Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Chalice. The temperature was 43 degrees. Best by Jan 13 08.

A- Very little head goes away to nothing on top. Pretty clear amber red with some bubbles rising towards top.

S- Floral hops with some biscuity malts in backround.

T- Floral hops quickly gives way to plums and sweet, bready malts. Real nice balance between the hops and malts. I really enjoy this immensely.

M- Fairly well carbonated but the bready malts give it a nice thickness.

D- Wow, I really enjoy this brew. I was surprised that it didn't get higher ratings. This is by far the best fall brew I have had this season.

Cheers Friends,
Scott

 648 characters

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

Pour was a dark copper color, thin head and decent carbonation.

Smell was sweet and bready. A little earthy hop presence also comes through for a brief moment.

Taste is more sweet malts. Caramel and a light bit of chocolate, more and more as it warmed. Some hints of fruit and less hops than smell suggested.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium.

Overall the drinkability is pretty good here. Nothing stands out with this offering but it seemed solid enough.

 459 characters

Photo of iceball585
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark reddish color, clear, tiny bubbles throughout, thin white head

S- Toasted malts, bread, flowery, hint of hops

T- Nice blend of malt and hops, bready, slight flavor of peanuts

M- Medium body, fairly smooth

D- Definatly worth trying

Not my favorite Oktoberfest but it's worth giving it a try. Also I expected more flavor out of a beer from Victory Brewing Company.

 375 characters

Photo of cokes
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Auburn-tinted copper with a rising sandstone head that gradually recedes to a mere edging.
Flour tortilla nose, with glints of grapes, caramel, honeyed graham crackers, and corn syrup (relax...it's a simple impression, and not in the derogatory macro sense).
Into the mouth, it's bready first, and toasty second. Trickles of caramel sweetness wiggle in, along with a prolonged walnut-laden nuttiness. That same, slick corn syrup sweetness from the nose makes an appearance, and I can't really place where it comes from, having seen the ingredients. But it quickly morphs into fleshy sourdough with a tic of seedy grapes. It concludes with a tempered, but cleansing burst of herbal hops.
Medium bodied in the mouth. It approaches grabby, but is slaked clean with a slow, but persistent carbonation.
It's not a standout (and actually a small letdown coming from Victory, whom I assumed would put out a classic),. But to say it's anything less than solid would sell it short as this ultimately succeeds in its cause and would be downable in minivan-sized steins given the right occasion...and absence of other similar options.

 1,125 characters

Photo of BeerLover48Fan
4.75/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one poured a very nice light orange amber with a good looking two inch plus head on the top. Ample carbonation was kept alive throughout which really gave it great retention and helped to keep the lively look of it going. A nice bit of side glass lace was apparent, but the real story here was the complete and total clarity of the color and the great hue to it overall. A very nice, classic looking lager here. I have only tried two Victory beers, Prima Pils was my first but I like Festbier a whole lot more. A great seasonal that should be a year round beer

 565 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – This one poured a very nice light orange amber with a good looking two inch plus head on the top. Amble carbonation was kept alive throughout which really gave it great retention and helped to keep the lively look of it going. A nice bit of side glass lace was apparent, but the real story here was the complete and total clarity of the color and the great hue to it overall. A very nice, classic looking lager here.



S – Aroma was nice, very light with a touch of fruit to it. Dominated totally though by the earthen malted grans. Lots of cereal and spice with almost what smelled like a touch of pumpkin. I don’t know if itt was really strong enough to be a major competitor in the overall scheme of things, however it did round everything out very nicely. Overall a really good light fall like aroma.



T – The flavor was great. Very light and refreshing. Naturally the biggest player here would be roasted malts and yeast. Nice little floral taste in the finish, which was also quite dry, I have to say a lot drier then I thought it would be fore sure. A nice drinker that went really well with dinner. It did have a noticeable yeast flavor to it, but nothing that was distracting from the overall appeal of it. Really well done I have to say and I have had quite a few lately in these styles, and this was defiantly upper tier for sure.



M – Very smooth would be a perfect way to describe it. Great carbonation helped to keep the flavor light and keep the feel rolling along. A good crisp, quick, and clean finish to it really helped as well. Perfect feel though for the style as it was light enough to keep going but had enough depth to make you stop and think.



D – Great. I could have kept going on this one all night. It just had a great blend of properties that helped to show off at just the right time. The perfect blend of a spiced amber ale mixed with low abv and great carbonation, what more could you ask for other then a 32oz mug.



Overall what can I really say about this one. It was really superb and just what was needed at the time. This was an extremely drinkable, well designed and very filling brew that really gave a good represent of the style and offered a none complicated version. In a day and age where everyone and everything keeps going better, it was nice to see someone just keep it simple and put out a quality everyday brew, well done.

 2,396 characters

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

Decent start to the head with great ring lace. Very clear and lighter than I'd expect.

Overall, strong amber malt (crystal?) smells like a marzen should be.

The taste matches the aroma--malty, smooth and milky. Light hop gives some balance. Good body, low carbonation.

Overall, a nice entry into the marzen world.

 317 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 wedge
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright coppery orange with a short-lived head. Clean sweet malt aroma, lightly doughy and floral. Toasted, nutty sweet malts comprise much of the flavor. A leafy, herbal hoppiness compliments the malt. Solid medium body wraps everything up nicely. Clean and easily drinkable.

 275 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 djeffbee
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep amber body with an off-white head.

Smell: Toasted and caramel malts a slight fruity aroma.

Taste: Mostly malt with a slight caramel presence. Nicely bitter and a surprisingly drier finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Appropriate carbonation for this example and style.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and a year-round offering that is a nice find when looking for something malty during the warmer months of the year.

