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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 12/11/2012. Pours lightly hazy orange copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of pear, apple, caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, earth, and herbal. Nice aromas with good balance and decent strength. Taste of big pear, toast, caramel, biscuit, toffee, apple, earth, herbal, and light nuttiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, light fruit, earth, and herbal on the finish for a short bit. Nice balance and robustness of flavors; with no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Oktoberfest lager. Nicely robust with good flavor balance; extremely smooth to drink. Enjoyed this.

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Photo of Kooz
2.41/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured to an amber color; good head.

Malty nose. Some spice. Nothing terribly special...

Spices in taste, and flavorful but too bitter. Not much about this I really like. It's flavors are robust but bitter, and the spices taste off.

Good body, but the spices linger too long and don't taste fresh--that's the best way to describe them. It's like Victory used expired dry spices.

Overall, I'm not impressed.

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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 BeerFMAndy
4.74/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
5.6% ABV, Enjoy by Dec 31 2012 etched lightly into shoulder.

A - Festbier pours a fire-y clear amber that parallels the trees' changing leaves; a stunning color. Dense ivory foam settles to a thin skim pretty quickly but leaves some spotty lacing left on the glass.

S - Right off the bat, Victory's Festbier is very reminiscent of the classic German lager but it is much toastier than any I've experienced. Deep and dense bready aromas stem from the Vienna malts which impart biscuit and toasted wheat bread. Munich malts add a drizzle of honey-like sweetness which nicely blankets the "bread" but this beer isn't all malt. Plenty of German noble hops finish with a follow-up of light spice and herbal notes, completing the ensemble very nicely!

T - Hefty malt really ups the ante in the flavor as it loads on the bread characteristics. Imagine for a moment, a warm loaf broken, gooey on the inside but complete with a crispy shell; that's Festbier for ya'. Chunky dense biscuit, Munich sweetness with just a touch of earthy nuttiness, and the perfect balance of hops on the finish which not only keep the beer's sweetness in check, they add a lingering herbal note which compliments while delicately contrasting the beer.

M - Full-bodied while remaining extremely drinkable, Victory's Festbier has a lush, smooth malt feel but a nice carbonation presence that livens it up. Finishing dry from toasted malt and hops alike, this perfectly balanced beer goes down incredibly well.

O - Victory Festbier might just be the ultimate Oktoberfest. Crisp and clean, it adheres to it's strict lager standards and showcases deep malt complexity while adding a simplistic but oh-so-important kiss of hops, all while remaining exceptionally drinkable, especially for it's robust body! A moment of pause to consider the skill required to brew such a balanced and immaculate beer is rewarding but equally as rewarding is losing one's self in the festivities and enjoying pint after pint of such a beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and slightly hazy copper amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Solid three finger off white head with good retention. Leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very bready and malt forward aroma. Toasted bready malts with good hints of biscuit, caramel, toffee, yeast, nuts, and crackers. Some nice subtle hints of dark roast with a little hint of chocolate. Hints of apple and a little dark fruit. Also some hints of balancing earthy and grassy hops in the background. Very forward on the bready biscuit and caramel smell. Pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a nicely full and bready malt driven taste. Toasted malts with big notes of bready biscuit, caramel, toffee, yeast, nuts, and crackers. A roast taste is quite noticeable with some nice notes of nutty chocolate. Subtle fruit taste with some apple and dark fig. The bready sweetness is well balanced by some earthy hops that dry out the finish. The bready burnt caramel taste is quite full. Really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, somewhat nutty, and pretty smooth. Starts sweet and finishes fairly dry.

Overall: A very good American take on a Marzen. Full bready malt flavor with some nice subtle roast notes. Nicely balanced sweetness.

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

A nice orangey amber with a decent head of an off white hue and touches of lace here and there. A bit of haze as I gaze, no carbonation in the glass. Smell has lots of toasted grains and light sweet malt with yeasty bread and herbal hops. Taste is malty and smooth with a grainy quality that flows to a well integrated hop component that balances the caramel sweetness and gives a somewhat longish dry finish. Well developed nuttines shows towards the swallow, gives a nice platform for the bitterness to blossom. Feel is medium with a light tingley carbonationan and a crisp overall character. High notes for drinkability and sessioning this one is easy. A good solid effort from one of my favorite breweries.

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

A - Pours a reddish amber color with one finger, off-white head.

S - Lots of caramel malts, burnt sugar, bready. A tinge of dark fruit almost.

T - Quite sweet, again, some burn sugar, but also a tinge of darker fruit. Bready and and caramel malt backbone.

M - Very smooth, full tasting, almost syrupy.

Overall - Pretty good Marzen here, it was a little sweet, but good blend of tastes. Almost a 'complex' Marzen.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, rich amber, with a thick and attractive off-white head. I didn't get any lace, though...

Nose is grainy and malty. I get caramel/toffee, with a tinge of fruitiness. Points for complexity with aroma!

Flavor is rich and malty, with a hint of toasty grain malts and a light, fruity hop finish. This is a subtle, well-crafted, and complex, but easy-drinking beer. Impressive!

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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.

 850 characters

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug

Pours an orange doused copper capped by one finger off-white head. No lacing. Caramel, toffee, bread dough and fruit accents including a bit of pear and sweet apple on the nose. Light, sweet caramel malt, doughy pie crust, joined by apple peel, and then finishes fairly dry with grassy hops. Lighter medium body, slick with hints of syrup. Decent level of carbonation. Overall a solid marzen, however a bit more depth to the flavors would be welcome.

