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Oct 26, 2007 11:13 AM

Victory Brewery in Downingtown, PA

I am planning on going on the brewery tour at the Victory brewery tomorrow afternoon and was wondering if anyone else had possibly been out there for this and curious if it was worth the trip?

I love their beers and would look forward to having several of them on tap down there and also would like to eat at the restaurant they seem to have on location. Is it typical pub food or pizzas/etc? Im hoping some of you have been there and it is a worthwhile place to eat.

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  1. The food is OK, but the real reason to go (other than the tour) is that they usually have several beers on draft in the restaurant that you can't get anywhere else.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Buckethead

      It is fairly typical pub fare but we like it. I've had their wood fired pizzas numerous times and they are always very good. My wife has had their mussels at least twice and said they were better than Monk's. Haven't had anything bad yet and although it gets crowded we've always had good service. The restaurant has all the ambience of a cafeteria but remember they are primarily a brewery that happens to have a really long bar and restaurant, and not a brewpub.

      1. re: Buckethead

        Thanks. Probably what I was expecting- pizzas and some burgers should do the job to sop up the beers that I plan on putting away there- I expect many a hop devil and storm king to go down, so so good on tap.

      2. As I've mentioned before the "restaurant" has all the atmosphere of a laundry mat (i.e. tile floors and cinder block walls). Having said that though, the food is decent (nothing to write home about however). The beer selection is solid but could be broader. You can generally get Hop Devil on cask (which is cool) and one of their “Seasonals” on tap (Hop Wallup should be up soon and Harvest Pils [which was magnificent there on draft] might still be around). I think that their stout is blown away by Sly Fox’s O’Reilly stout but isn’t bad.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00

          Now come on, don't you think you are being a bit harsh? There is carpet in the "dining room" and the cinder blocks are painted.

          Funny, of all the casual dining spots available to us, for some reason, Victory is our favorite regular place to go. Something about the lack of atmosphere but filled with patrons who appreciate good beer makes it a very comfortable place.

          1. re: RC51Mike

            Victory is one of my favorite places to hang out when I visit my boyfriend and his family. It's a microbrewery so obviously it isn't going to have ambience...but the food is pretty good. I particularly like the chicken nachos. I'm sure you'll have a great time if you like to drink beer and eat pub food. I also suggest you try the Golden Monkey...

            1. re: SaraMiller

              I was going to mention nachos. The chili cook-off in Feb. or so is a great time if you can make it and like chili.

              Golden Monkey was one of the first Belgian style beers we tried and didn't like it. We referred to all of that ilk as banana daiquris. After having many micros and attending a few fests we began to learn to appreciate different styles. We both tried the Golden Monkey again at the Media brewfest this year just for comparison and surprised we now liked it. It's as though through our beer education we "got it" and understood the beer and so could appreciate it too. mmmm beer. good stuff.

              1. re: RC51Mike

                Thanks, Im heading there this afternoon and cant wait. GM is not my favorite of their beers but am willing to give it another go. Cant wait to try out all their powerhouse beers on tap.

              2. re: SaraMiller

                Sly Fox Brewpub right up Route 113 from Victory has good ambience (i.e. looks and feels like an actual restaurant) with beer that approaches the quality of Victory (i.e. Sly Fox has nothing that compares to Storm King stout or Hop Wallup or some other Victory seasonals). Food is solid and they have outdoor dining.

                Head to Head beers (styles):
                Victory Prima Pils vs. Sly Fox Pikeland Pils (Draw)
                Victory Donnybrook Stout vs. Sly Fox O'Reilly Stout (Sly Fox [in a landslide])
                Victory Lager vs. Sly Fox Helles Golden Lager (Draw)
                Victory Mad King Weiss vs. Sly Fox Royal Weiss (Sly Fox)
                Victory Hop Devil vs. Sly Fox Route 113 IPA (Victory)

                1. re: SaraMiller

                  "It's a microbrewery so obviously it isn't going to have ambience"

                  The problem with this statement is that there's a lot of other local brewpubs with better ambiance - Sly Fox, Triumph, all those Iron Hill locations, plus the chain brewpubs like John Harvard's and Rock Bottom.

                  The menu at Victory looks more promising than the one I recall when I was last there around 3 years ago. The food wasn't bad, but it was nothing special.

            2. Wanted to give feedback now that I have went and did the tour on Saturday, followed by several beers, and food.

              The tour was pretty good and the beers were fantastic. It was worth the trip solely for the opportunity to enjoy the HopDevil and Storm King from the cask. Remarkable. Was able to try the other offerings that are only available there, none of which were blew me away.

              As far as the food goes, not very good but thats not what I was there so I cant complain. The pizza was horrible, sandwiches were a little bizarre, and maybe I just ordered the wrong things?

