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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 ectomorph
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz into a tulip.

A - deep amber, good clarity, moderate to low carbonation, small head fades fast.

S - Faint sweet caramel malt aroma, clean fermentation, no hops presence noted.

T - Fresh light caramel sweetness, a small hops bitterness keeps it from being too much. Fresh bread, honey, clover, and a nice noble hops finish. Light and enjoyable malty lager.

M - Light bodied, good carbonation, clean finish that clears instantly.

D - High. This is what a celebration brew should be all the way around.

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

Appearance is a dark amber color, with an initially generous head that fades pretty quickly. The smell is strong, with bread and biscuit scents standing out. Toasted bready malts are dominant in the taste, reminding me of sourdough bread. There is a bit of nutty flavor, and a floral bitterness in the finish. Just average mouthfeel. Nothing really remarkable about this beer, but nothing bad either.

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Photo of fields336
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into SN snifter
Enjoy by Jan 18 2012 printed on label

A: clear, orange amber liquid, with 1 finger bubbly french vanilla colored head. Dissipates quickly leaving slight lacing on sides of the glass that also dissipates.

S: roasty, caramel, bready malts, with a slight herbal/grassy/earthy hop presence in there

T: nice bready, chocolatey, malty character with a nice toasty finish. There is a slight bitterness which is nice. Not as cloyingly sweet as some other commercial marzens. Stays more earthy, and bitter than others. I much enjoyed this one, very sessionable, cool, balanced, crisp, and nice.

M: nice carbonation, crisp, drinkable as any marzen should be. I love fall and this style, it's a big hit for me.

O: If you're picking out an American interpretation of a Marzen, this is the one in my opinion, I bought multiple 6ers of this, it's a great beer

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Photo of coachdonovan
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, Enjoy by Jan 3 2011. Pours a chestnut brown that's mostly clear although there is a slight haze to it. Very little head/lacing but it may be a bit too cold out of the fridge.

This is such a hard beer to review. The aroma and taste - bready and malty - is so muted and mild, but it's very true to style. An authentic Octoberfest is just not going to blow you away with strong flavors, and this doesn't do it either. I found the carbonation too thin and the mouthfeel a little watery. For me, that put Festbier a notch below the average O-fest.

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Photo of mgironta
2.61/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew was a clear amber color with minimal head and active carbonation. There was no real lacing to speak of. The first thing that I noticed was that this brew was a little thin and not what I would consider for the body of an Oktoberfest. On the nose, I got…nothing. No joke. Not a thing. It was like sniffing water. Maybe if I thought really hard about it, I could get some sort of earthiness and a hint of sweetness. But, it would be a reach. The taste is primarily watery, just how it looked. I didn’t get a lot of taste on it. Maybe some sweet malt on the taste and a hint of earthiness? I’m surprised about the lack of flavor in this brew. I didn’t really like it and would not get it again. Definitely underflavored.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into my New England Patriots pint glass while watching the surprisingly good Colts/Steelers game. Curtis Painter is not a real quarterback.

A: Poured with 1/2-finger of off-white head that imploded faster than the Vikings in the second half of any game this year. Festbier is an amber/honey color, as pleasing to look at as a football, thought somewhat lighter.

S: A whiff of piney/citrusy hops surprises the nose, much like the Buffalo Bills surprised the Pats today. Seriously, I expected a marzen to have a maltier nose (not a complaint), but it takes time to warm up and the real spirit of it to come through, much like Ryan Fitzpatrick.

T: Earthy caramel malts with a ghost of a fungus-like aftertaste. Cereal grain finish where I would have expected the hops. Curious what happened to the bit of hoppiness that was in the nose (and that the bottle promised). It was conspicuously absent, like the Steelers running game tonight.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation was light but this brew was still a bit foamier and and rougher than expected. It's not anywhere near the chewiness of the turf Jay Cutler is constantly picking out of his teeth, but still.

O: Festbier is not a bad seasonal brew, but much like the Chiefs, I do not associate fall with Victory.

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Photo of mjohn27603
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours orangish out of the bottle. Thin white layer forms on top, less than one finger head. Smell is malty with some spices mixed in. Taste is a little bitter with a stale taste. Not as malty as other Oktoberfests. Mouthfeel is a little thin and watery. Not one of Victory's better offerings.

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Photo of amphion1065
3.47/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Russell House Tavern, served in a pint glass.

Pour is a deep copper, golden orange - seasonally appropriate, at the very least. A one-finger white head last for a while, though there's minimal lacing.

