Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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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

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Reviews: 771 | Ratings: 1,880
Photo of Derek
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber-bronze with an off-white head, light retention & lace.

S: Steelie mineral, grass & floral hops, grainy biscuit & dark toffee.

T: Grainy biscuit, dark toffee, mineral & grass, good bitterness.

M: Moderate body, carbonation a little high.

D: A decent drinker.

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Photo of david131
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- An ever so slightly coppery color with some streams of carbonation leading way to a thin ring around the top of the glass. Even with a hard pour, it was almost impossible to get much of a head out of this.

S- Sweet malt with some hop backing. There is really nothing outstanding here. I just kind of think "beer."

T- A great example of the style. The malt and hops compliment each other well here.

M- Good carbonation level and not harsh. Not drying, but just right.

D- This is a very decent example of the style. May not be the most outstanding, but a good ol' American shot at the Euro style.

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

The beer when i poured it into a pint glass, it has a nice amber color body with not a lot of head that thins down to a thin lace. The smell is of carmel and malty. The malt hits you up front, first thing i taste. Then some earthy hops comes along, but not strong. The mouth feel is nice and crisp. Overall this is a average marzen.

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Photo of James954
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Clear dark amber, minimal lace, and sufficient carbonation
S: Sweet plum and raisin
T: The best Marzen yet for me. Sweet malts, light plum and raisin again. Aftertaste is slightly over powered.
F: The only Marzen i've had that's totally smooth and has no sharp bite finish or overly sugared

Overall: I prefer Wiesn over Marzen but this has the soft and smooth mouthfeel of a good Wiesn.

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

Pours a copper color with a white head. Retention is average.

Aroma is malty..caramel, sweet.

Taste is similar to the aroma and works out well. Very malty, sweetness works out..just a good balance of everything

Mouthfeel is nice, medium body with good carbonation

Good to have a few of. Drinkable. Best marzen? No. But its a good one. I'd buy more

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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 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.

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Photo of granger10
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Victory seasonal pours a darker copper color with a medium tan head. Aroma is mostly caramel and toasted grains. Sort of weak. Taste is also weak and watery for my liking. The flavors aren't bad but they're too weak. A light grainy sweetness is prevalent along with some nondescript malts. Finish is fruity and sweet. This beer is ok, probably a good session choice, but I was expecting more from Victory.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

Deep amber color with a small white head. Poor retention. Sweet caramel malt aroma. Flavor was lacking that dry, bready, Oktoberfest profile. Chalky mouthfeel. I'm usually a fan of Victory but this was a miss for me. I would recommend most German and some other American versions of the style over this one.

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Photo of BDIMike
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear copper color. There is a ton of carbonation that creates a thick white head with great retention throughout the drink.
Smell is very slight and subdued. There is a slight bit of fruity hop, but there is mainly just a flat malt smell.
Taste is not as flavorful as I would like. There is a good balance between malt and hop, but neither really jumps out and impresses.
Mouthfeel is as good as it gets. Perfect amount of thickness with an awesome smooth drink all the way down.
Drinkability is good mainly because of the perfect mouthfeel. There is nothing exceptional about the taste of this beer, but there is nothing bad either. An above average beer that I wouldn't go out and get, but I would drink it if handed one...

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Photo of clvand0
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is mostly caramel malt with some sweetness and possibly a little toasted. I'm not a huge fan of the flavor. It's comprised of caramel malt and some toastiness but there's a hop flavor in there as well - whatever hop it is, I'm not a fan of its flavor. Not necessarily something off in the beer, I just don't like this hop. Finish is sweet and slightly bitter and the mouthfeel is moderate. Drinkability is ok.

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Photo of BigMike
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

"Gather with your friends for a festive moment of Victory!"

poured from a 12 oz. Bottle into a pint tulip.

Color is tangerine orange with some rusty brown mixed in. A hard pour produced a fluffy two finger head that only lasted briefly.

Some spice on the nose with some light caramel. Not a real overpowering aroma.

Very light and watery on the tongue. A bit of sweetness at first but not much is going on flavor wise here. Actually this has a pretty boring flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation. The best thing about this beer is the fact that its so crisp and clean that at under 6% its extremely easy to drink. I mean i polished off three bottles before i knew it in about 20 minutes.
Definitely a sessionable one.

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

Pours a bright, clear amber with only a touch of white head to show.

Aromas of cherries in syrup, toffee and a whiff of corn syrup in there as well.

All malt for the most part with a bit of that same morello cherry flavor from the nose. Slightly bready with a little lingering caramel sweetness. Nearly no hop presence although the bitterness is detectable if only faintly.

Not a mold-breaking Marzen by any stretch and not the normal cut-above job achieved by Victory. Still, this isn't nearly as bad as other reviewers have mentioned and I find this to be plenty drinkable even a month after its freshness date has expired.

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

Deep red amber in the glass topped with a minimal coating of white foam that dies quickly but manages to leave some lacing on the glass. The aroma is pretty faint. Nice hop notes and dashes of orange along with some slightly bready maltiness.

The flavor is a bit lacking, but it is pretty good. Orange peels along with a little bit of hop bite give it a nice flavoring, just toned down. Some sweetness comes in, but it stays very well-balanced. Orange peels also add an interesting note. It is very drinkable, and it is definitely different from the other micro Oktobers I have had this year. A great session brew, but just a bit light for me.

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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.

