DOWNINGTOWN, PA, February 14, 2014 – On Saturday, February 8, Victory Brewing Company® (Victory) was awarded the 2014 Sustainable Agriculture Business Leadership Award by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). Presented as part of the PASAbilities Leadership Award Series at PASA’s 23rd annual Farming for the Future conference, the honor recognizes Victory’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, innovation and environmental leadership within the community.
“When we joined PASA many years ago, we recognized the group as a sort of refuge of like-minded individuals,” said Bill Covaleski, President and Brewmaster of Victory Brewing Company. “At the time, local production and consumption were strange ideals to many, so we felt the need to band together with this group. It was ideological respect that drew us to PASA, and now, to earn respect from those whom we respect, is simply phenomenal in terms of the sensation it creates upon us.”
Since first opening their brewery in an abandoned Pepperidge Farm factory in Downingtown, Pa. in February 1996, Covaleski and Co-founder and CEO, Ron Barchet, have emphasized environmental responsibility, implementing effective energy generation and conservation measures and practices there and at their new, second brewery in Parkesburg, Pa.
“In a sustainable food system, we need skillful farmers and informed consumers, of course, but we also need hardworking, innovative businesses to draw them together,” said Brian Snyder, Executive Director of PASA. “We are so proud of what the Victory Brewing Company has accomplished, not only for connecting consumers with the sources of their food and drink, but also for setting an example of how a sustainable business is truly possible in today’s complex retail world . . . and for giving us all a venue for celebrating our accomplishments at the end of the day!”
In Downingtown, the brewery harnesses the energy of the sun through 345 solar panels, generating clean, green electricity to help power the facility; while Victory’s state-of-the-art Parkesburg brewery features high efficiency lighting, insulation and recovery systems throughout to reduce overall energy consumption.
Also focused on decreasing waste, Victory recycles the nearly 25,000 pounds of spent grain generated every 24 hours through an arrangement with a local farmer who uses this brewing by-product as animal feed. In 2010, the brewery initiated a composting program in its restaurant and now composts more than 73 tons of food waste annually.
“Sustainability, to us, means more than just implementing practices and policies that conserve our precious resources,” Barchet added. “We’re fortunate that our products and platforms permit us a unique opportunity to affect positive change in our communities.”
In 2012, Victory initiated the Headwaters Grant to support environmental advocacy groups working to protect the Brandywine Watershed. Funded through the sale of Victory’s popular year-round brand, Headwaters Pale Ale, one cent for every bottle sold is collected and donated to organizations such as the Guardians of the Brandywine and the Brandywine Valley Association through the Grant.
“If all Bill and Ron did was make amazing beer, we’d have ample reason to be grateful. But Victory also has built a business that reflects their social and environmental values, and recognizes the interconnectivity of nature and healthy communities,” offered Marilyn Anthony. Anthony, who is the former Regional Program Director for PASA’s Southeastern Pa. chapter, current executive director at Lundale Farm, Inc. and longtime partner in sustainability, brought together Victory and PASA at their annual fundraising Bike Fresh, Bike Local ride, more than seven years ago.
The event, which began in Chester County, has grown to include two additional locations and dates across the state on Pennsylvania. In Chester County, the ride begins and ends at Victory Brewing Company, where participants enjoy a post-race celebration after navigating and appreciating the countryside that is their local foodshed.
Anthony continued, “Through their generous support for clean water, clean energy, and sustainably grown local food and farms, Victory offers solid proof that a company can do well while doing good. And their legions of loyal customers love them for it, as well as for the awesome beers.”
“As we look to the future, we’re most excited by the progress we have made here in the U.S. as a consuming culture who now cares about the integrity, quality and source of what we choose to consume,” Covaleski said. “We’re excited to witness more Americans adopt sustainability and integrity as priorities in their food choices, thanks to the commitment of organizations like PASA and the business and farming leaders associated with this group.”
About Victory Brewing Company
Victory Brewing Company is a privately held craft brewery headquartered in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Founded by Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet, childhood friends who met on a school bus in 1973, the brewery formally began operations in February of 1996. Victory, Pennsylvania’s widely acclaimed brewery and restaurant, now serves fans of fully flavored beers in 34 states with innovative beers melding European ingredients and technology with American creativity. To learn more about Victory Brewing Company visit us on the web at www.victorybeer.com.