Recently, Cogan's Pizza in Norfolk, VA hosted a Victory Brewing Company “Steal the Pint” night. How this usually works, is that when you buy your first beer, you get to keep the glass. I've picked up a few myself from other breweries but to be honest with you, if kept every beer glass that touched my lips I wouldn't have room in the cabinets for anything else! This glass though, I wanted it.
Before I headed down to Cogan's I stopped by Grape and Gourmet for beer tasting. Every Thursday night they highlight several beers in the shop. Gabe is usually in house pouring and describing what is sampled. He was there, of course, and I told him what my plans were. Since he was at the end of his shift, he said he'd come along too. Cool.
Gabe pulled up about the same time I did and we headed in together. At the bar was Jarod Goenner and Morgan Sieg—Jarod is guy behind HR Growler, Hampton Roads new craft beer magazine and Morgan is the local Victory rep. Gabe and I write for HR Growler, first issue hits the streets 16 Jan 2014. Look out for it!
I walked up and asked if they had any glasses left, sadly they were out. I thought it started at 7:00 PM, but the event kicked-off at 5:00 PM. I need to get my stuff straight, seriously.
Scanning the room I saw some familiar faces including Gerald Franklin of Hoffman Beverage. He was at a table with what turned out to be the region's Victory team headed by Cameron Rollo. Cameron was in town a couple of days to check out the area; I was introduced to him and we chatted a bit. I found out he was in the army and stationed in Germany right before I was. He also knew Hohenfels, where I was stationed, telling me he didn't like it. No one likes Hohenfels, Bavaria unless you're stationed there. I'll have to write about it sometime.
I was looking forward to trying some of the beer they tapped and I checked out what was available. I've had a couple of Victory beers before but I think it might have been at tastings. I know I've never picked up any for the house, so I wasn't sure where to start. I asked everyone what they thought I should try and the consensus was the Prima. Victory Prima is a hoppy Pils that was very tasty. I'm not huge on hop overload (yeah, don't hit me or anything) but this was good. Easy to drink and floral. I first had a real Pils in Germany, as a matter of fact, my experience with great beer started in Germany. So this was a nice little throwback for me.
I tried out the Winter Cheers wheat ale, kind of like a light Hefeweizen, another beer I fell in love with in Germany. Since I was driving I couldn't grab a Golden Monkey Tripel and the Dirtwolf Double IPA kicked earlier. I got a couple of sips from the group though. Cameron actually had the bar put together something a bar made from Golden Monkey called a “Monkmosa”. It is about 80% Golden Monkey and 20% orange juice. It was good and I made a couple for Shelby and myself at home later that weekend.
I was impressed with the beers and looked forward to trying more of them. At the big, monthly tasting at Grape and Gourmet—Cheap & Cheery—I picked up a little variety pack so I could relax at home and give them a little more attention. Good stuff.
Check out the event album here.