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

pours a golden copper color with very fast receding head then a beige ring lacing on side of glass,,,smell is caramel malts,bread and spice..taste is malt forward sweet caramel vienna lager tasting some bread and nutmeg..mouth feel is medium moderate carbonation..good taste and easy to drink,,not my favorite marzen but still solid enough

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big and full of flavor, Victory's beer roots reach back into traditional English and German heritage. And with their reimagined Oktoberfest-style lager designed to give American craft beer drinkers the boldness and character that they seek, the beer strives to retain the elegance in malt flavor, subtle hop balance and understated character that make those traditional beers so revered.

Victory's Festbier pours a deep but brilliantly clear amber hinging on chestnut and cedar browns. A creamy off-white head springs forth and brings a host of savory nutty aromas seemingly of toasted pecan, cashew, almond and chestnut with the robustly sweet taste of cracker-jack candy and savory butterscotch.

With the sweetness of over-cooked caramel, equipped with a light and toasty sear, its rich maltiness is off of toffee or maple but hints toward butterscotch and pistachio brittle nevertheless. Its elegant malt flavor is starchy with fresh baking bread, light toast and grilled poundcake. Any hop balance is soft, herbal, minty and lurks deep in the recesses in order to allow the malt to shine.

Finishing juicy with malt flavor, the lager retains its sweetness late until the caramel fades and the bready sweet skeleton of malt remains. Its minty finish from noble German hops is lightly spicy, grassy and does just enough to round out the more cloying flavors of the beer to retain its drinkability and balance.

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

12 oz brown bottle; no best before date.

Minor, slightly creamy light brown head that quickly evaporates leaving little to no lacing. Dull garnet with a chill haze; plenty of active carbonation.

Sweet molasses and a bit of cream; reminiscent of a slightly sweet sherry. Lightly toasted oats and malts. Dark fruit-esters: fig, cherry, plum, and grape.

Creamy molasses and light toffee. Astringent, dry grains and oats. Notes of dark, not quite ripe fruit: cherry, plum, and red grape. A smooth, mild bitterness that's followed by an aftertaste of grape, fig, and dried nuts.

Full in body; big malt character with a hefty wheat and grain profile tthat provides a suitable balance. Creamy and pretty mellow on the palate.

A slightly above average Marze; reserved in flavor. An offering a bit disappointing from what I'd expect from Victory.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a copper color with ann off-white head. Head fades away very quickly and leaves pretty much no lacing.

S- Smells of light caramel and toasted malts. Spot on for the style. A touch of floral hops too.

T- Taste is caramel and toasted malts. Nothing really special here at all. Seems a little sweet too.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

D- I found this one to be easy to drink just not my favorite of the season.

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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.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up lately as the only Octoberfest that I've had this year, so far. I liked most of Victory's other beers that I've had, and even though this is a bit flat, it hasn't proven to be the exception to that. I'm not a huge Octoberfest/Marzen fan, but this is slowly growing on me and as much as this could use a kick of flavor, it's still nicely crafted.

The pour was uninspiring, as much as I hate to say that. This beer had a nice light mahogany hue to it, but there wasn't any lacing to be found and the head was about as thin as could be, and still be seen. The mouthfeel was that of caramel, some toffee, and some smoky ash and leaves flavor...much like that of the Flying Fish Octoberfish. This has a very heavy and slightly sticky taste to it, but it could a bit fuller. The aftertaste is a bit watery and weak, but the woody flavors tend to linger pretty nicely.

The 5.60% ABV can hardly be detected here, and unlike some other Octoberfests that I've had, this doesn't have much of a warming effect to it. All in all, this is a pretty average beer and a good way to start off the transition into the darker beers of this time of the year!

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Photo of amphion1065
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Russell House Tavern, served in a pint glass.

Pour is a deep copper, golden orange - seasonally appropriate, at the very least. A one-finger white head last for a while, though there's minimal lacing.

A lot more spice than I was expecting in the aroma. Herbal, with a lingering scent of pepper. There's also some sweet, biscuit malt that reminds me of caramel. Not a huge departure from the style, but interesting.

The taste is very bready, with the malt shining through. Sweet, with the caramel from the nose playing a big role. There's also a pretty noticeable bitterness, and a slight astringency in the finish.

A little overcarbonated, could be toned down a notch. As it stands, the feel is a little distracting.

Unremarkable for the style. There are too many equivalently-priced alternatives to make me return to this one.

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Photo of Shovelbum
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Creamy white head and a copper body with only a few carbonation bubbles. Smells of sweet and roasted malt. Taste is bitter, mildly sweet and a bit dry. Fuller-bodied than other lagers as expected for the style. Crisp despite the apparently low level of carbonation. Finishes smooth and clean.

A decent Marzen. True to design, it would serve as a good session/festival beer.

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Photo of magnj
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - Orangey Amber color, 1 finger head settles to a faint ring. Quite a bit of bubbles rising from the bottom, fairly clear.

s - Fruity, a little dry.

t - Banana and Orange. Not real malty, sweet or hoppy. Has a slight twang. It really tastes like a Hefeweizen without the Belgian yeast. It's not bad but I've had better Octoberfests.

m/d - Pretty thin, flavor lasts only briefly. Sessionable but not too tasty. On the low side of carbonation. I bought this mid December on a whim. It's now mid January and probably past it's prime...I'll have to give it another chance next year.

EDIT: Bottle was in fact past it's Enjoy by date...but they must be drank.

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