Victory

Brewing for Independence

Thursday, July 2, 2015 | Anchor, Anheuser Busch, Rogue, Troegs, Victory, Widmer

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With the 4th of July being this Saturday, you’ve likely made plans, either for your own party or to attend another’s. Whether you’re holding your own event or going to a friend’s/family’s, you can’t forget what goes best with BBQ and patriotism; a cold, refreshing beverage. Let’s go through a list of the best options to put in your cooler.

Anchor Liberty Ale – This effervescent IPA is crisp, piney and balanced perfectly with a firm backbone of sweet malts. It was first brewed as a celebration of the Bicentennial of Paul Revere’s famous ride to Lexington and Concord.

Rogue American Amber – Caramel and roasted malt character is accentuated by assertive hops in this American Amber Ale. Quite drinkable, a great craft brew for the uninitiated and craft fiends alike. As another plus, it’s available in cans for ease of cleanup and safe outdoor parties.

Victory Summer Love – This American Blonde Ale just screams summer with its bright, floral hops and bit of honey malts. It pairs well with pretty much any sort of grilled dish you can think of, but stands well enough on its own. So good there won’t be any leftovers. Now available in cans for the first time.

Budweiser – It’s a classic choice for the Fourth, and particularly in their beautiful Statue of Liberty emblazoned cans. Fill up a cooler (or two) with this and you’ll be sure to make a great party.

If you want to put a twist on the usual, there are some unique ways to incorporate beer into the festivities. Chances are when you were a kid, your drink of choice for the 4th was lemonade. Why not harken back to the good old days with a more adult version. Check out this list of shandies, including a few recipes to make on your own.

Another unique way to incorporate beer would be to add it to your cooking. Here’s a recipe for beer can chicken, with the suggestion of either Victory’s Prima Pils or Troeg’s Sunshine Pilsner. Or if you’re looking for an all-purpose marinade or mop, try this recipe and use either Troegenator or Widmer Bros’ Drop Top Amber Ale.

Pairing Beer with Chocolate

Monday, May 4, 2015 | Breweries, Food, Goose Island, Old Dominion, Rogue, Troegs, Victory

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Chocolate, much like beer, is a treat to be savored. It has a reputation of being paired with strong emotions like love and sympathy, and for good reason. It releases feel-good chemicals serotonin and dopamine, creating a feeling of well-being that can be shared between lovers or help bring you out of a slump. Good beer can have a similar effect, relaxing and bringing cheer to the drinker. So it makes good sense to combine the two. If you aren’t sure on where to start, or what chocolate might pair well with your favorite brew, look no further than this guide on how to pair the two.

Stouts and Porters are the simplest way to start your foray into chocolate and beer pairing, because many of them include the roasty flavors that are in chocolate. Your first instinct might be to go with a dark chocolate for these dark beers, but milk chocolates actually complement the bitterness better by adding sweetness to the palate and allowing the strong flavors of the drink to play on the subtler notes of the chocolate. The milk in the chocolate will also play on the creaminess of milk stouts. Try DAGOBA’s milk chocolate with Old Dominion’s Morning Glory Espresso Stout to round out the flavors of both.

Brown ales can be paired with nutty chocolates, either those that actually contain nuts like almonds or hazelnuts, or those that simply carry nut-like characteristics. This will bring out the earthy tones in the beer that can sometimes be lost under its sweetness. Ghiradelli’s Intense Dark Hazelnut Heaven Bar will pair perfectly with Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar.

Sometimes you need something to sweeten your bitter, dark chocolate, and in that case, it’s best to pair it with a Belgian-style Dubbel or Tripel. Chocolove’s Strong Dark Chocolate has enough bite for Troegs’ Jovial.

Wheat beer can be great in combination with a citrus-accented chocolate. Darker chocolates will bring out more contrast in the two flavors for a great complement. Lindt’s Lemon EXCELLENCE Bar would go well with Hoegaarden’s Original.

It may not seem intuitive to pair something hoppy like a Pale Ale or IPA with chocolate, but there is a whole range of flavors that can work with the complexity in these beers. Chocolates containing citrus rinds like orange or lemon can bring out these flavors in the hops, and the same goes for floral notes. Alternatively, dark chocolates with chiles can be a wonderful combination with an IPA. DAGOBA Organic Xocolatl Dark chocolate is a good spicy chocolate to go with Goose Island’s IPA.

The highly alcoholic and quite varied Barley Wine can be the perfect partner with a strong chocolate that can compete with its flavor. This includes both sweet and bitter chocolates, depending on the profile you are looking for. Try Chocolove’s Ginger Crystalized in Dark Chocolate with Victory’s Old Horizontal as a good nightcap.

