Richmond craft beer lovers rejoice, your mecca is calling you home. Well at least for the weekend that is. The S
Richmond craft beer lovers rejoice, your mecca is calling you home. Well at least for the weekend that is. The Second Annual Capital Ale House National Beer Expo hits the Richmond Convention Center July 16-18 bringing over 200 craft beers from Virginia and other breweries across the country for you to sample.
The expo is a three-day event filled with exhibits, seminars, food, brewery parties, and of course plenty of craft beer. 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. Besides breweries, the expo will feature 154 vendors including food vendors, and vendors selling beer-related swag.
The restaurant is again collaborating with Variant Events, the organization that puts on the annual Virginia Wine Expo for this year’s beer expo. All of the proceeds for the event go to LINC, the Legal Information Network for Cancer.
Even though this will be a three-day event, Saturday is apparently the day you don’t want to miss out on according to Alex Papajohn, Executive Director of the expo and manager of Variant Events.
“The walk around grand tasting alone is over 170 beers,” said Papajohn.
Saturday’s walk-around grand tasting at the Richmond Convention Center is the main event so let’s get into that.
“The beers that we are going to have there will be diverse in style and very high in quality,” Papajohn said.
Papajohn said there’s going to be something for the hardcore craft beer enthusiast as well as the casual beer drinker and the expo isn’t just sticking with what’s in season either.
“Last year I think we were a little too heavy on the seasonal beers this time of year you’re doing a lot of summer ales and light Belgian wheat beers, but this year we will have some of those beers for sure, but were trying to mix in some more stouts, more porters, more barrel aged beers,” he said.
Papajohn said about 80 to 85 breweries will be represented at the event this year, an increase from last’s year event. Check out the full list of breweries here.
“The number of breweries have increased by well over 20 breweries and the number of beers we have available at the event has increased by 30 more beers,” Papajohn said.
Old Bust Head Brewery, which is based in Warrenton, Va, will debut their beers at the expo according to Papajohn.
According to the website, attendees can taste beers from 28 Virginia breweries at the National Beer Expo including Smartmouth Brewing, Starr Hill Brewery and Three Brothers Brewing. Last year, 21 Virginia breweries sampled their beers at the expo and nine Richmond breweries were present.
This year, eleven local breweries will be represented including Strangeways, 7 Hills, Ardent Craft Ales, Hardywood, Isley, Legend, Lickinghole Creek, Midnight, Triple Crossing, Center of the Universe and Stone Brewing Company, RVA’s newest brewery slated to open its doors in 2016.
San Diego-based Stone Brewing will host one of the four seminars at the expo which will be led by Jason Armstrong, Stone’s Director of National Sales and COO Pat Tiernan.
Papajohn said Stone brewing will also have a job fair booth at the expo along with Brown Distributing.
Besides new breweries and new beers, Papajohn said the expo will introduce a trading floor this year.
“Craft beer enthusiasts may bring closed bottles of beer and they may go to the trading floor area and trade bottles with other craft beer enthusiasts from around the country,” he said. “We will have a beer check area so they don’t have to carry it around all day.”
“Craft beer trading is growing quite rapidly,” he said. “We hope to grow that into a significant part of the event.”
Besides the main event on Saturday, the expo will have events Thursday and Friday.
On Thursday, the beer expo will kick off with parties across town at various breweries from a BBQ & Brews part at Isley Brewing, to a Nintendo Tournament at Triple Crossing to a beer release at Midnight Brewing to name a few.
“We’re trying to get the local Richmond area breweries, get them to do events at their brewery to get enthusiasm going,” Papajohn said.
On Friday, the expo will have a “Taco Throwdown” where 16 chefs will serve up different styles and flavors of tacos for attendees.
“We have a bunch of new restaurants this year,” he said.
For those that need a little beer in the morning, the expo will offer “Flapjack,” a craft beer brunch at Juleps East Grace Street location on the day of the main event. Check out the menu here.
Papajohn said most people that attended the event in the past are from Richmond and the Virginia area, but this year they’ve seen an uptick in attendees hailing from other regions.
“We see just in the second year majority still come from Richmond and all over Virginia, but were getting people from all over the Mid-Atlantic and folks from around the country,” he said. “I just a saw a ticket sold for somebody in California.”
Last year’s expo drew about 1,700 and this year Papajohn said he expects over 2,000 people to attend.
Capital Ale House will host an after party after the expo on Saturday in case the 200 craft beers weren’t enough for you.
Papajohn said the expo will also offer cider and wine in addition to craft beer. I guess if you’re weird and want to pay to go to the biggest craft beer event in Richmond and drink wine. But, to each his own.
Tickets are priced per event. Advanced tickets can be purchased here and VIP tickets, which allow you to get into the walk-around grand tasting early, are $54. General admission for the walk-around cost $42.
The “Dubbel Package” costs $90 and gets you into the Taco Throwdown on Friday and the VIP walk around tasting on Saturday. Check out all prices for the event and grab yours here.