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’re heading into the most lovey month of the year with plenty of awesome brews and events to get you into gear for Valentine’s Day. Grab your sweetheart, and let’s go!
What a perfectly romantic way to start off Valentine’s month — chocolate and beer in one! Center of the Universe is dropping their The Box of Chocolates Stout this Saturday, at the first-ever COTU Chocolate Fest. All of the River City’s finest chocolatiers will be gathered, plus the very sweetest demo: Cooking With Chocolate! What’s better than that? The Publix Aprons Cooking School will be hosting this school for sweet-tooths, and setting up a menu for the day as well.
Handcrafted jewelry, artisan gifts, and flower arrangements will all be present (for your Valentine presents, of course), and it’s a perfect prelude to V-Day. If you haven’t been shopping for your sweetheart yet, be sure to swing by. Or, as COTU suggests, bring them on with you for an early celebration!
Oh, wow. Hardywood has done it again, but they do it every time, so no surprise here. I’m drooling over these two already and I haven’t even tasted them yet! This Saturday, their Bourbon Barrel Raspberry Stout is hitting the taps alongside Baltic Sunrise, a Baltic Porter brewed with locally-roasted coffee beans from none other than the very best coffee spot in town, Black Hand. YUM! I’m a sucker for raspberries and I’m a sucker for coffee. Blended with beer, they can’t get any better.
Their 11.4% ABV Bourbon Barrel Raspberry Stout is made with vanilla beans, and according to Hardywood, it’s a dessert beer to the core. It’s packed full with chocolate malt, cacao nibs, and local late-season red raspberries from Agriberry Farm. It’s finished with Madagascar vanilla beans after it ages for months in freshly-emptied bourbon barrels, which adds to its smooth, rich, chocolatey flavor.
Baltic Sunrise is a 9.4% ABV Baltic Porter made with coffee from Black Hand, as an “invigorating, full-bodied lager” that has notes of fresh coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Its mild fruit flavors come from dark cherries, and its taste delivers a malty, smooth finish.
Keeping close with the deliciously-dessert flavored themes of Valentine’s specials, Steam Bell Beer Works is releasing their Double Chocolate Tiramisu Stout this Friday. I know I’m over-excited on everything so far this week, but all the local breweries are making it hard to pick a favorite, because Tiramisu is my favorite dessert!
This stout is new to the taps and packed with nicaraguan cacao nibs, which gives it its chocolate flavor to pair with the Tiramisu’s coffee and vanilla staples through whole vanilla beans and fresh coffee from Ironclad Coffee Roasters. If you can’t pick one for your honey this week, I don’t blame you — and we definitely suggest mixing it up and trying them all.
Strangeways is starting off the Valentine’s events for us this week, with their Valentine’s Day Market coming up this Saturday.
“Looking to treat yo self? Need something for your Significant Other? Didn’t get what you really wanted for Christmas?”
Have no fear! Strangeways is here. Hit up the local vendors coming out to the brewery, and don’t forget to taste one of their new releases this week: Earth Abides is a 7.0% IPA with the fermentation profile of a classic lager, but with a fruity hop profile twist. It’s packed with tropical fruit, pear, and citrus and leaves a nice crisp finish. Under The Rose is next on tap, a 7.1% Wild Rosehip Saison brewed with foraged rosehips and featuring tea notes that are accentuated with lemon peel. Last up on the list for Strangeways this week is Sleeps With Angels, the chocolate stout with cacao nibs that delivers a big depth of flavor — and the perfect velvety feel for your favorite person this V-Day.
“I have nipples, Greg. Can you milk me?” The Answer Brewpub has delivered a fantastic spin on a major early-2000’s classic, Meet The Fockers. I Have Coconut Nipples Greg dropped right as we came together for RVA On Tap last week, but boy, it is so worth the mention, so get them while you can! This 9.7% ABV is full of toasted coconut, with all the mouth feels. It’s super creamy with its coconut flavor upfront and “lingering vanilla,” and it’s absolutely one for the books to head out to the brewpub and try. The Answer not only has some of the best beer in the country, according to the nationwide beer scene, but it’s got the best humor in town.
Fresh to The Veil Brewing Co. yesterday, the debut of Delete My Number. Be sure to head to your favorite Scott’s Addition spot to give this one a try — Delete My Number is a brand-new TIPA that’s brewed with Galaxy, Citra, and Nelson hops to bring you the amped-up version of Do Not Disturb DIPA.
If there’s anything I love as much as I love booze, it’s a good hike. Väsen Brewing Company gets it. They’ve sponsored the RVA Environmental Film Festival this year, and they’re doing an awesome preview of it in their tasting room where they’ll screen An American Ascent, which takes viewers through the harsh, challenging conditions following a team up the mountain and chronicling their adventures climbing North America’s highest peak: Denali, Alaska. Nathan Burrell, Superintendent of the James River Park System right here in RVA, will be speaking to host the event.
⟁ This Friday, Triple Crossing Beer is releasing another double-whammy, starting right here with Nectar & Knife. This is the brewery’s first-ever DIPA that’s hopped and dry-hopped only with Simcoe and Mosaic hops, “for that signature bright, grapefruit pulpy-zest softness” and nada of the bitter finish. Head on out to their Fulton location this Friday to give her a try: she doesn’t bite, but she might cut! ⟁
Come out to pregame the weekend with Dunkel, Ardent’s dark, German-style lager this Thursday. This one’s a great way to jump into your days off and make Friday taste even sweeter — full of malty, nutty aroma with a light, smooth body, this 5.2% ABV is perfect for work-night fun and features Munich malts to give it its rich Amber color. Its complex flavor and clean finish will have you relaxed and ready to go for your weekend.
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!