Kicking Back with Victory Brewing Company
When I think about how long ago 1996 was, my gut reaction is to say about ten years or so, and it’s no sooner those words are out of my mouth that I realize that no, it’s more like TWENTY years ago, with a few more years added on for good measure. 1996 isn’t an arbitrary year I’ve chosen to make myself feel old, it’s the year that Victory Brewing Company was founded by Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet in Downingtown, PA. In those twenty-ish years, Victory has grown into a powerhouse of craft beer and an outspoken supporter of the environment and the beer industry as a whole.
In their first year, Victory brewed 1,725 barrels of beer. In the 22 years since then, Victory has expanded production capacity, increased their distribution, and when Victory celebrated 20 years in the business, they were producing more than 140,000 barrels of beer annually. How’s that for impressive?
Today, Victory Brewing Co. brews 10 year-round beers, 15 seasonal and specialty beers thanks to 70 yeast strains utilized by the brewers. You’ll find Victory in 35 states plus DC and in a total of 9 countries including Australia, Japan, Italy, and of course the United States amongst others. While that’s quite the lineup of beers, when Ron and Bill first opened for business they brewed HopDevil, Festbier, and Brandywine Valley Lager.
Finally, if you wonder why Victory beers have that extra something special that sets them apart from others, it may very well be the freshness of the hops. Unlike many other breweries, Victory Brewing Co. only uses whole flower hops in every beer they brew. Most breweries use pelletized hops to save money and time, but the folks at Victory believe that by using the whole flower hops their beers get a purer flavor and aroma, and in turn give you the best beer they can brew.
Seasons change and beers come and go, but the one thing that stays the same is the expectation that Victory Brewing will always have a beer you’ll love.
New Beer Alert
Sure, having those few beers that you love and always order at the bar are great, but getting to try something new is a truly special moment for a beer lover. Opening that bottle or can, not knowing exactly what you’re in for is a feeling that we try to recreate with every beer we try. With that in mind, Victory is always coming up with new and interesting beers for us to try, and for 2020 we’re starting off with two truly unique beers to bring us into spring and summer.
Ok, so these are coming back again after their release in 2019 but hey, they’re new to us again, right?
Twisted Monkey – Victory sure has…monkeyed around…with their line of beers based on Golden Monkey, and their newest treat gives us more of it with Twisted Monkey. This 5.7% ABV comes in much lower than the typical beer with Monkey in its name at Victory, but don’t let that get you down. This special beer is a Belgian-style blonde ale with mongo, making it the lighthearted sibling to the monkeys we know and love while giving it something special that the big kids don’t get.
No Brainer IPA – I’ve visited Savannah, Georgia a few times over the years, but I’ll always remember the first time I ordered a beer in the historical city. When I ordered, the bartender asked if I’d like the beer for there or to go. I was so blown away by this question that I didn’t have an answer right away. In the end, the answer was a real NO BRAINER because I got one for there AND one to go, since drinking in public is allowed in Savannah.
I mention this little story because Victory’s newest IPA is just as much of a NO BRAINER as my experience with portable beer. No Brainer IPA is a 6.8% ABV beer that uses Mandarina, Citra, Centennial, and Azacca hops to give you a fruity, citrusy IPA that’s not too hefty on the alcohol while having enough to make this a very well-rounded beer. Victory even uses something called their HopVic technology to “sling all-natural American hops that open up big aromas and flavors that compliment any occasion.”
Kick Back Can Pack
How do you make the variety 12-pack from Victory better? The beer’s already outstanding and the variety is hard to beat. The best way to improve it is to add 3 more beers and make all our favorite beers canned in it, too.
Available now is the Kick Back Can Pack 15-pack from Victory Brewing. In it you’ll find 15 beers of course, but the best part is that there are 5 different beers in the pack, with 3 of each style. The variety 15-pack includes:
Home Grown – A dry-hopped lager that comes in at a sessionable 4.8% ABV featuring Centennial, Mosaic, Azacca, Cascade, Chinook, and Citra hops.
Golden Monkey – Golden Monkey is a mythical concoction that starts as a Belgian-style tripel and adds some special hops to make this beer one that shouldn’t be…monkeyed…around with, thanks to its 9.5% ABV.
Sour Monkey – Next up is the newest sibling to Golden Monkey, and that’s the tart and funky Sour Monkey. Sour Monkey is a 9.5% ABV version of the popular Golden Monkey is soured using a strain of Brettanomyces, giving it added flavors of lemon, tartness, and overall Brett funkiness. Sour beer is something of an acquired taste, though. When first trying a sour beer, it can be somewhat overpowering and not at all what you’re expecting but given a few tastes you’ll find depth of flavor and aroma that makes these beers a truly unique experience. Much like its sibling, Sour Monkey has grown in popularity and might just steal the spotlight from Golden Monkey.
Hop Devil – Back to the beer history lesson for a minute, because one beer that’s been around as long as the brewery is still one of the best beers coming out of Pennsylvania today. Hop Devil from Victory Brewing Co. was one of the first beers brewed by Victory, and thanks to the bold and spicy character that’s balanced out with a solid malt bill, it’s one that is still going strong today. Not only is Hop Devil one of Victory’s first beers, it’s also one of Pennsylvania’s first IPAs to be produced. Pretty cool, eh?
Hop Devil is an American IPA that comes in at 6.7% ABV and focuses on an aromatic kick on the nose that follows through with a full-bodied lasting finish that’s hard to beat. Expect to taste pine and citrus notes that play alongside extra-juicy hop character for a beer that’s balanced yet bold and perfect for strong, meaty dinners or some solid porch sitting.
Prima Pils – With a name that gives away the style of this bright, fresh beer, Prima Pils is a German-style pilsner coming in at 5.3% ABV and features Hallertau, Tettnang, Saaz, and Spalt Select hops, giving this beer an herbal hop-forward bite that’s balanced out with a great malt flavor.
Check out all these beers and more from Victory Brewing thanks to Vecenie Distributing, and while you’re at it, check out the updated artwork that’s starting to show up on our favorite Victory brews, it’s clean, fresh, and always welcome, just like their beers.