Victory Brewing Company
Ratings: 375 | Reviews: 221 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev 0%
Located in a back corner of an industrial complex, it doesn't really look like much from the outside. Upon entering, you can see the interior is sterile and warehousey, exposed duct piping and the like amidst the high ceilings. They've got a long long long L shaped bar, behind which sits large glass windows that look upon several fermenters. The room opens at the end of the bar into a large space where lie a few pool tables and beyond that is the seating area for the brewpub. If you head the other way, there's a long hallway with the company store at the end, selling shirts and cheap growlers. Food. Yeah, they've got that. I'd say the best of the lot are the pizzas.
Victory. Beer. It's a very good thing. A dozen or so beers on tap, and a pair of casks, more likely than not you're going to find Storm King and/or the Hop Devil (Hop Devil on cask is beautiful like anybody thought otherwise). Some sensational offerings you won't find elsewhere. A great selection you can't touch with a stick. Check the big board and see what bottles are available as well.
10-14-2003 00:44:25 | More by slander
5/5 rDev +16.3%
I have debated on these ratings for over a week now and it seems as though I have gotten a double-dog dare to post them, so without further ado and lack of compunction, here goes ...
Situated at the far end of a former Pepperidge Farm bakery, the somewhat nondescript front is arrested by the beautiful mural of the Festbier label. This place makes me: a) proud to be a Pennsylvanian, since it is an excellent reuse of a once defunct building, where in SoCal, it would have been razed and paved over by now and b) overjoyed that it exists a mere forty (40) miles from my house, meaning that it is but a short train trip and a brisk walk away.
The interior is done in muted tones of matte brick red, mustard yellow, and depending on the light, royal or navy blue. They utilize a huge L-shaped bar which wraps around a corner of the building. Sitting at the bar, just inside the entrance, puts you in front of a set of viewing windows that overlook the fermentation/finishing tanks. Above the windows is a long gold, stencilled quote on red by Teddy Roosevelt regarding the idea of victory (with a lower case "v").
If you turn right from the entryway, you pass a cigar case on the end of the bar, the six-pack (to go) cooler, several video games, a cigarette machine, and an English-style dartboard mounted against some burlap malt bags. You then come to a long corridor. A word of caution - the Men's is the FIRST door on the right, not the last one, as I was chagrined to be reminded of following a Pitt/Villanova men's basketball game in late February. Opposite the Women's room, and at the end of the hall is the Retail Shop, with cases and kegs available, along with shirts, t-shirts, et al. They went out of their way recently to get me a size L fleece when they were out of stock and I ws going to be visiting on successive weekends, BTW.
To the left of the bar are a couple of pool tables and another window, this time overlooking the kitchen. Be sure to take in the brick oven and the firewood being stored nearby. As a gourmand and a chef in arrested development, the kitchen is where it happens for me. The retaurant area is behind both the kitchen and the extension of the bar. It is a carpeted area (the only one in the place) with several American flags and a Bavarian flag in the overhead. There is an eye-catching neon "V" and numerous victory-related WWII posters and some old photos of the Pepperidge Farm plant on the walls. There is another set of windows looking into the finishing room and finally, the current beer list, which is part permanent display, part chalkboard, just to keep the curiosos on track.
I should also mention the murals - the Hop Devil logo, Saint Boistrous & Saint Victorious, the toiling and moiling worker, and a joyous bottle proclaiming "Beer to Go!" are all painted in the overheads.
Further, Bill & Ron have (happily, in my industrial eyes) retained the open high ceilings, the exposed piping and air ducts that I am sure abounded in the building's original incarnation.
Finally, a note on the food: I live for their brick oven-baked pizzas. If that, along with any of their huge selections of beers, doesn't get your pulse racing, it's time for a check-up, Freddie! On the beer front - I really can't color your judgement on the UKPA vs. USPA challenge, but I have a clear-cut favorite. I also really dig the Uncle Teddy's Bitter on cask. Hop Devil is also on cask, say no more. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. On and on. 5.0!
