As DC beerlore has it partners Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet (who opened Victory in 1996) were once mainstays at the Brickskeller as beer tasting customers. As legend goes Ron at one point said to Bill “you know what? We need to get into this.” And get into it they did—with 20 beers in their portfolio you’d be hard pressed to find a lager or ale that didn’t suit your tastes.
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: No
Beer #1: Headwaters Pale Ale (American Pale Ale/ 5.1% ABV)
Notes: This pale ale was brewed to commemorate Victory’s 15th anniversary. Prior to this beer, Victory had never produced American pale ale. The title of the beer pays homage to Victory’s source of water: the east branch of the Brandywine Creek. As a result, one cent per bottle sold is donated to conservation efforts (the “Headwaters Grant” helps protect the Brandywine Watershed). With German malts and American hops this beer is beautifully balanced, slightly citrus on the hop profile but still not too bitter or overpowering on the finish. This should pair very well with the potato croquette especially when the goat cheese tang meets its match with Headwaters’ fresh-citrus hop taste.
Beer Advocate: B+ (233 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 92 overall, 95 to style
Beer #2: Prima Pils (German Pilsener/5.3% ABV)
Notes: This is a classic pale lager that uses a very generous amount of hops. Hopheads typically take issue with American lagers but not this one. The seared tombo tuna should play nicely with the hop-forward pils, bringing out the subtle citrus and spicy aromatics behind the German and Czech hops. A light body on the lager will cut through the delectable thickness of the deviled egg.
Beer Advocate: A- (1,707 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 96 overall, 100 style
If you’ve never gotten your hands on a Victory beer, do yourself a favor and try these two offerings. Both pale ale and pils are excellent representations of the style and should pair fantastically with the food offerings. Victory makes some excellent big beers and amazing hop-forward ales (Golden Monkey and Hop Wallop, respectively). Just remember that the styles in which they show restraint are also really, really tasty.
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.
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