A lot more spice than I was expecting in the aroma. Herbal, with a lingering scent of pepper. There's also some sweet, biscuit malt that reminds me of caramel. Not a huge departure from the style, but interesting.

The taste is very bready, with the malt shining through. Sweet, with the caramel from the nose playing a big role. There's also a pretty noticeable bitterness, and a slight astringency in the finish.

A little overcarbonated, could be toned down a notch. As it stands, the feel is a little distracting.

Unremarkable for the style. There are too many equivalently-priced alternatives to make me return to this one.

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

A: Pours a fairly transparent orange-amber color. Fluffy 2 finger white head fades slowly into a little cap. Light carbonation.

S: Caramel, toasty grains, and some doughy biscuit make up the aroma. A light dose of hops is present. Smells slightly sugary with some real nice fall scents.

T: The caramel and brown sugar start things off with some darker sugary flavors. The toasted biscuity malts follow along providing foundation for things. I got some vanilla and toasted nuts in there somewhere. Hops are barely detectable on the finish but help give that crispness at the end.

M: Somewhere between thin and medium but the creamy carbonation and richness help it feel bigger than it is.

O: Another great beer from Victory. Not my absolute favorite marzen but one I'm happy to have around when things are cooling off. I'm sure to buy some more of this.

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Photo of dmarch
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper in color with a thin white head that leaves a nice lace. Malty aroma with just a hint of hops. Taste is on the sweet side with a caramel flavor. It's easy drinkability makes it an excellent session beer. Another solid beer from victory. One of the better oktoberfests I've had.

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Photo of Rennpferd
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It poured pale yellow, it had a golden hue. It had a two finger head. It was very active.

It had a well balanced scent of malt, and floral hops.

It had a good malt, and hop flavor. It had an astringent off flavored finished. It was medium bodied.

It is a drinkable beer. If it did not have that off finish, it would be much better.

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Photo of Scrapss
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Poured from the bottle into a ghandi-bot tulip.

A: Beautiful dark orange with compact head that dissipates into a very thin ring.

S: Malty, big caramel malts. Beautiful. Yeast and hops are mild and very much in the background.

T: Follows nose and is perfect velvety creamy and very slightly slick on the palate. Roasted honey sweet like notes and some of the hops present as tea-like.

M: creamy, medium full end of the spectrum. finishes with that tea-like note and then goes creamy and sweet but never cloying.

O: very nice and perfect for fall.

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Photo of drcarver
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - nice deep amber color with a one finger off-white head. Clear body, no head retention, and little lacing.

S - malts are in the forefront. Sweet toffee smell but cleans out with a bit of floral hoppiness.

T - malts are assertive, but do not overwhelm the palate. Medium bodied that fills the mouth. It feels as though it will coat the tongue but it finishes clean with a bit of a sweet malt aftertaste

D - Nice beer and could easily have this one with some brats and krat sitting in a parking lot waiting for the game to start.

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Photo of edskirk3
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle from a case I bought last week. The "Enjoy By" date is 12.30.07. This is fresh beer.

Pours into the glass a lovely amber hue with a creamy sort-of-white head. Nice aroma of whole-grain bread accented with subtle hops. Simple yet fragrant.

Nothing complicated in the taste either. Slightly tart from toasted grains, and if I may quote the label, "a kiss of the hops for balance." Notes of caramel are also present. Rich, doughy mouthfeel. And very, very smooth. Maybe a bit too strong to drink more than a few.

Not much going on here, and yet it's fantastic. I feel nourished. I think I could have this for breakfast. You know, in an emergency. Don't say you never thought of it!

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Photo of bmills1608
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Easy, smooth, clean and quick. - That's the short review

Poured a sizable head that started to dissipate right away. Crystal-clear copper with a touch of orange. Nose - a bit of spice, malt and caramel, very fresh nose.

Taste is somewhat light, fresh and quick, basically sweet caramel-malt with a touch of very light hop bitterness to balance. Very clean soft mouthfeel, fades fast. A real good session beer.

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

12oz. bottle fresh date Feb 24, 07. Poured a reddish brown color with very little head. Not much in the smell department but a bit of malt. Taste of bready malts with a slight hop bitterness .Very drinkable I could easily drink a few of these. One of the best October-fest I've tried this year and will look forward to it in the next year.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 10/5/14. BB 12/24/14.

A: Pours a dark amber w 1/2" off-white head. Fades to a tiny ring. Steady slight carbonation.

S: Sweet. Big on the roast. Slight yeasy/breadiness. Roasty, yeasty, and sweet. Smells like a brown ale.

