Victory

VICTORY BREWING COMPANY

“Victory Brewing Company opened its doors to the public on Feb. 15, 1996. What was once a Pepperidge Farm factory became home to a 144-seat restaurant, 70-foot-long bar and a full-scale brewery. In its first year, Victory Brewing Company brewed 1,725 barrels of beer. Since then, Victory has increased the size of the restaurant to 300 seats. The brewery has also expanded, producing  93,196 barrels of beer in 2012. As loyal craft beer drinkers continue to show their dedication to flavorful, quality beer, Victory plans to continue its own growth. Onward to Victory!”

www.victorybeer.com

Year-Round/Seasonal:

DIRTWOLF: 99 Points

Bold Hop Aroma

Bold Hop Aroma

This Imperial IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Darkly heroic, Humulus Lupulus (hops) have empowered brews with bite and character since the 11th century. DirtWolf is a tribute to these untamed vines which rise from the earth with the voracity of a “wolf among sheep.” Hops have made an assertive comeback in American craft brewing. Revel in the best U.S. varieties of hops, in their natural, whole flower form, as they bring a vital, pungent reality to the soul of a wild element in our dangerously satisfying DirtWolf Double IPA.”

My Description: This beer is exceptionally smooth for an IIPA with delicious hop notes and a bitter finish that isn’t over the top. It pours a large, white colored head with a good retention level that holds the majority of the way leaving behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is bold and pungent with big citrus hop notes and some pine hop notes as well. DirtWolf is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. A solid malt backbone provides a great base for these hops to shine through. There are notes of grapefruit hops that taste juicy along with some pine hops. Some fruitiness from the hops can also be detected like apricots. Some herbal notes can be tasted and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with thick burgers, hard cheeses, or with spicy Thai noodles.

ABV: 8.7%  Color: Golden  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 5.5/10

FESTBIER: 81 Points

A solid party

A solid party

This Oktoberfest/Märzen is released seasonally in Autumn in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Friendship and camaraderie: the two keys to any festive event. And then there’s the beer. It should be full-bodied, yet infinitely smooth. Seductively malty, with a kiss of the hops for balance. This is our Festbier. Painstakingly crafted from German malts, decoction brewed for full flavor and carefully aged for depth of character. Gather with your friends for a festive moment of Victory!”

My Description: This beer has all the right components but I just feel that it lacks a certain quality and refreshment that other versions have. It begins with a good sized, light beige colored head that fades quick to a thin film leaving behind very little lacing. The aroma is malt forward with notes of toasted caramel and some earthiness. Festbier is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is slightly rich and lacks some depth. The beer tastes similar to the aroma with malt being the dominating flavor note. Some biscuit notes and a touch of noble hops can be detected but caramel malt notes are center stage. The aftertaste is minimally bitter but not enough to combat the sweetness. I just didn’t want to drink more than one, definitely a negative for Oktoberfest. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage, heavy pizzas, or spicy latin dishes.

ABV: 5.6%  Color: Deep Amber  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 2/10

GOLDEN MONKEY: 89 Points

Interesting Monkey

Interesting Monkey

This Belgian Style Tripel is available year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A magical, mystical Monkey whose golden soul glows with the wisdom of the ages. This warming, flavored ale is rich in the spirited tradition of Belgian-inspired brewing. Our Golden Monkey is both playfully delightful and profoundly satisfying. Exotic spices from the East round out this global journey to joy. Get on board. This Monkey’s bound for glory!”

My Description: This Tripel is refreshing and goes down smooth from start to finish. It begins with a good sized, white colored head that fades to a film that holds the whole way leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is welcoming with bright citrus notes accompanied by notes of pale malts, cloves, and melon fruits. Golden Monkey is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile tastes good but is a little more sweet than I like my Tripels to be. Pale malts and yeast spices are the main notes of this beer along with some floral notes and herbal notes. The alcohol is hidden beautifully and only begins to show itself after the beer warms up a bit. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and the finish seems like it is missing something, but I can’t figure it out. Overall, this is a really good beer but I feel the balance is off some. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, soft cheeses, or berries.

ABV: 9.5%  Color: Golden  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

HEADWATERS: 91 Points

The essence of life

The essence of life

This American Pale Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Malted barley, hops and yeast are the building blocks of beer. But none of these elements would exist without water, the essence of life. The waters that feed our brewery begin just over a dozen miles away, making for spectacularly pure and vital water for brewing. Having worked with watershed advocacy groups since our inception, we value our headwaters, our source, in many ways. You’ll value them as well when you taste this firmly crisp and aromatically arousing pale ale.”

