The votes are in!
Thanks not only to those who were faithfully-foolish enough to attempt craft beer conquest, but also to those who, so inspired these stories, continued the gesture by casting a vote and helping our panel of judges crown the biggest FOOL of all!
Drum role please … Josh and Sarah (Married to Victory) your hop-inspired wedding was a Victory all-around! Thanks for sharing your story, photos, and most importantly, your love of craft beer with the world!
Honorable mention goes to:
- We Worship Thee – Ann Marie M.
- Marrying a Hophead – Kristin and Kevin
- More Love, Less Beer – Stuart C.
We ask all participants in the contest to please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, your entry name, mailing address and t-shirt size so that we can send you your winnings. We will be continuing the Inspired by Victory contest series on a quarterly basis. So, check back in a few weeks to see what our next challenge will be and what you could win by participating.
View the full original contest requirements.
I’ve only become a fan of a variety of beer in the past five years, and Victory has been a key player in my growth as a beer lover and future pretentious beer snob.
Being in Memphis, TN I can’t always get all of your available selections, but I get all I can and then buy most of the others in Nashville whenever I’m going through to visit family. One of my favorite activities is trying to introduce people who drink Bud Light, Miller, and every other tasteless monstrosity at the grocery store, to wonderful flavors and enjoyable beer and Victory continues to assist me in my mission.
I took a picture of my beer pantry back in December and as you can see, I love variety, and Victory plays a large role. What you cannot see in the picture is the Golden Monkey, Festbier or the bottle of Baltic Thunder in my fridge.
From that picture you can also see that I’m a huge fan of Christmas beers and I hope you come out with one next year!
The best thing about your beer is that it goes great with one of our major key hobbies in the south, competitive BBQ cooking. We cook in the heat and cold and you’ve got wonderful beer for all seasons and personal tastes, so while we’re outside enjoying nature and cooking some delicious product we can enjoy Victory’s finest offerings.
And we’ve cooked and drank long enough to know when to stop drinking Golden Monkey and focus on our product.
On the team I’m on, I have one rule that I follow. After we win, trophies are great, but there is only one way that I celebrate:
V-12 is perfection. V-12… words cannot truly describe my love for it. And it’s not the alcohol content that I adore so much, it’s the flavor. It’s like a symphony of flavors and aroma and color.
V-12 is the perfect beer. It’s a masterpiece. And I’m so lucky to have found it and be able to enjoy it regularly.
Thank you so much for all that you do. I truly wish you continued success and I promise you my continued support.
The Hop Devil is divine and worthy of our reverence, adoration, and praise. When HopDevil revealed itself to me, I responded in the only way I could; an idolatrous stained glass gift for my husband.
My husband worships the Hop Devil. I made this for him as an anniversary gift.
I have been crafting my own beer now for a couple of years but my origin story that leads me up to this love of beer needs to take words. I’ll be brief…
My first ‘taste’ of beer came one hot summer day after being outside with my Dad. He was performing his weekly landscaping rituals when mom emerged from the house with what I thought was lemonade. It sure looked like it, pale yellow yet why was it bubbly and where was the ice? Dad took the glass and finished half of it in a long drawn gulp, followed by the expected Ahhh of refreshment. “Here have a sip”, he said to me. So I took the glass, drew in a very small quantity of the ‘lemonade’ and immediately made the sour face so often seen on a beer novice’s face.
Years later I came to understand that the other reason for my sour face was that this beer was not only light beer, but a brand known to run in very budget conscious circles.
But I digress, time for the Craft Brew story…
Fast forward to adulthood. I was attending a get together at a friend’s house when he hands me a glass filled with a much darker, richer, amber colored fluid. “Have a sip”, he said to me. Sounding familiar, and having had my share of mediocre beers, I reluctantly took a taste. My taste buds took flight as a rich, almost thick blend of fruity yet spicy flavors overwhelmed my senses. After what seemed a long pause I finished my first sip and asked, “What was that!?” “Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Co.”, he replied. Needless to say the glass was soon empty and I was forever changed.
By far my most favorite of Victory’s beers is their Headwaters Pale Ale; it’s hoppy, crisp and refreshing. All qualities I look for in a great brew and the reason I decided to get into home brewing.
