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Archive for September 21st, 2008

Recently, I made the bold decision to completely uproot my life and embark on an entirely new adventure.

I quit my job without the prospect of another one.

I forfeited my lease with my old landlord (which unfortunately cost me a PRETTY penny).

I gave away everything I owned that would not fit into my super small Dodge Neon.

And then I whole “life” packed into my ity bity little car and moved from Columbus, OH to Orlando, FL.

Instead of just driving straight down, though, I decided to turn my road trip into a mini beer adventure. Along the way I stopped at and toured 2 of my favorite breweries as well as took a side trip to a microbrewery brewpub. All of my little detours were well worth it and I look forward to blogging about them all.

I left Columbus mid-morning Monday, September 15th. My first stop was right outside of Philadelphia in a town called Downingtown.

For those of you who are not quite aware, I am addicted to the social network slash microblogging tool known as TWITTER. I am going to refrain from talking about Twitter at this time since it would completely take over this blog.

Thanks to Twitter, I have met some really amazing and impressively intelligent people across the world. Many of the people I follow and interact with on Twitter also happen to be huge food & beverage geeks and aficionados as well. I have spent hours on Twitter with other foodies, winos & hopheads – discussing and posting pics of food & booze.

One of my buds from Twitter -the brilliant brains behind 1WineDude blog- invited me to come stay with him and his wife in Downington, PA. They are good friends with the event coordinator at Victory Brewing Co. and were able to set me up with a private tour. This was not an offer The Beer Wench could refuse.

And of course, I accepted @1WineDude‘s invitation and went on a special VIP tour of Victory Brewing Company – followed by a delicious dinner with some delicious Victory beers in the Victory brewpub!

And without further ado, here is my tour (via photos)!

VICTORY MALT MILL. The object of milling is to split the husk, preferably lengthwise, in order to expose the starchy endosperm for milling and allow for efficient extraction and subsequent filtration of the wort. Malt milling is usually done by either dry or wet milling. In a wet milling operation, the whole uncrushed malt is presteeped in hot water to the point where the husks reach a water content of approximately 20% and the endosperm remains nearly dry, which results in a semi-plastic, almost pasty consistency. Source: The Brewer’s Handbook.

Victory is the ONLY craft brewery that wet mills.

BARLEY

CONTROL PANEL. WARNING – DO NOT LET BEER WENCH TOUCH, EVER!

DRIED WHOLE LEAF HOPS

FERMENTATION TANKS

YEAST FILTRATION MACHINE THINGY

Mmmm HOPDEVIL KEG!

KEGGING LINE

BOTTLING LINE

PACKAGING AND SHIPPING AREA

JACKPOT!

HALF OF THE BAR

132 CENTS IPA ON CASK!

GOLD RUSH ALE & CREOLE SHRIMP AND SPANISH RICE SPECIAL ENTREE

HOPDEVIL IPA ON CASK

After finishing all the great food and beer, our lovely and very knowledgable tour guide gave us a few bottles of Victory Baltic Thunder as a parting gift. Then we all trucked back to my friend’s place where we sipped on some Victory 10 Years Alt Altbier while looking at some amazing photos in scrap books that his wife put together! Perfect ending to a perfect evening!

SPECIAL THANKS TO Wine Dude, Mrs. Dudette and Baby Dudette. You dudes are the cat’s meow!

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