RVA ON TAP: Festivals Galore!

by | Aug 21, 2019 | RVA ON TAP

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, Richmond’s brewers are at it again with *tons* of awesome events. You’ll find some great new beer releases, in addition to lots of benefits to help out the nonprofits and organizations we all know and love, so save your weekly restaurant budget for the weekend, because we’ve got a lot of great reasons to come and support. 

PHOTO: Hardywood

Big news at Hardywood! The James River Jubilee is coming up this Sunday, so make sure you don’t go too hard on Saturday so you can make it out. Our buds at Hardywood partnered up with the James River Association to create this special first-ever James River celebration to honor the biggest and best part of our city: the river that runs through it. 

All of our river-goers know how important the James is to Richmond and its history, and the James River Park System is one of the best in the state for hiking, fishing, picnics, and swimming all summer long. There’s nothing like getting out of the hustle and bustle of downtown to escape into the trails along the river, and take a vacation from the city without ever having to leave it. The James River Association maintains our beautiful environment and keeps it in tip-top shape for us to enjoy year-round, so take this Sunday to come together with us to appreciate the river and the people who protect it. 

All day long at Hardywood, food trucks and beers galore will be around along with interactive vendors and jubilant music to commemorate Richmond’s greatest asset, and the wildlife that surrounds it. 

Hardywood’s also got some great can releases this week, with None Of This Makes Sense coming out on Friday in cans along with Cloud Shapes, a dreamy fruit Double IPA dropping in cans that day as well. 

PHOTO: Isley Brewing Company

Calling all dog lovers! National Dog Day is around the corner, and our friends at Isley Brewing Company have brewed up something special to commemorate it. 

This Saturday, head over to Isley for the release of Rescue Red Ale, a red that reflects its name in its deep, cherry color. It’s brewed with Jarrylo and Mosaic hops that balance out its malty, sweet backbone with a bit of a hoppy kick. with a good amount of hops but a still-approachable 5.2% ABV and 34 IBU to keep the bitterness at bay. 

Along with great beer, you’ll find everything from treats to doggie pools and homemade ice cream for your pups, and giveaways and raffles to treat their humans, too. The beer benefits the Lab Rescue of Greater Richmond and the Lab Rescue LRCP, so drink happy knowing you’re helping some sweet babies find homes. 

Another bonus: if you’re a dog lover who has yet to find their dog to love, the event will be hosting adoptions of some great pups in need of forever homes. Come to Isley for the beer, and come home with your newest (and favorite) family member. 

PHOTO: Ardent Craft Ales

Tomorrow night, swing by Ardent Craft Ales for some sweet earthy flavors in their latest brew. Barrel Aged Honey Ginger is making its way back to the taps, and this new version of a fan favorite is only available once a year — so make sure you don’t miss out, and get your taste before it’s gone. 

Layered with bourbon and vanilla notes, this honey-ginger beer was aged for more than a year in bourbon barrels to add to its sweet honey tastes and spices with ginger. If you loved last year’s version, you’re sure to enjoy this one with its bourbon barrel additions of flavor. Coming in at a high 11.5% ABV, you’ll also only need one, unless you’re in that small class of folks I know who can grab a six pack and enjoy bourbon brews all night long. 

If you’re wanting a taste without a weeknight evening at the brewery, you can also head over to grab some in bottles to enjoy anytime. They’re also hosting the release alongside one of our most-favorite foods with The Return of the Mac food truck out in the beer garden, so you won’t want to miss it. 

PHOTO: The Veil Brewing Co.

Are you holding on to summer with all your might? You’re not alone. The Veil Brewing Co. feels your pain, and they’re hosting a banger for all the summer-lovers in the River City. 

Forever Summer Fest is going down this Saturday at The Veil to benefit ChildSavers. This is an awesome way to give back, so don’t let the high ticket price scare you off if you’re able to swing it — all proceeds are going back to the nonprofit, so you can rest easy knowing those dollars are well-spent. 

The event is taking place over three sessions throughout the day from morning to night, which lets you pick whichever time works best. Grab your tickets here for any session you please, and get tastes from tons of awesome breweries you won’t find around here… plus your local favorites like The Answer Brewpub who will be there pouring. 

