Finally! I live within walking distance of the new Victory Brew Pub and I can actually see it from my deck!
I’ve watched over the past couple years as the tanks came and were installed. I watched the walls go up and get painted with that distinctive red horizontal V. I went to a fund raiser for the Octorara track team in the unfinished space of the pub over a year ago. Like so many others, I kept waiting, watching and anticipating the opening of our own home town brew pub.
Monday November 23, 2015 the doors finally opened and yours truly was customer #1! I’m pretty sure that even in my early 20’s I never drank a beer at 11:00 a.m. so that alone will tell you how pumped I was for this opening.
First let me say that Victory proved long ago what a good neighbor business is all about. They are truly a partner in Downingtown and Kennett Square. More than a year before the pub was even started, Victory was giving back to the Parkesburg area.
As I was sipping my very first Donnybrook Stout this past Monday I asked the barmaid what drew her to Victory. She told me the reason was they’re good people to work for, they care about you. Isn’t that what we all want in an employer?
So, I’d like to start by saying welcome to a new neighbor.
Now, let’s get to the food and beer. As I said, I started with a Donnybrook Stout on Nitro($5.50). It is the lightest alcohol beer they had on tap at 3.7 ABU. It was smooth and creamy and delicious.
I’ve seen a lot of stouts that were close to Guinness, but this one is similar and better at the same time. It is currently my favorite beer from Victory. It looks as good in the glass as it tastes. However, with all the beers on tap at the pub if stout is not your thing don’t worry, they’ll have something for everyone.
Victory also has a canning device that allows us to pick our favorite brew, get it canned fresh and take it home. I love that option. And of course, they have growlers!
I want to talk a minute about the environment. It’s huge! This pub seats a full 348. There’s another 30 stools at the bar. Like so many brew pubs, this one can be described as “industrial.” That type of space and design can be overwhelming and there is that feel for sure, but with the sound baffles and the open feel of the southern facing windows the space actually feels welcoming.
The chairs, tables and stools are utilitarian, but comfortable. All of the staff I encountered were nice, helpful and friendly.
Lin and I ate lunch Monday and dinner Tuesday. For lunch we had a combination of small plates. I had the tomato basil soup ($6). It was very thick and rich. This is a soup I could almost chew. I also had the eggplant caviar with victory’s special Spent Grain Bread ($5). The caviar is what I would call a ‘spread’. It had lots of flavor and the bread was outstanding!
Lin had the wilted greens ($3). This is a combination of spinach and Swiss Chard, with fried shallots, white wine and crushed red pepper. It’s nothing special, but it is actually good and quite nice for three dollars.
Lin also went for the side of mac and cheese with Cured pork belly, Conebella cheddar and Conebella colby($4). This dish is also available as an entrée. I like mac and cheese and this is a good one.
Not everyone likes pork belly and this one is a little different since it is what I think of as small chips. This makes the pork belly a little more chewy than either Lin or I like, but that’s a minor issue.
Overall, we had four small plates. That was absolutely all we needed for a very filling and satisfying lunch.
Tuesday we came back at 5 p.m. for our first Victory dinner. There was a nice brisk business starting and within an hour there were quite few people. There were also lots of kids of all ages and they fit in just fine. This space works for everyone.
For meals I went with the Seared Salmon with smashed white beans and mustard veloute’ ($13). This was very good and although it is a special right now, if I see it again I wouldn’t hesitate to get it. Lin went with the Eggplant Stack with basil marinara, wilted greens, mozzarella crème and locatelli ($12).
Although the flavor and presentation were very nice, this dish was barely warm and the eggplant was not totally cooked. These slices are very thick, so getting them done through and through can be tricky.
We also shared a side of Candied Brussels Sprouts ($4). These were a little too sweet for our tastes and not quite warm. I love Brussels sprouts and many brew pubs have them on the menu. I prefer them without the sugar and they definitely have to be hot.
I had another delicious Donnybrook Stout with dinner ($5.50).
So overall, this is a fun place with lots of great beer choices on tap and to go. The menu is creative, but needs a little work right now to get the delivery just right.
Victory is the 27th brew pub I’ve visited in 2015. I don’t think it’s fair to judge them and give stars just yet as all of the others I visited had at least 2 years’ experience under their belts before a review.
I will say however, I love the start. In our two meals, the salmon was definitely a standout. The soup and eggplant caviar are also really good.
You really feel welcome at Victory and I’m looking forward to making regular stops here for meals, snacks and a cold refreshing drink for years to come.
3127 Lower Valley Rd, Parkesburg, PA 19365
A native of Chester County and a 1968 graduate of Octorara Area High School, David Jones earned a Masters Degree in Medical Ethics from from Villanova University. Mr. Jones served as CEO of both Mayview and Wernersville State Hospitals and later worked directly with then Governor Rendell to modernize and right-size Pennsylvania’s entire state hospital system. Jones and his wife Lynn make their home in Parkesburg and dine out frequently across Chester County and the Delaware Valley.