Floral Brews

Monday, May 4, 2015 | Ithaca, Old Dominion, Rogue, Victory

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As we begin May and the scenery changes to one more colorful, we can reflect on mid-spring with beverages that high-light the growth of new flowers. When reading about different flavor profiles, oftentimes one will come across the word floral in the description, and it is what it sounds like; a flavor that tastes like flowers smell. A soft and fresh nectary sweetness that is often found in hops, but can also be aided by malts or even come from actual flowers. These flavors don’t tend to be as powerful–or as prevalent–as fruit or pine notes, but they can be found in some of the most delicious beers out there.

Ithaca Flower Power – As it was named for, this IPA is packed with a big floral flavor with fruity notes to back it up.

Victory DirtWolf – This hoppy nectar has a bit of honey sweetness to add to its flowery taste while still retaining a nice bitterness.

Rogue MoM Hefeweizen – This lightly spicy wheat beer is brewed with rose petals to give it a perfumed bitterness.

Old Dominion Cherry Blossom Lager – This springtime favorite has some floral flavors under its big cherry taste.

Crafty Recipes

Friday, April 3, 2015 | Anchor, Boxcar, Carlow, Food, Keegan Ales, Kona, Leffe, Old Dominion, Rogue, Starr Hill Brewery, Troegs, Victory

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A beverage can be a great complement to a meal, or may be enjoyed on its own in partnership with only a great moment. But when simply drinking your favorite beers isn’t enough, there is another step to take in your appreciation for good craft brews. Eating them.

Just like wine is often used in culinary creations, beer can add wonderful flavors to all sorts of food, particularly since there is such a wide variety in flavors between all the styles of beer. Dips, sauces, glazes, desserts, breads, even pickled vegetables can all be made with a little help from your go-to beverage.

Googling recipes that call for beer can yield an overwhelming number of results. If you aren’t sure where to start, take a look at this list of recipes, and try making a few with our suggested beers.

IPA Beer Cheese DipStarr Hill Northern Lights

Beer-Battered FishKona Longboard Island Lager

Cream Cheese Beer Pancakes with Strawberry Saison SyrupHoegaarden and Anchor Saison

Beer-Soaked Grilled CheeseLeffe Brune

Craft Beer Can ChickenKeegan Ales Bine Climber or Troegs Cultivator

Dry Stout Beef StewO’Hara’s Irish Stout

Coconut Curry Beer Chicken SoupRogue MoM Hefeweizen

Slow Cooker Beer Brisket SandwichesDominion Morning Glory Espresso Stout

Belgian Tripel & Honey Black Pepper Chicken WingsVictory Golden Monkey

And if you’d like to try your hand at coming up with your own recipe, here is a brief and general guide on flavors to get you started.

Porters and Stouts – These dark beers are for adding intense flavors to a dish. Chocolate and coffee-flavored beers can be used in either rich desserts like chocolate cake or marinated meat dishes like ribs or pulled pork. Stews and soups can gain a bitterness from a dry stout or porter, while milk stouts can add a roasty sweetness to a glaze or sauce.

Wheat Beers – Fruity flavors are what hefeweizens and witbiers complement best. They’re a great addition to cakes, breads or tarts with fruit accents, and round out the flavors of sweet glazes and BBQ sauces. Honey, citrus, apricot, peach and berries are all flavors to add wheat beers to. Once you’ve tried those combinations, be adventurous and try it in combination with savory dishes like pasta and cheese sauces.

Fruity Beers, Barleywine and Saisons – These are flavors that can be a little more difficult to endow food with. It’s usually good to pair fruity beers and saisons with like flavors–candied fruits, ginger and other sweet-and-spicy notes–but barleywines need bold flavors to compete with. Roasted meats and heavy desserts like pumpkin dishes and dark chocolates can benefit from just a few tablespoons.

IPAs, Pale Ales and Pilsners – IPAs generally go with spicy dishes, but don’t limit yourself to that. Cheese sauces, breads, lemony dishes, seafood, and chicken can all benefit from the hops in the right conditions. Pale ales and pilsners can replace IPAs in many dishes, especially when looking for a milder flavor, and are more easily added to desserts.

Brown/Amber Ales – These sweet and mild brews are great for roasted chicken, pork, sticky-sweet desserts and sweet breads. Sometimes it can be added to beef-centric recipes, but it is the perfect level of flavor to be eaten with white meats.

