Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Festbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

770 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 770
Hads: 1,853
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 19.84%
Wants: 32
Gots: 206 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Festbier Alström Bros
Reviews: 770 | Hads: 1,853
Photo of dirtylou
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, bought a 6 pack at Sam's in Chicago for 8.99, best by 2/24/07...havent seen this around Madison yet

appearance: pours into a great dan imperial pint glass...glowing amber body with a big fluffy beige head and some quality lacing...nice appearance

smell: nice bold malty aroma, sweet caramel, red apple, nice nutty characteristics, sweet and bready

taste: My affection for oktoberfests is actually rather bizarre...September-November is really the only time I drink a lot of lager beers, much be something about the season. I love the style and I am starting to build quite a stash... Anyways on to the Victory...the flavor isnt particularly bold but its very easy drinking. I like the nutty nature and the toasted grain/malt keeps well with the style. Flavours driven by fruit sweetness and a strong bready taste. Higher than average hopping comes through especially in the finish At the end of the day, I like to see bolder malt/nut but this is still a good attempt

mouthfeel: medium body, above average carbonation which could be turned down

drinkability: good

 1,090 characters

Photo of mjc410
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The pour into my Mahr's mug raises a light tan, two finger head that falls pretty quickly. The lacing is also quite sparse. The beer's color is a lovely deep amber/copper. The nose is sweet, bready, and touched by a hint of floral hops, but also has a bit of a burnt aroma. The taste is richer than many O-fests, but not necessarily in a good way. I think the burnt flavor creeps in here, as well. It doesn't ruin in, but it takes away from the overall impression. The other flavor aspects, light breadiness and a bit of hop bitterness, are quite nice. The mouth is right where I want it, medium, with medium carbonation too. This is definitely not one of the better O-fests I've had, but it is still enjoyable, if flawed.

 722 characters

Photo of Darkale
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite fall beers, this Oktoberfest pours a dark, almost angry copper, with a head that rises fast and leaves almost as quickly, leaving a skim and just a little bit of lace. Slightly nutty aroma. Light and sugary on the tongue at first, but then a bit more brassy and full on the edges. It's fruitiness is like an English pale ale, with an almost watery aftertaste that is, actually, very pleasant. As with so many Oktoberfests, the only way to make it more drinkable would be to add an intravenous line.

 517 characters

Photo of andjusticeforale
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This looked and smelled like an Oktoberfest, with a caramel swirls and a sturdy malt backbone, in fact, upon first taste I was surprised that it wasn't a stronger beer. There is no %alc on the label. The taste is nice and malty without being sweet or minerally, it has a victory water taste to it, a smoothness. The finish is nicely carbonated. This beer was a great find because it acheived moderate depth without the overuse of hops in the mix. There was balance but not to extremes.

All in all a terrifically drinkable festbier. Prost!

 542 characters

Photo of phisig137
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber color with a thin head. Little lacing is left behind, along with a ring of foam on top.

Aroma is full of malty notes of caramel, toffee, slight pleasant diacetyl, and sugar. Smells like mash, and you can almost feel the decoction in your nose. On the palate, it is slightly sweet, and heavily accents the malt, much like an oktoberfest should. Very smooth and clean, and full bodied. Drinkability is good.

Once again, a high quality brew from a brewery that always pleases. One of my favorite oktoberfest beers made in America

 556 characters

Photo of barknee
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Updated on 11-1-08
I must say that I am certainly enjoying this years vintage of Festbier. Generous malts and a perfect hint of hops make for a brew that is massively enjoyable and delicious. The last time I imbibed unto this brew, last season actually, it was quite one dimensional and uninspiring. If you can find this at your local, pick it up and try it; I think youll like it. Rated as the number two "Oktoberfest" brew by the NY Times recently, blowing away the mass Germanic imports in a tasting competition.
For once I agree with the leftest SOB's at the NY Times. ;-0

 577 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a crystal clear amber with a cherry hue. A thin tan head forms and thins. Minor lacing on the glass.

Aroma is all caramel malt.

Taste is a a rich caramel maltiness start to finish with just a hint of hops that compliment it just right.

Medium body, low carbonation.

Now, this is the Octoberfest that my palate has been craving. Certainly a good example of the style and easily drinkable. I may get burned out on the style before the season even gets here as this is the third O-fest that I have purchased and consumed in August...

 567 characters

Photo of therica
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not only did this pour a nice amber color, it was actually a joy to watch is it poured, because the bottle's neck-label was very complimentary in color and design-- an odd experience! The head was nice and foamy, with an interesting amber-orange color.