04-13-2005 01:15:34 | More by woodychandler
4.64/5 rDev +7.9%
What a place. If you take SEPTA to Downington, walk 20 minutes east, navigate through the town and down several streets, and you're there. The parking lot was full when I showed up around 10pm on a Firday night, a good sign. Open the door, and you feel like you're in a beer hall. Several compartments to the restaurant/bar, beer banners hanging from the ceiling, Phillies on the tube, and the tops of brew kettles scattered around. Lots of room on the inside, and lots of space around the bar despite a good crowd on hand. This must be where Downington goes on a Firday night.
20 beers on-tap, all Victory brew, and...four casks! The regular lineup was on, along with harder to find stuff like Donnybrook Stout. Many styles were represented. Several pieces of glassware compliment the lineup, and two different sizes were available on certain beers.
Staff was young, plentiful, and helpful. No problems there.
Oh....and the prices kick ass too. I got an Imperial Pint of Donnybrook Stout for $4.50, and a 14 ounce size of St. Boisterous for $3.75! Hop Devil on cask went for $5 in the Imperial Pint. Man, I wish I had these prices in Southern California.
Needless to say...get here!
08-11-2009 02:40:48 | More by DoubleJ
4.51/5 rDev +4.9%
The 2nd stop on an extremely memorable Saturday Beer Tour. The two Beermobiles that started earlier in the day in NYC drove in perfect convey from our first port of call, McKenzies, down to Victory. A call by Davo en route to fellow BA Rotsaruch meant that we would finally be able to meet the white bearded legend.
The journey from the main road to the outside Parking lot sadly has all the finesse of going to the local Target. However, the large red V set behind the blue, white & gold Victory Brewing Company sign which covered the raised entrance is a warm invitation. We had quite a gathering that had developed an extreme thirst. Our posse which included Davo, FeloniousPhil, Slander, djgonzalez, RokotGirl & non-BA Mike a.k.a. the Young Michael Jackson entered en-masse to slake our dehydration on a very warm afternoon.
Once inside it is obvious that the light industrial feel of the outside extends inwards, beauty is skin deep it seems. As others have stated, there is an open Warehouse feel to Victory as soon as you enter. A large opened interior has lots of exposed structural steelwork, heating, ventilation & air conditioning ductwork, some exposed (but safe) electrical fittings & cabling, etc., etc. The Brewery Tap at Victory is effectively a very modern working bar set right in the heart of its industrial home. Sure it is lacks a little style, even warmth, maybe it has no cozy atmosphere, but this does not bother me in the least because I didnt want to come here to look at the interior furnishings or architecture. For me at least, what I like about Victory, is that it is not anything that it does not purport to be. What you see is what you get this is no Sheep in Wolves clothing. Victory is all about one thing & one thing only great beer. Somehow a fancy-schmancy interior to the Brewery Tap interior would have burst the Utilitarian aura that surrounds Victory for me.
Once inside & to your immediate right, are the restrooms & the Breweries outlet for all its wares; including clothing, caps & of course its fermented beverages, including Growler Fills which I noted were extremely popular during our visit. Limey Ex-Pats can also play Darts here too on a genuine Bristle Board set against a wall covered in stuffed Hop Sacks for the Arrows that go astray. To the left, the lengthy wooden topped bar runs against a glass wall to the right hand side, behind which are a plethora of highly visible Stainless Steel Fermenting Vessels. The bar is L-shaped & as you turn left the bar dog-legs to the right. To your left as you walk down the bar, a limited number of Tables & Chairs are set against the exterior wall which lacks windows & as such is painted with colorful murals to try & alleviate the Warehouse feel. At the corner of the bar, a brace of Pool Tables proved popular with Slander & FeloniousPhil. The short part of the L-shaped Bar opens up into a larger, airy & brightly painted area that has many Tables & Chairs, popular with the Diners that were here for Food as well as Beer. I did not bother with any food.
Having briefly executed our introductions with Gentleman BA Rotsaruch, we all selected one of the multitude of Victory brews on offer, which covered many styles. Most of the Victory brews were on Tap, including a few specials it seemed. But my eye was drawn to the availability of a brew or two from the Cask served from one of two Beer Engines located at either end of the long Bar. Curiously though, they seemed to want to leave the Handpumps cocked back when not in use, a rather curious thing to do, this usually means that a Handpump is not serving Real Ale in the UK. Despite being initially fooled by this, I was corrected by Rotsaruch that Cask was indeed available, so I tried the HopDevil & Porter, both excellent. The St. Boisterous was purchased & a few other brews were also sampled. All I can say is that quality here was most excellent. Service was quick & courteous, & at times humorous & great fun. I give Selection a 5.0 because of the extremely wide variation in styles of its own brews & their availability plus Cask. Note: there are no other Breweries beers on offer here though!
