Monday, March 03, 2014

More Victory Beer coming your way

(At their new Parkesburg, Pa. location, Bill Covaleski, left, and Ron Barchet, founding owners of Victory Brewing Company)

The school bus keeps on rolling…

I was not available to take in the media tour offered last week at Victory's new brewery operation in Parkesburg, Pa. They passed along the press release and some pictures that I can share with you here this morning. I'll need to get out there soon and do my own follow-up. Until then, here are some interesting points that I pulled from the press release for your early morning reading pleasure.

(Exterior shot of Victory Brewing Company's new Parkesburg location)

  • 3127 Lower Valley Road in Parkesburg, Pa.
  • More than 140,000 square feet set on 42 acres of rolling Chester County countryside
  • Best-in-class German-built ROLEC brewhouse with production capacity of up to 200 barrels per batch
  • A proprietary hop separator coined the HopVIC
  • A hard-piped fermentation cellar featuring (16) 1,000 barrel fermenters.
  • At full capacity, the brewery will able to brew 225,000 barrels annually – more than doubling the current capability in Downingtown.
  • A state-of–the-art biological acidification system, which will allow our brewers to naturally optimize pH values throughout the brewing process, yielding cleaner and fresher tasting beer.
  • Construction will continue on the 10,000 square feet of space where a full service brewpub and beer garden are planned, scheduled to near completion by the start of 2015.
  • If stretched end to end, more than three miles of stainless steel piping is used to connect the brewery and CIP vessels.
  • The custom glulam beams over the brewhouse span 80feet wide, 50 inches deep and weigh roughly 10,000lbs a piece.
  • The lauter tun in the brewhouse is 23 feet wide, weighing 26,000lbs empty, and required a police escort from the seaport in Dundalk, Maryland to Parkesburg, traveling on a special "low-boy" trailer to fit under bridges.
  • Speaking of the lauter tun, at full capacity it will be able to brew 200 barrels of wort every two hours for beers like Prima Pils, Summer Love and Golden Monkey. That's 6,200 gallons, or 400 x 1/2 kegs, or 2755 case equivalents, times 12 batches in 24 hours, to deliver 33,066 cases or 74,400 gallons of beer. You might need to bring a few friends.
  • In just one week, the state-or-the-art yeast propagation system can cultivate about 80hL (approximately 2200 gallons) of yeast with more than 100 million cells per mL, which, in technical terms, is a boatload.
  • In the fermentation cellar, the self-supported structure holding all 16 1,000 barrel fermentation tanks, was built on a mat slab concrete foundation that is roughly 840 cubic yards, running four feet deep. With the concrete walls, columns and roof added to that, there is roughly 1,600 yards of concrete surface in the cellar, which required 160 concrete trucks, each tank weighing 425,000lbs.
  • 45,000 feet of wire is needed to connect and run the 600 foot bottling line.
  • Each of the two largest bright beer tanks hold 1,000 barrels at once, which combined, is equal to 275 more barrels than the total number produced in Victory's first full year in operation.

Finally, if you want to see the new operation up close and personal yourself, until the day the full-service brewpub is opened at this new Parkesburg location (tentatively, early 2015), here are details of how you can get there now:

"We’re excited to offer an enjoyable package option that provides a behind the scenes look at the brewery, as well as food and beer component in the meantime.”

The tours, which are scheduled for Saturdays from 11am-2:30pm and 3pm-6:30pm, will depart from Victory’s Downingtown brewpub. Upon arrival in Parkesburg, guests will receive a welcome beer in the catering hall, followed by a guided tour of the brewery from the production floor, before meeting back in the hall to enjoy a chef-inspired food and beer pairing. Each session is limited to 40 people and all tour guests must be 21 years or older to participate. Tickets must be purchased in advance and will be available on Victory’s website, beginning Monday, March 3."

(Beer running through the bottling line at the new Parkesburg, Pa. location of Victory Brewing Company)

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