If you’re just beginning to cook with beer, try adding it to sauces, glazes, and marinades, or try your hand at a beer bread, and before long, you’ll be looking for ways to add it into dinner every night.

The Growing Movement of Session Beers

Friday, March 13, 2015 | Anchor, Boxcar, Full Sail, Goose Island, Keegan Ales, Kona, Long Trail, Magic Hat, Victory

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It’s no secret that craft beers tend to be a bit higher on the alcohol by volume, and that can be bad news for someone who wants to enjoy several brews in a night while still being safe. But have no fear! Low-alcohol session craft beers have been making their mark on the market in recent years and are on a climb in popularity. This means you can enjoy a party, round of cards or wedding while still enjoying your favorite craft breweries

The term session comes from the British, referring to the timeframe of a social gathering that involves drinking. In craft beer, a session beer has come to mean a beer under 5% AVB, but is still full of taste. So here we present a list of delicious session beers to try.

Full Sail Session Lager – What it lacks in ABV, it makes up for in big malt flavor and herbal hop character. 5.1% ABV

Anchor Steam Beer – This California Common beer gets its name from tradition West Coast brewing methods. 4.9% ABV

Goose Island Honkers Ale – An English bitter with fruity hops and a rich malt middle, making for a very drinkable brew. 4.3% ABV

Keegan Ales Bine Climber – Citrus hops lead this IPA, then is balanced by the malts, making it an especially good hoppy beer to drink a few of. 4.7% ABV

Kona Big Wave – Fruity flavors are suspended on bready malts, giving a full flavor to this blonde ale. 4.4% ABV

Long Trail Ale – This full-bodied amber ale is great for drinking around the campfire or bringing to a party. 5% ABV

Magic Hat Circus Boy – An unfiltered hefeweizen brewed with lemon grass that won’t have you on the floor. 4.5% ABV

Oscars Party

Thursday, February 12, 2015 | Fuller's, Hoegaarden, Shock Top, Stella Artois, Victory

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You still have a little bit to plan your Oscars party, and we’re here to make that a little easier, so you can relax and enjoy the night.

Beverages - You’re going to want to stick with some classy drinks, and what’s classier than craft beer? In place of champagne use Stella Artois or their Cidre in flute glasses. Shock Top Raspberry Wheat can be given a fun twist when garnished with black- and raspberries. Hoegaarden’s Original White Ale with a slice of lemon is sure to impress. As a cocktail choice, offer Crabbie’s Ginger Beer with the ingredients for one or more of these recipes. In honor of The Imitation Game, try offering Fuller’s. And toast the winners with one of the aptly named Victory’s beers, like Storm King or their Helles Lager.

Food – Food for this sort of event can remain fairly simple and fun. Popcorn and classic theatre candies can really amp up the going-to-the-movies feel, and doesn’t demand a sit-down meal. For variety, set out an array of popcorn toppings (garlic powder, powdered cheese, paprika, hot sauce, lime zest and chili seasoning are just a few ideas), and let your guests choose their own. Serve in brown paper bags or mini popcorn buckets. If you want something a little healthier, set out a charcuterie board with meats and cheeses that pair well with your drink choices.

Decorations – Gold and red are your main colors of the evening. It’s easy to class things up with these colors while still keeping things minimal. Gold stars or garlands on the walls and above doorways add some glitz without going overtop. Helium-filled black or white balloons with varying lengths of matte gold ribbons can be set in corners of the room to keep the party feel seamless without being distracting. And of course, a red carpet is a must. For this, you can buy a few yards of red fabric or cut up a plastic red tablecloth, and set it up leading from your door to where you will be watching. Then the smaller details will really pull the whole thing together. For stemmed glasses, tie a red and a gold ribbon around the stem, and use it to attach an Oscar statuette-shaped card cutout for your guest to write their name on. If you have dimmers, use them. If not, keep the overhead lights off and use lamps.

Activities – The main activity, of course, will be watching the Academy Awards, but why not make it fun? Have everyone fill out a ballot with who they believe will win each award, and give a prize (gift card for a nice dinner, six-pack of beer, or a copy of one of the award-winning movies) to the person who gets the most answers correct. For some pre-show entertainment, quiz guests on quotes and facts from previous Oscar-winning movies, actors and directors while they prepare their snacks. Present each person with a right answer with an Oscar Cookie.

