little delicate, but it's good stuff.

 786 characters

Photo of Kallessin
4.79/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber/copper color, clear with a moderate amount of bubbles rising to the top. It has a sizzling cream colored head that settles to thin ring around the top in a couple minutes.

Has a very sweet malty aroma, lots of caramel.

Huge malt flavor - lots of caramel and toffee. Very sweet and rich. The flavor has a lot of depth to it. Almost no hop bitterness to speak of. Really a fantastic tasting beer.

Full bodied and very smooth with low carbonation. Very rich and satisfying.

This is a great beer. Easy to drink, great flavor and aroma with an amazing feel to it.

 581 characters

Photo of gabe23
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep golden color with a sudsy white head. Nice retention with average lacing.

S - Bready malt, caramel sweetness, and earthy/herbal hops. Just as a Marzen should smell.

T - Nice malty base with a sweetness that is not overwhelming. A nuttiness leads into a fairly bitter hop finish. Very clean flavor, though.

M - Medium body with plenty of crisp carbonation. Just about right for the style.

D - This was a nice Oktoberfest beer with a bit more hops than expected to balance out the malt sweetness. Perhaps a bit too bitter for traditionalists, but I liked it a lot. I'd have no problem drinking these all night.

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Photo of Ksoden1186
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

While I love Victory's Prima Pils and Hop Devil, this was a disappointment. Overall, an unbalanced beer that I wouldn't pick up again. If you are looking for an easy-drinking Octoberfest, there are better options out there.

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Photo of eljefe21
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light copper color with a 1 finger head.

S: Slightly faint malty smell.

T: Malty balanced nicely with a slightly dry and bitter flavor.

M: Sharp and carbonated up front, thin in the middle, and a dry finish.

D: A nice beer that tastes like fall in Germany.

Served: in a standard pint glass

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
84 out of 100 based on 771 ratings.
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