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

A-orange amber color with an off-white head and some lacing

S-malt, caramel, hint of spices

T-malt, yeasty bread,caramel, mild hop bitterness

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, slight slickness

O-a decent Octoberfest beer, but not among my favorites

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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 rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper tinted amber, clear with little head and no retention. Scent is very pale with hints of light caramel and muddy, mineraly water. Thankfully taste is a bit better, light sweet malts, faint nuttyness and faint grassyness, still some mineral qualities. Lighter than expected, very few bubbles of carbonation.

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Photo of mgironta
2.61/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew was a clear amber color with minimal head and active carbonation. There was no real lacing to speak of. The first thing that I noticed was that this brew was a little thin and not what I would consider for the body of an Oktoberfest. On the nose, I got…nothing. No joke. Not a thing. It was like sniffing water. Maybe if I thought really hard about it, I could get some sort of earthiness and a hint of sweetness. But, it would be a reach. The taste is primarily watery, just how it looked. I didn’t get a lot of taste on it. Maybe some sweet malt on the taste and a hint of earthiness? I’m surprised about the lack of flavor in this brew. I didn’t really like it and would not get it again. Definitely underflavored.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep bronze color with a ring of remaining head. 3.0

Burnt toffee, husky toasted grain, baked apples, and hint of buttery malts. 4.0

Deliciously fruity with apple and quince flavors. Ruggedly toasted to a light roast. Sweet malty brown sugar and toffee. Kiss of spicy hops with lingering bitterness. Finishes with the rustic reminiscence of autumn. Half-Marzen, half brown ale. I can't believe this is a lager. 4.0

Softly carbonated. Rich medium body with some stickiness. Booze note is interesting for the style. Quite brawny for an Oktoberfest. 3.5

My favorite American representation. Recommended. 4.5

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Photo of welldigger888
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear orange copper hue. Nice FAT fluffy head that after some time settles to a solid raft of 1/4" head leaving ample lacing. Well played! AWESOME

A nice soft malt forward aroma, with good quality bready notes and a touch of caramel bringing the right amount of sweet to the delicate noble hop aromas that linger. Again, well played!

A very well balanced brew, that lets the malt take the stage. Complimented by the earthy soft hops.

Nice medium body on a give me more brew. Dry finish making this easily quaffed.

Excellant version that I look forward to each college football season. These folks Know how to brew quality brew. GO GAMECOCKS!!!

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Photo of Celtics76
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I decided to have one of these before heading out to Thayer St. to meet up with my fiance. I had it last year and thought it was a nice alternative to the usual, that being Sam Adams Octoberfest. Time to re-visit.

Well, it looks like a Marzen and smells like one too. The profound malty aroma definitely has me thinking of Patriots football and Halloween. Really flavorful - strong malt base with some caramel undertones. Has a "roasty" aftertaste. There is some mild carbonation and a medium-bodied feel to it. Quite drinkable - not a "slow sipper" for me by any stretch.

I have yet to dislike a beer from this brewery. This is no exception. Will buy more if I come across it again.

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Photo of socon67
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber color with a tan foam. Cloudy look and not much lacing.

S - Slight scent of caramel malt, but also some characteristics I'd smell in a hefeweisen. I'm semlling banana and cloves. Ummm, is this the right beer?

T - Taste is more like the style. Malty notes, some caramel flavoring, and a dash of spices.

M - Very easy drinking. Exactly how a good festbier should be. Quite sessionable and feels light enough to enjoy a few.

O - Can't get past the odd scent of this one. It is a very enjoyable beer but for a marzen I have plent yof other options.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden amber color with a fingers worth of head that quickly fades to nothing

S: Lager yeast, malts, and a bit of husk. Fairly simple, but definitely to style

T: Follows the nose, tastes a lot like a dark pils. Yeast brings forward grains and very light fruitiness. Husky. Leafy hops

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice O-Fest that displays a bunch of the characteristics of the style. Easy to drink too. Solid

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

Pours a light reddish-brown with a sturdy tan head which recedes to leave some minimal lacing.

Aromas begin with doughy bread with some yeasty light fruit and caramel malty notes.

The tastes begin with a rich caramel maltiness with subtle hints of toffee. There is a slight doughy, toasty, grainy maltiness that joins as well. As it warms the grainy aspect is joined by surprising amount of earthy and spicy hops.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is fairly clean and crisp as the style would call for.

Overall this is one of the better American interpretations of a Marzen/Oktoberfest that exist in today's market. The caramel, sweet maltiness is probably overstated for the style but I enjoy that more than one that is heavy on grainy, pilsnery flavors. Good, not great, worth a go amongst others.

 834 characters

Photo of AdamBear
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-dark amber with a thin cream colored head

S-honey nut cheerios. Roasted cocoa malts. Good strength. A bit off for the style.

T-comes in with a bitter roasted flavor of honey grains. It's an odd and lightly watery flavor. Doesn't quite fit right. After-taste is oddly bitter.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a semidry finish.

O-this isn't a good Oktoberfest beer. The flavors just don't mesh well and it's not drinkable as the style is supposed to be. 

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Photo of jimmah120
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle 2 months past expiration

Look is an amber-orange with a khaki head. Smell is hay, wheat, yeast, caramel rolls, pumpkin spice, and clove. Taste is wheat, spice, yeast, pumpkin, and roasted malts. Feel is medium, medium carbonation, slightly syrupy and thick.

Solid fest beer, but nothing special. At the high price point, it's not especially desirable.

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