Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Festbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
84
good
771 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
FestbierFestbier
BEER INFO

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

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:
771
Ratings:
1,878
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
12.9%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
220
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 771 | Ratings: 1,878
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.

 275 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 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.

 685 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.

 543 characters

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 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 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.

 265 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 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.

 694 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!

.

 595 characters

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 corby112
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber, light copper color with golden orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger off white head that quickly fades into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic thin rings of lacing throughout.

Sweet malty aroma with hints of brown sugar, cinnamon and subtle hops. There is also a very faint roasted malt presence that is very promising.

Surprisingly very full bodied and chewy, especially for the style with a lot of sweet malt and fall spices. Hints of cinnamon, brown sugar, biscuit, and that slight toasted malt flavor that the aroma alluded to. There is also a very subtle hop presence which provided an excellent balance of bitterness to the sweet malts and spice notes. An excellent example of an American interpretation of the style but I can't really see to many Germans liking it. Either way I highly recommend it.

 856 characters

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.

 271 characters

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 rhoadsrage
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a amber brown body with a thick creamy light tan head with a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The smell of light graham note is balanced with a honey malt smell that finishes with a faint hop hint.

T- This beer has a smooth nutty fresh malt flavor with a light toasted dry note. There is a green pine and noble hop finish with a slight mineral water hint. There is a pot caramel flavor that is soft with a slight tangy almost sweet note in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight slippery finish.

D- The flavor of this beer are good but a bit muted making it a little thin and not that exciting for a session beer.

 701 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The lager is a copper colored wonder, crystal clear, with a decent fluffy head that retains well.

S: Sweet caramel malts dominate the nose.

T: The lager has a malty sweet flavor that has hints of biscuit and caramel. The grains are mixed very well, imparting just enough sweetness. The hops are practically nonexistent, which is good because the malts here are doing a very good job on their own.

M: The mouthfeel is a delicious sweet flavor that invites another sip.

D: Very drinkable, a well made Oktoberfestbier.

 530 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.

 575 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/19/11
*From notes

A: Lovely blood orange-amber. A good pour yields a 1.5 finger frothy head and some really thick and chunky lacing.

S: A generous amount of nuttiness hits the nose here, which I find really appealing. The toasty malt mingles well with the nutty-earth quality, making for a solid bouquet.

T: First of all, it's not sweet - thank God. I like my O-Fest's crisp and dry, with some decent toast and a kiss, I mean a just a peck of hops. Luckily for me, all of the qualities I just mentioned describe this wonderful, easy drinking and delicious Märzen.

M: Compared to most in the Oktoberfest style, this is one well put together lager. It's not overly rich. Rather, the carbonation is a tad bubbly, making this something that's not only crisp, but packing solid substance.

O: Victory's Festbier is easily one of the top two or three American Märzen's I've had the pleasure of quaffing, and reminds me yet again of just how well Victory lagers. It's rustic in all the right ways, yet it's something I can return to again and again. Crazy, insanely drinkable. Buy it by the case.

Between this and Great Lakes Oktobefest, there's no need to look elsewhere for your next Märzen fix.

 1,243 characters

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 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.

 499 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep orange/copper color. Poured a healthy three finger slightly off-white head that settled but persisted. Medium lacing.

S: Biscuity,slightly sweet malts; slightly grassy. Light, slightly bitter hop aroma.

T: Slightly sweet, bready, malts. Softly bitter hops.

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. All and all a nice balance of malts and hops.

D: Very drinkable. Subtle ABV.

 384 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received via I Want That BIF 3 from ClockworkOrange. Thanks for the opportunity. Best by Dec 30, 07.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, forming a 1 1/4" beige head over the clear orangey amber brew. Dense head lasts well, with prevalent frothy lace. Aroma is sweet nutty malts with a top of hoppiness. Taste follows the nose, nutty sweetness balanced by lightly bitter hops. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinking is easy. This one combines interesting flavor profile with a sessionable fest-style brew. Just what the doctor ordered.

 541 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 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.

 459 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..

 822 characters

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
84 out of 100 based on 771 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Quick Navigation

    Open the Quick Navigation

  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe