Fest Bier
Summit Brewing Company

Fest BierFest Bier
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Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
4.17 | pDev: 9.35%
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Fest BierFest Bier
Notes: PROFILE: Malty and sweet Czech-German fest lager
MALT/GRAIN: Czech Pils, Czech Munich, Cara Munich
HOPS: Saphir, Sladek
IBU: 30
ABV: 5.5%
YEAST: Munich Lager
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 113 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Omnium
Omnium from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice gold color with a finger of foamy white head, thick lacing.
S - Excellent aroma toasted grains, earthy and deep maltiness, a light floral hop scent, definitely some pilsner malt in here too.
T - Taste is spot on with the style, but take it to a new dimension. You definitely get your typical marzen traits, pilsner and bready malt, a little sweetness, but in this there's also this light toasted grain and nutty quality that is mild but pleasant and works perfectly with it.
M - A little on the light side of carbonation, but medium and balanced.
O - Outstanding Oktoberfest, and probably the best one I had. Summit needs to put this into seasonal rotation.

Oct 02, 2014
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a small, tan head of foam. It smelled floral with sweet caramel and toffee. Sweet caramel with roasted malt notes and a bitter piney finish.

Sep 26, 2014
Photo of Phocion
Phocion from Minnesota

4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Surlyfest mug. It's a little past its prime, but has been refrigerated since purchase with the goal of tasting it next to Summit's standard Oktoberfest.

Clear dark golden color with a thick, foamy off-white head. Good retention and excellent lacing around the edges of the mug.

The rich Munich hop aroma is very evident with a toasted, almost nutty flavor. Almost honey-like and grainy aroma hints at an interesting use of Pilsner malts (confirmed by a quick visit to Summit's website). Floral and slightly fruity hoppiness.

The flavor is primarily malt-forward, and the best way to describe it is of honey-topped, toasted biscuit. Complex hops arrangement of citrus (tangerine?), floral, and particularly spicy flavors. No yeast flavors are noticeable, as well as no astringency or alcohol flavors.

Light-medium body and good levels of carbonation. Dry, balanced finish.

Overall, this is an excellent and mostly-accurate take on an Oktoberfest. A couple little weird twists that make it stand out. Phenomenally well-balanced. It blows away the standard Summit Oktoberfest, which is too bad since it will likely never be brewed again.

Sep 22, 2014
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JamesMN from Minnesota

4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoy by 8/3/14.

Appearance: Fairly transparent copper hue with some visible effervescence and a thin cap of off-white foam.

Aroma: Plain grains and a touch of yeast. Void of any off-aromas that sometimes come with lager yeast.

Taste: Very clean grain profile. Can really taste the German influence and Munich style. The hops are nicely assertive in their moderate bitterness without being overdone. Nice flavors of mild pepper and a dash of earth from the hops. The bitterness peaks during the finish, which is quite a crisp affair. There is also a small sweet, nearly honey-like note just after the finish. Aftertaste of ebbing pepper and bitterness. The hops get more aggressive with each additional sip as they continue their onslaught on the palate. An enjoyable effect for anyone who likes hoppier beers and a worthy take on the style. Full in flavor considering the modest 5.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel: About medium in body with average carbonation for the style. Almost syrupy at times but still quite drinkable and easily sessionable, which is the point of this beer I think.

Final Thoughts: A really great beer by Summit and another reason to believe the old Minnesotian standard of brewing still has what it takes to compete in this ever-expanding market. Would I drink it again? Yes. Alas, it was a one time release.

Aug 11, 2014
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JuicesFlowing from Kansas

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a dimpled mug.

Look: A perfect copper colored body hold a cream colored head. Light lines of lacing.

Aroma: Toasted bread, malt sweetness, hints of caramel and toffee.

Taste: Spiciness comes through immediately. The body is malty and somewhat bready. A touch of caramel. Clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and dry.

Overall: Excellent beer. Clean, tasty, smooth/drinkable.