              The food could be that bad but Im sure Ill be back for the beers on tap. Next stop, Dogfish Head in Delaware.

              6 Replies
              1. re: yankeefan

                Glad that you enjoyed it. As a few of us have suggested if you are going to be in the area Sly Fox is right up the road from Victory (about 20 minutes). It's worth a visit. The food will be marginally better and as I've mentioned their beer is solid but they don't seem to specialize in big beer (i.e. Imperial stouts, IPA, etc). Their relatvely "quiet" beers (compared to Victory) are competitve with any in their style anywhere IMHO. But if bigness is your thing then you will absolutely love Dogfish Head (as I'm sure you are aware of what they are all about).


                1. re: Chinon00

                  Thank you Chinon and Modbetty. DFH does have burger night but Im not sure which it is now, Im sure not on the weekend when Im planning to go. At a place like that and beers like that, sustenance to soak up the brews are what is needed!

                  I thought about a sly fox visit but given the ride home, a second brewery wasnt the best idea. Im sure there are others in the NJ/Philly area that are worthwhile and Im doing my best to try to get to as many as possible. Have you made your way to the NJ breweries/brewpubs? Some are very worthwhile. Depending on what you are looking for of course.

                  I absolutely cant wait for Dogfish.

                  1. re: yankeefan

                    I would recommend visiting the Flying Fish brewery on a Saturday to do their tour. Great beers and great people. Also recommend Sly Fox and Noddinghead Brewpubs, as well as Iron Hill. I prefer the Iron Hill in North Wales on 309, though their cask engine is off line.

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      When were you at Noddinghead last? I went there in the spring and was thoroughly disappointed with the beer and the food. That would right now be the absolute last brewpub in the area that I would suggest to anyone.
                      Iron Hill gets better and better. Their alt that I had about a month ago was fantastic. Triumph (Old City location) was also really enjoyable. Solid beer in every style offered.

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        By all means, I have been to the FF in Cherry Hill and done the tour and also been down there for a couple cask events. I have to agree that it is a laid back place and a good group of people down there, they treat you well.

                        I was not too enthused about Noddinghead the one time I was there but Im sure Ill give it another try. I really did not like the beer or the people there, had a real awkward feel and just ended up having beers and clams downstairs at Sansom oyster house where they had plenty of good beers on tap.

                        One place that I have gone to several times and have been let down is Triumph (both Princeton/New Hope). Harvest Moon and JJs in Middlesex county are among my favorites small brewpubs- HM is constantly changing their beers, often have big beers, and the food is great.

                        Dont know much about Iron Hill, Ill have to look into that. River Horse was actually interesting as well- they are in Lambertville, NJ>

                  2. re: yankeefan

                    I was disappointed in the food the both times we went to Victory, but perhaps it was more that the offerings were so generic, and the place so boring looking. They could do great things with that space, but the decor is just meh.

                    I think Dogfish has tours in Milton, but hopefully you're planning on going to the original Rehoboth Beach location to see where it all began. I am partial to their salmon sandwich, and back when I was a local, I recall Mondays being $5 burger night in the off-season. Have fun!

                  3. Best food that I've had was at Iron Hill and Triumph. Having said that though I've never had entrees at any other brewpubs, just pizza, wings and burgers. I think that the atmosphere at both Triumph and Iron Hill are more suggestive of knife and fork eating though.

                    Also, to add the list describing Victory Brewpub's atmosphere I'd like to add "bowling alley-like" along side the previously mentioned "cafeteria-like" and "laundry mat-like".

                    Lastly, for me, locally I feel blessed with the likes of Victory, Dogfish Head, Yard, etc, around. However, as I've stated before, I will always give the nod to breweries such as Victory and Sly Fox (or even Iron Hill or Triumph [Old City loation]) because they do lager "right" as well. As much as I enjoy Dog Fish Head and Weyerbacher they will always rank below any other brewery that does both ales and traditional lagers well (for me anyway).

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Chinon00

                      Bowling alley was fitting. I actually mentioned there that it seemed like one of those roller rinks that you used to have birthday parties at as a kid. that was my first instinct and vibe.

                      Where exactly is iron hill? Ill have to look into that one and add that to my list.

                      1. re: yankeefan

                        Iron Hill is all over the place (somewhat) Phoenixville, West Chester, Newark, Media, North Wales, Wilmington....and soon in Lancaster.

                        The beer is good....try the pig iron stout. Good seasonal stuff, too. The food is decent. Certainly better than Sly Fox or Victory. Try the pizzas.

                        1. re: Major504

                          yeah, I actually looked it up and saw that they had several locations. Their menu seems very promising- looking forward to giving it a try. Thanks.

                          My vote for best brewpub food as of yet is Harvest Moon in New Brunswick.