Victory Brewing Company
Bill Covaliski and Ron Barchet met each other as they boarded a bus on their first day of school as fifth graders in 1973. They became fast friends and remained so through college and beyond. After college, Covaliski became quite an accomplished homebrewer, and with a homebrewing Christmas gift to Barchet, turned his friend onto the practice as well. That was all it took for Barchet, who left his job as a financial analyst to apprentice at the Baltimore Brewing Company (BBC). Within a year he was studying at the Technical University of Munich at Weihenstaphan. Covaliski soon followed, first to BBC, then to Germany’s Doemens Institute.
After returning to the states and continuing to hone their brewing skills, the two looked toward their Pennsylvania roots to establish their own brewery. On Feb. 15, 1996, Victory Brewing Company opened in an old Pepperidge Farm factory in Downington, Pa., with a 142-seat restaurant, 70-foot-long bar and full-scale brewery.
Today, Victory brews about a dozen year-round beers, including their highly rated award-winning HopDevil Ale (American IPA) and Hop Wallop (Double/Imperial IPA). Hop Wallop, at 9.5 percent ABV, packs a wallop of hop character, due to the painstaking selection of the best hops from the annual harvest. Both IPAs represent the top echelon of the American IPA genre.
Other quality Victory selections include Victory Lager (Munich Helles Lager), Prima Pils (German Pilsner), Golden Monkey (Belgian-style Tripel), Headwaters Pale Ale, Storm King Stout, Donnybrook Stout and V-12 (Belgian-style Quadrupel). Their host of seasonals round out a top-notch list of selections, and they continue to grow.
Since opening in 1996, Victory has increased its restaurant size and expanded the brewery, where it produced 58,850 barrels of beer in 2010.(www.victorybeer.com)