Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
FestbierFestbier
BA SCORE
3.67/5
Good
1,986 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#32,760
Reviews:
804
Ratings:
1,986
pDev:
12.81%
Bros Score:
3.68
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
259
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,986 |  Reviews: 804
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear copper in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of caramel and toasted malts in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the overall taste is quite malty and has flavors of caramel and toasted malts with hints of malty sweetness and a touch of bitterness and spiciness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, clean and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness towards the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink despite all of the maltiness because the hops help to balance off the associated sweetness.

 740 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 1,413 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of emerge077
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sudsy sticky head of foam that laces all around the glass. Brilliant clarity, deep saturated copper orange color. Slow rising carb trails,

Husky nutty grains in the aroma, swirling brings out some apple and dried fruit esters.

Nutty toasted malt flavor, grain husks, apples, fall leaves. Very light hint of bitterness in the aftertaste, and a hint of malt sweetness up front, otherwise dry and crisp. Very smooth and easy drinking, full and almost chewy for a lager. A delicious and traditional American Oktoberfest, definitely a staple i'll be looking for every fall. Side note: this was a top 3 finalist up against a dozen other Oktoberfests at a recent tasting.

 667 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brentk56
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a modest head that declines quickly but still dots with lace

Smell: Excellent caramel aromatics with underlying bready elements

Taste: Starts with a rich taste of caramel with subtle hints of butterscotch and vanilla; a slight graininess appears by mid-palate; after the swallow, the grainy aspect is joined by surprising amount of earthy and spicy hops; some lager twang on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really nice attempt at the style; bursts with flavor and original, but traditional elements

 590 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear amber color beer with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of grainy notes with light dry caramel malt notes. Taste is mostly dominated by grainy cereal notes with a dryer then expected caramel malt finish. Body is about average with good carbonation. Easily drinkable though finish is not as clean as I would have expected.

 372 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +3%
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.

 935 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In my opinion, one of the finest domestically brewed Oktoberfests; but more importantly, one that easily rivals those of Munich! It pours a clear reddish/orange-tinted amber body topped by a frothy ivory head that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace. Clearly well-brewed! The aroma begs you to delve deeper with a softly sweet and mildly toasty (even gently bready) maltiness that's enhanced by a delicate floral hoppiness that's quite alluring! The mouthfeel is gently crisp from a fine carbonation, and slick across the palate with a medium/full maltiness. The flavor starts with a sweetish maltiness that expresses a soft toastiness and mild toffee notes as well as some lightly floral hop flavor. It sweetens slightly as it warms, but then finishes dry with some gentle bitterness and a lingering nutty and toasty 'crust of bread' note that gives it exceptional drinkability. It continually becons to you taste again! Exceptionally well-balanced and rich without being overbearing! As much as Victory is known for their heavy-handed beers (such as the hop drenched Prima Pils), they should also be recognized for their beers that display impeccable balance. This is one of them and it should not be overlooked!

 1,226 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 770 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz undated bottle served in Peroni glass.

Clear copper with a creamy tan head. The head has decent retention but leaves little lacing.

Good malty aroma with a matching flavor! Although I thought the flavor was better than the nose. Sweet malt flavor with enough hops to produce a balance sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel is OK, but more carbonation seemed desirable.

A marzen that is a bit above average.

 407 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Catching up on some fall seasonals I missed last year.

An aggressive pour yields a small 1/2 finger head that fades at a decent rate over a crystal clear amber orange brown color, maple leaf colored.

The nose brings lots of sweet and toasty amber malts and crisp lagers, with a little sweetness, and some of that dry malty Oktoberfest style malts, but lighter.

The taste is similar, with light toasty malts, some sweet almost syrupy flavors, a little crisp lager flavors with a little juicy fruity taste, some light bitterness.

The mouth is lighter with lower but tolerable carbonation.

It finishes still lightly sweet but dries quite a bit. Some lingering syrupy flavors with more toasty and bready malt lingering, as well as some crisp lager flavors. Now more of the bitterness comes through with some light earthy and mild grassy hop flavors.

 851 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The rich aroma is off malt, spice and caramel, with a little bit of hops.

T: Bready & malty tea-like flavor comes out first with some spice to it. Then there’s some hops and a little bit of caramel sweetness. The after-taste is mild with a slight touch of sweetness.

M: Crisp & smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very good representation of style, tasty, not very filling for this style, easy to drink, I could stick with this one for the duration of an evening.

 681 characters

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight 4's on this one,pours a nice amber color with a medium head that leaves a little lacing, aroma is of caramel toffee very appetizing.Taste is malty and doughy with some soapiness in the finish.Nice toasted malt flavor as well,pretty drinkable.Man I love this time of year!

 280 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Amber-brown color with a two finger, just off white head. Retention is ok, but not great, clarity is almost perfect.

S - Deeply bready, malty aroma. Some yeasty character with a slight caramel note and a hint of hops lurking in the background.

T - More intense malty flavors. Quite a bit more caramel with dark bready flavor and some pleasant roasted malt. There is some hop flavor in the middle that leaves a lingering bitterness that blends perfectly with the roasted character in the finish.

M - Smooth thick and creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation and just a bit of astringency towards the finish.

D - Highly drinkable beer, it is easy to put a few of these down. Great festbier overall; the malt character is wonderful and it has just enough hops to balance. The head is good for an American beer, but a bit subpar by German standards and the beer could be just a little bit smoother but, aside from these minor flaws, this is easily one of the best festbiers I have had.

 987 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a nice, sturdy tan head and good lacing. Smell is doughy bread with some night, light fruit and caramel touches to it. Taste is similar, with a nice sweet maltiness coming through. I really like the balance they've struck between the flavors, as well as the overall intensity. Mouthfeel is nice, creamy, and rich without being filling. Drinkability is very nice. I believe this is my favorite American version of the style to date.

 455 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.87/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Coppery color is lovely, but somehow the carbonation seems to fail midway through the pour. Kind of a tea flavor with a wave of syrupy sweetness. Then, unfortunately , followed by a dirty, resiny hop flavor. It's not exactly a sour note, but the malt seems to turn earthy and dank.

I had hopes for another "Victory" having had some good Oktoberfest brews this season. This was my least favorite, maybe in a tie for last place with Leinenkugel’s anemic orange lager. I can't think of anything good to say about this and I still have five more to drink or dump. Enjoy by 26 Jan 2016 on the label, but I think it's past it's prime already. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Liticker's in San Diego.

 700 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 1,986 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.