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, we’ve got tons of awesome new releases to bridge this half-spring half-winter weather (and even a little pre-summer!), plus Girl Scout Cookies, double collabs, and even urban legends from crazy mountain folk. Drink up!
Over at Strangeways Brewing, the cat returns! Wampus Cat Triple IPA is on its way back to the brewery this Saturday, dry-hopped with Citra, Palisade, Simcoe, Zythos, and Cascade hops. The name, from the legend of the Wampus Cat down in the country mountains of Appalachia, hails from Native American Cherokee Indian folklore — and “depicts a half-woman, half-mountain lion that reportedly walks on hind legs and has four additional sharp-clawed appendages.” Even more nuts: legend says it had the ability to drive people crazy (just like this beer). Treat it with caution, they say, as this rare fortune to confront a Wampus Cat yourself has presented itself. This carefully-created recipe is a full-bodied IPA with a smooth, easy finish. It’s full of a nice fruity finish, and with its sweet-flavored characteristics make it an extremely drinkable Triple IPA.
In more new-brew-news from Strangeways, Interstellar Ark is on its way this weekend as well. This New England IPA is brewed with flaked oats to deliver a lot of body, and with Murphy & Rude Crystal Wheat for a touch of sweetness. It comes with later additions of Amarillo and El Dorado hops to bring out its fruity-citrus flavor, much unlike its deliciously dessert-flavored counterpart, Gnostic State, which will come out alongside Interstellar Ark and Wampus Cat. Gnostic State is a Nitrogen Coconut and Cocoa Porter, and this semi-sweet brew has a strong flavor of coconut that comes from its 4-pound conditioning of toasted coconut per barrel. It’s also packed with Peruvian cacao nibs, which bring out the baker’s chocolate and deliver a bready background flavor paired with their Epiphany Craft malt, and a biscuity character from Rude’s Belgian Amber malt.
Do you love Girl Scout Cookies? If you answered no, stop reading. Or stop reading forever, because you’re inhuman. Anyway, Stone Brewing Richmond loves them too (as they should), and they’re celebrating this holy season of the year to team up with the organization to bring us the perfect beer and cookie pairings. Oh, girl. Grab a box of Thin Mints — obviously the superior cookie — and head on over to Stone Brewing Richmond this Friday to support the Girl Scouts with the proceeds. Every flight comes with four tasters and four cookies, so don’t forget to grab four boxes this week since the teaser will make you want a whole box in one sitting.
Last night at The Veil Brewing Co., Chubbles made its return to the brewery. This Triple IPA was made as a collaboration between The Veil and Cloudwater Brew Co., and it’s packed with Galaxy, Citra, and El Dorado hops, an English Malt fermented with English yeast and packed full of flaked oats. It’s got a 10.9% ABV, so go easy….or don’t. Your prerogative. Cloudwater is straight out of the UK, so here’s your chance to give a European brew a shot. Tastewise, you can expect a huge flavor with the sweetness and mouthfeel of actual orange juice, without the acidity, so it’s a great way to start off a weekend brunch as well.
Väsen Brewing has a secret: And it’s on its way out tomorrow night. Cashmere Secrets is a velvety-smooth Double IPA, generously dry-hopped with Cashmere, Vic Secret, and Mosaic hops to make “a deliciously-hoppy brew” that has a nice, low bitterness with aromas of pineapple, peach, and raspberry.
Ever wondered how to make wine? What else is there besides getting to run around barefoot in giant grape barrels like they do in the movies? I’m not sure, but I’d love to know! And I bet a lot of you are wondering the same thing. Now’s your chance: Final Gravity Brewing Co. has partnered up with Castle Glen Estates Winery out in Doswell for a Learn How To Make Wine class coming up on Monday. Ed Crowdey, their owner and Head Winemaker, will be showing guests step-by-step how to make wine with the kits sold from the brewery with Original Gravity Homebrew Supplies. Ed and his wife founded their winery in 2008, and planted their first vines the following year after falling in love with wine more than a quarter of a century ago. Learn from the locals’ best and see how it’s made!
Ardent Craft Ales has partnered up this week with Dssolvr to double-collab for their Bonds of Understanding + Understanding of Bonds release on Thursday. This release will have two barrel-fermented beers collabed from both breweries, which combines both of their house cultures for a saison base beer that is aged separately in red and white wine barrels.
If you’re curious how much those wine barrels at the end really affects a beer, this is a great chance to find out. Try these American White Ales next to each other for an experience in the aging process — Bonds of Understanding is your red friend, with strong grape must and stone fruit flavors, a restrained acidity, and well-rounded, oaky character. Understanding of Bonds is the white, full of toffee and vanilla notes and the same acidity with a bright, full body.
This Friday over at the Three Notch’d RVA Collab House, Unity DDH Mosaic IPA drops at the brewery with Reason Beer and The Market at 25th. The Market at 25th is celebrating their grand opening with their neighbors to bring a new grocery store to the Church Hill community, an area that has been seriously needing one for a very long time. A big congrats to the neighborhood on their new food spot, and congrats to Three Notch’d and Reason for being a part of the big grand opening with their collab beer.
If you’re ready for summer, have no fear! Isley Brewing Co. is ready, too, and they’ve got a great double release coming this Saturday. Island Hopper Pineapple Golden Ale is a 5.9% ABV American 2-Row and English Maris Otter Malt blend, that packs a medium body with malty undertones from the blend. Its German crystal malts add in color and sweetness, and it’s finished with natural pineapple to create a “perfect experience for the summer months to come.”
Archangel IPA is a 6.9% ABV IPA made with 2 row malt, wheat, and whole-rolled oats with an “absurd helping” of Mosaic and Huell Melon hops. This wonderfully-tropical IPA has a unique flavor profile, with a light-straw yellow color and frothy, white head.
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 [email protected], and if you’re a beer enthusiast, drop me a line anytime to talk booze. Catch y’all next week!