Victory Helles Lager

Thursday, February 12, 2015 | Featured Beer, Victory

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First offered when Victory opened their doors in 1996, called Brandywine Lager, then Victory Lager, this brew is making a rebranded comeback and spreading its influence beyond the five Philadelphia counties is has been limited to for years. Lightly hopped with a slight citrus flavor balances the breadiness of the malts, and creates an overall finely complex flavor that locals have come to love over the years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you need to find what you’ve been missing. 4.8% ABV

Happy Holidays

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 | Anchor, Leffe, Rogue, Victory, Winter

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We hope you’re having a safe and festive holiday season, warm with your loved ones and a tasty beverage beside the fireside, or out with your friends at a holiday party, drinking cold-but-belly-warming brews. And maybe you’ve gotten all of your gift-shopping done, but it seems like even after you think you’re done, you remember one of two people on your Nice List that deserve the very best. We’ve got a list of perfect stocking-stuffers, gifts for those who are hard to please, or handouts at your New Years Eve party. Here’s our Holiday Brews Roundup.

Anchor Christmas Ale – In a magnum bottle, this is the perfect Christmas gift for the beer aficionado, always looking for something new–the recipe for this ale changes year by year to year, with this year’s brew having a delightful mix of holiday spices in his flavor, and an herbal undertone. 5.5% ABV

Rogue Santa’s Reserve – Got a hop-loving friend who still needs a stocking stuffer? This India Red Ale will do the trick, and comes in 22oz to make them extra merry. 6% ABV

Victory Golden Monkey – Although this brew is offered year-round, some might argue that its full body, dried fruit flavors and warming alcohol make it a perfect winter drink that’s sure to bring some color to your cheeks, especially with a 750 ml bottle. 9.5% ABV

Leffe Blonde – The spice and vanilla aroma of this brew allow it to fit perfectly for the season. Toasty caramel notes dominate and are finished with drying hops. Available in 25 oz bottles. 6.6% ABV

Plan Your Spookiest Halloween Party

Friday, October 17, 2014 | Evolution, Fall, Fun, Ithaca, Long Trail, Rogue, Starr Hill Brewery, Victory

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Halloween is one of the few holidays that is celebrated in many different countries across the world, and has evolved into a huge cultural phenomenon here in the U.S. Whole stores dedicated to costumes and decorations, movies and TV shows drawing on the themes of this scary night, and of course, many beers that pay homage to the traditions of this day. You may have stopped trick-or-treating some years back, but you can still treat yourself and guests to an All Hallow’s Eve party you aren’t likely to forget with a few of these tricks.

Beverages: The clear choice here is pumpkin ales, given the importance of Jack-O-Lanterns in traditional Halloween lore, but cider, and harvest ales are also appropriate.

Rogue Dead Guy Ale: This beer-fan favorite’s name is scary enough to serve at this spookiest of holidays. Great balance between hops and malt makes for easy drinking. Looking to try it before you buy some for your party? 6.5% ABV Click here to find a case, and here if you’re looking to try it on draft.

Evolution Jacques Au Lantern: This deep orange brew is full of pumpkin and spicy clove, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors without being over-the-top. Sweet, and goes down easy. 6.3 % ABV

Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin: A touch of hoppy bitterness balances the sweet pumpkin and pie spice notes in this Brush and Barrel series brew. It’s also a little higher in the alcohol content than others on this list. 8% ABV

Ithaca Country Pumpkin: Natural-tasting pumpkin flavors are the backbone of this brew, with just enough cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and hop to keep it interesting. 6.3% ABV

Starr Hill Boxcar Pumpkin Porter: This hybrid brew mixes a sweet pumpkin taste with the caramel and coffee notes of a porter. Definitely not your usual pumpkin beer. 5.2% ABV

Victory Festbier: Marzen’s aren’t only for Oktoberfest. The deep-roasted malts in this beer go well with all sorts of hearty harvest foods, and it’s the perfect choice for anyone who isn’t too into pumpkin ales. 5.6% ABV

An easy way to make these beers even more festive is to serve them in a pumpkin keg. If you have more than one beer, paint the pumpkin festively with the name of the brew, or cut out a coffin from cardboard, paint it black and add the name.

Food: Whether you’re having a sit-down meal, or just want to serve some ghoulish treats for your guests, we’ve got you covered.

Not-so-tricky treats: Disembodied hands, caramel apples, spider bites, finger sandwiches, pumpkin cheeseball, roasted pumpkin seeds, bloody tomato soup & munster sammies, and deviled eggs are all good choices of finger foods to set out on a spooky spread.

