V is for Victory
With the local brew scene heating up, and with all the great beers coming out of the Northwest, it's easy to lose touch with what's going on elsewhere. We don't see many beers from the other side of country, but Downingtown, Pa.-based Victory Brewing Company is a recent arrival. Partners Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski spent time learning their craft in Germany, an influence that definitely shows in their beers. These are easy-drinking, well-balanced efforts that offer a nice level of complexity. Here are my three favorites, all in 12-ounce bottles:
Victory DirtWolf Double IPA, $2.59-$3.19
This ale's orange-tinged straw color is topped by a thick, off-white head that leaves a lovely lacing. Lemongrass and pine-laced hops dominate the nose along with crushed orange and malt. This beer is a bit reserved when compared to the typical Northwest double IPA, but that restraint is not necessarily a bad thing. You get big, but just lightly bitter hops, bright citrus and smooth malt throughout. This brew is absolutely delicious.
Victory Golden Monkey Tripel, $2.19-$2.89
A lively stream of tiny bubbles marks this cloudy, straw-colored ale that's topped by a thick, creamy froth. The nose offers a touch of Belgian funk with clove, coriander, banana and citrus. Earthy malt leads off on the palate, colored by light spice, herb and an array of fruit flavors, including apple, apricot and pear. Orange zest and a hit of hop bitterness come through on the finish.
Victory Prima Pils, $1.69-$2.19
A lightly hazy, golden pour with a thin-but-persistent egg-white head, this beer's nose is a mix of fresh grain and smooth hops with a touch of citrus. It's a beautifully balanced brew, with soft, fruity malt and floral, resiny hops. It's a perfect reward for finally mowing the lawn on a warm spring or summer day. Any other excuse works as well.