The star of the show was King Rotsaruch of the BA Round Table for arranging to give us all a tour of the Brewery, which was extremely gracious. In his own inimitable style he gave us a detailed tour, this is a shiny tank thingy & a bottling whatzit thingymajig but screw that come & smell the Hops in the Cooler. Ooh the Hops Im sure FeloniousPhil still believes he could have smoked them! If you get chance to see the Bottling Line at Victory, do so - it is highly automated, incredibly impressive & very big. Victory clearly have plans.
Another Victorious Thanks to Davo for providing the transport & driving me here. Without the Evil ones help I would never have been able to get to the 2nd of Penn. States beer Meccas.
Come to Victory for the Beer & you will not be disappointed!!
Last Visit: Saturday 29th May, 2004.
07-14-2004 06:03:44 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5 rDev +1.9%
Visited on an early Saturday afternoon. About 10-15 minutes from the PA Turnpike Downingtown exit, gets a little tricky on the last road or two, but the directions on the bottom of the six pack case are pretty good.
The bar is quite impressive, as it is quite long and can hold about 25-30 people. TVs are on either end, and you can look into the brewing facilitied from the bar. At the end of the bar and by the front door is the take out cooler for quick stops for your favorite beer of choice. Two pool tables just off the bar, and then there is a decent sized area for dining.
Very high ceiling and little to absorb sound, it does get a bit loud but other than that we came for the beer. There were 10 styles on tap, with 2 not being available (the Porter being one I really wanted to try). Beer quality is super, bartender knowledgable and friendly, and food was all right.
Stopped in the gift shop to pick up a cool Hop Devil sign and golf shirt, and left a happy camper. Great stop and only about 20 minutes from the other great brewpub Sly Fox. I call this hitting the Daily Double.
10-21-2004 12:28:23 | More by Gavage
4.1/5 rDev -4.7%
Finally stopped for my first visit since the renovation.
I really like the way they've opened up and expanded the dining and taproom area. There is still a warehouse fell to the place, but everything is done up nicely in wood and the place has a very relaxed vibe. The bar area (where I parked myself) is in the back to the left, and is really good size. The bar has to hold at least 20 people, and then there is a back area bar and couple of booths as well. While it's definitely a no frills operation, the pub area is a great place to hang out, watch a sporting event (they have several flat screen TV's over the bar), and enjoy a beer.
The quality of Victory beers has always been high, and that's what my score reflects. They had some 19 beers on tap the day I was there, including 4 beers on the hand pump. Victory beers are pretty readily available here in Baltimore, so I went with beers we generally don't get down here (CBC beers - this day consisting of 3 Belgian pale ales and one Bavarian pale ale). I feel as if I just happned to come on an off day, as I can't say I was hugely impressed with any of the CBC offerings (IMHO, making Belgian style stuff just doesn't seem to be their forte, despite the excellent helios). It being summer, I was hoping and expecting they might have a variety of pils on tap (have yet to have a Victory pils that wasn't exceptional), but no such luck (just the prima pils). In any event, suffice it to say that the selection of Victory beers was solid (hop wallop, whirlwind, storm king, hop devil.. all the usual suspects and then some), even if on this particular day I wouldn't call it mind blowing.
Service was fine. They employ a good number of young men and women, and everyone was friendly and quick. While no one struck me as super knowledgeable, that wasn't required, and Victory has a beer bible that provide the specs on all their beers. So no complaints about the service.
Food was fine. I was here during "international" week, and ordered the paella. You have to give Victory kudos for offering something like a paella, even if they didn't quite pull it off (my Spanish paella was essentially rice, cubed chicken and spicy sausage). Nevertheless, it was tasty and filling, which is all I was hoping for.
Victory is an exceptional brewery, though I'm not sure the brewpub is worth a special visit. It's a great place to hang out, or to stop by for a growler fill (must have seen close to 30 people drop by to get a growler or three filled during my hour long stop), but only if you happen to live in the area (IMHO).
