by Matt Kelchner
We’re back with the second installment of our new column, Drinking Tunes. This time around we’re checking out another libation from one of our favorite locals, Victory Brewing Company, and their Helles Lager. It’s one of the oldest beers from the Downingtown company, but has become so popular that it will now be available year round in the brewery’s entire 35 state distribution network.
Helles Lager made it’s debut way back in 1996 as Brandywine Valley Lager, borrowing the name of it’s hometown water source. Years later the beer became simply Victory Lager. Now it is getting another rebirth as Victory Helles Lager, a title that pays homage to the preservation to it’s historical German style. Traditionally, helles lagers have relied on high-quality, pure ingredients to excite the senses and this beer is no exception!
Upon first pour, it’s easy to see that the straw yellow color of the lager almost perfectly matches the golden label on the bottle. As you bring your glass close, it’s tough to miss that distinct, slightly sour and malty smell of a good lager. The Helles Lager is simple and has a smooth, clean taste with bits of fruity, sweet zest to it. It’s perfect for those sunny days when you’re in need of a little refreshment (or chilly, freezing winters when you’re dreaming of said sunny days). It’s ABV checks in right around 4.8% making it perfect to have your fair share.
The greater Philadelphia region is home to a number of amazing lagers and Victory’s Helles Lager ranks right up towards the top. It reflects the emphasis of quality ingredients and importance of adhering to tradition that company co-founders (and childhood friends) Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet stand for. With a fresh facelift and a bit of rebranding, Victory’s Helles Lager is ready to tackle the shelves and taps across the country. The great taste of this easygoing beer make it a very accessible craft beer waiting to conquer the masses. Take it from us, we wouldn’t be surprised if this became the flagship beer for Victory.
Pairs Well With: Beach Slang – “American Girls and French Kisses”
Keeping with our local theme, for our musical combo we have selected Philly’s very own Beach Slang. The band created quite a buzz for themselves last year with two great 7” releases. They’re not slowing down anytime soon either! Just a few weeks ago it was announced that Beach Slang had signed with Polyvinyl Records and their debut full length album will be coming later this year. For now, check out “American Girls and French Kisses” off of Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street and be sure to catch them opening for Cursive (!) on March 7th at Union Transfer.