Vermont is known for many things, maple syrup, crazy ice cream flavors, jam bands, nature, and of course lots of quality beer. Vermont still has the most breweries per capita of any state in the country, ranging from larger operations with regional distribution to tiny startups selling pints and growlers on site. Many of the most sought after Vermont beers are brewery-only or have limited in-state distribution, but that is starting to change. One very popular Vermont brewery that has recently expanded distribution into Massachusetts is Four Quarters Brewing, one of the bevy of quality breweries in the Burlington area. There is clearly excitement for Four Quarters, their beers sell out very quickly, especially their stable of hop-bomb IPAs. Fortunately I was able to grab some of their Festbier, a traditional marzen lager, and I am finally getting around to writing about it on the first week in November (because my beer writing has been all over the place the last month). Regardless, it is nice to finally have a Four Quarters entry on Hoppy Boston, and I look forward to adding more in the near future. Four Quarters Festbier is available in the fall on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Four Quarters Festbier pours clear deep orange with a solid white head. The aroma is pretty mild, just a little malt on the nose. The malts are much more pronounced in the flavor, notes of caramel, whole grain bread, toffee and just a hint of lingering sweetness. This is balanced by some earthy and grassy noble hops. Festbier is medium bodied and smooth, with the solid 6.5% ABV you expect from the style. It has a clean lager finish with some lingering malt flavor. Four Quarters Festbier is a quality marzen, good mixture of malt flavor and lager drinkability. I look forward to reviewing more Four Quarters beers in the near future, especially now that they are regularly available in Massachusetts! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.