Amidst all the fuss yesterday about Terry Hawbaker moving to a new boutique brewpub in Philly, I wouldn't want to overlook the significant local anniversary coming up this month: Victory turns 15. I was struck by this today, because it's looking like the first time I visited Victory, which was actually before it opened.
That was January 19th, 1996, the day the snow from Philly's biggest-ever snowfall -- all 30.7 inches of it -- all melted at once under the hammer of 60+ degree breezes and three inches of warm rain. I had scheduled a series of brewery visits -- including Ugly Dog, God help me -- that had me driving through lashing rainfall and deep run-off. A couple of times I drove through running water that by all rights should have killed my Jetta (the second one, the red one), but managed to keep going. Finding Victory that first time wasn't easy, particularly since the main roads to it were closed (I slipped around the back way, past Bishop Shanahan), and there was a foot of brown water running swiftly through the parking lot. Wonder what it's going to look like later today? Not nearly as much snow, and not nearly as warm; I'm still staying home.
Victory's celebrating with what I think is a more significant beer than the anniversary brews they've done in the past: Headwaters Pale Ale. It's a celebration of the Brandywine Creek, the source of their brewing water -- a lot of water at their birth, to be sure! -- and it's a drinkable pale ale, not a whack over the head. Cheers to that, Victory! I'll have to make plans to be there on February 15th to try some.