Having trained in Germany, we appreciate the artistic freedom we have here in the U.S. Here, a fervent core of consumers embraces creativity, and we are happy to serve that audience with our experience in traditional methods, selection of choice, often imported ingredients, and the best processing that technology can offer us. We relish the opportunity to please both ourselves and our audience with our flavorful creations.
At Victory we believe that the very best ingredients are necessary in order to brew the very best beer. Here, German malted barley, a mix of European and American whole flower hops, 45 unique yeast strains (for our wide variety of beers), and the highest quality local water is blended to create our refined brews.
Note: Victory is one of only a few breweries in the country that uses whole flower hops. While almost all other breweries used pelletized hops, Bill and Ron insist on using the whole-flower varieties. This unprocessed form of hops imparts better flavor and aroma to beer.
Every brew begins with malt preparation. Victory’s imported German malts are first brought into the brewhouse via a conveyer system from our silo house. At that point the malt is sifted to ensure outside particles are taken out. The malt is then immediately sent to the wet mill. This wet-milling process softens the malt allowing us to remove the barley husk from the kernel with less breakage. The intact husks produce sweeter wort and yield less tannic bitterness than their broken counterparts.
The softened malt is transferred to the mash tun where it is mixed, activating enzymes which change the malt starches into simpler sugars. From there, the resulting mash is transferred to the lauter tun. The lauter tun acts as a strainer, separating the sugar and nutrient-rich wort (the liquid that will become beer) from the spent barley malt. The fresh wort moves to the brew kettles where the European and American whole flower hops are added to produce unique flavors and enticing aromas.
After a specified time, the hops are removed, and a whirlpool is used to sift out any remaining hop particles before the hopped wort is sent to the “cellar” where fermenting occurs.
Note: A local cattle farmer visits Victory regularly to gather our spent grain. He supplements his herd’s feed with these highly nutritious, natural foods.
Once transferred to the fermentation tanks, we add specific yeast strains for each of our beers. The yeast converts the sugars from the brewing process into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. Most of our beers are sent through our filtration system after fermentation and maturation. There all of the yeast particles are removed to prevent spoilage. Our unfiltered beers, like Sunrise Weiss, skip this step.
After the beer has been filtered (or not) it is kegged and/or bottled. We have a state-of-the-art, German-built bottling system that fills approximately three 12-ounce bottles per second.
The last step in the journey from ingredients to consumer is, of course, end user “quality assurance.” Every new brew here at Victory is personally taste tested by Bill and Ron.