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

Clear reddish amber with a thin wheat colored head that rather quickly diminishes. Smell mostly of malt but not overpowering amounts of malt. There's also something else there (hops?) that my poorly developed olfactory machinery has trouble sorting out. Taste is substantial and well balanced, with that malt detected in the smell balanced by a pleasing amount of hop bitterness.

Overall, nothing about this beer really jumps out at me except that it is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of mjohn27603
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours orangish out of the bottle. Thin white layer forms on top, less than one finger head. Smell is malty with some spices mixed in. Taste is a little bitter with a stale taste. Not as malty as other Oktoberfests. Mouthfeel is a little thin and watery. Not one of Victory's better offerings.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear brownish red with a quickly dying tan head. A strong roasted/bready malt smell along with minor sweetness and a hint of hop bitterness. A tad thin and watery not too sweet or hoppy but more a of dry, toasted malt taste that leads to a syrupy, dry finish although it finishes clean with only a little bit of crisp hops that tend to citric notes. For some reason I didn't really care for this beer yet I could see myself having a few of them - it is strong and a few will set you right.

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Photo of gcarl
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass.

Head quickly dissipates, leaving a dark orange/light brown brew. Lots of carbonation bubbles rising to the surface. Aroma is mild, with hints of malt and mellow fruits.

First sip reveals that this lager has a huge sweet malty backbone with an incredibly dry finish(almost makes you reach for a glass of water to rehydrate) Definitely is my least favorite of the the Victory offerings thus far. An easy drinker but far from the best representation of the style.

GC

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

This was poured into a mug (one of these days, I wouldn't mind getting a true stein for this style, think I'm gonna have to if I keep up with the oktoberfests). Anywho:
The appearance was a ruddy light brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated pretty quickly. Lacing was light and sliding right on into the beer.
The smell started off with a light nutty/caramel/toffee. Some burnt breadiness rides the line underneath.
The taste was mainly sweet through the previously mentioned flavors. A light sweet bready aftertaste runs into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about light bodied with a crisp sweet sessionable feel to it. Carbonation felt good and light. Gets a tad syrupy.
Overall, decent take on an Oktoberfest by an American brewer, most likely ask for a Weihenstephaner one before this if found, but I don't mind this one.

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

On draught at the Mill Hill Saloon in Trenton, NJ: The beer pours a clear copper color with a medium thin light beige head that dissipates slowly. Spotty lacing. Light malt and caramel along with hops in the nose. Medium body with a soft mouthfeel. Flavors of toasted malt and caramel, plus mild hops and fruit. The finish is sweet malt and a hint of hops. Slightly above average all around.

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Photo of RJIV
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a keg.
The color is a glassy bronze.
There is a slight caramel notes on the nose.
The mouth feel is light and crisp.
There is a sweet light toffee note throughout that ends in a caramel aftertaste.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Clear deep amber color. Thick frothy head with good retention. Moderate amounts of lacing.

3.5 S: A little bit fruity, a little bit grainy, a little bit spicy, but not a whole lot of aroma overall. Just a touch of herbal hops.

3.5 T: This has a unique taste. No other Oktoberfests are quite like this one. I admire that Victory would make a product that isn't just a clone of a generic Oktoberfest. However, the taste leaves something to be desired. Biscuity and caramel from malts. Spicy. Then there is something pungent. Maybe that is what makes it unique, but it is a bit off-putting. By no means is this a bad brew, but it isn't up to its potential.

3.5 M: Medium body, a bit under-carbonated. Otherwise smooth.

3.0 D: It's the pungency in the taste that lowers the drinkability by quite a bit.

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Photo of BB1313
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 1/2/17. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours amber with a subtle haze but has solid clarity; small off-white head that fades leaving solid retention and little lacing. Nice color. The aromas have lots of caramel malts and bread notes. Lots of caramel and toffee. The flavors seem to follow the nose. More caramel and toffee. Lots of grains. Very earthy. Subtle bitterness. Finishes clean. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is great. It's light with very active carbonation. Fluffy and smooth. Very easy to drink.

This is a solid Oktoberfest. It might not be my favorite or the best, but it's not bad.

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

Poured amber-orange with a half-inch of light foam, no lacing. Smell is lightly malty but rather non-descript. Malt presence on the taste buds is sweet, biscuit, bread, Earthy, almost chalky. Some light herbal hop late into a slightly dry finish. Body falls apart on the tongue, but the carbonation is decent. Overall a decent malty Oktoberfest.

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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.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

9/8/2016 notes:

Haven't had this one since my initial review so figured I'd give it another shot. Head is larger than I remember with better retention. Pretty good looking Märzen. The malt is so heavy though and has a coffee overtone to it that really doesn't belong and makes the beer feel heavier than it actually is. Strong toasted malt dominates the flavor. Medium-full bodied.

I still love Victory but their Festbier is still a miss for me. Probably won't buy again but always happy to give a Victory beer another shot. They do most German styles very well but there are much better Oktoberfests out there.

-----

Review and rating of 3.48/5 on 10/24/2014:

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