Victory Mighty Things Imperial IPA, Downingtown, Pa.
Date: November 29, 2018
The Story— We’ve known the founders of Victory since they were brewers in the Washington, DC, and it’s been a thrill to see them soar to such heights. After a merger with New York’s Southern Tier brewery and an acquisition of SixPoint, they’ve grown to be the 14th largest American brewery. But the founders of both Victory and Southern Tier have been left alone to continue to brew in the way they see fit.
Victory has succeeded by brewing honestly good beer first, and marketing wisely as a secondary priority. We don’t always thrill to their latest so-far-our-of-the-box-it-drops adventure, but more often than not they hit it out of the park. A far safer investment than some of their sours, at least for us, are any of an apparently endless parade of very strong and very good beers. If the beer is heavily hopped, so much the better, they’re masters of hopping. We jumped at this one when we found it in September at Half Time in Poughkeepsie.
The Beer— It’s an Imperial IPA — at 8.3%, but it’s less in-you-face than many of the style. While we like an occasional hop jolt (we are still “hop pocket” people at heart), it’s nice to settle in with an IPA that’s as soothing as a barley wine with an easy sipping hop quality. Mighty Things starts with soft chalk, soft fruit, and some lightly toasted malt, resolving to a nice back bitter late. Resin, chalky rich malt and hop flavors remain as it drinks. They’re all soft flavors but they last and –softly — build to a true Imperial IPA.
Value — Good to very good. Victory prices their beers exceptionally fairly. It’s not hard to find a genuine gem from them at a price that’s in the middle of the craft beer pricing.
This week we focus on the US to highlight some great American craft beers, some of which we’ve found in researching out first US Beer publication: Brews and Snooze-– Breweries you can visit and walk back to a fine place to spend the night. Look for it in 2019.
Next week we return to HIGHLIGHTS OF EUROPE– Some of the great beers we’ve found in our European travels. A few may be some of the surprisingly good beer we’ve found in “bad beer cities” as we researched our next book – a guide to great beer in European tourist cities. (Planned publication 2019.) We’ll shift back to great American beer finds next week.
COMING IN DECEMBER: THE TEN BEST IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS. We count down to the New Year by thinking back of some of the greatest beers we’ve found in the last five years of hunting. These beers are in our top 0.2% of the beers we’ve tasted recently.