Two years ago now I stopped into a home brew supply store in my local area and took the plunge buying the buckets, siphons, bottles, caps and all the gear an aspiring new brewer would need. “What beer did you want to make for your first batch?” the shop owner prompted. I asked him if he knew of Victory’s Headwaters Pale Ale. With a knowing smile and a few clicks of his computer he produced the ingredients to attempt to clone this recipe.
Rushing home I embarked on my maiden voyage into brewing. The process was quite fun and seemed much more like play than work. Several months later, after fermenting in a coat closet and then bottled for carbonation, came the moment of truth. The very first bottle was properly chilled and siting on my counter next to a ‘Real’ bottle of Headwaters. Pffft went the Victory bottle and into a glass it poured. Next was my brew. Sweating, I placed the opener onto the cap and… Pffft went the bottle, my heart jumped. Into another glass went my beer, a beautiful head forming like its counterpart.
To the untrained eye you could barely tell them apart. To the pallet however my brew was a bit hoppier, but just as delicious.
Looking on at my obsession, my wife, daughter and son could only stare. “Have a taste of each”, I said to them. Taking the glasses to their lips they did, the sour faces that followed would forever remind me that the journey of a beer aficionado has to start somewhere. At least in their case theirs would start with the best!
When I was much younger, my friends and I went to Seattle for a Theatre Rigging Seminar. When classes were finished we bounced from bar to bar trying as many different beers as possible since very few choices were available on the East Coast.
One particular beer stands out in memory because of the name. The bar was near UW. The pint as poured had a mysteriously caramel brown hue to it and the bar tender seemed particularly exited to share it. The beer was brewed on site in limited batches.
The name of this beer was Trombipulator, or something close to it. I’ve never found it again and wonder if my memory had been distorted by the higher than used to alcohol content and the ambient haze of that college town brew pub so long ago.
My wife Sarah and I were married on September 29th, and as a celebration of our love of beer we decided to incorporate hops and wheat into our flower arrangements (including the brides maids bouquet and grooms mens’ corsages). Here are pictures of how we made our day extra special…with a touch from Victory! And of course my wife had to represent on our honeymoon, in Costa Rica zip lining through the rain forest!
My fiancee Kevin and I are craft beer faithful fools, indeed! Kevin and I are craft beer fools traveling to visit and tour numerous of our favorite breweries and attending all sorts of beer festivals from local ones in Lansdale, PA to the fancy-pants Savor in DC! That is nothing compared to our show of craft beer love, by using beer as a theme for our upcoming wedding in May (less than 2 months away). We have tried to include beer in numerous ways at our wedding and here is the list:
1. Kevin and his groomsmen will have fresh whole hop flowers in their boutonnieres
2. We are also adding hop flowers on our cake too!
3. Our wedding invitations have pictures of hop flowers and wheat.
4. Each table at the reception is named after one of our favorite breweries; some of them are Victory, Dogfish Head, Russian River, Unita, Weyerbacher, Long Trail, Troegs, Flying Dog, Magic Hat, Breckenridge, Bear Republic, Allagash, Stone, and Terrapin (just to name a few). All of the breweries have generously sent us un-used bottle caps to attach to each escort card, so people can find their table
5. I am making home-made pretzel favors…because as every beer drinker knows the best thing to pair with beer is pretzels!!!
6. THE BAR (only the most important part!!!!): We are only serving craft beer…No Coors Light at this wedding. So far we are serving: Victory Headwaters and Storm King, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Bell’s Two-Hearted, Weyerbacher Blanche, Dogfish Head ApriHop and Burton Baton and Long Trail Blackberry Wheat. Kevin will also be serving his own home-brew!
In the end, we both just hope that we can help to expose our guest to something that is a huge part of our lives and to share new breweries and beers that they may not have otherwise tried.
I held a fundraiser in 2012 called Bring Your Own Boobies and Beer that required every ticket holder to bring a 6 pack of their favorite craft brew. it was awesome. Over 30 people attended, and there was not 1 duplicate 6 pack.
The event raised $1000 for the American Cancer Society.
FYI: Victory Summer Love is one of my favorites!