Harvest Meal: These foods stick with the theme of the autumn harvest, using such ingredients at squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, parsnips, pears, carrots and apples for a number of hearty dishes. Garlicky sweet potato fries, roasted acorn squash with mushroom, peppers and goat cheese, butternut squash and mushroom lasagna, pork roast with apple and sage, Thai pumpkin and chicken curry, fennel-crusted pork loin with roasted potatoes and pearsporcini and pumpkin ale mac & cheese, apple dumpling, spice-roasted chicken, red onions, carrots and parsnips, pumpkin beer bread, apple-pumpkin muffins and of course, don’t forget the pumpkin pie.

Decorations: Atmosphere is all-important when it comes to this holiday. Even if you’re not looking to right-out scare any of your guests, you at least want to maintain an eerie mood. Since there are so many things that can be done with your decorations and we’re sure you’ve already got tons of ideas, let’s cover a few basics and list some things that you might like to try this year.

Outdoors: Fire is a must. If you have a fire pit or room for a chiminea, use it. The heat will keep everyone cozy, and the flicker from the flames add a lovely ambiance. Tiki torches can also be used for this effect, and to light walkways in a spooky manner. Just be sure that trick-or-treaters won’t be in danger of getting burned. For the garden or yard, homemade tombstones can add some fright, and adding a mummy can take it to the next level. Chicken wire can also be used to create ghostly figures in the exterior. This is especially effective in darker corners of the yard, and a fog machine can really bring these life-size figures to afterlife.

Indoors: If you’re hosting your party indoors, there are lots of things you can do to bring a little spook into your home. Candles offer the same benefit of mood-setting as the fire does outside, but without all the heat and minimal fire hazard. Set lights to off or dimmed in certain rooms to complete this effect, or replace bulbs in certain rooms with colored ones, like red, purple or green. Cobwebs are a cheap and easy way to give your home an ancient vibe, and cheesecloth ghosts are a fun craft to do with the kids beforehand to add some haunters in. Silhouettes of bats, cats, rats and freakish figures cut from black construction paper can be set into windows for a scary view inside or along walls to add a bit of flair. Try making a whole swarm of bats flying along a wall.

Activities: Other than the usual trick-or-treating, there are a number of activities for all ages. Contests can be awarded with candy for the kids and a six-pack of a pumpkin ale for the adults.

Costume Contest: Any Halloween party should be full of costumes, so a contest is a fun idea to get people really into the spirit of things. You can divide the contest by a number of categories; age, gender, spookiest, funniest, most creative, or best group costume.

Bobbing for Apples: This old game was once considered a fortune teller, revealing the marriage and financial fates of the players. Now, it’s just a fun game that kids and adults can both have fun with.

Mummy Wrap: Divide guests into twos, give each team a roll of toilet paper, crepe paper or thick ribbon, and have them race for who can mummify their partner first.

Pumpkin Carving Contest: The tradition of carving jack-o-lanterns can be made into a fun party sport, either by having guests bring their pre-carved pumpkins to be judged, or setting up a table with pumpkins and carving sets and judging the freaky creations at the end of the night.

Great American Beer Festival 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014 | Old Dominion, Sierra Nevada, Troegs, Uinta, Victory, Widmer

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It’s time for our roundup of notable Great American Beer Festival competition winners for 2014. If you aren’t familiar with the festival, it’s one of the largest beer fest in the states, started in 1982 by nuclear engineer Charlie Papazian in Boulder, CO, though now it takes place in Denver. It also hosts one of the most prolific beer competitions, with over 2000 brews entered annually, seeking to be named one of three brews that best exemplifies its style.

Gold

Victory Golden Monkey – Belgian-Style Tripel

Troegs Troegentaor – Bock

Silver

Widmer Bros. Hefeweizen – American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast

Old Dominion Spiced Harvest – Pumpkin Beer

Uinta Cutthroat – Ordinary or Special Bitter

Be sure to raise a glass to these winners, and try any of the brews you haven’t gotten a chance to yet. And if you want a chance to try the gold-winning brews by Troegs and Victory, this is the perfect excuse to make the way to their breweries to try the beers right at the source. They’re both a great spot to grab a bite if you’re out holiday shopping, too.

Troegs Tasting Room & Snack Bar: Located in Hershey, Troeg’s tasting room offers visitors the chance to try their various brewed offerings while taking a self-guided tour through the brewing process. And just adjacent to the tasting room is the snack bar, where Troegs partners with different local farms, meat-providers and creameries to bring you delicious foods inspired by their beers.

Victory Brewpubs: Victory has two brewpub locations, one at the original brewery in Downtingtown, one in Kennet Square. Their menu includes regular pub fare with their own twist, sandwiches, soups, and daily menu additions that their chefs come up with. Not to mention, all their brews on tap.

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