[Disclaimer: If you haven’t read the Introduction posting, this may not make sense. You may want to start there before reading on.]
Downingtown, PA 19335
610 873-0881 Tours on Friday and Saturday at 4:00 PM – wear close-toed shoes
Known for creating world class beers since 1996 (well, they will tell you at the end of every press release that they started out of the back of a school bus in 1973!), you will not be disappointed by a visit to Victory Brewing Company. Not only does the international beer community give accolades to Victory, but the mainstream media (such as Men’s Journal and New York Times) have praised the beer here.
Since this beer tour originated with a drive from Harrisburg to Phoenixville, you can either take PA 23 to PA 113 to US 30, or return to the Turnpike and take PA 100 S to W Uwchlan Ave. to US 30. into Downingtown. Either way, you won’t believe you’re really going in the right direction when you turn left off of Rt. 30 onto Chestnut Street, drive .3 miles, then turn left onto Acorn St. only to turn immediately right into the anti-climactic industrial complex.
If you’ve been to Victory before, but not since May of 2008, you are in for a real treat when you step inside! They experienced a multi-million dollar expansion, and in total, the restaurant grew to more than 7,100 square feet with seating capability of 290 or more. It’s been outfitted with authentic brewery décor, which includes three copper brewhouse tops from old German breweries, an all- Pennsylvania collection of brewery trays, and rich wood paneling throughout the space completes the cozy, old world pub feel. Of special note is the “Brewmaster’s Table” which is a cozy round table that seats 12-15 people within a copper brew kettle top.
Simply said, this former Pepperidge Farm warehouse is now an outstanding brewpub. The bar has been outfitted with 60 taps able to handle 20 different beer styles at any given time. Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet are the owners/brewmaster, and work with a large team of brewers and staff to supply the pub, retail store, and distribution in 23 states with a wide-range of styles – both German varieties and classic American. Victory will allow you to purchase a half-pint. I’m not sure how they handle tasters.
Growler fills are done using a specially crafted Austrian built filler which is pressurized for a more efficient and longer lasting fill in every growler. For this reason, only German-style growlers are permitted, but they do not have to be labeled as “Victory” growlers.
Victory is open every day of the week, starting at 11:30 AM Monday through Friday, and 10 AM on weekends, and the brunch menu is the only menu available on Saturday and Sunday until 1 PM (all food and beer menus are available as PDFs on the website.) The portions are big (in my opinion) so don’t be afraid to share food. The vegetarian options aren’t marked, but there seem to be enough of them. I especially enjoy their hummus plate.
Brewery tours are available on Friday and Saturday at 4:00 PM. For safety reasons, you must be wearing close-toed shoes to participate. If you can’t make the live tour, there is a photo-tour online and supposedly a podcast (but the link doesn’t work).
[Onward – to Pubs 4 & 5 – Union Barrel Works and Stoudt’s]