One of my favorite parts of the annual Philly Farm & Food Fest is the Libations Lounge, where area wine, beer and spirits makers get to show off their sustainable boozy beverages. Two years ago, I tasted my first brew from Victory Brewing Company in that Libations Lounge, their Swing Session Saison, a beer perfect for warm weather. It was my first introduction to Saison style beers, and I loved it.
Since then, I’ve taken every opportunity to try Victory Brewing Company’s beers whenever I can, and right now as the weather turns chillier, I’m enjoying their Victory Storm King Imperial Stout.
This dark beer is so deep brown in color that it’s almost black. It had flavors of dark-roast coffee, chocolate, and sweet caramel, but also a bitterness that's appealing to me. As I learn more about beer, I’m learning that bitterness comes from hops and while I’m not particularly crazy about the hoppiness of many IPAs, I do enjoy the bitterness from hops in a stout. I’m trying to figure out why one appeals and the other doesn't, and that will come with more education and tasting.
I don’t often pair stouts with food. I tend to drink them on their own, and I usually order them when I’m bowling or playing pool. But, when I make my Slower Cooker French Dip that calls for dark beer, I usually add a stout. This beer would pair well with my French dip or a hearty stew.
Victory has been a sustainably-minded brewery from its inception in 1996. The owners re-habbed an old building instead of building new when they first opened. A focus on energy efficiency finds them using both solar energy and recovering some of the energy they use. They’re also involved in water management and conservation.
Victory is a Philadelphia-area craft brewery, but their beers can be purchased throughout the U.S. You can use Victory’s Beerfinder on the website to find stores where it’s sold or pubs where it’s poured. If you live in the Philadelphia region, you can visit Victory’s Brewpubs in Downingtown and Kennet Square.
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