Victory

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.

Cheese and… Beer?

Thursday, October 2, 2014 | Anchor, Beer News, Evolution, Goose Island, Hoegaarden, Lancaster Brewing, Magic Hat, Victory

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Last year, Philly Beer Scene made a whole feature on the topic of beer and cheese pairing. Victory is taking it to a whole new level when they created beer-infused Wisconsin cheddar cheese spreads with Key Ingredient Market. HopDevil and Golden Monkey have been paired with cheddar spread, and Headwaters with cheddar dip for something really special.

And if you’re looking to pair some of your own, try these on for size.

Hoegaarden pairs well with fresh cheeses like feta and gooey, fragrant cheeses like brie, with its fruity, citrus notes and spicy finish. Another one to try alongside these would be Magic Hat’s Circus Boy

Hard, aged cheeses like sharp cheddars and gouda need a strong flavor to match. Goose Island’s IPA and Evolution Lucky 7 stand up to the challenge.

Bleu cheese is varied, and thus, can be paired in a variety of ways. Try it with Lancaster Milk Stout or Anchor’s IPA.

Hoppy Fall

Thursday, September 18, 2014 | Evolution, Ithaca, Prism, Rebates, Troegs, Uinta, Victory

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Hopheads, we’ve got some great news for you! From now until the end of October, there will be a $5 rebate on cases of select IPAs and DIPAs purchased at your local Delaware, Bucks, Montgomery and Berks County Beer Distributors. Simply fill out and mail in this rebate form with the UPC from the case and a dated receipt, and you’ll receive $5 back on up to 2 cases per household. If you’re having trouble deciding which of these fantastically hoppy beers to get, take a look at the descriptions below to get a better feel for them.

Evolution Lot No 3 IPA – Fruity citrus and sharp pine notes sit heavily on a quiet but firm malt backbone in this vigorously hopped brew. 6.8% ABV

Uinta Hop Nosh IPA – Grapefruit is the flavor at the forefront of this IPA, with earthy hops and fruit inflections over a smooth, malty base. 7.3% ABV

Ithaca Flower Power IPA – The flavor starts with rich malts, which flow smoothly into herbal hops in this five-times-hopped ale. 7.5% ABV

Prism Felony IPA – At 100 IBUs with ten different hop varieties, this DIPA isn’t messing around. Hoppy fruit and pine notes dominate, balanced by maltiness. 10% ABV

Victory DirtWolf Double IPA –  Robustly hopped, this ale holds floral nectar, herbal and pine flavors amongst the pleasant bitterness, with slight citrus traits intermixed. 8.7% ABV

Troegs Perpetual IPA – Peppery, piney and grassy. This bold IPA (that’s Imperial Pale Ale) serves up a healthy serving of hops with every sip. 7.5% ABV

Oktoberfest

Thursday, September 18, 2014 | Goose Island, Old Dominion, Susquhanna, Victory

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Can’t make it over to Munich? Want to try your hand at hosting your very own Oktoberfest this year? Well, we’ve got the tips to help you make that happen. This is our official Oktoberfest Party Guide.’

Beverages

Victory Festbier – A favorite local marzen, it’s perfect for this event with its pleasant German malts. 5.6% ABV

Susquehanna Oktoberfest – Another local marzen with caramel and toffee notes, and Bavarian hops to balance the flavor. 6.2% ABV

Goose Island Oktoberfest - Sweet dried fruits, burnt sugar and earthy hops make up the flavor profile of this lager. 6.4% ABV

Dominion Octoberfest Maerzen – Smooth caramel, honey and bready flavors are followed by crisp hops, creating a warm yet refreshing beverage. 5.7% ABV

For the little ones or anyone else who doesn’t drink, you could always serve hot or chilled apple cider, seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg for a perfectly autumnal flavor.

Food

Apart from beer, food is the most important thing about Oktoberfest. Pretzels are a must, the salt and breadiness coupling perfectly with malty beers. This pairs well with mustard, obatzda and weisswurst, a mild, pale sausage made of veal and pork. Of course, you can always use your favorite sort of wurst. For appetizer or buffet-style servings, make or purchase small pretzels, cut one-inch lengths of sausage, and arrange with a dish of mustard and/or obatzda and toothpicks on a fall leaf-colored platter.

For a heartier meal, you could make Bavarian style burgers, using traditional Leberkäse or ground beef with German-style fixings like sauerkraut, pretzel or kaiser rolls, tasty cheeses and of course mustard. Goes great with potato salad.

The natural dessert option here is Lebkuchen hearts, a style of gingerbread cookie decorated with icing, but you could also go with the fall-appropriate apple strudel if you’d rather.

Decorations

Blue and white are the traditional colors of Oktoberfest, typically seen in a lozengy pattern as they are in a variant of the Bavarian flag. This can come in the form of tablecloths, flags, paper plates, hats, etc., all readily available at many party stores and online. For splashes of color that won’t overload the senses, fill beer steins with blue and white flowers, or tie blue and white ribbons around silverware or mug handles.

Speaking of mugs, it’s important that you aren’t drinking out of bottles or plastic cups, since that just isn’t in the spirit of Oktoberfest. Beer steins in glass, ceramic or plastic are perfect for this event, adding to an authentic atmosphere.

The backyard is the perfect spot for your Oktoberfest, and the addition of a pop-up tent or canopy can make it feel less like a yard and more like the fest itself. Using smaller tents, you can designate a biergarten, buffet and dining areas with festive signs.

Activities

Stein Race: Fill a stein with beer (or any liquid), and have contestants race from one side of a field to the other, spilling as little of their beverage as possible. Whoever can fill a most of a bucket at the end of the line in the allotted time wins.

Chicken Dance: Great for kids and adults alike, this silly dance actually started as a German tradition, originally called the Duck Dance.

Barrel Roll: Another traditional Oktoberfest event. Use an empty barrel or keg, and have participants roll it through an obstacle course. The fastest time wins, and points are deducted for losing control of the barrel and crashing into spectators.

Beer Tasting: Set up a table with a variety of the beers you’ve purchased for the occasion and small tasting glasses, allowing party-goers to try a few beers before they pick what they’d like a full glass of. For the full tasting experience, include pretzels and cheeses that pair well with the different brews.

Looking Forward to Fall

Friday, September 5, 2014 | Anchor, Long Trail, Shock Top, Uinta, Victory

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Though the temperatures haven’t yet dipped, it’s already nearly a week into September and fall is just around the corner. So now’s the time to start thinking about what autumnal brews you’ll be enjoying this season. Given that this is the season that beer drinkers look forward to all year, it’s a lot to think about. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a few beverages that you don’t want to miss.

Anchor BigLeaf Maple - This autumn red ale has a hint of maple syrup in it to add to its maltiness, and enough hops to balance its rich flavor. The taste will bring fall foliage to mind, especially changing maples.

Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin – The first in the Brush and Barrel series, this beer is brewed with pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves for a flavor profile that screams fall.

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat – A traditional Belgian-style wheat ale that’s been brewed with ripe pumpkins, making it a perfect go-to this season for all sorts of fall fun; picking pumpkins, harvest parties and of course, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Uinta Punk’n – Roasted pumpkin, honey, vanilla and a strong ale backbone combine to make this great brew. Add to this that it’s quite sessionable, and you’ll be looking for space for a handful of six packs in your fridge.

Victory Festbier – Smooth German malts and hints of earthy hops make for a lovely Oktoberfest with a thick mouthfeel and satisfying flavor. A shining example of the style.

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