Jul 20, 2014
Photo of budgood1
budgood1 from Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours out a hazed copper colour with a thin fine head with some wispy lace. aroma is of that munich malt that dominates the style with pear/grape skin/apricot hints and herbal hop notes, this smells interesting. the taste is a perfect match of the nose. i can pick out the pils malts used as well as the munich malts easily. a bit of yeast, a smidgen of alcohol, and touch of spicy, earthy hops rounds things out. clean, crisp, spicy and semi-sweet. finishes dry with a lingering bitterness. about damn perfect for a twist on the fest style. medium bodied. mouthfeel is lagerish with a bitterness reminiscent of a true pils. outstanding drinkability. amazing flavour.

overall a genius mash up of two distinct styles (o-fest and czech pils) with a spicy herbal hop kick. this fest beer has all the potential to be a world beater. i would be in favor of this replacing the current summit o-fest. Happy Independence Day.

Jul 05, 2014
Photo of Tone
Tone from Missouri

4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, hint of hop, spice, hint of roasted malt, and strong yeast. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, alcohol, slight hop, hint of syrup, slight biscuit, hint of spice, and yeast. Overall, good appearance, aroma, complex body, but the blend is a little too sweet.

Jun 09, 2014
Photo of alphagnome
alphagnome from Iowa

4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden orange body, incredibly clear. Tons of carbonation trails. Soft, finger thick white head with good retention and lacing.

Roasted caramel malt, burnt toast, light clove and potentially nutmeg. Light coffee fragrance. Very clean.

Exactly what you would expect from the style - smooth, roasty malts and light bitterness. Caramel and toffee notes. Buttery biscuits and a hint of clove. Perfect sweetness. Brilliant example of the style.

Creamy smooth and easy to drink. Light to medium body with spot on carbonation. Semi-dry finish is clean, leaving only a trace bit of roasty goodness behind.

Tthis is an awesome Oktoberfest - well done Summit! I love this style, it's a perfect fall beer. Having it out of season is a bit of a mind-f**k, but I welcome it nonetheless. Now if you'll excuse me, I must rush to the store to get more!

Jun 08, 2014
Photo of workingclassbrew
workingclassbrew from Wisconsin

3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Waited a while to review. This is my last bottle, and has been sittin in the fridge. Time to go, and I know its gonna be good.

Used a tavern tap glass, it pours a nice sundown copper hue, off white head, nice lace.

Heavy malt aroma. Nice solid beer.

Ahw man, this is good stuff. Heavy malt, heavy hops, but not in a IPA way. Slightly dry, but malty finish. This has it all, my style at least. Malt, hops, sweetness, all perfectly balanced, with a heavier lean towards the malt. This seems like something the German-Americans from the old country would have brewed when they first came to this country.

If I could give someone their first beer this might be the one.

May 14, 2014
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial Pint
5.5% ABV, 30 IBUs, Enjoy By: 08/03/14

A - Bright golden amber colored, Fest Bier's rocky off-white head is fed by streaming carbonation that keeps the foam alive enough to plaster the glass in decorative lacing.

S - Summit's latest Unchained series beer is rich with Munich maltiness and rightfully so, being a Märtzen-style. The aroma is bready and nutty with an intoxicating smoothness that leads into toasted wheat bread and begs for a hearty swig.

T - Dry toast leads into a lingering bready Munich malt flavor that balances freshly cut loaf with subtle hop earthiness on the finish.

M - Medium-light bodied, this malty base has a nice initial feel to it but finishes with exceptionally balanced dryness that keeps the beer crisp and quaffable!

O - Commanding drinkability rules over Fest Bier like a monarch, commanding all parties to act in harmony for the greater good. An intoxicating malt aroma leads the way through this delicious and incredibly drinkable beer that finishes with balanced dryness for a superb overall experience!

May 10, 2014
Photo of steveh
steveh from Illinois

3.56/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Took some travel, but I finally got my hands on some of this new beer.

A -- Pours a clear, deep golden color with brassy highlights and a sudsy, off-white head that settles to a thin, but persistent cap. Not quite Wies'n in color, but very similar to Ayinger's Festbier.

S -- Spicy hops right up front with some mild earthy nuttiness and light DMS.

