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Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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BA SCORE
84
good
786 Reviews
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
Reviews:
786
Ratings:
1,940
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
20.16%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
237
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 786 | Ratings: 1,940
Photo of Hansford
4.48/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Guiness glass.

A: Beautiful shade of brownish red/copper. Not very dark, but you know that you are going to get a full taste. Thin head, off-white.

S: Malts, malts, malts. Faint scent of hops, but this thing is all malts on the nose.

T: You get a ton of sweet malts. As Victory always does, the malt is very well-balanced with a touch of hops. Perhaps a little dried fruit as well. Fantastic flavor here.

M: Unlike a lot of "Oktoberfest" beers, this is pretty crisp.

Overall, this is definitely one of my top 3 favorite beers out there, if not my favorite. I found this bottle in the basement, thinking that all of them from the case bought in September's case were gone. What a surprise! But it's always available at the brewery, thank god.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip style glass. I got about a finger of foam on a deeper brown beer.

Off the top I get a pretty good amount of malt. This smells just like fall. The lagering presence is really clean on this one. The flavoring is also pretty clean.

Overall, this makes for a very tasty version of an Oktoberfest bier. I will have to pick this up again in the fall.

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

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a copper color, produced a above average white head, nice retention and it left a nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of fresh baked bread and piney hops. Medium bodied, a foundation of toasted malt, caramel and a semi dry, bitter hop finish. Very nice session beer and nice example of a Oktoberfest beer.

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Photo of dertyd
3.29/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle to a pint glass

A-rusty copper with lots of bubbles little head and no laceing

S-sweet malts,figs,dried fruit

T-sweet malts,figs,grassy citruss verry well ballanced

M-nice and crisp

Overall
A verry good beer from victory they haven't done me rong yet I will drink this one again

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On draft

Medium brown in color, thin off white head that fades fast. Slightly sweet malty aroma. Taste is bready, a little brown sugar. Thin to medium body.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: The weakest suit of this beer, but nothing to complain about. Amber color, decent head.

Smell: A strong whiff of beer (hefeweisen?) when you open it up, it is full of smoothness when you start pouring.

Taste: Malty and spicy, with a touch of hop flavor to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, crisp and smooth.

Overall: I like it. Another good offering from Victory.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.27/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From: Bad Apple, Chicago, IL
Date: None noticed, but released in mid-2012
Glass: US pint glass

Victory's Festbier is a fairly typical American expression of the style, fairly mild caramel and toasted malt flavors combined with a low hop profile, rounding the flavor out with a mild, brown bread quality. While not unappetizing, the beer does not distinguish itself from its brethren, and is somewhat lacking in flavor and robustness compared to the German imports.

Pours a 1.5cm head of slightly off-white foam with below-average retention, lasting less than a minute in its quick fade to oblivion. The declining head leaves little to no lacing along the sides of the glass. The body of the beer is a transparent amber color, with light bringing out reddish-orange tints. Carbonation is visible and fairly active.

Aroma is primarily of grainy, slightly sweet caramel and toasted malts, bread, minerals, and yeast. In general, the scents seemed underwhelming when compared to some of the bolder German varieties out there.

The primary flavors of the beer are grainy, slightly sweet malts with slight breadiness and caramel lurking in the background. Tasting opens with slightly sweet, grainy and modestly mineral-flavored malts on the front of the palate. Mid-palate continues the sweet grains, adds some bread, and very slight bittering German hops. Back of palate finds caramel malt flavors, slight breadiness, and continued modest bitterness from German hops. Aftertaste is similar to the initial taste: grainy, slightly sweet malts with slight breadiness and caramel lurking in the background.

Beer has a medium to medium-light body with carbonation of medium intensity, creating a beer that slightly fizzes across the palate, ultimately coming across as crisp and smooth. Closes semi-dry, with moderate stickiness lingering across the palate.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.02/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Victory's Festbier last week for $1,89 at The Lager Mill. I know it's a little late for Oktoberfest beers, but I just now so this beer on the shelf and I'm going to take a chance on it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label on this beer is pretty simple, but I like it and I think it's well done. It poured a hazy amber color that took on a nice caramel color when held to the light with a finger and a half of slightly off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that faded to nothing and it didn't leave any lacing. This beer didn't look that great, the color was good, but the head and lacing were disappointing.

S- The aroma starts off with a high amount of sweetness that's followed by the malts that impart some caramel, brown bread, grains, and a biscuit like aroma. After that comes a slight nutty aroma followed by some yeasty spices. The aroma was pretty average, it could have been cleaner for the style.