My Description: This beer grew on me, initially I thought it was just another basic American Pale Ale that is bitter with a plain flavor profile. But as the beer warmed up a bit and the depth began to surface, I realized that is an interesting and highly enjoyable pale ale that is extremely smooth with an “in your face” hop profile. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with an excellent amount of lacing left behind. The aroma is welcoming with an earthy presence along with some light citrus hop notes, pine hop notes, and pale malts. Headwaters is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is clean and the hops come through nicely. Grapefruit hops are dominant along with some fruity hops. Pale malts and a touch of grass are also detected. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with a sharp hop bite that lingers for some time. This is a great pale ale and is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with sharp cheeses, mushroom burgers, or roasted asparagus.

ABV: 5.1%  Color: Light Brown  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 5/10

HOPDEVIL: 96 Points

I'll worship him

I’ll worship him

This IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The mythical HopDevil® resides in the lore of farmers. Our HopDevil is the real deal. Bold, spicy and menacingly delicious. He’s the product of distinctive American hops and meticulous craftsmanship. Arising from the heady wilds of our hopback and gently tamed with time, this Devil makes a great companion.”

My Description: A seductively smooth IPA, this beer hits all the notes beautifully with addicting flavors, a great body, and an aroma that is one of the best I’ve smelled. It begins with very large, off-white colored head with an excellent retention that holds the whole way leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The beer smells fantastic with big hop notes of grapefruit, tangerine, and pine along with some caramel malt notes and bread notes. HopDevil is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is exceptionally balanced. Lots of bread notes upfront are joined by pale malts and some caramel malt notes. Woodsy hops, citrus hops, and some pine hops float throughout while subtle hop spice undertones add character. The aftertaste is clean and moderately bitter. This is a great IPA. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with cheddar cheese burgers, smoked ribs, or grilled whitefish.

ABV: 6.7%  Color: Amber/Orange  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 4/10

HOP RANCH: 100 Points

Suburb

Awesome

This Imperial IPA is released seasonally in the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “To our hop ranchers, who coax and cultivate our enticing and flavorful hops, we raise this glass. Selecting the finest varieties in their natural, whole flower form, we craft our Hop Ranch Imperial India Pale Ale, as a celebration of their successes. Pungent, floral and intense, this represents America’s best in every relaxing sip.”

My Description: This beer has such a raw presence, the hops taste so fresh with a vegetative note that tastes great. Plus, this ale is remarkably smooth and easy drinking with an alcohol taste that is completely hidden. It begins with a good sized, white colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is a hop medley of floral hops, pine hops, fruity hops, and a touch of citrus hops; this beer smells fantastic. Hop Ranch is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is a hop lovers fantasy; the same combination of hops detected in the aroma is tasted here. Citrus hops, tropical fruit hops, and some floral hops are prominent along with a solid malt backbone that holds everything together. The aftertaste is moderately bitter that leaves your mouth feeling sticky from the hop oil. This beer has lots of character and is clean and juicy. It is pleasure to drink this Imperial IPA. It is best served around 45°F spicy wings, bold cheeses, or a veggie pizza.

ABV: 9%  Color: Dark Gold  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 5.5/10

MOONGLOW: 94 Points

Complex Flavors

Complex Flavors

This Weizenbock is released in Autumn in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This richly flavored, dark amber wheat beer features fruity and spicy aromas galore. Significant strength underlies the pleasant citric appeal of this bock beer. Brewed with over 50% malted wheat, this is a traditional Bavarian weizenbock. Full of the flavors of harvest fruit, this is the perfect Autumnal elixir.”

My Description: A very smooth and enjoyable Weizenbock, Victory created a beer where the flavors work harmoniously together and the finish leaves you wanting more. It begins with a very large, off-white colored head with a great retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind some lacing. The aroma smells fantastic with many yeast notes including bananas, cloves, black pepper, and green apples. This beer also smells a little nutty, which is a perfect compliment to the other notes. Moonglow is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level, a slightly creamy texture, and a dry finish. A complex flavor profile begins with a delicious bready backbone holding up yeast notes of apples, bananas, spices, and other yeast esters. Caramel notes are also present providing a touch of sweetness. The aftertaste is slightly bitter bringing great overall balance to the ale. The alcohol is warming but overall unobtrusive. The finish is delightful with lingering nutty notes. This is an excellent Autumn beer and is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with beef stew, grilled sausage, or a thick vegetable soup.

ABV: 8.7%  Color: Brown/Amber  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

OLD HORIZONTAL (2014): 95 Points

Flavorful but need aging

Flavorful but needs aging

This Barleywine is released seasonally in the Winter months in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “As much as we love to see you here enjoying our beer, we encourage you to buy a bottle of this one and head home to savor it within the comfort and love of your own retreat. There you’ll discover why ‘horizontal’ is in the name.”

