Brewer Ron Barchet - Biography

February 2013

A home brewing kit as a Christmas gift from Bill Covaleski inspired Ron Barchet’s interest in craft beer. Friendly rivalry in home-brewing competitions sharpened the skills of both men, but passion and a little courage were necessary to make the jump into brewing career.

Leaving a secure job in the financial industry, Barchet worked as an apprentice at Baltimore Brewing Company, learning the trade from Dutch-born and German-trained Brewer Theo DeGroen. A year later Barchet made the move study at the Technical University of Munich at Weihenstephan—with Covaleski filling his post at BBC. After completing his studies, he took to a brewmaster position at Old Dominion Brewing Company in Virginia, where he increased annual production from 1,500 to 15,000 barrels.

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.