The Awesome-ness That Is Xfinity Live! (...and Victory Beer Hall!)

Friday was the official opening of Xfinity Live! - the all new entertainment complex they built where my beloved Spectrum once stood. I was lucky enough to be invited to a Pre-Grand Opening Party last Thursday (thanks again Stef!) I was so psyched to check out the entire complex, but more importantly, the new Victory Beer Hall.

I have to say, from the moment we walked into Xfinity Live!, even with the construction still going on around us (which was part of this party's charm), I was immediately impressed. From the building, to the staff that greeted us non-stop, to the THIRTY TWO FOOT TV in the NBC Sports Arena, to the food and drink.

This place is impressive. When walking into Xfinity Live!, you enter the Philly Marketplace, which has offerings including Chickie's & Pete's, Goodnoe's Ice Cream, Old Original Nick's Roast Beer, and Original Philadelphia Cheesesteak Company. In addition, there will also be a Phillip's Raw Bar, and one of the best thing I've ever seen, custom draft tables! This area also includes the first ever NBC Sports Arena that boasts that crazy 32 foot TV screen I mentioned - this thing is massive!

Now let's get to the real reason I was so excited about this place. Xfinity Live! is comprised of four main anchor restaurants (pubs/bars/beer hall type places): Spectrum Grill (a steakhouse), Broad Street Bullies Pub (the most family friendly place, complete with video game consoles and all), and PBR Bar & Grill (the party place - think Hooters meets Coyote Ugly!) And then there's Victory Beer Hall. The second I set foot into that place I thought to myself, oh, Eric and I could sit here for hours and just hang out. And that seems to be exactly what they want you to do! The hall is stacked with long, beer hall type tables and a 2,000 square foot patio area with a fire pit - and best of all,  a great view of the Philadelphia skyline. There will be live music several nights a week, with fun bands that will play songs you can relate to, and easily sing along to during your time there! The base of the bar is lined with giant Victory beer labels - it was fun spotting all the different brews that we have come to love over the 16 years Victory has been around.

Last Thursday's visit was a great was to get introduced to this new building and all that it has to offer. It was a small group so we were really able to take advantage of seeing what great potential this building is going to have. Now, fast-forward to this past Wednesday night, before the Springsteen show...and oh, what a different scene it was...

About a week before the Springsteen show at the Wells Fargo Center, I I received an email inviting anyone that purchased tickets to either show to come in for a sneak preview of Xfinity Live! This time, everything was going to be open for business. Sweet!  Doors would open at 4...concert wasn't until 7:30...this could be a recipe for danger - in a really good way!

When we got to Xfinity Live! on Wednesday afternoon, we made a beeline for Victory Beer Hall. Taking full advantage of being two of the first people in the beer hall, we were able to easily get a table, and proceeded to have stellar service from our server and her fellow food runners. They were all over-the-top awesome and made our first experience at the beer hall well beyond our expectations. Especially for Day 1 of operations.

During my tour of the building on Thursday, I thought I heard mention that more or less all but a few of the taps at the beer hall were going to be dedicated to Victory, which sounded pretty awesome. Turns out, it was more of a 50/50 split between Victory and other (primarily) local brews. Check out what we got to choose from during our visit (OH MY, this is a list!):

Other Drafts
Donnybrook Stout
Baltic Thunder
Golden Monkey
Helios Ale
Headwaters Pale Ale
Helles Fire
Troegs Dreamweaver
Hop Devil Ale
St. Boisterous
Weyerbacher Merry Monks
Hop Wallop
Whirlwind Witbier
Dock Street Wye IPA
Mad King's Weiss