This is a very nice smooth drinkable beer. The taste is nice and malty-caramel but not heavy on hops, at all. However, after it sat for a while (hey I had to operate the grill for dinner) it had a much stronger hops-taste, but still very pleasant finish.

There's a very subtle taste that I've been trying to identify. I think it's similar to tangerine. There's even a hint of it in the scent.

I'll definitely be buying more of this at times, and I'm adding it to my beer-store shopping-list. I would find it very acceptable in quantity at a party. My feelings seem to reflect that of others here, as well.

 867 characters

Photo of lpayette
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear, medium copper with a very small white head.

Smells- not too strong on anything, but mostly malty. Flowery notes come through too along with some alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel- again mostly malty - perhaps caramel to be more specific. No surprise there. Herbal tastes come through as well. Moutfeel is pilsner-like in carbonation. It has that tingly feeling. Ends grainy.

Drinks easy like a good lager does.

 435 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a room temp bottle poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a bright clear burnt sienna color and I am struck by the color and refleciveness in the brew. NOt often the color catches me like this one. I get a small fizzy off white head that fades to a sturdy edge layer quickly. Aroma is caramel and some grainy malt with just a hint of herbal hops in the background. First sip is average bodied with fine tinlgy carbonation.
Flavor is slightly sweet caramel up front with a bit of bitey grass hop in the middle and finishes grainy. The finish lingers for a bit as well. A very easy to drink beer.

 611 characters

Photo of ggaughan
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Victory brewery bar.

This beer poured a nice yellow/orange color with a nice thin white head that disapated rather quickly. The beer has a nice aroma of sweet malts and a bit of a bready nose to it. The taste is pretty much what you get with the aroma. A nice bit of sweet malts with the earthy, bread smell / taste. The taste does not linger in the mouth for very long but this is still a solid beer and very drinkable.

 437 characters

Photo of bahumutx
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copper color with about a one finger white head.

Smell: Bread dough leads the aroma with hints of caramel and hops.

Taste: Starts with a slight citrus taste and then moves right on to a doughy malt flavor. As the beer warms there is more malt presence and a caramel taste appears. There is also a slight sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could have a few of these in a sitting.

This is another good beer from Victory Brewing. Keep up the great work!!!

 621 characters

Photo of RedHaze
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orangey bronze color with tin 1/4 inch head that quickly disappears. The very thin ring that's left behind leaves only minimal lacing.

Smell; nice bread dough and caramel maltiness with a mild herbal almost spicy aroma. Nice, but not as good as I was expecting.

Taste; pretty much follows it's aroma. It has a solid caramel malt presence, and a little bit of the spiciness makes an appearance. There's also a slight hop bite in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with fairly low carbonation. This is not the best O-fest by any means, but it's still a decent stab at the style.

 601 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer came a dark burgundy with some orange highlights and no head. Smelled of a smoky sweet lager with some pasty oats and a slight nip of unobtrusive hops. Tasted of fruity raspberries, doughy and pasty oat malt with a nice bitter snap in the finish. Mouth feel was medium bodied with a sharp electric small bubbled carbonation.

 334 characters

Photo of HugoGrim
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Victory Brewery.

The first beer I tried on my trip to Victory, it arrived a copper/bronze color with a small white head. Carbonation visible throughout, and nice lacing down the glass.

Scent is herbal/spiced hops with bread. Very clean.

Crisp. Malts and hints of caramel up front with Earthy hop spice backing it up.

 346 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: My bottle looks just the like captured in the Database. Best Before Date is Dec-12-05; guess its time to crack this sucker.

Appearance: Gorgeous ruddy copper and dark orange body. Vanilla white head is creamy and produces a thin but patterned lacing. Lively but with a low key carbonation.

Nose: Hmmmm……definitely a great component of this brew!! The nose is warming, slightly herbal, mildly spiced with warming toasted caramels and freshly baked bread. Very nice indeed, even a few days past its Best Before Date.

Taste: Parallels the nose, but the tastes are higher in strength. The toasted malts are herbal caramels are dominant. Spicy hops and a lovely soft finish that lingers leaving you wanting more and kicking up the Drinkability a notch or two. A myriad of flavors but they are all in check, controlled and assembled in a very clean manner.

Mouthfeel: The body is like one of the bicycles that Lance Armstrong rides, lightweight but incredibly strong, it never lets you down. Bolstered by a synergistic nose and taste profile the body feel is incredibly solid yet vivacious and fleet of foot. Smooth too!

Drinkability: A tasty brew that has a high end return factor. Oh so easy to put down the throat, but not so easy to put the glass down back on the table. I could easily manage a 6-Pack of these puppies, now worries.