My Description: This is an excellent barleywine with an array of flavors that satisfy and a body that’s addicting, this will only get better with age. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head with an excellent retention level that lasts for a long time leaving behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant with caramel malt dominating along with notes of raspberries, pineapples, and surprisingly herbal tea. The aroma is interesting in that there are contrasting notes but yet blend cleanly together. Old Horizontal is full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a very dry finish, almost too dry. The finish will mellow out nicely with age. The flavor profile is complex with notes of caramel malt, dark fruits like berries and cherries, plums, and faint hop notes. The alcohol is beautifully hidden behind the thick malt base and I cannot comment enough on how smooth this ale is. The aftertaste is moderately bitter making this more of an American style barleywine, however the bitterness feels more sharp than it ought to be. I drank this beer now because if the brewer wasn’t ready to put their name behind it, they shouldn’t of released it. This beer needs aging but it is definitely a delight to drink it as soon as it hits the shelves. It is best served around 60°F and pairs nicely with meat pies, strong cheeses, or a mild cigar.

ABV: 11%  Color: Reddish Mahogany  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 4.5/10

PRIMA PILS: 94 Points

Joy, indeed

Joy, indeed

This German Style Pilsner is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Prima! It’s a German exclamation of joy. It’s a recognition of accomplishment. It’s what escaped from our lips the first time we sampled this mighty pilsner recipe. With heaps of whole flower European hops and fine German malts, we achieved the bracing herbal bite and smooth malt flavor that we sought. Prima… an exclamation of Victory! Prost!

My Description: This is one of the finer representations of a German Pilsner brewed in America. You can just taste the quality! It pours an extremely large, bright white colored head that is foamy and lasts forever leaving a tremendous amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant with notes of floral hops, faint pale malt notes, and some grassiness. Prima Pils is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is very clean. Upfront, there are notes of floral hops, pale malts, and grass; the flavors mimic the aroma nicely. Some hop spice notes creep in also adding a welcoming character. The aftertaste is crisp and refreshing with a moderately low bitterness level. The lager is nicely done and rivals the German versions. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage, veggie burgers, or a Hawaiian pizza.

ABV: 5.3%  Color: Straw/Gold  Sweetness: 1.5/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

STORM KING: 95 Points

Strong and Robust

Strong and Robust

This Imperial Stout is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Emerging from the deepest shades of darkness, a rolling crescendo of flavors burst forth from this robust stout. The thundering, hoppy appeal of Storm King subsides into the mellow subtleties of roasted malt, exhibiting an espresso-like depth of character in its finish. An exquisite blend of imported malts and whole flower American hops merge harmoniously in this complex ale. Discover the dark intrigue of Storm King, as it reveals the rich, substantial flavors that it holds within.”

My Description: This stout is smooth from start to finish with a sticky texture and bold flavors. It begins with a very large, beige colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind an amazing amount of lacing. The aroma is complex and inviting with notes of chocolate, roasted malts, pine hops, coffee, and dark fruit undertones. Storm King is medium/full bodied with a moderately low carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is also complex and tastes delicious with notes of espresso, cocoa powder, tobacco, and some caramel sweetness. The aftertaste brings a welcoming bitterness with lingering roasted malt notes. The alcohol is beautifully hidden behind the robust body of flavors. This gem is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with smoked ribs, beef brisket, or chocolate desserts.

ABV: 9.1%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 4.5/10

WINTER CHEERS: 80 Points

Interesting Winter

Interesting Winter

This Weizen is released seasonally in the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Winter weather may drive us indoors but cannot dampen our spirits when hearth, home and hops meet in jubilation. Hoisted high in its golden glory, Winter Cheers lives up to its name, fueling festive times and chasing winter’s chill. Glowing and glimmering, frothy and shimmering, our celebratory wheat ale features luscious fruity and spicy notes, making it a perfect brew to brighten spirits even on the deepest of nights.”

My Description: This is an interesting choice of style to brew for a Winter seasonal. I commend them for going a different route than your typical Winter Warmers but this beer just doesn’t seem to satisfy. I understand they have a higher alcohol content than most weizens to give a warming feel but overall this beer is whatever. It begins with a very large, bright white colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma in welcoming with an earthy presence along with notes of citrus, lemon, and straw. Winter Cheers is medium bodied with a moderately high carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is decent enough with notes of wheat malt, some banana and bubblegum, and yeast spice undertones. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with lingering spice notes. There is something in the finish that I don’t like, an almost buttery/toffee note that seems out of place. This beer is good but nothing I would seek out again. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with mild cheeses, grilled shrimp, or light salads.

ABV: 6.7%  Color: Straw Yellow  Sweetness: 1.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10