The Downingtown brewery gives beer lovers more than one way to keep cool as the temperatures continue to soar.
by Matt Kelchner
A nice, cold beer helps you cool down like no other. As we get into the dog days of summer, it’s going to take more and more glasses to help combat the scorching sun and hot, muggy humidity. The good folks at Victory Brewing Company are now offering fans a little bit of relief in pint form, only this time it’s in comes in frozen form.
Most of the times you do not hear of breweries doubling as ice cream makers, but such is not the case for Victory Brewing Company. This summer they will be releasing three flavors, Hopped-Up Devil, Triple Monkey and Storm Drop, and selling them outside of their own retail shop, a first for the company.
“We have been making ice cream at Victory for 14 years. The actual three flavors that we now have in packaging have solidly been in production for about three years,” co-founder and head brewer Bill Covaleski tells me as we talk about the “new” line of sweet dairy treats. “Now the only difference is that we’ve worked to find a local company that can produce them on a larger scale with all natural ingredients.”
For a company who has made a name for themselves from their beers, Victory Brewing Company has also taken great pride in their food options in their brewpub. “Well we’re very proud of our restaurant operations,” Covaleski tells me. It was from this that they first developed the idea to introduced a line of ice cream that could be sold in other retailers. Covaleski continues, “we feel that these ice creams have such great flavor that they should be shared with a much wider audience.”
The names of these flavors shouldn’t sound new to you. They are slight twists on the beers they are made with, HopDevil, Golden Monkey and Storm King. Each one, and every ice cream that comes from Victory Brewing Company’s kitchen, is derived from wort. I was just as confused as you probably about this mystery ingredient so Covaleski broke things down for me. “It was about 14 years ago that I had the idea to take our wort, which is the precursor to our beer – the liquid that results from boiling the water and malt/barley together,” he explains, “it’s a natural sweetener before fermentation, so we were thinking that we could work with that sweetener base and make essentially beer ice cream.”
If you’re worried about getting drunk off ice cream, don’t (or sorry to break the bad news, depending on your view of a frosty drunkenness). The wort has no alcohol in it because it has not been through fermentation.
Things will not stop and settle once these three flavors are released into the public. Covaleski and his team of chefs have used their kitchen as sort of a mad laboratory and they do not plan on stopping any time soon. One flavor that they are currently offering is a mashup of Summer Love and strawberry shortcake, a combination that sounds simply amazing.
The Summer Love/strawberry shortcake flavor is also the favorite of Covaleski’s daughter (and current Victory Brewing Company intern). She and Victory’s merchandise coordinator Ivy Hunter joined Covaleski on our interview as they were driving from one place to the next for their media tour to help get the word about the ice cream out. Hunter’s go to flavors are either Triple Monkey or Hopped Up Devil, depending on her mood. And for Covaleski, Hopped Up Devil has always been his favorite.
Victory Brewing Company’s new line of ice cream is available at their own retail shop as well as all four Kimberton Whole Foods locations. They are diligently working to expand their reach to even more retailers, but they are taking a careful approach to it. Covaleski explains, “we don’t expect this product to be everywhere but we do expect it to be more convenient for interested consumers. Yet, at the same time, we want to respect the adventurous retailers that we’re starting to work with as well.”
Sounds like a win-win situation to me, just like combining beer and ice cream together. It’s something that Covaleski and the folks at Victory Brewing Company have mastered. Be sure to grab a pint for yourself this summer!