3 New Victory Beers for the Craft Brewers Conference. You coming?

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Here we are in early March, after brewing and fermenting some fun and interesting beers. The beer styles we envisioned brewing are now all fermented and beginning their next leg of their journey to Chicago. We were very happy with the results in the brewhouse—we hit our target temperatures, gravities, oxygenation and even our yeast cell counts went as planned.

The final recipes included the following beers and qualities:

Saphir Belgian Style Tripel: This beer uses the same yeast we use in Golden Monkey, but the similarities end there. We implemented a highly intensive mash process that yielded extremely fermentable wort. Unlike our Golden Monkey, which uses 15% sugar to achieve a high degree of fermentation, the Saphir Tripel used the mashing process to achieve the same results using a much smaller percentage of sugar. The assertive hopping of this CBC beer with the German Saphir hops really brings out the spiciness of the yeast. Its IBUs, though not yet tested, should be around 40-45, with an Alc/vol of 8.6%.

Belgian-style Pale Ales:
We brewed three batches of this beer. All three batches used Hallertau Tradition and Hallertau Select for the first hopping, primarily aimed at achieving a common level of bitterness. After the first hopping, the three batches were treated with different single hops. The first one we brewed used the newer hop variety, Smaragd, also from Hallertau and spicy. Smaragd was used in one of these pale ales and added twice towards the end of boil. After a Belgian yeast fermentation, the bulk of the yeast was removed and the beer transferred to another tank, in which we had placed a fair quantity of fresh Smaragd hops. This “dry-hopping” has the effect of bringing intensive hop aroma and taste into the beer with little or no bitterness. It creates a unique aroma that spotlights the hops used in the process. For the other two Belgian-style Pale Ales, we used Hallertau Mittelfrüh and Hersbrucker hops for the final two additions, as well as dry-hopping. We anticipate about 40 IBUs and 6.0 Alc/vol for each of these.

Bavarian Pale Ale:
This is a unique twist on the IPA style. For this gem, we brewed a pale beer with 100% pilsner barley malt (the lightest color of malt we use at the brewery) and used the classic Bavarian decoction mashing technique. This tends to bring out intensive malt flavors, along with increasing the fermentability of the wort. Instead of employing a single hop as we have always done in past CBC beer offerings, we used 5 different Bavarian hops for this ale. Eric chose to use Hallertau Select, Hersbrucker, Tradition, Mittelfrüh, and Smaragd. Probably the most exciting part of this brew was our selection of yeast; we chose to use our Weissbier yeast strain, the one responsible for our Sunrise Weissbier and Moonglow Weizenbock. The intensity of hop aromas and flavors, mixed with the intensity of esters and phenols created by this yeast during fermentation and aging, has yielded what will be titanic in flavor. The IBUs are around 45 and the Alc/vol. will be 7.2%

The current and next step in these brews’ lives is the aging and maturation process. This is the stage where the beer goes from being beer to being a great beer. The hops will continue to leak their aromas and flavors into the dry-hopped Belgian-style pale ales, while the Saphir Tripel will mellow and lose some if its high alcohol flavors. The Bavarian Pale Ale, currently fighting an identity crisis, will come into its own and emerge as the world’s newest beer style.

Folks, we are not far from enjoying these special creations. If you are attending the Craft Brewers Conference in Chicago this April, be sure to stop by the German Hop Growers Booth Thursday and Friday, April 8-9 to learn more about these hops and taste the brews. If you are not attending the Conference, expect a few ‘extra’ kegs to be tapped here at Victory on Sunday April 11. We have no idea how long they might last, honestly. In the meanwhile, we’ll try to keep you up to date on how the flavors and aromas are evolving. Stay tuned.



Co-Founder and Brewer

3 Responses to 3 New Victory Beers for the Craft Brewers Conference. You coming?

  1. Adam Duffy March 12, 2010 at 2:28 AM #

    As an avid home brewer your speaking my language here brother. The only beers that can be found in my home are ones that I brew with my neighbor, we call it "Two Fat Irishmen Brewing Company", and Victory beer. Im lucky enough to live only a short drive from the Brewery, so I can enjoy all of your events and excellent food. I wish that you guys would sell your yeast strains in the gift shop, I would love to have a vile of that Weissbier strain for my home brewing. Any thoughts on that? Keep up the good work on the craft brews guys! Looking forward to the keg tapping on April 11th.

  2. Happy March 16, 2010 at 1:41 AM #

    Bavarian Pale Ale, 5 different hops, the same yeast as Moonglow, You guys must have been watching a lot of Frankenstein when you came up with this "creation". Wait forget that, more like watching Weird Science, Frankenstein was ugly but this blend is guaranteed to be HOT! I I for one think that your most popular beer this year should become bottled in some capacity and distributed. I thought Saphir Weiss from last year was one of the most interesting wheat beers Ive ever had. This year looks like youve set the bases to find a good addition to your lineup.

  3. Cole May 24, 2010 at 9:06 PM #

    I’m sorry if this request is out of line but i have to ask. I tried the Hallertau Belgian-style Pale and it was one of the best session beers i’ve ever had…and i’ve had a lot of beer. My brewing partner and I are interested in trying to recreate something reasonably similar and were wondering if we could get any more specifics on the recipe of the beer. Again I don’t know if it’s uncool to ask for information like that and frankly I don’t even know how to get a hold of the right people to ask about it. Ron if you check these comments I would love it if you would email me so I could ask you a few questions about it. NICE WORK GUYS

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European Tradition.


American Ingenuity.

The Victory Brewing Story

The story of Victory Brewing Company starts on a school bus in 1973 when fifth-graders Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski stepped aboard, on their way to a new school. The two became fast friends and remained so, even as they grew up and went to college on opposite coasts. Just months out of college, Bill’s appreciation of good beer and access to his father’s home brewing equipment inspired him to explore the hobby. That same year (1985), Bill gave Ron a home brewing kit as a Christmas gift. With that, both Bill and Ron developed their love of the craft…
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