07-05-2010 18:58:49 | More by John_M
4.18/5 rDev -2.8%
After over 100 visits, about time for a review.
The atmosphere improved here about 2 years ago when they went non-smoking, and even more so since the extensive renovations. The long bar is very nice, but even at 30 seats, it's tough to find a spot most of the time. The place is loud as hell, given the crowd and absence of any sound absorbing surfaces.
Victory makes some fine beers. The selection is quite large, with 20 taps available. While all taps were used when they first opened, it has (understandably) been hard to keep them all occupied since. Brewpubs around here don't do the guest tap thing; with all of the capacity they have here, it would be worth trying. Minor gripe as there is a fine assortment of standards along with an assortment of one-offs and pub-only beers. Current selections include a steam beer with a centennial IPA and a rauchweissbock (?) rumored to be on the way.
Service is largely collegiate but friendly and competent.
Food is just ok. Over the years, it has been good at times, but not at the moment.
Added entertainment is the automated growler filler. It's a must see if you are here.
08-14-2008 15:42:17 | More by sholland119
4.18/5 rDev -2.8%
After having visited a couple of years back during a business trip, I stopped in with my family while passing through the area. The interior has been upgraded since I was last there. It's got lots of space including a large bar, a wide expanse of tables and a private party area. It's an old industrial building that's been cleaned up nicely to provide a comfortable and unpretentious atmosphere. And it's got a great vibe with what seems like locals in a mix of singles, couples and families.
The beer selection is outstanding. They serve only their own with 24 on tap, four in the cask and three in the bottle. It includes all of their regulars as well as some specials including several they brewed for the Craft Brewer's Conference in April. I went with a Hop Devil cask and a CBC Hallertau Pils on tap. The Hop Devil was excellent and the Pilsner was interesting.
The menu is impressive but I thought the food was average. We had a couple of pizzas, nachos and a kid's mac & cheese. The pizzas were a bit airy and soggy and the nachos were pretty ordinary but the mac & cheese was good. I was hoping for more from the food but with a great atmosphere and outstanding beer, I got past it.
This place is well worth a visit if you like Victory beer. And don't forget to visit the shop for reasonably priced shirts, glasses, signs, stickers, etc.
06-10-2009 01:03:28 | More by GJ40
4.34/5 rDev +0.9%
I made a stop at Victory around 4 pm on a Tuesday evening during some wicked February weather. I mention this because Victory is under massive renovation and the plastic walls kept patrons at the bar bundled up. At this point, most the patrons seemed to be employees or those involved in the construction of the renovation. On Tuesday Victory has $1.00 chili dogs and a guy next to me got one. A nice portion and it sure smelled good. I did two rounds of the sampler and tried to pick pours I've not yet had from them. The beers were all excellent and I especially enjoyed the Golden Monkey which is a Belgian Tripple that I've avoided because the label was kinda weird. I also went out of my way for two malty German beers - Fest and Dopplebock and I was rewarded with excellent representations of these styles. I think I may have been ruined by all the bad examples of these types of beers by contract brewers run by marketing people. If you find yourself in the area, it's worth a visit to Victory and I can only predict that their remodeling efforts will pay off with a great new space. The only drawback is they are located in a drab office park (but so is Three Floyd's) and the server/crowd were a bit too local and uninterested in spontaneous conversation.
02-14-2008 04:09:23 | More by Yetiman420
3.95/5 rDev -8.1%
A nice display for Victory, who always has a great spread of good-to-great beers available. The pub/restaurant is very spacious and not too intimate, but still nice. It contains a nice large bar, and there's usually a good amount of beer on tap to choose from. They're all Victory brews obviously, but they keep a good enough selection at all times to make this place a worthy stop on any beer enthusiasts journey, not to mention they occasionally serve beer here that isn't found elsewhere. Food menu is pretty diverse, and the food itself is tasty. Pizza! Staff is helpful and attentive for the most part. There's also a nice merch store in the back.
This isn't necessarily an uber beer destination, but it's still a good place with a line-up of always-solid brews, and if you are a big fan of Victory's beer, this place would probably be a paradise for you.
05-03-2011 04:36:01 | More by Rifugium
Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, PA
95 out of 100 based on 375 ratings.