Thursday, January 19, 2006

Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, PA

What can I say about Victory Brewing that hasn't already been said? Most of you have likely sampled one of their beers. And, it was most likely the Hop Devil or the Prima Pils, two of their most popular, right? But, how many of you have made a visit to their location in Downingtown, PA? It's where you'll want to go to get the freshest Victory available. This posting, like Independence, does not correspond to a specific visit. I've been there so many times that I took this most recent visit as the impetus to write a review. When visiting the brewery, the first thing that you'll notice is the difficulty in finding the place. They are located inside of a former Pepperidge Farm bakery production plant and tucked away between residential and industrial neighborhoods. Once you turn in off of Acorn Lane, you need to drive all the way through the parking lot to find the entrance to the brewery. And, a warning that there are no signs along the way. Once inside, there's ample room to enjoy yourself. Inside the entrance, you are greeted by a long narrow bar where you can sit with a clear view of sports action on the TVs and brewing action behind the large glass windows. To the right of the entrance you will find an area to throw darts. Walk further down the hallway to the retail shop where you will find all sorts of gear and paraphernalia with Victory logos tastefully adorning them. Back to the entrance, head left, and you'll find a couple of pool tables before leading into the dining room where there is probably seating for approximately 100 people. To quickly mention the food, there has been a marked improvement in the food menu over the past year. I am not sure if there's been a change in the kitchen, but I would now consider Victory to be a place I would have dinner. Don't misunderstand, though, it is not fancy.....paper napkins, no tablecloths, and very basic uncomfortable chairs. But, the food is certainly worthy of a decent dinner. As for the beer, you will always be certain to find the usual suspects on tap. This includes the Prima Pils, Hop Devil, and Golden Monkey. Occasionally thrown into the mix you might find the Lager, Festbier, or Storm King Stout. And it is always advisable to try or take home a bottle from the V-series. At this time, this includes the V-12 and the Saison. The V-12 is an excellent sipping beer with lots of full-bodied flavor. The Saison is good but not great, but my bar has been set higher (at least locally) by the Sly Fox Saison. And the first three that I mentioned in this paragraph are among the best in their respective categories of pilsner, ipa, and tripel. In short, other than finding the brewery and the sometimes lacking service (though, I don't want to bash them too hard on service), you should almost always find yourself happy and satisfied when you leave Victory. Plus, you are able to take home bottles and growlers full of Victory beer at very reasonable prices.

4 comments:

Adam said...

Holy smokes! That was some post. And to think I've only been there once. I'll pass this on to Ginny. She's a big fan. I'm sure she'll appreciate the write up.

Ginny said...

Unfortunately, I think you are right about the service - especially at the bar. It's hit or miss, but more miss at times.

I agree about the food - it seems they tightened up the menu and refocused on what they do well (wood fired pizzas come to mind).

Adam - does this make me a beer blog groupie? I'm not sure I'm worthy, since I order Chadds Ford wine whenever I go there - but I DO have a case of Victory in the fridge most times.

marc said...

First of all let me say that I love the Monkey. But it's such a long drive that I'm not allowed to drink it there, well really not outside my house for that matter. Anyway we've been to Victory twice and both times it has been busy. The first time the bartenders were on top of things and the last time they seemed rushed. We sat at the bar for both visits and the food was very good, but the beer........ Did I tell you I love the Golden Monkey........? Can't wait to go again!

Adam said...

Uh...yeah...I know what you mean. Don't drive with the Monkey ;-)