Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
84
good
788 Reviews
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
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 ShanePB
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Fresh 2011 bottling.

A: Clear orange/copper colored body with a creamy, slightly off-white head. A moderate retention cap sticks around the entire time; however in traditional lager nature no real lace sticks around.

S: Sweet caramel, allspice, brown sugar, candy apple, toasted malts and some cereal. It does smell good and there are a lot of elements coming through but the style doesn't really allow for an overly aromatic nose.

T: Sweet dark grains, toasted malts, touches of honey and spice come through and last into mid-palate. A touch of floral hops and caramel are in the finish, with almost a quenching quality to the beer. It's extremely good and very flavorful, especially for a style some would argue is lacking in terms of flavor.

M: Bubbly and lively carbonation but not overly so giving it a medium body. It's very crisp and clean with a semi-dry finish.

In all honesty, this is one of the best Oktoberfests I've tasted. It has much more flavor than a majority of the American brewed (and even some German brewed) ones, with no off flavors. Easily one beer I will be stocking the fridge full of this fall.

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

Review from 11/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber. Slight head dissipated slowly leaving light lacing. Grainy, light malt aroma. Caramel, malt, slightly sweet. A pleasant light malty ale. A straightforward, but unremarkable Marzen.

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Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber in color with a thick 2" tan head. Carbonation levels seemed a little low, but some minor lacing did develop. The aroma is of caramel and a hint of roasted nut. The flavor is simple yet pleasing as malt, caramel, mild bitterness, and a touch of nut were well balanced. This isn't an overpowering oktoberfest like some others.

The mouthfeel was smooth at the start, and had a slightly dry and smooth finish. The caramel tones lasted briefly on the tongue after swallowing. Very drinakble and quite enjoyable.

 522 characters

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.

 353 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is very mild, slightly sweet. Taste is very easy drinknig, malty and finishing a tad bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good selection.

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Photo of WesWes
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thin offwhite head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a musty and slightly malty scent that is dry and nutty. The taste is decent also. It has a complex, but not very good flavor. It is slightly malty with nutty hints and a dry lager yeast finish. It has a breadlike quality that detracts from the taste. There are hops in the aftertaste, but they are weak. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an average Festbier. It tries to be unique and it succeeds. It is uniquely average.

 590 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I nead a break from packing. How about a marzen? On to the beer:

A low forming semi-fuzzy looking head forms on top of this brilliant amber orange colored beer. Lots of bubbles are racing through the clean body. If only the heead retention were better. The nose brings out a modest maltiness. The malt reminds me of a pumpkin aroma, a brush of husky malt and hay.

This is a pleasant tastng O-fest. The maltiness is there, providing big doughy flavors and a reminder of pumpkin. Lighly whipped with caramel and nutmeg notes. There's a little kick of alcohol that I find as the beer dries. It's a highly carbonated beer, which can work depending on style, here it is pushing the limits. The body weight is alright, and it drinks well.

Not all O-fest beers are created equal, and Victory Fstbier is one of the better domestic examples I've had. This is one to try during the fall.

 881 characters

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

12 oz bottle: An amber colored brew with a slight off white head.

Smells of caramel malt and sweet bread.

Flavor revolves around malt sweetness, but is not cloying at all. Caramel, Munich and a hint of Chocolate malt in the flavor profile. Subtle light herbal hopping.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth on the back end.

A middle of the road Octoberfest beer, easy to drink and always available in this area. Solid.

 429 characters

Photo of dar482
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a copper color.

The flavor hits of a toasty malts and bread, light fruity esters of apple come through, the beer however leans towards the sweeter side for the style, onto a light hoppy bitterness.

 216 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a relatively thin head and little lacing. Smell is malty and fruity, maybe cherries. Slight tang from the yeast on the finish. Taste is smooth with dry malt noticeable, but slightly watery. Earthybitterness in the middle and a spicy finish. Not bad, but a little disjointed. Mouthfeeel is spritzy and spicy. Smooth, but not creamy. Pretty easy to drink, but the whole package just doesn't make me shout.

