Since opening the brewery in February 1996, Bill and Ron have emphasized environmental responsibility. When choosing a brewery location, they decided to rejuvenate the existing buildings of a former Pepperidge Farm factory instead of building new. Later, in 2004, Victory Brewing Company upgraded the brewhouse with a system that recovers much of the primary energy fueling it. Essentially, a third of the natural gas burned to heat and boil beer is not lost, but retained in the system for heating purposes, enabling us to reduce CO2 emissions. In 2009 and 2010, we installed a total of 12 thermally-protected, energy efficient fermenters whose cooling and temperature monitoring are powered with photovoltaic electricity, in order to maintain our ethic of low environmental impact manufacturing.
We are proud to harness the energy of the sun to power our beer-making with the installation of 345 photovoltaic panels. Installed by SunPower Builders of Collegeville, PA, the system generates approximately 82,000kWh of clean, green electricity each year. A system monitor installed in our restaurant here at Victory Brewing Company displays live data regarding the system’s energy generation for patrons to witness.
PennEnvironment recognized the significance of this installation in stating “Victory’s solar electric project shows that businesses continue to turn to clean, renewable energy to protect the environment and reduce their costs. We congratulate them on their continued commitment to Pennsylvania’s environment, which is only matched by their commitment to making award winning beer.”
Victory is also focused on reducing waste and recycling. As part of the brewing process Victory recycles the nearly 25,000 pounds of spent grain is generated every 24 hours through an an arrangement with a local farmer who takes this brewing by-product and feeds it to his farm animals. (Spent grain consists mainly of the barley husks that remain after simple sugar has been extracted from the malt.) In addition to that effort, the brewpub initiated a composting program in 2010 to help reduce food waste from the farm-to-table restaurant. Through this program, we compost more than 73 tons of food waste annually.
Beer is the product of four simple ingredients — water, hops, malt, and yeast. Victory Brewing Company prides itself in using the world’s best ingredients for making beer. The brewery was purposefully opened less than 14 miles from the pristine headwaters of the Brandywine Creek. Because of the important role water plays in the production of quality beer, Victory Brewing Company initiated The Headwaters Grant as a way to give back to the groups working hard to protect the natural resource.
Headwaters Pale Ale was released in celebration of our 15-year anniversary. We had many discussions about how to name the new beer and what would make it special. The choice was obvious. We reflected about our brewery home in Downingtown, Pa. and all that makes it a special place for us. We are blessed with fantastic community and incredible fans that we meet at our brewpub on a weekly basis. Even more important to our success is the pure water available just around the corner. With that, Headwaters was born.
Named to pay homage to the water with which is it brewed, Headwaters Pale Ale is not only a refreshing beer but also a vehicle for Victory charity. A portion of every bottle sold is collected and distributed to environmental advocacy groups through the Headwaters Grant.
Victory donates 1 cent for every bottle of Headwaters sold. Headwaters is our fastest growing brand, and as the popularity of this unique beer increases, so will the size of the grants we award nationwide.