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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No such thing as too much Victory

Other than the Gassy Jack posting a few weeks back, I haven't had much to say about Victory recently. Kind of strange given that they are the closest--and certainly largest--full production brewery to my house and there's absolutely no shortage of good things going on around there. >>> Take, for example, the news release that I received last month about the most recent expansion in Victory's growth plans. They're in the process of taking delivery of and installing eight 440-barrel fermenters. When the new fermenters are fully operational, it will push Victory's total production output capacity to 100,000 barrels. Not only will the additional fermenters dramatically increase output, they plan to power them from photovoltaic electricity captured from solar panels. Not bad for a brewery whose seeds were initially sown in the early '70s in the back of a school bus between two friends that would go on to live the dream as business partners and helping to shape the world of craft beer. >>> The craft brewing scene looked a lot different in 1995 than it does today. As Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski were putting finishing touches on their business plan, I'm sure when they opened in February 1996 that they were dreaming big, but yet probably had little idea that their concept would become as big as it has here in 2010. With Victory currently being distributed in 29 states (find them here), I can't wait to see how they celebrate 15 years of craft brewing greatness next year. >>> Speaking of back to the future, during Philly Beer Week, Bill Covaleski joined Mark Edelson (Iron Hill), Gene Muller (Flying Fish), Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Tom Kehoe (Yards) in a roundtable at Victory hosted by Greg Koch (Stone). They mused about the past and talked about where they've come to as they're all in the midst of celebrating 15 years of successful craft brewing. (while you're checking out that particular video, you also shouldn't miss the "sketch" they'd aired during Philly Beer Week) >>> If you can't get to the brewpub, Victory will come to you. I'll admit, I know nothing about this brewery on wheels, only accidentally stumbling across it while skimming through the brewery's website. Bill and Ron act as co-brewmasters of the brewery; I suppose this gives them a chance to the take the show on the road as well. If any of you have ever seen this in action, I'd (we'd) love to hear about it. >>> Victory is actively active as well. On May 30th, they conducted a 'Run for Victory' 5-k road race which easily sold out at the maximum number of participants (I forget, was it something like 1,500 I believe). And, coming up on September 26th, they'll be hosting the 3rd Annual Bike Fresh, Bike Local ride of 25, 50, or 75 miles. >>> Also upcoming at the brewery is one of its most well-attended and popular events of the year: Fall Fest on October 3rd. They've moved the event out to Lancaster Avenue this year where attendees will enjoy area restaurants, crafts, live music, a BMX aerial show, and a Victory Beer Garden. >>> This sounded unique and seems to bear mentioning...if for nothing more than a unique beer & wine tourism mention. There's something called Brandywine Valley Barley & Vine Camp due to take place next weekend (8/20-22) and includes participation from local breweries (Iron Hill and Victory) and wineries (Kreutz Creek and Chaddsford). No one had to reprimand me to do this Victory catch-up. I just thought it prudent to do so before someone cried foul :)

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