Over the next week Parkesburg will be center stage of the craft beer brewing world.
While Victory has been brewing and bottling their craft beers west of town since December, Victory management yesterday invited reporters from local and regional newspapers and national trade publication to tour its new brewhouse and sample some of the freshly-brewed suds.
The event, which marked the unofficial opening of Victory’s new brewhouse and kicks off a series of private events scheduled over the next 30 days before Victory swings the brewhouse’s doors wide open for public tours beginning the first week of April, is sure to inspire more than a few featured news stories up and down the east coast.
In the coming days I’ll find as many articles about the new brewhouse as I can and provide a link to each one here on Parkesburg Today.
In the meantime you can read the company’s press release heralding the event below.
But what makes yesterday’s press event a worthy local story today other than Victory’s state-of-the-art brewhouse happens to be in our back yard, is the generous words Victory’s management has for West Sadsbury Township officials and Zoning Board members.
When Victory’s Vice President of Brewing Operations Scott Dietrich (pictured above in the white shirt speaking to a reporter) met me toward the end of the hour-long tour, he wanted me to be sure I communicated how at home and welcome Victory Brewing feels in their new West Sadsbury digs.
“We could not have gotten as much done in so short of time without the help of West Sadsbury officials,” said Dietrich emphatically and repeating it a second time to make sure I had a chance to write his words in my notebook.
“We’re honest business folks,” continued Dietrich, “and when [West Sadsbury Township Supervisor] Frank Haas said to us ‘How do we make this thing work?’ when we first met with the him in 2012, we knew we had found a home in Parkesburg.”
So as we celebrate the opening of Victory’s $100M new brewhouse right next door, let’s all raise a cold one in honor of Mr. Haas and the men and women who run West Sadsbury Township.
Nice job guys and gals!
Victory’s Press Release
Victory is Brewing in Parkesburg!
Victory Brewing Company Celebrates Official Launch of Second Brewery
DOWNINGTOWN, PA, February 27, 2014 – Victory Brewing Company is thrilled to announce the official premiere of their highly anticipated state-of-the-art brewery at 3127 Lower Valley Road in Parkesburg, Pa. The facility, which is more than 140,000 square feet set on 42 acres of rolling Chester County countryside, prepares the brewery for the next chapter in its history.
“In 2011, we faced the choice of either retracting markets or expanding our production, as demand outpaced our supply,” said Bill Covaleski, Victory’s president and co-founder/brewmaster. “I guess you know which way we landed! Now, after more than 18 months of planning and construction, and maybe just one or two sleepless nights in there, we’re excited to finally show-off this beautiful new brewery.”
The location was chosen because of its similarities to Victory’s home in Downingtown. Just as the Downingtown brewery recycled an old Pepperidge Farm factory, the Parkesburg brewery is built within an existing building and both are situated less than 20 miles away from the headwaters of the east and west branches of the Brandywine Creek, respectively.
“Environmental impact and water quality were major considerations for this expansion. Nearly eight months of water-quality research found that the mineral composition of the west branch water is nearly identical to the east branch,” Covaleski continued. “Now the beer is flowing and we couldn’t be more pleased with the result.”
The production space is equipped with top-of-the-line brewing technology and tools, including a best-in-class German-built ROLEC brewhouse with production capacity of up to 200 barrels per batch, as well as a proprietary hop separator coined the HopVIC, and a hard-piped fermentation cellar featuring (16) 1,000 barrel fermenters. At full capacity, the brewery will able to brew 225,000 barrels annually – more than doubling the current capability in Downingtown.
“Another one of the really exciting new features in this brewery is the state-of–the-art biological acidification system, which will allow our brewers to naturally optimize pH values throughout the brewing process, yielding cleaner and fresher tasting beer,” explained Ron Barchet, Victory’s CEO and co-founder/brewmaster.
The facility also is designed to entertain and educate, bringing fans and beer enthusiasts closer to all aspects of the brewing process. Construction will continue on the 10,000 square feet of space where a full service brewpub and beer garden are planned, scheduled to near completion by the start of 2015. In the meantime, the facility will be available for private catered events and beginning April 5, will be accessible to the public via chartered school bus tours from the Downingtown brewpub, which also just recently resumed offering tours on the weekends.
“We share the anticipation our fans have expressed over having the opportunity to enjoy the brewpub and tour experience in Parkesburg,” said Barchet. “While there are still a number of hurdles to cross until that can happen entirely, we’re excited to offer an enjoyable package option that provides a behind the scenes look at the brewery, as well as food and beer component in the meantime.”
The tours, which are scheduled for Saturdays from 11am-2:30pm and 3pm-6:30pm, will depart from Victory’s Downingtown brewpub. Upon arrival in Parkesburg, guests will receive a welcome beer in the catering hall, followed by a guided tour of the brewery from the production floor, before meeting back in the hall to enjoy a chef-inspired food and beer pairing. Each session is limited to 40 people and all tour guests must be 21 years or older to participate. Tickets must be purchased in advance and will be available on Victory’s website, beginning Monday, March 3.
“Words can barely describe the level of our enthusiasm for this new brewery and what it means for Ron and me,” said Covaleski. “Parkesburg will enable more brewmaster creativity and innovation, as well as the release of new specialty and experimental recipes while allowing us to continue to deliver the existing world-class brands our fans know and love. We hope our fans are equally as excited.”
- If stretched end to end, more than three miles of stainless steel piping is used to connect the brewery and CIP vessels
- The custom glulam beams over the brewhouse span 80feet wide, 50 inches deep and weigh roughly 10,000lbs a piece
- The lauter tun in the brewhouse is 23 feet wide, weighing 26,000lbs empty, and required a police escort from the seaport in Dundalk, Maryland to Parkesburg, traveling on a special “low-boy” trailer to fit under bridges
- Speaking of the lauter tun, at full capacity it will be able to brew 200 barrels of wort every two hours for beers like Prima Pils, Summer Love and Golden Monkey. That’s 6,200 gallons, or 400 x 1/2 kegs, or 2755 case equivalents, times 12 batches in 24 hours, to deliver 33,066 cases or 74,400 gallons of beer. You might need to bring a few friends
- In just one week, the state-or-the-art yeast propagation system can cultivate about 80hL (approximately 2200 gallons) of yeast with more than 100 million cells per mL, which, in technical terms, is a boatload
- In the fermentation cellar, the self-supported structure holding all 16 1,000 barrel fermentation tanks, was built on a mat slab concrete foundation that is roughly 840 cubic yards, running four feet deep. With the concrete walls, columns and roof added to that, there is roughly 1,600 yards of concrete surface in the cellar, which required 160 concrete trucks, each tank weighing 425,000lbs
- 45,000 feet of wire is needed to connect and run the 600 foot bottling line
- Each of the two largest bright beer tanks hold 1,000 barrels at once, which combined, is equal to 275 more barrels than the total number produced in Victory’s first full year in operation
About Victory Brewing Company
Victory Brewing Company is a privately held craft brewery headquartered in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Begun by Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet, childhood friends who met on a school bus in 1973, the brewery formally began operations in February of 1996. Victory, Pennsylvania’s widely acclaimed brewery and restaurant, now serves fans of fully flavored beers in 34 states with innovative beers melding European ingredients and technology with American creativity. To learn more about Victory Brewing Company visit us on the web at www.victorybeer.com.