Hops to it: Victory opens new brewery for tours

victory-credit-danyahenninger-exterior2_600Beer-making has begun at Victory Brewing Co.’s second brew house in Parkesburg, less than 20 miles from Victory’s home in Downingtown.

The 140,000-square-foot facility was built to make sure customers get all the Hop Devil, Golden Monkey and Summer Love they desire – annual production will be 225,000 barrels, more than twice the original brewing line – while still allowing brewmasters room to experiment and create exciting new beers.

This spring, you’ll be able to get a personal look at the region’s biggest craft brewing operation.

Starting April 5 and each Saturday thereafter, ticketed tours will leave from Downingtown brewpub at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m, taking 40 guests on a 20-minute bus ride to Parkesburg. (Transportation? A repurposed school bus in full yellow dress, which harkens back to Victory co-founders Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet’s first meeting, in grade school. “I didn’t think the bullies should be picking on Bill, so I befriended him,” Ron says. “Turned out to be a pretty good idea overall, I think.”)

After a welcome beer, you’ll don safety glasses and follow a guide through the state-of-the-art production floor.

Between the huge lauter tun and brew kettles, through the array of 16 1000-barrel fermenters, cones protruding from a concrete ceiling that’s 30 inches thick.

Past the yeast propagation cleanroom, where 40 different strains are grown. Into the packaging facility, where bottles are filled and boxed and carried away, Willy Wonka-style, on overhead conveyor belts that use 45,000 feet of wire.

Then it’s back to the catering hall to get down on a unique food and beer pairing meal.

The whole shebang will run $58 per person, and tickets go on sale Monday, March 3 at VictoryBeer.com.

Read More on Philly.com →

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