Brewer Bill Covaleski of Victory - Biography
New Orleans, LA
Bill Covaleski’s appreciation of good beer and access to his father’s home-brewing equipment inspired him to explore the hobby of beer making. And after graduating from college in 1985, he decided to share his growing passion with his best friend Ron Barchet, who received a shiny brewing kit that Christmas. Soon the duo developed a good-natured rivalry, leading the two to become accomplished home brewers.
Covaleski’s first professional brewing gig was filling a role emptied by Barchet (who’d gone to Germany to study beer making) at the Baltimore Brewing Company. He expanded the line of beers at BBC to include several German specialty beers, many of which went on to win awards at the Great American Beer Festival. Covaleski completed his brewing studies by traveling to Munich, Germany, to attend the Doemens Academy.
After years of studying, brewing and drinking, Covaleski and Barchet opened Victory Brewing Company on February 15, 1996. They brewed 1,725 barrels of beer in the first year of production. In 2011, Victory produced 82,000 barrels and continues to grow, with a second brewery set to open in 2013.