“V” for Victory was first popularized as a symbol of resistance to Nazi occupiers in World War II. Even Winston Churchill got in on it. Being a bit of a history buff, I suspected that Victory Brewing Company’s approbation of the name and hand symbol suggested more than just peacenik 1960’s nostalgia. It seemed to me to be a declaration of war against the fascistic big breweries like Bud. My hunch is that my intelligence is correct.
In the Summer of 2001, the powers that be behind VB, Bill and Ron, published this newsletter. In it is a fairly audacious call to arms against the swill of the autocrats of AB and Miller/Coors. I have to be careful about not going too far with this Hitlerian allusion as it is not appropriate to call the Big Brewers Nazi’s…it diminishes the unique evil of Nazism and makes the Big Brewers more nefarious than is fair. But, this is not to say that the Big Brewers are not bullies, and especially brutish bullies at that. Watch the documentary “Beer Wars” if you doubt the characterization.
I was out visiting the Victory Brewing Company’s compound on Sunday night catching up with a good friend from high school and college who ironically does not drink alcohol. At all. It is a matter of personal testimony in his Christian walk. I respect and understand that. My church, on the other hand, sponsors a monthly ‘Pub Night.” The Reformed tradition of Calvin and Luther heartily embraced the mug in moderation. Good Christians can differ on this issue. I do think it a sin to drink bad beer.
Wow, these VB are quite Churchillian in their beer offensive. Given the former Prime Minister’s love (too much?) for spirits and his resolute doggedness in staring down Nazi terror, it fits. They are bringing out the big guns and the bombs. It seems Victory’s strategy is the correct one: Run a banging large-scale restaurant with an amazing array of brews, plus a strong retail and wholesale campaign, and one has the chance of inflicting some serious damage on the forces of fascistic frothiness. In the end, though, good beer should be a blessing. So, it is not about hating someone or something, it is about love, appreciating a good gift from a good God that is beer. That it can be a curse is more of a reflection of our wayward hearts and diminished souls.
At the end of the night when my buddy and I departed the body proper of VB and went out into the parking lot, I gazed back at the building in its entirety. Huge brewing tanks looking like missile silos jutted into the sky. By the looks of it, the war is on and VB is indeed winning.