Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Victory Yakima Glory Dark India Pale Ale

Bill Covaleski is the Brewmaster and President of Victory Brewing. He trained to make beer in Germany.  Now, admission, I have been drinking Victory for more than 15 years. It has gotten better and better in all those years, and I have watched them go from a small Downingtown operation to a large scale brewer at this point. I am a big fan! I remember my first time I was there, was Ed Theurkauf threw a party there. We drove from Freehold, NJ all the way there, me grumbling. By the time I left, I was a very happy man!

Fun Facts:
Current annual production: 93,196 barrels
Square footage of brewery: 100,000 square feet
Distribution: 29 states, Japan and Singapore.
Number of brewery and corporate employees: 60
Number of restaurant employees: 215
Restaurant: 300 seats, 60 foot-long-bar, 24 rotating taps

At Victory they believe that the very best ingredients are necessary in order to brew the very best beer. At Victory, German malted barley, a mix of European and American whole flower hops, 45 unique yeast strains (for our wide variety of beers), and local water is blended to create their great beers.

As they are happy to tell you: “Victory is one of only a few breweries in the country that uses whole flower hops. While almost all other breweries used pelletized hops, Bill and Ron insist on using the whole-flower varieties. This unprocessed form of hops imparts better flavor and aroma to beer.”

Victory Yakima Gold is a Dark India Pale Ale. I had it while I was out one night in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with winemakers at the Eastern Wineries Exposition. The Yakima Valley of eastern Washington State is something of hallowed ground in American craft brewing as most new hop varieties have flourished there along with the solid, traditional varieties. All four hops for this brew have come to us from the Yakima Valley.

The malt is six imported 2 row malts. The hops: four varieties of American whole flower hops. The finished beer is ABV: 8.7% This is an impressive beer.

Under pinning this big, flavorful beer is a serious layer of roasty, dark malt. Chewy and intense. Layer onto that a massive topping of floral textures, bright and exotic.  It is an amazing experience. A big, beautiful floral, brawny beer.

I had it with a big, juicy bacon cheeseburger. It was perfect.