T -- Same spicy hoppiness in the forefront with a nutty character following and finishing with some light biscuit breadiness. The aftertaste is dry hop bitterness.

M -- Mouthfeel is lightly soft to crisply dry with a medium body.

O -- Overall, this is about the hoppiest Märzen I've ever tried, certainly a U.S. twist on the style. The earthy-nuttiness seems to be the common character in a U.S. brewed Märzen, which isn't an off-puting flavor, just not what I hope for in a good Märzen.

This beer is very well-made and delicious, but more to an American Amber Lager cousin of German Märzen.

Apr 28, 2014
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow from Minnesota

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hey, a fest bier in April. What the heck, but I think it would throw off at least one of my buddies.
This certainly looks and smells like I would think this style would. Very attractive and moving towards the darker side of color with more amber orange/brown tints. But brilliantly clear and when poured aggressively a nice thick tan head that laces the heck out of my glass.
A reaally nice toasted flavor blending with the richness of the malt. Appropriate drying on the finish and a more than balancing bitterness leans on the end and cleans out the richness. There is a unique flavor that must be the hops as they are not the traditional hops used, being saphir and sladek. It took be a bit to orient to them, but I'm coming around.
Carbonated well and softly and leaving a smooth feel.
For one of my least favorite styles this one is coming around on me, even out of season. Fits actually with cooler spring weather too.

Apr 27, 2014
Photo of ZAP
ZAP from Minnesota

4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-Deep burnt orange...nice lacing on glass

S-Toasty maltiness

T-Real nice toasty malt flavor....nutty as well

M-Clean, clean, clean....for as malt forward as this is it really drinks nice and clean like a quality lager should.

O-Tough to find fresh, quality lagers these days. This is a gem. Great flavor, clean, easy drinking. Great sessionable lager with great flavor.

Apr 26, 2014
Photo of Mdog
Mdog from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark gold, ok head.

Smell: Malty, toast, toffee, shifts to grassy. Very nice.

Taste: Sweet toffee and grassy hops in a nice balance of flavors.

Overall: I was a little wary of picking this up because I'm not a big fan of Octoberfest beers, and I especially dislike Summit's O-fest. This beer was a very pleasant surprise as the malty sweetness was cut through and balanced nicely with some grassy pilsner hops. Summit should replace their normal O-fest with this one!

Apr 20, 2014
Photo of GeezLynn
GeezLynn from Colorado

4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright golden brown. Great clarity and head retention. Very impressive.
S: Grassy hops, bready, and a bit nutty.
T: Nice biscuit and bready malt flavors, overlaid with grassy, slightly herbal hops. Just a touch of sweetness shows midway through, followed by a moderate bitterness. Slightly dry and very smooth while managing to stay crisp.
M: Medium body with lively fine carbonation.

Great work here. I don’t know if it’s the ingredients themselves, the extended lagering or all of the above. But it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed this style of beer this much.

Apr 13, 2014
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120 from Minnesota

4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle with a date on it. about 4 months before the best by date.

look is a brownish gold-orange, very small film of a head, some lacing. smell is husky, spiced oktoberfest malt. taste is crisp and clean - herbal spice, grass, and grain, and then the savory malt comes in - cocoa, toffee, and sweet baked bread. Light for an o'fest, but that's okay with me.

Apr 10, 2014
Photo of TheSSG
TheSSG from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge, soapy, white head that has impressive persistence and laces readily. A spicy, intensely grainy hop aroma. Radiant, clear gold with an orange hue. Starts off with spicy, grainy hops. Peaks in a medium bitterness before a MASSIVE WALL of delicious malt crashes through everything. The finish is grainy hops and malt.

This is absolutely fantastic. It has great hop flavor, and amazing malt.

Apr 05, 2014
Photo of bsp77
bsp77 from Minnesota

4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Mug.

Appearance: Clear amber-copper with good sized off-white head.

Smell: Quite fruity, with apples and cherry, as well as toast and spiciness.