T- The taste seemed to be fairly similar to the aroma and it started off with a higher amount of medium sweetness and lots of malts which imparted a grainy, brown bread, caramel, and biscuit like flavor. After that came a slight nutty flavor and an even lighter amount of spicy yeast. On the finish there was basically no bitterness and it had a very malty and slightly sweet aftertaste, This was a pretty average tasting Marzen, there was nothing to set this beer apart from all the other Marzen's.

M- Pretty smooth, crisp, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation that was a little prickly. The mouthfeel was a little above average for the style but the pricklyness held it back a little.

All in all I thought this beer was just ok and I thought it was a pretty average example of the style, I didn't pick up any hops, just lots of malts that seemed a little too dull for the style. This beer had ok drinkability, it was smooth, but the flavors didn't hold my attention, I could drink a couple of these but I would rather have something with a little more flavor. What I liked the most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was the truest to style and it worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was how boring this beer was, a little hops would have helped this beer out and impart a little bit of complexity. I don't think I would buy this again, there's many other Marzen's that I would much rather have and would buy instead, it's worth trying if you really like the style, but I don't think it will make the top of anybody's list of great Marzen's. All in all this beer was pretty middle of the road and not that memorable. I have yet to be really impressed by Victory, most of their beers seem to be pretty average, better luck next time guys.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear amber color beer with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of grainy notes with light dry caramel malt notes. Taste is mostly dominated by grainy cereal notes with a dryer then expected caramel malt finish. Body is about average with good carbonation. Easily drinkable though finish is not as clean as I would have expected.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber colour with a small white head.

The smell is sweet malts and caramel.

The taste follows the smell caramel and malts.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall, pretty much what you would expect from an Octoberfest, definately one of the better ones.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Translucent ruby orange, some carbonation, one finger head

S-Caramel malt, some spice, nuts and butter.

T-Caramel malt, tad bit of grass, some butter. Bland and boring.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation and crisp.

O-I wonder why I drink Oktoberfests. This beer didn't bring much to the table, at least it wasn't awful. But boring at the end of the day.

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Photo of UnderPressure
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Copper colored. Clear, with a nice off-white head. Retention is not great though.

Very sweet aroma. Almost like honey, with some roasted malt.

Grainy flavor comes right away. Then comes some bread/biscuit along with that honey. Reminiscent of a breakfast cereal with honey (Honeycomb, Smacks, etc). The malts blend together nicely. Enough hop bitterness to give balance.

Mouthfeel is very satisfying. Medium bodied, smooth, with tickling carbonation.

This is an awesome Oktoberfest style beer. Right up my alley. Much bolder with more to offer than any of the big name German Marzens I've tried.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours medium amber, some orange, light layer of white foam that splits apart. Malty nose, some cinammon/nutmeg spice. Taste is a rich chewy caramel malt. Hearty malt. There is a barely noticeable hop at the close. Real flavorful marzen, maybe a touch short on bite.

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Photo of tony223366
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful, rich caramel color. Perfect clarity and a 2+ finger off-white colored head. Lots of action from the carbonation. Head retention leaves much to be desired though. It pretty much quickly disappeared.

S: Rich, spicy lager aroma. I get some spiciness from the hops along with some light caramelly malt aroma. Smells exceedingly clean.

T: Taste is really complex and changes throughout the beginning, middle and end. The beginning is all the caramel, bready malts. That leads to a spicy hop flavor that more herbal than anything. The finish is surprisingly toasty. Like toasted nuts. Delicious and interesting!

M: Slick feeling to this beer with a light/medium body. Lots of carbonation which I feel like this beer needs.

O: This beer is surprisingly complex and has a nice bitter finish. Better than I thought it'd be!

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

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on October 29, 2012.

The pour is a slightly hazy medium amber with little to no head.

The aroma is clearly malty and biscuit-like but there is a nutty sensation as well as a vague floral hop hint.

The body is medium and smooth.

The taste is as malty as the aroma and significantly sweeter than what I got on the nose. A modest lingering finish ties it all together. It isn't all that bad and is entirely drinkable.

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Photo of tophers
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer was too dry for me without the malt backbone that I was expecting. The bitterness didn't seem to blend with the malt very well. I really enjoy Victory beers so I was a little disappointed with this one.

a: Deep amber in color and mostly transparent but a little hazy. Head is not very long lasting and is white in appearance. Ring of head around the glass.

s: Malt aroma consists of a raisin and Munich. Some earthy hop aroma detected. No esters.

t: Dominant malt flavor that is toasty and bready in nature. Some floral hop flavor. Moderate amount of hop bitterness that seems to be more noticeable in the aftertaste.

m: Moderately high carbonation with a moderately light body. Fairly dry finish that may be due to a bit of astringency.

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Photo of Durge
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep copper brown color with a modest white cover that dissipates quickly to random swirls. Lacing is fair. The aroma is no doubt cabbage malt with a hint of chocolate and herbal hop. Pretty neat. The flavor is absolutely in keeping with the nose hit. A beautiful malt bath with an herbal hop edge that makes for a lucid, dry feel in a medium bodied brew with modest carbonation. A very satisfying Octoberfest beer that I would easily recommend autumnal malt fans.

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

Tasted On: 10-22-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Mug
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

Clear and bright copper beer topped by a healthy off-white head. Very good retention and a fair level of lacing. Lots of carbonation is seen streaming in the glass.

Aromas are rich and malty, with sweet caramel and bready notes. The taste starts off with the malty sweet flavors as noted in the nose, and then features earthy hop bitterness and roasted grains. The bitterness seems a bit high to me for the style.

Medium bodied and a feel of medium to high carbonation. The finish is balanced between the caramel malts and hop bitterness. Overall I liked this Oktoberfest, but would prefer a bit less hop profile.

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Photo of brystmar
3.34/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Top Hops.

Average looking pour, minimal head atop the amber body. Aroma is the strongest part of this beer: spicy, fruity, floral, slightly hoppy, malts. Mmmmm.

Taste disappoints. Watery with sweet malt as the dominant flavor. Hoppy backbone shows itself at the end before fading. Not bad, not very good either.

Verdict: skip.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into an English pint glass.

A - Pours a rich, light copper color. Two-finger head of dense, pillowy, eggnog-white foam falls at a moderate pace, leaving a bit of lace around the glass and islands of small bubbles on the surface. Beer is a vibrant orange-red and clear when held to a full-spectrum light.

S - Nicely toasted malts; rich, darker caramels; hints of orange/soft spice. Touches of floral hops come through. Nose is light, but present and defined.

T - More hop-forward than usually found in the style. Roasted (but not burnt) malts, well-toasted whole wheat bread, cereals, and caramel sugars seem to serve as the opening acts for a finale of bitter herb-style hops. Taste is a straight-forward presentation of these flavors, without complexity.

M - Somewhat foamy, full carbonation. On the lighter side without being thin. Finish lingers longer than expected and is focused on the bitterness of the hops rather than traditional Oktoberfest sugars. Simple structure.

O - An American NW take on the style that respects the traditional foundation of toasted malts and caramels, but still has the need to make sure the hops are noticed. If you're expecting a Marzen, you'll probably find the overall effort out-of-balance. Probably better paired with food, where the hops can find more to balance with, than drunk alone.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber with an off white head.

Smells of yeasty bread, bitter herb, roasted malt and caramel.

Roasted malt and caramel up front followed by bitter herb. It has a nice balance and a full body. It has a chewy, nutty, bread like mouth feel. This is a real good Octoberfest. This one gets better as it warms.

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Photo of kell50
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into my Great Lakes pint glass.

A: Pours a golden amber color with a quickly fading head. Very indicative of bottled Oktoberfests in my honest opinion.

S: Crispy malt, follows by yeast, brown sugar, and a bit of freshly toasted bread. The aroma is fairly similar to most Oktoberfests. Perfect pair to a chilly night in October.

T: The taste follows the nose, toasted malt, lager yeast, with a sugary/caramel sweetness. Not a ton of hops to speak of. It can be tough to find a well crafted American Oktoberfest- but this one works.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Relatively dry finish.

O: A super tasty, solid Oktoberfest that doesn't differentiate too much from other available marzens, but I feel Victory has produced one that is very true to style. $8 for a 6 pack is a great price to pay.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a copper-orange color with a two finger off white head. The head fades over about 3 minutes to leave a lighter amount of lacing.

Smell – Roasted malt are the heaviest of the aromas, although overall the aroma is rather light. With the roast are some lighter notes spice and herbal hop with some hay-like aromas mixed within.

Taste – The taste begins very bready with a good deal of caramel sweetness up front. Some flavors of a sweeter toffee nature come to the tongue with some lighter fruit flavors which create a sweet taste. At the end a nice roast and light herbal flavor come and round out the sweeter flavors; leaving a pleasant sweeter herbal spiced flavor to linger on the tongue. Rather nice.

Mouthfeel – For the abv. and style, the body of the beer is on the slightly creamier side with a carbonation level that is rather average. The creamier body if very nice for the sweet yet spicy and roasty flavors with the carbonation level making it very drinkable.

Overall – Other than the lack luster aroma, this is one really fantastic and tasty beer. It is one I will definitely go to again. It has great flavors and a very nice feel.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with no head at all and very little apparent carbonation. Smell is of fresh baked bread a hint of warm spices.

Taste is malty and slightly sweet, the carbonation doesn't add much pop on the tongue. The beer is very balanced and ever so slightly peppery, a very subtle and malty beer.

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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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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,940 ratings.
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