Victory In Roanoke – On A Tap Near You

So what is going on here?  A quick look around and it suddenly seems that interest in craft beer in and around the Roanoke area is truly starting to heat up.  Three restaurants in the city now feature craft beer predominantly or solely in their draft line up, and a fourth brews their own beer on premises.  Another interesting moment on the hopefully continuing timeline occurred this past Sunday night, when nationally well known and respected Victory Brewing from Downingtown, PA, was the center of attention at an event geared to introduce restaurant owners and managers to their beers.  The event was engineered by Aden Short, Craft and Import Manager for P. A. Short Distributing, and by Blue 5 Restaurant, where the event was held.  Four of the brewery’s most well known beers were on hand to sample – their HopDevil IPA, Prima Pils Pilsner, Storm King Stout, and what seemed like the fan favorite of the night, their Belgian style ale, Golden Monkey.

While restaurants like Blue 5, Lucky, and Local Roots have chosen, thankfully, to put good craft and import beer first by featuring it on tap, persuading restaurants which feature more conventional draft selections – ones which feature only “macro” breweries like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors products – is often a tough sell for distributors trying to grow the craft market, and is the daily battle Mr. Short wages.  Proven sales off of those all too common labels, over time, become entrenched in the minds of restaurant owners and managers, and often it seems that interest in craft beer is taken a little too lightly.  Taking a chance on putting a craft on tap and forsaking, even temporarily, one of the bigger breweries’ products is a risk many are unwilling to make.  But with the introduction of a recognizable name such as Victory to the possible draft beer choices, some movement is beginning to stir.  Along with Blue 5 and Lucky, a more traditionally minded restaurant, the Macado’s in Salem, is currently offering at least one of Victory’s craft beer on tap to customers.

Sunday night, Blue 5 was packed with managers and owners from various restaurants in Roanoke and Salem.  Victory Area Sales Manager Joe Gold was on hand, and as is often the case when meeting folks from craft breweries, he was a blast to talk to – full of excitement for the potential in this area for his own brewery and the growth of craft beer overall.  He made his way, as did Mr. Short, from table to table, joining in conversations at each one, undoubtedly building interest and gaining fans as he went.  The year is still new, and along with the restaurants promoting craft beer, and breweries such as Victory taking new interest in the area, this is starting to feel like it will be an exciting one for the craft beer fans and the newly curious.  Hopefully, more places are seeing the growing interest.  So, who’s next to put good, craft beer on tap?


~ by thebeerroad on January 18, 2011.

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