Here’s a full list of the brewers, many we don’t normally get to try at home, who are coming out: 

18th Street, Angry Chair, ‪American Solera, ‪Anchorage‬, Bellwoods, Bissell Brothers, ‪Cantillon, Casey Brewing, Cloudwater‬, Drie Fonteinen‬, ‪Fonta Flora‬, ‪Half Acre‬, ‪Hill Farmstead‬, ‪Holy Mountain‬, ‪Hudson Valley‬, ‪Jester King‬, ‪Monkish‬, ‪Notch‬, ‪Ocelot‬, ‪Omnipollo‬, ‪Other Half‬, ‪Oxbow‬, ‪Sante Adarius‬, ‪SideProject‬, ‪Suarez Family, ‪The Answer, ‪The Veil, ‪Threes, ‪3 Sons‬, ‪Tired Hands, Trillium‬, TRVE‬, and ‪Weldwerks‬. 

PHOTO: Final Gravity Brewing Co.

Returning to Final Gravity Brewing Co. this week is Cassiopeia, a Double IPA brewed in honor of the beautiful Greek Cassiopeia in mythology. Head over to Final Gravity this Friday for a taste of melon, coconut, pine, peach, and “whispers of pineapple” in this easy drinker. 

Cassiopeia was brewed with Cashmere and Mosaic hops to come together in this heavenly congregation, as the brewers say, of radiant flavors with a smooth bitterness that brings out its lemon and tangerine flavors. 

PHOTO: Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery

Out on the farm at Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, our brewers are at it again with a brand-new brew coming out this Friday. Juicy #14 is the latest in Lickinghole Creek’s Juicy Series, dry-hopped with a massive amount of Eureka hops — and only Eureka hops. 

A pale, hazy beauty according to Lickinghole Creek, Juicy #14 is full of tropical citrus, stone fruit, and blackberry flavors which all come together with a fluffy, wheat-based mash bill. You’ll love the low bitterness that comes with its big hop flavors from being rounded out with their house English Ale yeast to make this perfectly-dank and resinous beer. 

PHOTO: Center of the Universe

Grab your wagons if you’ve got ‘em (wheelbarrows and station wagons are acceptable for those of us who live in the actual city) because Center of the Universe has a festival for you. 

The 3rd Annual Circle the Wagons BBQ Cook-off and Concert is coming up this Saturday to benefit Circles Ashland, a nonprofit that works to reduce poverty in Ashland. This benefit is going down in the brand-new Green Top Hunt Fish with tons of entertainment, from music for parents to a 40ft inflatable obstacle course for the kids. 

If you’re a big BBQ fan like myself, this event is definitely for you. A panel of 10 judges is going to be tasting one meat and one side from each of the vendors in attendance, which includes Saucy’s BBQ, The Salty Pig Smokehouse Co., Jake’s Place, Virginia BBQ Ashland, The UFO Truck, and my *all-time favorite* Grandpa Eddie’s Alabama Ribs & BBQ. You can bet your sweet bippy that I will be coming out if only for a massive plate of Grandpa Eddie’s just to take home and eat by myself in bliss. 

They’ve also got amateur competitions that you can enter if you please, so get cookin’ and bring out your best recipes to take home the name of best cornbread in the state from the festival. All-around, this is going to be a day of bigtime good food, so bring your appetite and fast for food that morning if you have to. Lord knows I probably will. 

PHOTO: Fine Creek Brewing

Out at Fine Creek Brewing, a new Lemon Wheat came out over the weekend that sounds delicious. Already a favorite among fans, this American Wheat Ale brew hits in at 5.2% ABV and brings out all the refreshment you need for these hot summer days. It was brewed with Callista, Saphir, and Nugget hops in addition to its fresh lemon peel additions, and you can grab it to-go as well in Growlers and Crowlers. 

They’ve also got their beloved Turf & Twig Brown Ale back on tap, which has just the right amount of sweetness to complement this dark-style Brown Ale. You’ll catch dessert flavors like nutty coffee, baker’s cocoa, and pumpernickel bread to bring out its rich maltiness, and a clean finish with just that hint of sweetness to round it out. 

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! 

Caley Sturgill

Caley Sturgill

Caley Sturgill is the Director of Media at RVA Magazine. Email her at [email protected] for inquiries and RVA On Tap releases.




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