Cheers!

 456 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 tastybeer
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour brings a very Fall appropriate color. Its clear with a deep warm coppery, red-orange glow. Head on this average speed pour is small, and now no longer exists. No lacing to remind me of it either. Aroma is packed with yummy, chew-able quantities of German malt combined into some light hops. The spice-like aromas that come to mind are a little pumpkin, some allspice, and maybe a touch of cinnamon. Taste matches the aromas very well also. This is probably one of my more liked Fall seasonal beers. Mouthfeel has nice creamy, lush malty feel to it. German malty. Very easy to drink additionally.

Good, yummy, and satisfying.

 634 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

'07 release

appearance - crystal clear amber color with a great beige head that sticks it out and leaves some nice lacing behind in its midst.

smell - sweet maltiness, caramel, some hop spiciness...typical octoberfest aroma

taste - sweet maltiness, caramel, toffee, a subtle hint of hop spiciness to balance everything out...SMMOOOTH. This is one of the smoothest beers Ive ever had. Excellent finish.

mouthfeel - medium bodied, light carbonation

drinkability - i could kick back PLENTY of these bad larry's. VERY drinkable. The best American version of Oktoberfest that I have tasted yet. Seems better than last year's outing.

 633 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice crisp amber colour with a decent sized off white head that has minimal retention time and dissolves quickly, leaving nary a trace of itself on the glass.

The aroma is a basic but solid blend of caramel sweetness, some chalky, toasted bread (if that makes sense) a slight hint of spice and hops.

The flavour brings out some more toasted bread flavour along with a hint more spice and an overall dryness that was not expected from the sweetness noted in the aroma. That said, sweetness is still here from the caramel, but is concentrated primarily in the middle of each sip. There's a touch of a nut flavour at the finish as well. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with nice carbonation and a touch of slickness.

This is good stuff. As far as Oktoberfests go, this is one of the better ones out there. Beers true to the style don't leave much wiggle room for twists and turns in the flavour, but those that can do it right make for a tasty beer, and that's what this one does.

 992 characters

Photo of mnj21655
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle. Enjoy by Dec 24 07

Pours a perfectly clear dark reddish-copper color with almost no head and no lacing. Aroma is not very strong, faint hop aromas underlie toasted malts. Taste is of toasted malts with only hints of hop bitterness to balance the beer out. Some sweetness at the beginning gives way to a drier finish. Mouthfeel is good, medium-light body and moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good. This is a solid oktoberfest but didn't do anything to impress me. I'll have another but in the future I'd pass on this and give myself the opportunity to try a new beer.

 586 characters

Photo of matty
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another winner by victory brewing company.A nice mix of bread and caramel aftertaste.Goes down like spring water on a hot summer day.I recommend this beer and will absolutely be buying this product again.I also will be buying other produts from victory brewing afterall it's in my hometown's backyard.

 301 characters

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a rich amber hue with a one finger light khaki colored head. Stcikiness is hardly there, but somewhat. Smell is a sweet buttery scent with a nice caramel malt mixed in. Definitely a lot of malts in this one, let's give it a taste. Starts off with a subtle citrus hop bite that is quickly dominated by the sweet caramel malt. Sweet bready flavor with a nice kettle popcorn flavor towards the end with a vanilla tea like aftertaste. Pretty complex on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with minimal carbonation. I put this one down quicker than I had expected, pretty damn good I must say. Victory seems to master almost all styles of beer.

 697 characters

Photo of franksnbeans
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a 2 finger head that dies quick. Smells crisp of nuts and spice with a little vanilla. Tastes as it smells with a touch of malt to balance out all the mild flavors. Medium to light in the mouth with tasty carbonation. Drinkability is great as this is a sessionable but not impressionable brew.

 319 characters

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

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a white head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted malts with a bit of caramel and a light fruitiness.

Taste: Bready maltiness with only a light caramel sweetness to it. Very, very light hint of roasted grain. Faint yeastiness. There's a soft, tea-like bitterness on the dry, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Make no mistake, this beer may not be overly complex, but it is exceedingly drinkable, in every possible way. In fact, it's the best Oktoberfest beer I've had all year (only two, as of writing this).

 595 characters

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.

 353 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
2.91/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pretty average oktoberfest, IMO. Poured up nicely with an orange bronze colour and a foamy sand coloured head. Smell was honestly a little BMC-ish with a bit of sweet malt. Taste, Mouthfeel, and Drinkability are all pretty average. Overall, this wasn't bad, but honestly, I wasn't impressed.

 293 characters

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

Had on draft at the Frisco Grille and Cantina, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a deep amber color (perfect for the style) with a thin tan head.

S- Smells bready and malty, subtle hops finish.

T- A nice taste of malt, but not too sweet, a fresh fest beer.

M- Not overly carbonated, very smooth, medium body.

D- A very good example of the style, a little more hop finish would have put this beer at a 5.0.

 409 characters

Photo of blitz134
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear dark copper body with a 1" light tan head that reduced quickly to half a skim layer of bubbles and half slick surface. More head retention would be nice.

Strong, clean dark toasted aromas of malt. Clean hopping, a bit of earthy hops work in nicely.

Earthy, toasted malts dominate again. A touch of grain husk. Dinner rolls as well. Earthy, slightly herbal hopping. Pretty good, but not a style I have had much of in the past.

Medium bodied, mediumish carbonation. I think a bit more would make it a touch more crisp.

Drinkability is good though. Good malty flavor. A solid beer that will go down easily, especially this weekend while camping out.

 664 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe