Scratch Beer 73 - 2012 (Fest Lager) | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Scratch Beer 73 - 2012 (Fest Lager)Scratch Beer 73 - 2012 (Fest Lager)
Very Good
68 Ratings
Scratch Beer 73 - 2012 (Fest Lager)Scratch Beer 73 - 2012 (Fest Lager)

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: German Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
To commemorate the annual German tradition of Oktoberfest, Tröegs unveils Scratch #73 – 2012, an OkTröegerFest, if you will. This rich, pumpkin-colored lager goes against the grain by boasting a fairly hefty hop presence for the style, giving the flavor a moderate bitter twist while still maintaining the classic malt character that you’ve come to expect from a traditional Fest Bier.

35 IBU

Added by MasterSki on 08-16-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 24
Reviews by SPRichard:
Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice shade of orange and copper, slight clarity with a bit of hazy particles in the middle, some small white sediment floating around. Beige-like, small head that sinks down to a thin cover around the edges of the glass quickly. Smell is hard to pick up on, not as powerful as I'd hoped. I am getting some mild spice and sweet, buttery malt, but that's about it. It's definitely getting stronger as it warms up.

After the first taste I was thinking, "Wow, this tastes like an O-fest!" - Then I realized, it is called FEST Lager. Hah, must be the Munich malts. Very malt heavy beer, biscuity and full of caramel and some toffee. Slight sulfur smell in the background, but not too heavy or distracting. A bit of grains and almost some fruity sweetness, although I can't pinpoint one specific fruit. Bitterness is very low and appears only briefly at the end in the form of very, very, VERY faint, floral, musty hops. I also picked up a slight weird, astringent flavor, almost old cork-like. Not a big deal. Aftertaste is like buttered toast and full of grains. Medium body, slightly stick with low-medium carbonation.

This beer was pretty damn good. I wasn't expecting much from it, but it certainly delivered and then some. I'm also not a huge fan of O-fests, but I still enjoyed this one very much. True to the style and full of flavor. Low ABV doesn't hurt, either. Some slight off-flavors here and there which prevented a higher rating, but I would definitely have this one again.

 1,492 characters

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ryser2k
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of williamtlow
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served "brewery fresh" from a growler into beer-clean pint glass (with heavy lacing).

Appearance: Almost PERFECT amber, orange-copper color. Clear with no cloudiness and consistent carbonation. Thick, consistent head lacing the sides of my glass beautifully.

Smell: Immediately bursting with floral, citrus aroma with a hint of the traditional oktoberfest, pumpkin, and slightly spicy smells.

Taste: Initial hit of zesty (and tasty) hops followed by a mellowing, smooth finish expected from a lager/marzen.

Mouthfeel: Not too carbonated. Crisper than other marzens/lagers but still smoothes out nicely.

Overall: A very, very, well done beer. Just the right amount of hops. For this style, it may be one of my favorites. Sessionable, yet very tasty. This beer is a crowd pleaser.

 783 characters

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Bdel34
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Tröegs Brewing Company (Hershey, PA) on 8/16/12. Served in a stange.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger-sized cap of slightly off-white colored head. This retains with some foamy ringing around the sides of the glass, leaving back some patchy lace. The aroma is fresh, spicy and leafy feeing, with earthy citrus notes and malt combining to give this a ripe and green smelling feel in the nose.

The taste has a solid green citric bite to it, which mix with malty flavors of caramel and bread to impart a rich tanginess to the profile. This is overall crisp and firm feeling on the palate, with a dry spicy bitterness on the finish that lingers a bit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and tight feeling on the tongue with a creamy yet firm carbonation that gives this a quaffable presence in the mouth.

This is yet another in a long line of Fest Lager variations that Tröegs always seems able to impress me with each year. This one has a bit more of a ripe citric earthiness to the profiles but that same crisp dryness still gives this a hugely drinkable character. I could have easily drunk multiple glasses of this.

 1,135 characters

Photo of RyFikes
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of GFish
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Apex
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of WaterCzar
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A growler filled at the brewery and consumed in OCMD - from notes taken a week and a half ago.

A: The festbier is an amber color - cuprous and clear if not a little darker (relatively speaking). Luxurious white head blankets my glass, a few fingers on each of the first few pours - lacing follows.

S: Toasted malts - pleasantly bready with caramel sweetness in tow. A piquant hoppiness provides more of a kick than I was expecting. Possibly the best lager aroma from the Scratch series - heavy praise indeed.

T: And the taste lives up to the hype - plenty of toasted malts, dark and caramelly, with an equally present hop presence. Warming, the lager makes me feel better with each sip. The hoppiness is earthy with a light citrus, stronger than most lagers but at home with the sweeter, breadier malts. A light spiciness pervades the beer, present throughout and a nice accompaniment to the rich malts. Light and prickly thanks to ample carbonation. Definitely one of the best lagers from the Scratch series.

M: A full flavor, prickly bite and rich caramel flavor - a little early for an oktoberfest but if the result is this good, the beer should be available year-round.

 1,177 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint
5.5% ABV, Bottling No: Fest Lager

A - A rather vigorous pour launches the beer's plump ivory head into the air, billowing above the clear rusted chestnut-hued beer. Dense lace clutches the glass in thick webbing as the head slowly lowers for a beer that's got a perfect appearance!

S - Tröegs Fest Lager immediately displaces a hoppier aroma into the air than the typical Oktoberfest. Spice and herbal notes come together to produce crispness which overlays the usual maltiness. Noble hops aside, the grain bill sticks close to the style's heart with delicate toasted Vienna and chunky bread Munich sweetness.

T - Smooth maltiness washes over the tongue carrying the aromas delicious bready characteristics with it as well as some earthy nuttiness but, the hops kick in and bully the malt into submission. A heavy herbal bite slowly creeps in, pressuring the taste buds until the end.

M - At first Tröegs Fest Lager Scratch beer starts smooth and almost creamy with a light carbonation prickle that tingles in the back of the throat but, this beer slowly develops into an incredibly dry, almost harshly astringent, bitter beer for lack of malt balance. The lasting impression, or finish of flavor, which lingers on the back of the tongue and throat does not do this beer any justice.

O - From it's appearance and inviting aroma, Tröegs Fest Lager starts with a promising twist on the classic German lager but it's over-hopped flavor and, subsequently, the feel and finish really impart a distracting and rather loathsome bitter dryness that ruins the experience for me. Far be it from me to call it a bad beer but it's neither to style, nor to my liking.

 1,717 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.72/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

$7 at Meadhall, Cambridge MA.

Octoberfest in February? Yes please.

Cyrstalline clear dark auburn with a staunch, never say die head. Sticky Kanagawa wave lacing clings onto the glass like intentionally festooned decoration. Such an impressive foam show I doubled checked the menu to make sure it was a lager and not some weird amber wheat. Flawless looking marzen.

Smells like crystal malts. Maybe some herbal hop. That's about it.

Way too sweet. Tastes like someone squirted marzen extract into my beer and was too heavy handed. There's an herbal hop in back that gives an antiseptic flavor which I really don't like but it does help cut some of the sweetness off my palette.

Really didn't like this one.

 713 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at The Brass Rail in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear deep copper to amber in color with some garnet red highlights and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted/bready and caramel malts with some light sweetness as well as some herbal and grassy hops.

T: Like the smell, the flavor of this beer sticks to the traditional Oktoberfest style flavors of toasted and caramel malts with some light amounts of sweetness followed by moderate amounts of herbal and grassy hops that give it some bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: Enjoyable with the slightly more than normal hops for the style giving it a little more "bite." I could easily put a couple of these down and it was a welcome flavor on this cold early winter evening.

 1,019 characters

Photo of flyingmick
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of IPAchris
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of Rojada1988
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of justintcoons
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Amber with 1 finger white head. Low-moderate carbonation.

Biscuits and caramel.

Biscuits, caramel and buttered toast. A touch of cocoa, brown sugar and grapefruit zest. A good dose of earthy, herbal hops on the back end providing a caustic bitterness.

Medium bodied, crisp and clean.

All is well until the hops come into play. The hops are just providing a weird bitterness without much flavor. Very dirty and unpleasant for the Oktoberfest style.

 518 characters

Photo of John_M
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap a Hudson St. Stackhouse during BBW.

The beer pours a coppper amber color with fairly good head retention and lacing. The nose is intriguing, as I pick up some clove, cinnamon and sweet malt. The flavor profile is more of the same, with something of a pumpkin element as well. Interestingly, despite all the spice and flavor, the beer is a bit thin on the palate, and I didn't feel as if the spice blended in all that well with the pumpkin and sweet malt. Also, there's some noticeable alcohol on the finish, which is a bit of a detraction.

Interesting effort, and certainly not a bad beer, but not something I could see myself ordering again either.

 659 characters

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

Troegs Brewery
Scratch 73 : Fest Lager

LOOK: This test batch brew pours a rich copper color with a foamy froth providing plenty of lacework.

SMELL: Bready malts, caramel and floral hops. Light toasted notes from the malts come through as well.

TASTE: Moderately bitter with a nice earthy, grassy noble hopping and Munich malts. Satisfying brew with a caramel like malty flavor and a solid dose of hop bitterness. Sugary sweet caramelized malt flavor is quite delicious and the hops keep things interesting. This is a high quality example of an Oktoberfest, with very clean and enjoyable flavors.

FEEL: Medium bodied, well carbonated, fairly smooth and goes down with ease. A great beer to drink for extended periods of time, this deserves the name " fest lager ".

OVERALL: This is an impressive Oktoberfest from a well respected Pennsylvania brewery. Definitely stands up to alot of others on the market, I could make buying a case of this a holiday tradition. Very well done.

 981 characters

Photo of jculler82
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

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Scratch Beer 73 - 2012 (Fest Lager) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 68 ratings