Taste: Malt backbone of biscuit and toast. Fruity, as with the aroma, with mostly cherry and apple. The hops provide elements of pepper, spice, herbs and citrus. Slightly bitter. All of the elements gel wonderfully.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation over a light to medium body. Mostly dry finish. This is also ridiculously smooth for a lower abv beer; amazing what 8 weeks of lagering can do.

Overall: Fantastic Marzen. I really wish this was released every September because this would be a must purchase every year.

Apr 02, 2014
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk from Minnesota

3.66/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, rich amber hue. Slim white head atop.

Aroma: herbal, malty nose. Minor hops. Lightly floral. I'm gonna guess they're European in origin.

Taste: crisp, clean, malty. Again, small hop presence, but they're doing their thing, adding just the right amount of bitterness for balance. They're there on the tongue, too, and last through the finish. This feels like a much less sweet version of an Oltoberfest, especially Summit's, which rings in higher on the rich & malty scale.

Top-notch lager, this one. Good one to have around to offer those who aren't into ales.

Mar 29, 2014
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall Summit pint glass. Enjoy by date of 08/03/14.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper golden orange with a moderate amount of rising bubbles. Solid two fingers of off white head with decent retention. Leaves a good amount of creamy lacing.

Smell: A very toasty, biscuit like, and earthy malt forward aroma with big hints of grains and toast. Upfront toasted malt with hints of grains, biscuit, straw, crackers, yeast, and caramel. Fairly rustic and musty smelling. Slight fruit hints of grape and raisin. Backing hints of earthy hops with some hints of grass. A very solid toasty aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a nicely toasty, bready, and earthy malt driven taste with good notes of grains, biscuit, and toast. Upfront toasted malts with big notes of grains, biscuit, straw, caramel, and yeast. Good rustic notes along with a earthy and musty presence of hops with notes of grass. Subtle fruit taste of grape and raisin. A very good all around malty German style taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and very smooth with a drying finish.

Overall: A really good take on the German Marzen style. Good toasty and bready malts with a nice rustic kick and earthy hop presence. Another good one in the unchained series.

Mar 27, 2014
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morimech from Minnesota

4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden color with one finger of head that settled to a thin film. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left down the glass.

Wonderful aroma. Is it the Cara Munich malt that gives its lightly toasted, bready, and slightly musty elements. Some herbal hops round out the aroma.

Toasted, musty, bready, and slightly metallic flavor. Some herbal flavors balance the malt with not much bitterness. Well rounded, clean flavors that come from patient lagering. Slightly dry with a crisp finish.

Lower medium body with lively, without being harsh carbonation. Feels nice and aids in consumption.

Extremely easy drinking beer. I really like the malt bill. Another outstanding beer in the Unchained series. I hope this beer finds a way to being brewed again on a seasonal basis.

Mar 21, 2014
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KarlHungus from Minnesota

4.98/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer pours a deep spun gold color. The head is an inch of bright white foam that lingers a while before falling into a nice ring of lacing. The aroma is of toast, light caramel, fresh cut grass, and minerals. There is a lot going on in this beer's aroma. The taste is very well rounded with all of the characteristics found in the aroma melding nicely together. The is also an ever so slight tinge of metal in the background which I highly desire in a German style lager. The mouthfeel is pure medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a remarkably silky texture for the style. Overall, this is beer is a grand slam for Summit. It is one that we will all be talking about fondly years from now. Hopefully, we'll be talking about it while drinking it. Please, continue this beer as a spring seasonal.

Mar 16, 2014
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

A healthy pour brings the sticky froth to lofty heights, pale copper hue dons a beautiful clarity that shows off a display of bubbles racing to keep that head together. Fresh grain in the nose with hints of grape skin, toasted bread and herbal hop. Ample crispness does well up against the moderate sized body and spot on for this style. Rich malt backbone, a clean graininess from start to finish. Very bready. Perfect level of hoppiness that is both spicy and herbal without being too bitter. Some mild residual grain and hop flavor makes for a very pleasant drying finish.

Near perfection here, they seriously need to make this year round. 8 weeks of lagering, so damn drinkable. Big cheers to Summit's brewer Nate Siats for producing this gem!!

Mar 15, 2014
Fest Bier from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 113 ratings