Prima Pils

Storm King Stout

Victory Lager

Other Seasonal Drafts
750 ml Bottles
Seasonal 750ml Bottles
Weyerbacher Hops Infusion
Weyerbacher Bressler
Dogfish 75 Minute IPA
Stoudt's Heifer in Wheat
Victory Golden Monkey
Dogfish My Antonia
Troegs Nugget Nectar
Weyerbacher Merry Monk Me
Dogfish Namaste
Manayunk Schuylkill Punch
Weyerbacher Tiny
Victory Otto Ale
Dock Street Man Full of Trouble Porter
Victory V-12
Stoudt's Karnival Kolsch

Blue Moon Honey Wheat

Jacob Leinenkugel Summer Shandy

Jacob Leinenkugel Summer Shandy

Now, from my hospitality background, I know you're not supposed to create a menu that's too overwhelming for customers, but I'm pretty sure that only refers to food menus, not beer menus, cause this list is a beaut! We had a terrible time trying decide what to drink (we'll take one of everything, please!) I ended up with Victory's St. Boisterous, and Eric with another one of his favorite Victory Brews, Headwaters Pale Ale.  Oh, I was happy with my decision. St. Boisterous, a German Maibock, is hoppy, malty and almost sweet that goes down so nice! Headwaters has a crisp flavor and a great balance between the hops and malt. We stuck to these beers for the most part during our time at the beer hall, with me straying for one curve ball, Victory's Helles Fire, a smoked beer that was quite interesting.

One of the things we like about Victory's Brewpub in Downingtown is not only are we guaranteed to have some great beer, the food that is always just as good. The new venture at the beer hall easily compares to the food at the original Brewpub and didn't disappoint one bit. We sampled a few things throughout our time at the Beer Hall, including the Brat Bites (served with sauerkraut & spicy mustard) the Poached Pear Salad (spring mix, cinnamon poached pears, toasted almonds, sun-dried cranberries, crumbled bleu cheese & honey vinaigrette), Chicken Bratwurst (chicken sausage, paprika, onion & garlic with sauerkraut, served on a fresh steak roll with a side of homemade BBQ chips) and the Bavarian Pretzels (accompanied by a delightful cheese sauce - possibly with a hint of beer? - and grain mustard). FYI to all your gluten free folks (which I technically am...but have coerced my body into understanding it must still let me have beer and desserts!) - the Beer Hall acknowledges that eight different items throughout the menu are gluten free. This, in itself, is one more reason the Beer Hall is just awesome!

Sounds like it can't get any better, right? Ok, let's talk about the fact that with the beer and food menus they give you when seating you, you're also given a card of "GAMES" you can play at your table, and  a card, filled front and back, of some really entertaining "TOASTS" you will no doubt be saying throughout the night. Now, when you think game, you might be thinking board games like Monopoly or maybe a deck of cards. Not here at the Beer Hall! Try Up the River, Down the River; Quarters or Flip Cup. Seriously. And your server can play with you as time permits. This is going to be such a great place for a large group! The Toasts are so great too. How about this one:

"Of all my favorite things to do, the utmost is to have a brew. My love grows for my foamy friend, with each thirst-quenching elbow bend. Beer's so frosty, smooth and cold - It's paradise - Pure liquid gold. Yes, beer means many things to me...That's all for now, I gotta Pee..."

Worried about parking? If you're down there on a day when there is a game going on, be prepared to pay whatever the parking fee is. If you wait til one hour after the start o the final event of the day, parking is free. It's also free on non-event days. Valet parking will also be available.

This place is just FUN! As much as I miss the Spectrum, this is a great addition to the Sports Complex. If you're down there for game day of any of our awesome Philly sports teams. If Wednesday is any indication of how busy this building is going to be during the peak times, get down there early. Or wait until one of their off days if you're looking for a quieter experience. Either way, this place seems like it's just going to force you to have a good time! Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi!!

View of the Beer Hall

Mega Victory Labels Line the Bar

The beers. St. Boisterous and Headwaters Ale (with the Games Menu)

Brat Bites served with sauerkraut & spicy mustard

Poached Pear Salad - spring mix, cinnamon poached pears, toasted almonds, sun-dried cranberries, crumbled bleu cheese & honey vinaigrette