RVA On Tap: Love Your Beer this Valentine’s Day

by | Feb 12, 2020 | BREWS & SPIRITS

What’s happening, craft beer lovers of RVA?! Welcome to this week’s RVA On Tap, RVA Magazine’s weekly column for all your craft beer-related events, releases, festivals, and all the booze news your hearts desire. 

If you missed the last column, you can check that out here. Our kegs are overflowing this week with beer releases and festivals, events, and other cool happenings around town, so hold on to your mugs. 

This week, celebrate love (and anti-love) with your favorite beer families in Richmond. Center of the Universe throws their Anti-Valentine’s party in all its sweet, bitter glory, and Three Notch’d RVA Collab House hosts specials for the free spirits in town for Singles Awareness Day. Strangeways celebrates with a special burlesque show, and Ardent Craft Ales highlights the most important love of all: the love for your dog. 

Don’t miss fresh releases like Hardywood’s Raspberry Short Kate, Starr Hill Richmond’s Blackberry Currant Smoothie Sour, Fine Creek Brewing’s Daffodil Daydream, Stone Brewing Richmond’s Cali-belgique IPA, Final Gravity’s Doppler Effect IPA, and a seriously delicious multi-release at The Veil

PHOTO: Center of the Universe Brewing

Anti-Valentine’s Day Party at Center of the Universe 

Here’s one for the haters! The true spirit of Valentine’s Day, in our experience, is about more than heart-shaped candies and corny, overpriced cards. What this holiday often means is your Facebook friends complaining 10x more than usual, and half your friends trying to forget that it’s happening. 

Avoid the temptation to text your ex this year with Center of the Universe as they celebrate Anti-Valentine’s Day in all its sweet, bitter glory. With beer, live music, great food, and like-minded folks, they’re giving everyone an escape from all the “stupid Cupid’s arrows.” What a relief. Even if you’re in a loving relationship, this could be the place for you — there’s a good chance I’ll find myself there to escape the Hallmark stuff as well. And, as COTU themselves say: 

“Do you love Valentine’s Day? Do you love the flowers? The cards? The candies? Creepy little Cherubs? Unrealistic romantic comedies? If you said yes, that’s neat. If you said no… Congratulations! We’re the place for you this Valentine’s Day.” 

PHOTO: Strangeways Brewing

Pours and Pasties for Valentine’s Day at Strangeways 

One of our favorite recurring events is going down on Valentine’s Day at Strangeways: Pours and Pasties! 

In this perfectly-timed show, Burlesque Right Meow is heading to Strangeways to give everyone what they need most on this holiday: a dose of self-love. It’s never lost on us that finding love in yourself is number one for the rest of life’s great loves, and burlesque is one of those special things that knows just how to remind us of it. 

Pours and Pasties is returning this time with Ego Von Hubris as their host, and they’ll have dancers like Sasha Nyte, Maddie De Sade, Ed Phillips, Murphy Lawless, Scarlet Starlet, and Sally Stardust for the holiday special. Burlesque Right Meow invites everyone to grab tickets beforehand here, and they say, “Whether you’re looking for a night out with your sweetie(s) or having a day of self-love, there will be butts and beer, so everyone is a winner here!” Amen to that. 

PHOTO: Stone Brewing Richmond

Stone Cali-belgique IPA at Stone Brewing Richmond 

Last week, Stone Brewing Richmond introduced something fresh at our local spot. This Stone Cali-belgique IPA was aged in red wine barrels with sour cherries, and it’s a great deviation from the more common recipes. 

Since it came as a surprise tapping last week, you’ll want to head out to the brewery soon to grab a taste of it while you can. It’s only around as long as the batch lasts, so if you’re craving a taste, make your way to Stone for this crisp, refreshing, and “teasingly sour” brew. As its brewers say, it’s perfect for all these teasingly spring days we’ve been experiencing lately. 

Thankfully, according to this year’s Groundhog Day, early spring might just be a reality for us this year… but if it comes before we get a single good snow day, I know one local beer writer who’s going to be greatly disappointed. For real, when do we get to break out the sleds?! If it doesn’t happen, I’ll certainly be bummed out, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for river days to return. In the meantime, this brew will get us through as a perfect blend for both seasons. 

PHOTO: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Raspberry Short Kate returns in cans to Hardywood 

It’s back! This long-loved brew from Hardywood is returning in cans on the holiday itself, and this special V-Day edition of #FreshCanFriday is definitely welcomed. 

