Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
84
good
1,951 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
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
Ratings:
1,951
Reviews:
791
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
12.9%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
239
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,951 |  Reviews: 791
Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
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 Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
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 jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
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 oberon
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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 +10.8%
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 TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
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 dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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 ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of Kegatron
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Resurrection Ale House (Philadelphia, PA) on 10/3/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with thin covering of eggshell-white head. Fizzy retention around the edges, with some thin film in the middle, leaving back minimal lacing. The aroma has a deep sweet tang to it of bread and citrus, along with plenty of festive hoppy spicing and earthy undertones. This smells like Fall in a glass.

The taste is very bready in the mouth, but isn't coming off as overly sweet. Leafy and spicy Noble hop character really makes this pop in the mouth. Nice balance overall. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a prickly and crisp feel to the carbonation, which fills the mouth up nicely.

Just a solid take on an O-Fest by Victory. Of all the times I've had this in the bottle over the last few years, I believe that this was the first time that I've had it on draft. I'm glad that I did.

 908 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.87/5  rDev -22.8%
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 Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at ? (possibly Johnny Brenda's)

A clear amber beer with a patchy layer of white head. Biscuity aroma, caramel malts. More of the same in the taste--it's a märzen, basically--nutty, bready, with a caramel sweetness, and some light floral hoppiness for a good balance. Medium-bodied and tasty. Easily drinkable.

 329 characters

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

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of smithj4
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of atrocity
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of russpowell
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange with a finger of tan head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness & not much else

T: Herbal & metallic hops, grainyness & some caramel up front. Dryness, slight leafy hops & a touch of caramel as this warms. finishes dry with a little grainy breadyness & toffee

MF Medium bodied with low carbonation

Very drinkable, but alas, the flavor profile is lacking. I expected more from these guys

 410 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 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 mdaschaf
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a nice one finger head. Decent head retention and lacing.

S: Lots of malt and caramel. Also get a breadiness, as well as some toffee and maple.

T: Sweeter than expected, mainly due to the toffee/maple/caramel combination. There is also a honey flavor mixed in. There is a nuttyness as well.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall a pretty good beer, one of the better Oktoberfests I have had.

 444 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bronzed orange peel with honeycomb highlights. Three fingers of sandstone hued foam looks good initially and even better as it settles. Unfortunately, other than a few dots and spots, the glass is untouched by lace.

This is still pretty fresh beer by the smell of things. The floral quality of the hops is almost as prominent as the toasted-earthy quality of the malts. The grain bill is pretty classic for the style: pilsner, Munich and Vienna.

Given the brewery, it's no surprise at all that Festbier is the real deal. And that's coming from someone who doesn't usually care for Munich and Vienna malts. This beer won't change my mind, but it's tasty as hell... and nicely drinkable too.

Wonderful combination of sweet and bitter, with the former having the reins at all points along the way. The flavor profile is akin to toasted whole grain bread, toasted nuts with caramel, and a light sprinkling of tea leaves. The finish is fairly tight and tends toward drying.

Like most beer from VBC, the mouthfeel is a quality affair. It's easily big enough for the ABV and the bubbles are well-buried, yet still active. Solid. Solid. Solid.

It was almost a given that Victory, which has a German beer sensibility for the most part, would hit a home run with their Oktoberfest. Festbier is a wonderful celebration of the harvest season. Those of you fortunate enough to live within easy driving distance of Dowingtown can enjoy it year-round on-tap.

 1,448 characters

Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Big bubbly and frothy head, good retention at that. Light orangey copper hue that shows bright to the light. An appetizing brew.

Smell: Aromas of doughy bread, herbal hop and a clean alcohol in the rear. Clean to the nose yet still quite aromatic.

Taste: Sturdy medium body laying down a slick and crisp mouth feel. Big twang of toasted malt and soft herbal hop runs across the palate. Chewy hit of caramel in the middle, a tasty hit I might say. Maltiness is clean yet flamboyant with an icing of nutty toasted grain. Herbal hop is very noticeable with an ample bitterness and long lingering flavour. Finishes semi-dry with faint toasted grain.

Notes: Next time I have this beer I’m going to pair it up with a big fat juicy Ruben … extra kraut please. I think Victory tackled the style quite well with this one, a must try for any beer geek that makes their round of Oktoberfest Beers.

 990 characters

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A group of local imbibers held the #PumpkinChallenge2016 recently, wrapping up on M, 03 Oktober 2016. I then proposed the #OktoberfestChallenge2016 & while I do not know how many participants there are, I am hitting it full bore. Today will be my New OktoBierFest Sunday (Week TBD) with an opportunity to do a horizontal tasting.

From the bottle: "Victory for Your Taste"; "Friendship and camaraderie. The two keys to any festive event. And then there's the beer. It should be full-bodied, yet infinitely smooth. Seductively malty, with a kiss of hops for balance. This is our Festbier. Painstakingly crafted from German malts, decoction brewed for full flavor and carefully aged for depth of character. Gather with your friends for a festive taste of Victory! [undersigned] Bill [Covaleski &] Ron [Barchet] The Brewmasters of Victory".

I often rail against bottles, but I take a sense of satisfaction in Pop!ping the cap on a bottle of Victory beer. I live ~ 40 miles west of Downingtown & I not only date back to the very early days at the brewery, but I know many of the early investors and I remain a thorn in Bill & Ron's side (especially Bill). Further, the central PA Victory rep, Megan (Moose) Moore resides here in Lancaster & she ensures that the wares on local shelves is consistently fresh. Mine reads: "Enjoy By: 11 Jan 2017 0756 P" so I would say that I am right in the sweet spot.

A Pop! of the cap, an aggro pour and I had two fingers of dense, foamy, tawny head with good retention. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality & deep amber highlights. The color was actually closer to 17 than to 22, but that is the range with which I work. Nose was really sweet, reminiscent of maple syrup! I had to get a little smarter about decoction brewing as a result of this unexpected sweetness. I think that there must have been some caramelization going on at some point. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, one of the bigger Marzen/Oktoberfests that I have encountered up to this point. The taste was sweet, but less sweet than the nose had led me to expect. Instead, it had almost a burnt caramel taste, malty, but not cloying with a light smokiness. It reminded me of candy production during Foods 3 in high school. I came to realize pretty quickly that I wanted to be a baker and not a confectioner since the production takes places at incredibly high temperatures and making caramel & toffee is incredibly labor intensive, plus you really have to watch the temps. I am not saying that this had a burnt flavor, but it had a smokiness that would indicate that it is time to get the pot off of the stove. Finish was semi-sweet with that lingering smoke-infused caramel flavor dominating well past the swallow. This represented a real departure in the style from anything that I had previously reviewed. I liked it if for no other reason than many American versions of the style have been cloyingly sweet & this showed restraint. If you liked my Goldilocks & The Three Bears analogy earlier, this would have been closer to Momma Bear's Oktoberfest. I will keep searching.

 3,096 characters

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,951 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.