Overall: Lovely Jubbly – one of the best US Oktoberfests that I have sampled to date. I picked this bottle up whilst in PA last month, it’s a real shame that this one doesn’t come West with the other Victory brews. Recommended.

 1,597 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
2.77/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased a sixer from Avalon Liquors. Took the good part of two months to finish during fishing trips (that is a bad impression, by the way. Paulaner, on the other hand was all drank the first non-striper catchin day)
Cloudy amber bad retention and lacing.
Caramelly malt and some unknown chalkiness in the aroma
Caramel and chalky malt. Overall rather limp with the same crappy hop that mister Cleveland0 detected.
The only Victory brew that's been difficult to finish.
Doesn't have the complexity and mouthfeel of the good to great O'fests out there, average all around.

 578 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with a small sparse head over top. Nose is sweet and toasty, almost sugary sweet. I'd like a bit more of the bready and toastyness to come through. Flavor is pretty nice. Fairly toasty with just a touch of sweetness and a very very light noble hop finish. Very clean. Nice american example of the style. Feel is moderate with a moderate carbonation. Pretty solid brew here. Tasty.

 406 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is mostly caramel malt with some sweetness and possibly a little toasted. I'm not a huge fan of the flavor. It's comprised of caramel malt and some toastiness but there's a hop flavor in there as well - whatever hop it is, I'm not a fan of its flavor. Not necessarily something off in the beer, I just don't like this hop. Finish is sweet and slightly bitter and the mouthfeel is moderate. Drinkability is ok.

 524 characters

Photo of bditty187
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This might be my last O-fest for the ’05 Season…

Clear, coppery-peachy-bronze in hue, the color of the liquid is typical of the style. A steady stream of animation slowly danced to the off-white head. At best the foam barley covered the liquid; there really wasn’t a true head. Disappointing. There was no subsequent lacing either, another bummer. For an O-fest I am saddened by the appearance.

The nose is clean. Too clean for me; it really doesn’t say much. I get hints of caramel malts and a trace amount of earthy hops. I get the impression this beer has German roots but it is difficult to tell exactly the direction this beer wants to go. Hells? Oktoberfest? I’m not sure. Low potency, it is too quite overall; the nose is passable.

The palate is soft but likeable. The maltiness is pliable, delicate with a caramel candy base, some bread, and some honey. The hop profile is light, some earthiness and spice at the back. Clean, as it should be, the finish is fairly long but uneventful. The palate is solid; I’ve enjoyed much better O-fests this season. I mean, this one is okay but forgettable. I was expecting Victory to nail the style, they didn’t. At least this beer wasn’t “Americanized” too much… but it was still a bit underdone. It is enjoyable but it is nothing extraordinary.

Medium in body, moderate-low carbonation, natural and fitting mouthfeel is firm but not rigid. On the tongue, this beer feels about right. Nicely done.

Drinkable and tasty it is. Special? Not so much. Of course not every beer needs to be the greatest beer in the world. If I could get this locally I would drink it. It would be a no-brainer! Is this good enough for me too seek out in the future? No. I wouldn’t turn one down though! I am very happy I could try it. Thank you RedHaze!

 1,806 characters

Photo of granger10
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Victory seasonal pours a darker copper color with a medium tan head. Aroma is mostly caramel and toasted grains. Sort of weak. Taste is also weak and watery for my liking. The flavors aren't bad but they're too weak. A light grainy sweetness is prevalent along with some nondescript malts. Finish is fruity and sweet. This beer is ok, probably a good session choice, but I was expecting more from Victory.

 410 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours little leasting fizzy head. peach colour. Initially quenching and fruity but soon strong carbonation overwhelms and burns, and sugar sweetness in finish it doesn't work for me.
Had it again a bit more than a year later and noted sourness as well as aggressive carbonation and peach colour.,

 298 characters

Photo of Stubbie1
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Festbier poured a nice orange color with a slight off white head. Aroma is a bit bready/malty and a very mild hint of spice. Taste is upfront sweet malt and caramel and a slight dry finish. Smooth and creamy in the mouth and enjoyable to drink. Well done

 259 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – The head was a bit modest here and didn’t show a lot of good retention, but the beer itself was a brilliant orangish-brown.

Smell – The light grain shows a touch of class and is mixed with some caramel malts. I can also pick up a hint of molasses.

Taste – The caramel and gooey malts are more prevalent at the taste. The grain is light and of high quality (not the cheap husky stuff on most American lagers). The sugars are subdued but raw.

Mouthfeel – This is in between light and medium-bodied with some nice carbonation. It is very refreshing and thirst-quenching.

Drinkability – This is a true session bier and one of the better efforts at the style from an American manufacturer.

 715 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Festbier from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 770 ratings.