Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

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: 782 | Ratings: 1,933
Photo of Czarkazm
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a big fan of these styles but this one was a little bit more complex and enjoyable than most of the others I've tried (mostly macro offerings). Poured an ice tea colored body with a thin off white head that disappears completely. A lot of toasted malts on this one, creating aromas of sweet bread and granola, assorted nuts, toffee, dark caramel, and faint earthy hops. Easy drinking and sessionable with light/medium mouth feel. The taste is a lot of the same, sweet toasted malts with a woodiness, toffee; pleasantly malty without being too overpowering. A clean example of the style with increased complexity and flavor.

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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 mikeg67
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours amber with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of some grassy hops and bready malt. Body is medium and smooth. Taste is of caramel, grassy hops, grain and spices. Finish is long and spicy. Nice malty brew.

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Photo of beerfinder
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice caramel notes here. Nice malty complex taste.. A very nice october fest brew. Goes down real smooth. Lots of character nice sweetness flavor.

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Photo of dank203
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

really overlooked this beer in the past. one of the best lagers I've had lately. really hits the malty sweetness perfect. flavorful and sessionable

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.22/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

slightly cloudy amber pour with a small white head. Big aroma of malt, bread and a bit of dark fruit. Taste is malt forward with flavors of toast, nut and caramel standing out backed by a touch of earth. Medium bodied. Finishes with a lingering malt and caramel flavors.

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Photo of leantom
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at the local pub. Here goes:

A: Clear brown. Like an amber lager. Pours a small head with almost no lacing. Meh

S: Very toasty. Also hints of nuts. Very simple - again, it reminds me of a toasted lager, like Yuengling.

T: Well, the taste certainly kicks things up a notch, but, while interesting, the beer is ultimately a weird concoction. Lots of peanut butter, chocolate, toasted grains, and caramel. Totally unexpected.

F: Nice and toasty - good.

O: Strange brew. It's alright, but I probably won't be having it again.

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Photo of c014572
2.63/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Has your typical marzen copper color & nice head. ABV is right. Has a good aroma. Just in the flavor, not sure how to describe it, has a "home-brew" off-putting taste. Not sure if this was a bad 6, but the use-by is 4 months from now. I can't recommend this.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a mostly clear copper with a pretty good sized head, but it is mind of soapy and doesnt last very long.

Smells very malty and sweet with some grains and nuts.

It's a malt bomb. Toasted grains, some sweetness that could easily be mistaken for caramel. Maybe it is. Some brewers have used caramel malts in their versions. It almost tastes like a candy apple. Slight floral notes. I swear I taste chocolate, which obviously doesn't belong, but it is like a little bit of chocolate malt got spilled into the mash.

This is not a bad tasting beer by any means, but it isn't a great example of a Marzen either. Honestly, it has a lot of brown ale qualities. Good, not great. If you want to get your malt on you will enjoy it. This is like many American versions of Marzens. Too sweet, with some flavors that don't fit the style.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap last night at BAR Pizza in New Haven. Pours really dark ruby/amber with no head. Smell is of some sweet malts. Pretty strong flavor in this one, notes of brown sugar, leafy hops in the back, caramel malts, this leans more towards brown or amber lager than Marzen. Overall a heavier body than expected, slow to drink this one. It's really hard to call this one a good Marzen. I think stylistically it's way off, but as a beer it's pretty good for the fall. Drink this one thinking it's an amber lager and you'll come out happier.

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Photo of gr0g
2.76/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle. Copper in color with a nice head. Good head retention, streaky/spotty lacing. Aroma is... weird. It resolves to a caramel aroma, but it definitely starts out with a strong grape juice note (I shit you not). The flavor is similarly unspectacular, though it isn't offensive. While it clearly has the taste of an all-malt lager, the finish is lifeless and devoid of character, and there's little hop character. Very bland for the style.

I'm now reminded of why I haven't picked up Victory's O-Fest offering in a while -- it simply isn't any good. Very disappointing beer from a usually strong brewery.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant orange tinted amber under a 2” persistent and clingy white foam cap. S: Bread and spice aromas lightly seasoned with kettle sugars rise from the glass. T: It has a clean palate with no fruit. It starts rich and malty with bread crust and mid-range kettle sugars, spice, and a mild bitterness. F: It is very creamy and smooth with medium to just a little more on the body with medium carbonation to a little less. O: A very good fest beer.

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Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Lightly floral, with toasted malt and lightly fruity notes.

