The newest addition to the Victory Brewing Company family has just opened at 3127 Lower Valley Road, Parkesburg, PA. It’s the third brewpub for the Philadelphia-based brewery and I got an inside look of the new facility.
I’ve been a fan of Victory’s brew for quite some time now and visited the Downingtown, PA location last year. The food was great and the beer… well… of course it was delicious. That set the bar pretty high in my mind and was hoping the new Parkesburg location would meet my expectations…. and IT DID!
The day I stopped by, it was raining and quite chilly outside. So sorry. No outside photo from my camera on this visit. But you’ll get the idea from this artist rendering of the size and design of the building. It’s enormous – 212,000 square feet to be exact. That’s twice the size of the Downingtown location.
“Opening our third brewpub is truly a Victory for Ron and I, and for our fans,” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski. “As the popularity of craft beer has grown, so has the desire of fans to see where the barley-and-hops magic happens. We are proud to show our fans the great lengths to which we go to give them delicious beer and food made with the highest quality and freshest ingredients. This is what they have come to expect from Victory, this is what they deserve, and this is what we will deliver.”
When you walk through the doors, you are greeted at the hostess desk. You can either be seated in the taproom or you can hang a left and peruse the gift shop filled with apparel, merch, bottles to-go and Victory beer-infused food items.
Once inside the spacious, two-story taproom, I stopped dead in my tracks to take it all in: polished concrete floors, table tops made from reclaimed white oak wood from a Chester County barn, cinder block exterior walls, exposed duct work, steel, glass and various architectural elements painted in primary shades of yellow, red and blue. Know that I was grinning from ear to ear.
There’s a bar both downstairs and upstairs. In the dining spaces, you have the choice of traditional seating, high top tables and communal tables as well. All in all the whole taproom can seat 400 guests – plenty of room for everyone. Take a look:
All the Beers
The photo above of the taps? Yeah. That’s 30 different Victory brew selections. There are 90 total taps in the building to keep us thirsty visitors well served plus a double-headed growler machine and crowler filling machine giving you more ways to take home your favorite Victory beers.
> VIEW TAPLIST
(scroll down once your on the page to view the drafts)
I was pleasantly surprised to see items for vegetarians as I have quite a few friends that are. It makes dining all together so much easier. But have no fear carnivorous ones, there’s lots and lot o’meat. Three custom grill/smokers are used to create authentic, great-tasting barbeque. It’s all wood-fired and is the shining star of the menu.
I was able to sample the mesquite-smoked beef brisket tossed in a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and savory caramelized onions. Melts in your mouth. It paired nicely with the Caesar Salad that has spent grain croutons and smoked caesar dressing.
I have to admit, I’m more of a seafood and poultry kinda-gal. I went gaga over the Roasted Sea Bass and Potatoes paired with Sliced Granny Smith Apples topped with Brie, Honey Mustard and Red Onion.
- Fried Tortillas with Jalapeño HopDevil Cheese $6
- Mussels Steamed in Shallots, Butter, Parsley and Golden Monkey with Crusty Bread $13
- Homemade Vegan Veggie Burger $9
- Short Rib and Chuck Brewery Burger $11
- Monday to Saturday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
SELF-GUIDED BREWING PROCESS TOUR
I grabbed a juicy Vital IPA before heading upstairs to check out the self-guided tour. I’d have to say. The tour at this facility is one of the best of its kind with lots of interactive displays, video screens, fun facts, bold graphics and peak-a-boo windows to look down into much of the brewery. You get a real live look at the equipment and ingredients that are used to produce Victory beer.
My favorite display? The hops segment of the tour. You could look into the Whole-Flower Hop Freezer, push a button on the wall and whoosh! A rush of air from the room blew glorious hop aroma right into your face. I pushed the button several times.
FUN FACT: The Parkesburg location has an excellent and reliable water source from a reservoir fed by the West Branch of the Brandywine (similar chemistry to the Downingtown source, the East Branch).
INSIDE THE BREWERY
The idea to build in Parkesburg, PA was three years in the making from concept to opening its brewpub doors. Owners, Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet, showed us around the new 200-barrel German-built brewhouse that has the capability of producing 225,000 barrels of craft beer a year—more than doubling the previous production capacity at their Downingtown location. To put it into perspective, they can brew ten batches of brew per day with each batch yielding approximately 66,000 12 ounce bottles of beer. The new bottling line is capable of filling 250 12 ounce bottles every minute to fill over 600 cases an hour. Whoa!
“Efficiency” and “environmentally-friendly” were two common themes that kept coming up during the discussion. The new state-of-the-art cooling systems for climate control and process chilling require less than half the energy used by standard systems. Plus, the brewery uses Wort Boiling Energy Recovery. The condensed wort boiling vapor will be used to create hot water. Throughout the plant, this hot water will pasteurize and sanitize pipelines, packaging lines, tanks and accessories without the use of chemicals.
“Consistency” and “High-Quality”—two more themes that were noted as a focus. I made sure to sample lots of beers while I was here to make sure this statement was true, mind you. I give them a double thumbs up.
FUN FACT: The Biological Acidification system installed allows the brewmasters to naturally optimize pH values throughout the brewing process, yielding cleaner and fresher tasting beer.
Guided Tours Available:
- Monday to Saturday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Props going out to Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet for their hospitality and question answering throughout the afternoon. And, “thank you” to the staff for all the hard work they put into the Victory Parkesburg preview event.
I love the fact that not only is Victory Brewing Co. dedicated to the very best in beer and food but also gets actively involved in the community. It was heart-warming to hear that they donated 350 turkeys this Thanksgiving season to the Chester County Food Bank/Octorara Area Food Cupboard which will help to feed needy families in the area.
I wish you all much success!
BREW NEWS FROM VICTORY
After my visit, I got to go home with this caged and corked beauty: Victory Brewing Co Java Cask (750ml) made in collaboration with brewery friends Philadelphia’s Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s restaurants. It actually was brewed using JB’s hand-roasted coffee beans. This big beer weighs in at a whopping 14.3% ABV.
Available on Wed, Nov 25. You can expect this limited-edition barrel-aged imperial stout to have notes of coffee, chocolate, sweet bourbon and a pinch of vanilla. Your mouth is watering, isn’t it?
Back in the Lineup
For the next three months, Victory will be re-releasing some old favorites as they’ve been reminiscing over the past 20 years in business. Through November 2015, Hop Wallop will be available, followed by Yakima Glory in December 2015 and in January 2016, Ten Years Alt will be available on tap across the country.
“Introducing new brands is very exciting to us and we love the artistic process which is one of the greatest joys of my job,” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski. “On the flip side, the least favorite part of my job is choosing which established brand will have to pass the baton to make room for the new, young gun. I hope our fans will be as delighted as I am to see some of their cherished brands make a comeback and take a walk down memory lane through drinking some really great craft beer.”
(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untappd: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)