If you have never heard of Victory Brewing Company, you are missing out on some quality beer! A combination of the American ingenuity and standard German brewing techniques of two men has brought this incredibly inspiring company into existence.
The company was started in 1996 by Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski. The two men have been best friends since the fifth grade and ended up inspiring a passion for brewing in each other in 1985 when one bought the other a home brewery kit. After a few years of competing against each other in home brewing, they decided that they wanted to leave their average jobs and make it a career. They completed apprenticeships with the Baltimore Brewing Company one year apart and each attended a university in Germany to sharpen their knowledge of German style brewing. In February 1996, they opened Victory Brewing Company in Downington, Pennsylvania. They opened their company in an old Pepperidge Farm factory that they renovated, creating a restaurant that seated a little under 150 people and in their first year they brewed over 1700 barrels of beer. They have been steadily on the rise ever since. In 2014, they brewed over 125,000 barrels! Their success enabled them to expand their company and their restaurant. The restaurant now seats 300 people.
Ron and Bill have also used their success to reduce their environmental impact, which has always been important to them. They stated that was why they renovated the old factory and it is also why they updated their systems in 2004 to reduce their CO2 emissions. In the last few years, they have updated their power source to rely completely on solar power, created a composting program for their restaurant, and even started recycling their used grain. They have an astonishingly amazing line of beer that includes eleven different types of year-round beer and nine that are specialty and seasonal. Their determination and talent are incredible! It is so refreshing to see a company built from the ground up by a couple of guys who had a dream and made it happen. It is equally impressive that they have made a point to not compromise on their environmental beliefs and have taken the opportunity to change their methods to support those as soon as they were financially able. These men are an inspiration for dreamers everywhere. You may think your ambitions are just pipe dreams, but Ron and Bill have proven that with the right attitude and dedication any dream is achievable.
Someone asked why a fellow who didn’t consume alcoholic beverages would publish an article about a brewery. I thought about the question because I knew this man was serious. So, I did what I always do, I went with the truth. “Obviously I failed, Sir, the article wasn’t to be about a brewery, but the men who own and operate it.” I’m Bob Miller