T: Roasty, slightly tart. Not too sweet. Sweet/tart arrival, dry across mid-palate; tart flash, then bitter finish.

M: Mid-weight. Seems light for the style. Slick, lots of carbonation.

O: Of my 4 Marzen this year (GLBC, Paulaner, Sam Adams, Victory), this is my least favorite, by far.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.6/5  rDev +23.3%

Poured bottle into glass. 5.6% abv

Appearance- Cloudy orange amber with a two finger slightly off white head that dissipates.

Smell- Lemon along with some fresh caramel malt and honey.

Taste- Rich caramel malt flavor. Toasted cracker tastes goes on to a mild bitterness as far as this style goes. A short and simple flavor profile but quite lively.

Mouthfeel- Medium-thin with great carbonation. Crisp.

Overall- A near perfect octoberfest in my opinion. So flavorful. The malt taste in this beer is great. Well done and a must try oktoberfest!

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Photo of JasonA
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

average ... thats what I got from this beer.

Pours a dark copper with little to no head. Almost a translucent carmel.

I dont get much from the smell. Some sweetness and a little spice. Not much there.

A little biting, may be due to the alcohol content. Tastes like the smell. Not a whole lot there. Wish there was more to talk about. Some sweet, no real hops. Little malty with some spice finish.

Average. Carbonation and bite may be a little more than desirable.

Overall I would rather move forward from this beer than drink it again. Not bad, simply not something worth coming back to.

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Photo of weller1js
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: pours a clear, vibrant orange with light carbonation, little foam and no lacing.

smell: well-balance with a rich harvest malt scent, a light hop aroma is present as well.

taste: starting surprisingly and unexpectedly clean, the maltiness presents itself late in the finish, with a very light, yet pleasing hoppy-maple undertone complemented by a just as pleasing harvest earthiness, finishing with a spicy-bitter sensation.

mouthfeel: I typically don't make the effort to critically review in the mouthfeel category, but it is worth noting that while the appearance lacked in significant carbonation, the spicy-bitter sensation serves to give the impression of carbonation, very surprising.

drinkability: was pleasantly surprised with this one, it has everything to expect in the Märzen style, and the progression of the experience is spot-on. If they could make this with a slightly higher abv and maintain the same consistency, it would have put it over the top.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%

Look: Dark amber, off white lacing.

Smell: Toasted malt, caramel sweetness, earthly, spicy.

Taste: Toasted wheat bread, Herbal hops, Caramel, nice chocolate after taste in the finish as the brew warms up. Highly drinkable.

Feel: Medium body,soda pop-esque carbonation.

Overall: This is a first for the Marzen style. This is a well polished, well balanced and highly easy drinking brew. This is worthy.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A golden copper colour - amber, if you will. Little head, and not much lacing either, still it seems to suit the beer. Everything about this brew is smooth - smooth but unobtrusive maltiness, an ever so slight bitter finish, a smooth aftertaste that loses all bitterness. Very drinkable.

This went perfectly with the meatless burger (surprisingly tasty) that I shared it with. They complemented each other very well.

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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!

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Photo of kaufmaal
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This one pours a nice deep orange color with some ruby-red/pink grapefruit highlights. Starch-white head that collapses to a thin layer. Not overly malty on the nose; some yeasty bread, honey, nuts, candied fruit, a little funk. The initial taste is sweet vanilla followed by tangy fruit (some citrus), pine, minerals, and hops. And the hops linger. For me, a bit too hoppy (and too carbonated) for an Oktoberfest, but Victory being Victory, I guess we should have expected more hops than less.

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Photo of SwillBilly
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Forgot I had this in the back of the fridge from the fall. Glad I had another one.

Appearance: Pours copper in color and crystal clear. Head is very minimal and fades very quickly to the faintest wisps of lacing topping the beer. Lacing on the glass is minimal.

Smell: Nice and malty with hints of caramel, brown sugar, with a bit of a bread or biscuit like quality as well.

Taste: Starts nice and malty with the crystal malt showing a nice caramel like sweetness along with hints of brown sugar and possibly raisins. Festbier finishes with a very nice, light bitterness as the hops make an appearance. A nice finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium in the mouth with decent carbonation. Somewhat slick.

Drinkability/Notes. Glad I found this guy in the back of my DBF, just what I was looking for to offset all of the big winter beers I've accumlated. A nice malty beer with plenty of caramel malt giving the beer its sweetness that also finishes with a nice hoppy twang that lingers long on the tongue after the swallow. Super drinkable and one the would make a good session beer if so inclined. Definitley recommended and will buy again next fall.

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