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Victory Festbier

October 21, 2013

It is officially Victory Beer Week here, as I have three different Victory beers to review from their recent tap takeover at my local watering hole. Anyway, more important than the fact that it is Victory Week is the fact that it is fall and while it is the season of pumpkin ales there is another equally wonderful style of beer that gets brewed around this time of year, the Marzen. Marzens are the traditional Oktoberfest brew, traditionally made to be drank sometime between late September and mid October. They’re balanced and smooth and pretty much everything you want out of a beer that you can drink liters upon liters of. Victory releases the Festbier every year, and this year apparently partnered with a local bakery to make Festbier cupcakes. I haven’t had one of these cupcakes, I just want to point out that they exist because Beer and Cupcakes can not be a bad idea.

The Festbier has a quick to dissipate white head that leaves you with a nice tall pint glass of a perfect orange-brown mixture that looks like brushed copper. This beer has a strong bready malt scent that wafts up promising a slight hint of sweetness and a full flavor. Like most Oktoberfest style beers, it ends up being fairly smooth and easy to drink with a clean mouthfeel and a body that’s a few shades beyond light but far from full.

As can be expected from the nose, malt is the main flavor here, providing a nice semi-sweet bready pillar that the other flavors build off of. There’s a nice hint of the more savory autumnal spices such as all spice rather than the sweeter nutmeg, that blends very well with some spicy hop flavors. The hops are what bring this beer to a close with a nice definitive biting finish that is surprisingly refreshing.

The Festbier gives you everything that you want this time of year, a slightly fuller body and taste than the Summer Ales we long ago retied, while still being something you can drink pint after pint of. It might not be the most creative or even the best example of this style, but you can always trust it year after year, which as I’ve said many times is one of the best qualities to find in a beer.

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