A Microbrew Review of Victory Festbier - Oktoberfest Style Lager by Victory Brewing Company
Here's another craft beer in the Oktoberfest vein picked up just this week at my local microbrew and craft beer bottle shop. This beer is another from a Pennsylvania brewery which I've become quite fond of over the past two years. Welcome to Festbier Lager from Victory Brewing Company, a brewery based in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
As mentioned in previous posts, I'm really starting to come along in beginning to appreciate the Oktoberfest style beers this fall. I thought I'd try this Festbier being that it's described right on the label as an Oktoberfest style lager.
Upon pouring the properly chilled beer into an unchilled sixteen ounce pint glass, it's easy to describe this beer as a burnt, rusty orange color with a little bit of cloudiness and haze. Festbier poured with almost no head to speak of and very minimal evidence of carbonation. From appearance, it almost looks like it may be spoiled or flat.
Smell is faint. No very much eminating from the surface as far as aroma goes until you really take a good whiff. Scent is somewhat sweet and predominantly of bready malt, maybe almost a toast smell with a strange orange peel presence as well (almost like one of those gel fruit candies shaped like oranges and lemons...strange).
Several sips into the beer, it's got a little more of a carbonated feel to it than its appearance admits. Beer tingles a little on the palate. Not very much excitement in the flavor however. It's got the typical bready, German malt flavor but nothing out of the ordinary or striking. There's not a whole lot in the way of hops bitterness (nor anything tasting like the orange peel as hinted to in the aroma). It wasn't very crisp and left a somewhat unpleasant sour aftertaste on the tongue well afterwards.
As far as an Oktoberfest beer goes, Victory Brewing Company Festbier is pretty standard in the real of Oktoberfests, although it's easy for me to deduct from sampling this beer that I have had better Oktoberfest beers. It's decent enough to drink and is not drain pour quality certainly, but running out and purchasing a 24 bottle case of this at $27.00 for my party this Saturday is something I will not be doing. I probably wouldn't have more than one and I'm guessing my guests would not as well.
My final assessment of Victory Brewing Festbier is ho-hum, which disappoints me a little being that this beer was from one of my growing favorite local Pennsylvania microbreweries. I wanted to like it more, but just can't honestly say it's on my short list to be drinking again anytime real soon. At 5.60% alcohol by volume, this would be a beer you could enjoy a few of on a warm fall evening on the back porch after a football game. But I just don't see myself doing that with Festbier. It's worth a try though and maybe it might be a better experience for you though. Who knows. But in the world of countless Oktoberfest microbrews, with so many beers and so little time, I might steer you towards another beer to satisfy your fall Oktoberfest season beer hankering.
In all fairness though, Victory Brewing Company is a fantastic craft beer brewery with incredible beers. For Victory Festbier though, I'd rate this Oktoberfest beer a 6.00 out of 10.00 points.
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