Flavor is deeply toasted and malty, with stronger fruit character and a residual sweetness that lingers. Odd, but I'm drawn to it.

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Photo of TopherBreski
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I keep finding new beers from this brewery and loving them! Red and caramel with a small amount of foam that sticks around. The taste is unique. It's part Oktoberfest part pale ale with its bitter hoppy aftertaste. But it is really sweet and pretty good. If you are looking for the traditional Oktoberfest beer, it's not that but I like it. I don't even like Pale ales except for Victory's.

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Photo of jancona
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the taps at the Victory brewpub - I'm not a fan of most American marzen beers - they tend to be too hoppy and too close to the ambiguous world of the apa. This beer is spot on. Sweet bread, fresh apples, and caramel, with a touch of hops at the end. Definitely in the realm of Ayinger or Hacker Pschorr. Great with a big meal!

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Photo of SaltofOH
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/5/14. BB 12/24/14.

A: Pours a dark amber w 1/2" off-white head. Fades to a tiny ring. Steady slight carbonation.

S: Sweet. Big on the roast. Slight yeasy/breadiness. Roasty, yeasty, and sweet. Smells like a brown ale.

T: Roasty, slightly tart. Not too sweet. Sweet/tart arrival, dry across mid-palate; tart flash, then bitter finish.

M: Mid-weight. Seems light for the style. Slick, lots of carbonation.

O: Of my 4 Marzen this year (GLBC, Paulaner, Sam Adams, Victory), this is my least favorite, by far.

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

Enjoyed from a 12 oz bottle in a pint glass, this solid example of a festbier pours cloudy orange brown with a nominal off white head and decent lacing. Nose of biscuit, caramel malts, and some light bittering hops. Flavors are straight forward for the style. Rich caramel malts on all sides with a bready characteristic and light bittering hops to the rear. Smooth lightly coating mouth feel finishes wet with a light sweet aftertaste mingling with light hops. Very true to the style.

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Photo of arizcards
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle from TW Arrowhead in late September for $1.99. Best by 12-11-14. TW received sticker was 9-11-14.

Beer poured amber with a head that fizzled immediately after the pour.

Nose is grainy with some hints of floral hops.

Taste is nutty and biscuit with a decent hop bite balance to reduce the sweetness level.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth yet decently carbonated.

Overall not a bad beer, glad I had the opportunity to try.

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Photo of beergoot
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle label data: ENJOY BY : 20 JAN 2015 1019P

Dark copper body with a thin yet lasting head. Roasted grain, nutty aroma. Charred sugars, maple, roasted nuts, and, in the background, an almost smokey character. Medium body with a semi-dry feel.

A very flavorful, full-on malt character, rich in dark malt and woody, nutty flavors.

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Photo of Urk1127
2.44/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into tumbler. Brown. Not much of a head or lacing. Smell is sweet caramel. Malty. Taste is dry sweet bold malt. I do not like marzens mostly and this we not much different than those.

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Photo of rapayn01
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

I'm not a big fan of the style because it tends to tilt toward malt and I'm a hop lover. This beer is definitely malt forward, but there is enough hop balance to make it interesting to me. I probably wouldn't seek it out again. This was part of a flight for me.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

This pours with a cloudy yet bright amber hue and a tidy close knit head. The nose is quite malty with a sweet grain, barley, roasted nut and biscuity aroma. The flavors emulate the nose with a more toasted tone. The malts are kilned and toasty with a prominent pecan. Very smooth lager but the flavors of an ale.

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

Festbier - Victory Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a seidel, this brew's got a 3 finger thick lumpy off white head with spottier lacing, and a clear medium-dark amber body.

I smell a fruity characteristic alongside the usual caramelized malt traits associated with the style of brew.

The taste is that of fruit and sweeter notes much more than roasted malt tastes. A very unique take on a marzen brew, at least in my opinion.

Mouthfeel here is clean and crisp. Nothing lingers with this beer.

Overall a 4 for Festbier - Victory Brewing Company. I might grab this again, but it wasn't anything to write home about.

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Photo of fx20736
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Wegmans Calkins Rd on 9/28/14. Poured into a dimpled mug at fridge temp.

appearance: orange, no head or lacing.

aroma: sweet, rich, toasted caramel

taste: tasty toasted caramel with mild hops for balance

mouthfeel: a little flat

overall: tastes good. maybe this bottle was flat.

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Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,933 ratings.
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