 421 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single bottle into a East End pint glass. Haven't had this one yet, strangely.

Victory Festbier pours out a bright copper/orange color with a very light brown mixed in. The liquid does not look so thin which bodes well. A two finger head rose up with a vanilla white head & fluffiness, some minor bubbles within. A cap stays on the surface throughout, no lacing though.

The smell is a mix between a lager & marzen. It's not huge but when your nose gets near the glass some sparks fly. Festbier is malt driven and that's noticed through fresh baked bread and some sweet sense. This has a somewhat more earthy scent than most in this style from a different form of using the hops. The little green cones don't give off normal hop scents(Tropical fruit, pine, citrus) but more of a down to earth smell.

The taste is familiar for a oktoberfest and doesn't really offer anything new, IMO a marzen is a marzen, at least American versions. Festbier gives off sweet malt first, than a mix of light hops, malts and grain, after that the sweet malt comes back, in that order. The malt is big, the hops are light and the mix makes this a enjoyable and familiar drink. Some bubblegum, cotton candy with some warming on the end.

Fest has a decent enough feel, when I let some sit on the tounge some fizz came off. I am used to these beers being pretty dead but this one shows some life. Not a lot of carb but enough to be felt. Fest is a very small step up from light bodied and could go down the hatch with ease, and pretty quick mind you. The malt base really smooths things over making this very approachable.

I enjoyed this, although I pretty much knew what I was getting into. Festy is a bit different if only for the way the hops gently come out to play. In most Marzens I really only get big malt globs. I would gladly enjoy a sixer of this in a sitting with the low ABV, but 1/2 way through I probably would be looking for a new style to tackle. I've yet to find a oktoberfest that could hold my interest, either way this is good for a go.

 2,045 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.31/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a mug. Prost!

Appearance: rich amber-orange hue with a crystal-clear body and a thick finger of frothy ivory head. Great!

Smell: dry, biscuity malt, which is style appropriate but not my favorite interpretation of the style. It's a bit prickly and off-putting to me.

Taste: dry, biscuity malt. It starts out breadier and sweeter, but rapidly dries out on the palate. Style appropriate. Bitterness is pretty good, though. Not terrible, but really not to my taste at all.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation. Satisfyingly fizzy.

Overall: I'm just not in love with this beer. There are Oktoberfests that I like, but this just ain't one of 'em.

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Photo of biegaman
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whether it's a really deep orange or a softer hue of brown can be debated; that it is a stunningly handsome colour cannot. Its body is clear and possesses a charming little bit of sparkle. Bubbles flutter in the same way autumn leaves fall to the ground. The beer is carbonated like a soda pop; pouring produced a whole lot of sizzling but not much foam.

This brewery has a particular fondness for using hops in all their beers - whether traditional style guidelines call for them or not - and so, naturally, they couldn't resist using whole flower German ones in this recipe. Surprisingly, the result isn't all that apparent. Only a touch of that spicy, earthy resonance is sensed over all the sweetness of the malts.

It took me not one sip but rather a few to be able to formulate any kind of opinion about this flavour. And, after a lot of lip and tongue smacking, I'm still not able to offer much of one. The malts procure only the faintest suggestions of bread and caramel. Now that I think of it, this both smells and tastes more like a Helles than a Märzen.

And it drinks like one too. The malts are hardly (if at all) caramelized and contain no hints of dried fruits, toasty crumbs or toffee. They aren't substantial, they aren't even all that sweet. Between the minimal presence of the malts and the nonexistence of any hops, this beer makes for easy drinking but not all that exciting or gratifying drinking.

Victory Festbier is likely to appeal as much (if not more) to the mainstream crowd as it is to craft aficionados. Given its lighter body and lighter flavour it might also go over well with those looking to celebrate Oktoberfest in the stereotypically gluttonous and over-indulgent fashion. As for me, I'll likely celebrate it responsibly - and with a different beer.

 1,791 characters

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

The thin head on this beer disappears quickly, as does the lace, despite a pretty rapid pour. A fairly clear, amber-colored brew. Looks good. Malty lager aroma. Smell is right on for the style.