My Faithful Fool story has a full circle aspect to it. I spend a lot of time talking about craft beer, and convincing people to try new beers. But I wasn’t always that way; a few days after my 21st birthday, my brother came over and I was drinking Miller Genuine Draft. My brother said “that’s not real beer” now this ‘real beer’ that he referred to was Yeungling… A good beer, but not my style now. That comment from my brother started me on a journey, for an entire year I drank many beers. My goal however, was to not purchase the same beer twice. I tried so many beers, I started with local flagship beers; Prima Pils, Kenzinger, Yards Brawler etc… I got so lost in craft beer that I started home brewing. Now I am actually perusing a career in beer, through the cicerone program.
Now where it comes full circle. I am a frozen manager at a grocery store, and I have this kid that works for me, who turned 21 a few months ago. Naturally Tim went out on his birthday, and reported about it to me the next day. After he told me what beer he was drinking, I replied “that’s not real beer” since then Tim has been texting me asking me about beers he wants to try, telling me what he thinks of different craft beers, and has even become one of my trusted critics of my home brews. While I don’t think Tim is going to start brewing himself, I do know that he has started challenging his friends to put down the fizzy yellow stuff and try some beer with flavor. So there’s my story, I haven’t made a major impact on craft beer, but craft beer has made a huge impact on me, as well as Tim.
I have been a craft beer fan for some time now. I always love to try everything that is new to me. When I moved in with my now wife, 4 years ago, she was only a fan of light beers and Blue Moon. And since most of the aforementioned beers have no taste she would chew gum while drinking them. One night I brought home a Victory Hop Devil 6 pack. Out of curiosity she asked me for a sip, to which she responded that tastes like motor oil. When she’s ever tried motor oil, I have no idea. A few months later we visited her friends in Delaware. Being a craft beer fan I wanted to tour Dogfish head brewery. During the tour we were able to smell some hops, to which she replied they smell amazing. I then explained to her that those are what gave the Hop Devil beer its “motor oil” taste that she despised. In the tasting room she tried the Dogfish head 60 min. IPA and it has since become her all time favorite. Since then we have done a Victory pairing at Standard Tap, a Victory tap takeover at Standard Tap, and have visited Victory Brewpub. Now Victory Summer Love and Victory V-Twelve round off her top three. We have also done Washington Crossing Beer Fest and other brewery tours or tastings. Besides IPAs, she has also expanded her horizons to stouts. Which she likes to enjoy in the winter months. As much as I like being married to a fan of craft beers it has it’s downfalls. It means that there is less beer for me.
I’ve been with my girlfriend for about two years now and I absolutely love her, however she doesn’t drink craft beer or any alcohol for that matter. She does sample my home brews but her opinion doesn’t really count because every time she takes a sip she makes a expression on her face that says “Wow, beer is disgusting.” However, she did drink an entire blueberry wheat that I brewed once. Think of that last sentence when Eli Manning threw to David Tyree in Superbowl XLII. It will never happen again, that’s the rarity of her drinking a full beer.
Now, her father (lets call him Bob) is a true American. He is a devoted NASCAR fan, only drinks Budweiser (Me telling him Budweiser isn’t owned by an American company is another story), has bald eagle tattoos all over his body, and loves Harley Davidson. Like I said, a true American. So, this past Christmas Eve we are at his house and of course me being a craft beer geek wanted something more complex to drink with dinner. I ran out to grab a six pack and picked up Troegs Perpetual IPA (sorry Victory, I never had it and it was well priced at the time!). I drove back, walked in the house, and immediately this six pack caught Bobs eye. You could easily tell he was wanting a taste. I told him to get two pint glasses and lets sample this IPA. Dinner was on the table and Bob and I had our IPA’s poured. My girlfriend is telling her father that its going to taste nothing like a Budweiser, but having the American spirit of curiosity I knew he was going to try it.
When Bob picked up IPA he smelled it then without hesitation took a big sip. The expression on his face was as though his mother slapped him in the face and kicked him in the groin at the same time. I was laughing so hard, Bob probably thought I poisoned the beer or pissed in it. There was a split second where I thought he was going to spit it out, but he champed the sip down. Immediately, he said, “That was different, but I don’t think I’ll be trying anymore of your beers.”
“Not a problem, I’ll grab you a Bud”, I said while laughing.
I ran to the kitchen and twisted off the Budweiser cap for him. I walked back into the dining room and handed it to him. The next thing that happened is a moment where you wish you had on camera because it was that priceless.
