National Beer Expo brings a new beer dinner, country feast, a beer trailer and over 170 brews to RVA next week

by | Jul 8, 2016 | EAT DRINK

Get ready for a weekend of craft beer, spirits, local and regional cuisines and everything beer-related as Capital Ale House’s Third Annual National Beer Expo rolls into town next week.

Get ready for a weekend of craft beer, spirits, local and regional cuisines and everything beer-related as Capital Ale House’s Third Annual National Beer Expo rolls into town next week.

The four-day event running from July 13th-16th, will be overflowing with exhibits, seminars, food, brewery parties, and over 175 brews from local and national breweries for craft beer enthusiasts to try. Local and national brewery owners, brewmasters and representatives will be on site pouring beer and giving you the low down on their brews and breweries as you sample.

Every year, Variant Events, the organization that also plans the annual Virginia Wine Expo, puts on this craft beer expo with the proceeds going to LINC, the Legal Information Network for Cancer.

The main event on Saturday, held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, is the walk around grand tasting featuring 80 to 85 breweries with each brewery offering at least two brews.

Manager of Variant Events Alex PapaJohn said a number of new breweries can be seen this year including Mississippi-based Lazy Magnolia, Chaos Mountain in Virginia, Steam Bell Beer Works which opened in Chesterfield in June and Buskey Cider which is a new cidery in Scott’s Addition.

Maryland-based brewery Evolution, Founders Brewing Company in Michigan, and Pennsylvania-based Troegs will also be pouring brews at the NBE.

Richmond’s 7 Hills Brewery, Ardent Crat Ales, Hardywood Park, Isley, Legend, Lickinghole Creek, Midnight, Stone, Strangeways, Triple Crossing, Center of the Universe and Kindred Spirits, which will open in Goochland sometime this year will all be pouring their brews at this year’s event.

You can check out all the brewers that will be represented at the expo here.

The third annual Capital Ale House National Beer Expo kicks off Wed. July 13th with a locavore craft beer dinner, new this year, at Quirk Hotel’s restaurant Maple and Pine.

“We’ve got an amazing chef David Dunlap… it’s going to be paired with craft beers from Hardywood Park,” PapaJohn said.

On Thursday, it’s a city-wide celebration with seven local breweries throwing parties for the NBE. Stone Brewing is doing a tap takeover at Southern Railway Taphouse and Strangeways will host “Buck-A”Shuck,” a party in collaboration with Rappahannock Restaurant featuring their oysters for $1 and their newly released Wake Me Up Before Your Gose.

PapaJohn said the early birds that arrive at these local brewery parties will be in for a treat.

“The first 30 people to all those events will get a special edition 32 ounce National Beer Expo growler,” he said.

Thursday also marks a new event for this year, a kickoff party at Capital Ale House, “Beer, Blues and Bootlegging” featuring craft beers and live jazz music.

One of the main events of the whole weekend, and most popular, is the “Taco Throwdown” on Friday night where 10 local chefs whip up over 16 different kinds of tacos representing diverse ethnic and regional cuisines. A dessert taco, 35 craft beers from Virginia and nationally, wine and cider will also be featured at this event.

Saturday of course, is the headlining event with seminars, a lunch at Lucca Enoteca, and the walk around grand tasting. In addition to the more than 170 beers featured at the event, guests can imbibe on ciders and wine, shop for beer accessories and hang out in the beer garden. New at the grand tasting, includes an expanded VIP area with 24 beers, and a barrel-aged beer station presented by Growlers to Go.

“We’re literally going to have a Growlers to Go beer trailer parked to the side there’s going to be 13 barrel-aged beers at that one station alone,” PapaJohn said.

Later that night, if you still haven’t gotten your fill of craft beer and food, head over to the John Marshall Ballrooms at 101 N. 5 St. for their new event, Farm Country Feast. The event will feature local smoked, southern, soul and Cajun cuisine, 18 craft beers from Virginia and around the U.S., over 25 Virginia whiskeys, spirits and cider, and live music.

“It’s a great event not just for craft beer enthusiasts, but for spirit fans and foodies,” he said. “We introduced this partly because the NBE is a finely-crafted beer and food event. Food is just as important as the craft beer. We want to broaden our audience and be a national destination beer and food event.”

PapaJohn said guests can expect southern and soul food from Mama Js, BBQ from Deep Run Roadhouse, fried chicken from Tanglewood Ordinary in Maidens, Virginia and Homemades by Suzanne which is located inside the John Marshall.

“We’ve got shrimp and grits, fried fish bites, Backfin crab hush puppies, southern vegetable ratatouille, brisket, ribs, peach cobbler, bread pudding… so it’s going to be amazing,” he said.

Farm Country Feast costs $75 and tickets for the event can be purchased here.

Last year’s expo drew just under 2,000 and this year Papajohn said he expects 2,000 people to attend the grand tasting and around 2,600 at the overall event.

This year’s Capital Ale House National Beer Expo will run next Wednesday, July 13th- July 16th at various locations around town with the main event on Saturday at the Richmond Convention Center. Read up on the times and places and more details of the event here.

Tickets are priced per event and there are more packages and combo deals available this year. Advanced tickets can be purchased here. General admission for the walk-around tasting only are $45, early admission VIP to the tasting costs $70. The combo package for the Taco Throwdown on Friday night and Saturday’s grand tasting is $105.

Amy David

Amy David

Amy David was the Web Editor for from May 2015 until September 2018. She covered craft beer, food, music, art and more. She's been a journalist since 2010 and attended Radford University. She enjoys dogs, beer, tacos, and Bob's Burgers references.

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