Nice traditionally malty marzen style, a little sweet caramel flavor, faint hop bitterness in the background. Not the most complex beer, nor should it be. Alcohol noted slightly on the back end and in the aftertaste; very moderate. Crisp, fairly dry finish. Medium carbonation. Drinks nice and easy. Good example of the style, which isn't necessarily a favorite. I enjoyed it more than I expected!

.

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

Sampled due to the efforts of Lackenhauser and The Great Pumpkin BIF.

Pours a nice orange to amber colored beer with a nice tan head.

Smell is quite fragrant, strong scent of malt and fruitiness. Scents of grain and caramelized sugar with a hint of rye? Maybe not any rye in this but that is what it smells like to me.

Taste is semi dry and fruity at the beginning. Moderate sweetness and mild herbal hop flavor throughout the experience. A tasty mild beer here.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Very drinkable beer here. Tasty and mild this is easy to drink and is a fine everyday type of beer.

 597 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle just a few days past best by date

A: Bright, clear copper with orange/brown tint. Cream/off white head that is thin and quickly dissipates to a film with little lacing
S: Mild mix of sweet from malt, caramel, etc and a little bitter. Nice, but not overpowering.
T: Medium body, very mild well balanced flavors (sweet and bitter). Toasted malt is most pronounced flavor with toffee, caramel flavors and a semi dry finish with some hop bitterness. Medium carbonation.

Overall, very easy to drink. Flavors are very mild, but not in a bad way. Very smooth and light in the mouth. Nothing bold going on here, but very good, probably my favorite of this style I had this year.

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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.

 455 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours orange with a small white head, average retention.

S: Strong malt, light caramel, sweet.

T: Strong caramel and cereal malt flavours. Sweet, almost a pastry flavour. Hops are noble and give a light grassy and herbal feel, all around a great taste.

M: Carbonation is quite light, you could drink a lot of these, creamy, soft.

D: This is a really good marzen, my first of the season, even though it is only August. I would not hesitate to have this again, this is one of the best Oktoberfests I've ever had.

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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 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 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 weeare138
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a copper toned amber with a decent white head that sticks around. Lots of sticky lacing tries it's best to cling.
Smell is of rich malt, a bit of sweet fruit, a touch of sour bread, along with a mild helping of hops for good measure.
Taste is a nice blend of the above making for a nice rendition of the style with just enough difference to make it a Victory beer.
Mouthfeel is malty sweet with some sours and bitters and a crispness on the tongue and palate.
Pretty enjoyable.

 489 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear copper colour with an average size frothy/fizzy beige head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is just a little bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, an earthiness, toffee, hay/straw, cask wood?

Taste & Mouth - The beer doesn't have a whole lot or carbonation and it feels slightly watery. The beer has a very interesting taste consisting of malts, toffee, and lots of bread/grain flavour. It really has a lot of earthy notes as well.. even some hay/straw. It finishes with an earthy/malt aftertaste.

Drink - Another beer that falls in the category of 'not for me'. It's not an awful beer but not something I'd seek out again. It reminded me too much of a barnyard smell..

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Photo of cjgator3
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a clear copper/amber color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is grain, toasted biscuity malts a hint of caramel.

T- The taste like the aroma is toasted malts, grain and a touch of hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied and highly carbonated.

D- Overall, Victory Festbier is a solid Oktoberfest style beer that is perfect for the fall/winter season.

 393 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: light cranberry-amber color with a very light, thin tan head.

S: lighty toasted sweet munich/Vienna malt sweetness and bite followed by flowery hop notes.

T: The flavor had a nice dry flowery hop bitterness with a light graininess along with some sweet caramel that creeps in. The palate is fresh grains with some light notes of dry fruitiness.

M: The mouthful was medium bodied, lightly carbonated with light fresh grains on the tongue.

D: Drinkability was smooth though not as sweet as typical marzens, dry, hoppy with some wet grains make for a nice fest style.

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