Raspberry Short Kate, the Raspberry Milkshake IPA we fell for last year, is thicker than your average IPA. Filled with fruit for a milkshake-style brew, this one’s named for Hardywood’s VP of Production and brewed with lots of love. Share some of that love with your honey this Valentine’s Day (or, if you’re spending it with friends, treat yourself!) and try this ruby-colored treat, made with local raspberries and flavors both sweet and tart. 

PHOTO: Starr Hill Richmond Beer Hall & Rooftop

Valentine’s Weekend at Starr Hill Richmond 

Chocolate and beer are coming together once again, in a delicious combination starting at Starr Hill Richmond tomorrow night. On Valentine’s Eve and running into the weekend, the Scott’s Addition beer hall is bringing out their “captivating confections” to pair with their favorite brews. 

On tap for the event is the Currant Affairs Blackberry Currant Smoothie Sour, which is the featured beer for the evening and filled with dark fruit flavors to blend into the smoothie-style Sour Ale. 

They’ll also be offering up their “Box of Chocolates” flight, which brings out four different stouts for a sampler that’s *definitely* not your grandmother’s holiday chocolates. It comes with several variations of flavors brewed into their Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout, from toasted coconut to orange, mocha, and raspberry. These are also being sold in 12-packs for those who would rather celebrate at home, but be sure to grab one soon if that’s your plan, because they’re almost sold out. 

Each night of the weekend will host a new food truck and live band. Friday kicks it off with Kat Somers and Indira & Guppy Jo along with the La Bête food truck. Saturday brings Josh Small & Andrew Alli with Intergalactic Tacos, then Sunday closes out the weekend with Lovers Live: Mackenzie & Michael, Koda & Marie and Taqueria Panchito. 

PHOTO: Ardent Craft Ales

Must Love Dogs at Ardent Craft Ales 

If your most-loved person isn’t a person at all, we don’t blame you. Ardent Craft Ales is celebrating Valentine’s Day with the most loving souls in the world: dogs. There is no love on this planet like that of a dog for its human, and we’re stoked to see Ardent gearing up for a V-Day party like no other. 

Fresh beers will be out on tap like Historic Chocolate Stout, a small batch that was brewed in collaboration with The Valentine Museum and full of American Heritage dark chocolate. “For the Love of Stout” and “I Heart IPA” flights will also be available for tasting, along with handcrafted truffles from Chocolate Cravings that were created with Ardent’s Maple Dark Rye, Honey Ginger, and Plum Gose beers. 

“For the Love of Stout” brings together Ardent’s Historical Chocolate Stout, Dark Rye, Imperial Stout with Coffee, Coconut, & Almonds, and their Barrel Aged Milk Stout. In the “I Heart IPA” flight, you’ll catch tastes of Floreda Idaho, IPA X, Summit DIPA, and the IPA 14

The event also benefits Richmond Animal Care and Control, our favorite shelter in town, which works tirelessly to ensure animals in the community get proper healthcare and find their way to happy homes. You can drink happy at this one, knowing you’ll get to support the shelter and probably pet lots of dogs in the process. 

PHOTO: Final Gravity Brewing Co.

Doppler Effect IPA at Final Gravity Brewing Co. 

Over at Final Gravity Brewing Co., a great IPA is ready for your glass. This one is perfectly reminiscent of summer days, and it’s making us even more impatient for them to return. 

Doppler Effect IPA is a citrus-forward IPA with a crisp finish that’ll suit regular Pale Ale fans and heavier IPA fans alike. With lemon, grapefruit, and orange notes, it’s a delicious example of how complex Mosaic hop flavors can be. 

It comes along with One Drop Hazy Double IPA, which brings out plenty more lemon tastes along with mango, stone fruit, and other tropical fruit flavors. Brewed with Mosaic and Citra hops, this one’s a delicious heavier complement to Doppler Effect — and we can’t decide which to try first. 

PHOTO: Fine Creek Brewing Company

Daffodil Daydream at Fine Creek Brewing Company 

The latest Friday Beer Feature at Fine Creek Brewing Company sounds like a dream in itself. Daffodil Daydream is a 6.5% ABV White IPA that’s full of both earthy and fruity flavors. With Appalachian Malted Wheat in addition to Riverbend Southern Select Barley, this IPA came together for tropical hop tastes like white grape and lime. 

