When Bill and Ron first met in 1973 as 5th graders, their biggest concern was finding a good spot to get into trouble after school. Over their 39 years of friendship (so far), those stresses changed: Who to take to the prom? Where to go to college? How to secure a real job? And then, in 1996 how to make their dream of brewery ownership a reality.
So far, the duo has managed all of life’s choices honorably and successfully. Beginning in 2011 and continuing into 2012, Bill and Ron faced yet another daunting conundrum – this time more significant than choosing a prom date. How should they solve the challenge of operating a brewery functioning at capacity in order to feed the needs of their devoted fans?
After many sleepless nights, countless hours of research, dozens of meetings with financial institutions and a few solid drinking sessions, Bill and Ron have decided to take another leap of faith, with their fingers crossed that the Victory name holds true. Victory Brewing Company is opening a second brewery!
We officially signed papers this week to take over an existing building in Parkesburg, PA to build our additional brewing facility. We now take on the task of turning that building into another Victory Brewing Company. It will take some serious growing pains to get the new facility up-and-running. But once we’re at that point (fingers crossed for Summer 2013), it will allow us endless opportunities to experiment with new flavors and re-create old favorites.
In keeping with our “locally brewed, locally loved” motto, the choice to expand was not made lightly. The Parkesburg location will allow Victory to produce even more locally brewed and locally loved beer.
We can’t imagine considering anywhere other than Downingtown as our home. And, while there’s no place like home, the new location was chosen because of its similarities to our Downingtown location. Just as our home brewery recycled an old Pepperidge Farm factory, the expansion brewery is being built within an existing complex in Parkesburg. And just like our Downingtown location is situated a mere 14 miles from the headwaters of the east branch of the Brandywine Creek, the new brewery will be just 17 miles from the headwaters of the west branch.
Environmental impact has always been of utmost importance to us, and it continues to be as we expand. Water quality was a major consideration 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. And just as we have awarded our Headwaters Grant to a watershed stewardship group who is protecting the east branch, we will be announcing our new recipient as an advocate for the west branch.
With this expansion will come plenty of other great news. Over the next five years, we expect to add more than 50 full time jobs to our workforce. As we increase our brewing capacity, we’ll be able to bring back some of our brands that went on a brief hiatus: Old Horizontal, St. Victorious and maybe even WildDevil. Ultimately, we plan to move most of our flagship brewing to Parkesburg, which will allow us to make the Downingtown brewery into a limited-edition draft brewery for more experimentation. By shuffling some of our brewing around, we will eventually be able to bring tours back to the public!
Making the choice to expand has been a big decision for Bill and Ron. But, just as they always have, they focus their commitment on the beer. Their mission has always been to create the highest quality products, and that will continue to be the heart of Victory Brewing Company. We believe that victory comes with dedication to flavor and that belief is propelling us to expand.
Two childhood friends are once again taking a risk together. By taking this bold move forward, Bill and Ron are looking forward to celebrating the next 16 years in business, and 16 years after that, and so on, as we continue to Taste VictoryTM together.
*You can follow us on our journey toward Victory in Parkesburg as we share photos, plans, news and more over the next few months at www.victorybeer.com/expansion.