He took the Budweiser from my hand, picked up the IPA, chugged the rest of the IPA, chased it with the Budweiser, and finished the Budweiser all in about 20 seconds. In that moment I knew I had a father-in-law. A 62 year old man chugging brews like college freshman. Gotta love it.
Some people love craft beer, and some people don’t. I’m not a man that judges or thinks my preference is the right preference. I respect everyone’s opinion, even someone thinks a classic light pilsner is the greatest beer in the world. God bless America!
So as it may be straight and to the point, my story is recent and in my mind pretty kick ass.
Golden Monkey has changed my life. As well as my fiances life. We have been together for almost 2 years now. When I met her, she was bat crazy about Bud Light….PATHETIC!!! DISGUSTING!!! DEATH WORTHY!!! LOL. She and I like to take shots of whiskey in between our beers. So after a few weeks of dating, I decided to pack a cooler with Golden Monkey and bring it up to her house. I insisted that once she had one or two Monkey’s, that she would never pick up a Bud light again in her life. The night went on. The beer and whiskey flowed. Seeing as we both have extremely high tolerances to alcohol, we were able to have a successful conversation about beer. After only 2 beers ( Monkey’s) and a few shots of whiskey, she had totally sworn off of Bud Light and other major corporation breweries. She wanted nothing else but Golden Monkey, ever again! June will be our 2 year anniversary of dating, and she hasn’t picked up another Bud Light. She refuses and is disgusted by it! She wont even drink Sam Adams anymore (which in our opinion is the closest main stream beer you can get that even resembles craft beer at all).
Two years later now and we are expecting a baby boy in August. We are excited and proud and the only thing weighing down her excitement about being pregnant is that she cant drink Golden Monkey. I rocked her world the other day when I came home with two bottles of Victory’s limited release of White Monkey. Not only did this beer dominate my mind and thoughts, but the minuscule sip that she took from my bottle (just for taste) was enough for her to force me to purchase two bottles to keep for the next 5 months for her until after our son is born. This is going to kill me, as I cannot find White Monkey anywhere else but one store in my area, and as of now they only have 5 bottles left. Keeping these bottles for her will be the hardest task I have ever been charged with. It must be done. She is carrying my baby and she deserves to love and experience the miracle that White Monkey is. Victory is God.
My friend drinks Coors Light. One of those “My dad drinks Coors Light, so I have to like Coors light” type deals. One night I told him I had a “light” (low alcohol) brew for him. He knows I love Golden Monkey, HopDevil, Storm King and pretty much all of the Victory seasonals. But this night he was like “OK let me try this beer”. I handed him Headwaters Pale Ale. He drank from the cup, and he stared at me and stated, “This tastes citrusy like oranges and grapefruit. I like this”. I told him, “That flavor is from the hops”. He was astounded that little flower cones could give nice flavors in beer. So the moral of the story is to use tactics. I am now glad to see a friend of mine now likes to support better beer.
I attempted to grow wheat in my yard for a home brewer friend of mine from work.
I was sitting down on the patio of one of my favorite local craft beer spots with one of my good friends last May, when we realized that our waitress was very cute. So of course after some time, oysters, and a belly full of craft beer (specifically Prima Pils, Bells Two-Hearted, founders porter, anchor red seal etc.) I work up the sand to ask for our server’s number. She obliges. So following that I invite her to a little birthday celebration I’m having at my house in my garage bar. She comes. And after some time and a belly FULL of craft beer (and maybe a little 1792 bourbon) Its getting late. She decides to go home. I offer to walk her to her car, where we flirt and eventually ease into a short time of making out. I haven’t talked to her since and she’s engaged now, and I realize it’s not the most chivalrous thing I’ve ever done, but man it was a lot of fun! Thanks craft beer!
I live in a small town where Chocolate rules and Micros DO NOT. When one of my besties from high school told me he was opening a sports bar (on Chocolate Ave), I asked if he could carry some “good” beer for me. He said to pick ONE and he would always have it available. So if you ever pass through Hershey and make a stop at the Brick House on Chocolate Ave for a slice… you can always get a cold Golden Monkey to go with it. Tourists and locals alike are being “enlightened” one monkey at a time.