On the more bitter side of IPAs, Daffodil Daydream also brings out a dry finish with notes of freshly-baked bread and grassy tastes. Hops from New Zealand, Germany, and America all blended to make this recipe a reality, and it drinks with a round mouthfeel, according to its brewers. 

PHOTO: The Veil Brewing Co.

Weekly Multi-release at The Veil Brewing Co. 

Kicking off this week’s fresh list of recipes at The Veil Brewing Co., Tefnut (Blueberry Muffin) comes to us as a cosmic Imperial Gose. This one was another great collab with one of The Veil’s favorites, Omnipollo, and it was brewed to “reimagine what a fruit beer can be” with new processes and experimenting with fruit volumes. At 11% ABV, this beer tastes like a blueberry muffin in a can from all its milk sugar, blueberry, and vanilla additions for an extra-juicy finish, and it’s sure to please all the high-ABV lovers out there.  

Baked Apple Pie Hornswoggler comes next for us, and it keeps with The Veil’s dessert themes this week. This Chocolate Milk Stout is as close as it gets to making an apple pie into a beer, and it was conditioned with apple purée, brown sugar, milk sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The 7% ABV brew has great buttery crust and cool whip flavors, and it’s got another surprise — 10 Golden Tokens are hidden underneath its 4-pack holders, so there’s a real incentive to take some home with you. They’ve made special Hornswoggler glasses to accompany the recipe, and finding a Golden Token is the only way to get one for yourself. 

Never Sorry³ is a brand-new Gose at The Veil this week. This one came together with triple blueberry, triple raspberry, and triple black currant for an extreme flavor punch of dark fruits in the 5.3% ABV Gose. It’s a thick beer with flavors of “fresh fruit off the vine,” according to its brewers, and it’s backed up with the tannic complexity of black currant. 

dragged dragged is an 11% ABV IPA coming out in cans. Main hops with Galaxy and Citra blend with smaller additions of Nelson, El Dorado, and Vic Secret in this beer, and the double dry-hopped Triple IPA is not one to be messed with. Another from The Veil to please the high-ABV lovers, you’ll likely only need one glass here… but you’ll certainly want a second once you taste its pineapple juice, watermelon, and cherry flavors with flaked barley. 

Power On debuted last night as a fresh IPA, brewed with Citra, Sabro, and Motueka hops. This one comes in at a lower 6% ABV, so if you’re feeling the craft beer but don’t want to be calling your Uber after the first glass, it might be more up your alley than some of the others this week. It’s filled with notes like grapefruit pulp, coconut, lime, and tiki drinks for a new combination at The Veil. 

EarthTone is easily our favorite of this week’s batch. Brewed as a collab with 20 local breweries, we visited this one last week ahead of its debut at Garden Grove Brewing & Urban Winery. EarthTone is an homage to the life and legacy of Garden Grove’s Michael Brandt, and was crafted to remind us forever of his love for Lagers, malt balance, and complexity. Proceeds from this brew go to Mike’s son, Miles, for a college savings fund, and to the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. It’s being served up in cans at The Veil starting yesterday (and starting today, for our Norfolk folks!) and it’s a great way to help Garden Grove honor their beloved Co-Owner. 

PHOTO: Three Notch’d RVA Collab House

Singles Awareness Day at Three Notch’d RVA Collab House 

Three Notch’d RVA Collab House is also feeling the anti-love this week, and we’re all for it. In another awesome Valentine’s Day event, head out to Three Notch’d with the free spirits of Richmond and celebrate the love for yourself. 

The brewery is bringing out $3 pints of their Chocolate Silk Pie milk stout through happy hour, and they’re going the extra mile to show some love to the singles for the holiday. With an extra bonus, their Chocolate Silk Pie even comes with free chocolates and red velvet cake — and it’s enough to make me wish I could fit that list for these desserts. 

As Three Notch’d notes, it’ll be nice to not have to share your beer with your S.O. this year. And who knows… with all the other singles there, you might even find love (that is, if you want it). 

That’s it for this week’s RVA On Tap! As your weekly columnist, I’m here to take all your beer releases, event info, ideas and questions. If you’re a brewer, send me your release info at caley@rvamag.com, and if you’re a beer enthusiast, drop me a line anytime to talk booze. Catch y’all next week! 

Caley Sturgill

Caley Sturgill

Caley Sturgill is the Director of Media at RVA Magazine. Email her at caley@rvamag.com for inquiries and RVA On Tap releases.




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