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!
Wasn’t it absolutely beautiful out yesterday? I wish every day in RVA could be 75 degrees and cloudy. For those of you who enjoy the heat, though, I’ve got you covered: Richmond’s packed with events this week to get you out of the house and into the sun all through the weekend, with more beers on tap than you can count.
Happy birthday, Väsen! These outdoor enthusiasts are turning two years old, and we’re stoked on their plans. This Saturday, they’re kicking off their anniversary festival with a block party all weekend long. And it ain’t no little get-together, either — they’ll have more than 25 bands out, plus breweries, cideries, and meaderies from all around to celebrate their second trip around the sun together.
They’ll also have food trucks and outdoor activities (in true Väsen fashion) that’ll make it “one of Scott’s Addition’s biggest bashes to date.” With three different levels of tickets, you can swing by for a few bands or come out for the whole thing with awesome drink deals and entertainment throughout the weekend. You’ll catch more than 20 breweries from around the state (including a few of my personal favorites, like Allagash, Hardywood, Trapezium, and Final Gravity, among others). It’ll definitely be one for the books, so if you’re looking for some new flavors in your life, now’s your time to shine.
Hardywood’s 4th Annual HeART and Soul Brew Fest is heading back to our favorite brewers this Saturday, with eight hours of urban art, dope entertainment, soul food, and craft beers to kick start your hearts.
There is a PET LAND (!!) from RACC, plus a VIP Experience from the Virginia Lottery coming out for this one. They’ve also got a Fun Zone with the VMFA — so make sure to bring the kiddos along — and art-lovers galore with the Studio Two Three Art Lounge and Made by RVA’s Creative Vendor Market.
Best of all, the Richmond Black Restaurant Experience group is coming out to provide the whole event with a food court on Ownby Lane, packed with awesome spots from all around the city. If you’re in the market for some good eats, Hardywood’s got you covered bigtime this weekend.
In more event news, Triple Crossing Beer is dropping cans in the nation’s capital this Saturday. If the excitement of Richmond’s events just isn’t enough this week, and you want to get out of town, this’ll be a really fun one to check out. They’ve got two different events happening together — one featuring cans, and one featuring drafts.
For cans at The Bruery Store, you’ll find Dawn Chorus Double IPA, a pineapple and peach-gummy ring beer made with Galaxy and Vic Secret hops. Salinity Gose with Lime will also make an appearance (with pink Himalayan sea salt, with lime zest and juice) along with DDH Falcon Smash IPA made with Falconers Flight, El Dorado and Mosaic hops, and lots of grapefruit and citrus pine character. The Grid DIPA is on the fruitier side, with passionfruit, guava, mango, and peaches (is there a better combination than that?). Bright Lights IPA is another summer brew, with ice cream throwbacks in its orange sherbert and melon. All Neon Like IPA, brewed with Galaxy and Vic Secret hops, leans more on the stone fruit and less on the bitterness than its sister in Dawn Chorus. Last, Night Call Double IPA is Denali-hop focused with deeply-tropical pulpy pineapple, candied citrus, and a bright, mango-like apricot softness.
If you’re more of a draft girl (like myself), you can catch brews at ChurchKey like Less Than Alone Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with flavors of vanilla — plus Tiny Pils, a 3.8% German Pilsner, Pathway Pilsner, Deep Dark Woods coconut Imperial Stout, Chroma Cerise Barrel-Aged Golden Sour aged on Montmorency Cherries, Bright Lights IPA, Falcon Smash IPA, The Grid Double IPA, and finally, Delta Oak, an aged Golden Sour which was dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin.
Now, after those mouthfuls and tongue-twisters, I think it’s pretty clear that Triple Crossing isn’t messing around with their D.C. Fest. For those of you who like to change it up, I think you’ve found your spot.
Triple Crossing also just dropped a new recipe over the weekend, a citrus-zest flavored beer called Waveform. This one has a golden sour base with fresh lime zest, so it’s great for a hot summer day (unlike yesterday, which in my opinion, was the best weather we’ve had in months). Blended with oak ferment and from multiple vessels in their wood cellar, Waveform is the newest to the above list of Triple Crossing’s perfectly-balanced recipes.
I don’t know about you guys, but I definitely know a lot of people who appreciate hemp. Lickinghole Creek is on board, too, and they’re throwing a party for it coming up this Saturday. The Virginia Hemp & Hops Festival is going down this weekend at our favorite farmhouse spot with fun for the whole family, like hayrides and slip ‘n slides to keep everyone stoked all day.
The Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition is coming out, with speakers to talk about the hemp industry in the great Commonwealth in the afternoon. They’ve also got food from Gourmet Hemp Foods, plus live music and partners like Botanaway and First Necessity.
Over at Intermission Beer Company, 50 Years of Love rolls on. In a truly-tropical brew, they’re celebrating the campaign and a half-century of love in the Commonwealth with a new release.
Tropical Thunder IPA is dropping this Saturday at the brewery, and it’s everything we need this summer. With notes of tropical fruit hops, they went the extra mile and added in more flavor with batches of passionfruit, mango, and pineapple — made for a day at the river. It’s gluten-reduced and hits in at 7.2% ABV, so it’s a nice, easy drinker for those days when most IPAs feel too heavy.
In new-brew-news, Ardent Craft Ales is dropping their Berliner Weisse tomorrow night. This low-alcohol beer has a light body with high carbonation to bring out its clean, sour flavors — which are packed with lemon and citrus along with a special addition.
On top of the brew itself, according to Ardent, Berliner Weisse beers are traditionally served with a flavored syrup to spruce things up. For their variation, Ardent partnered up with Richmond’s ZZQ to cook up something new: a smoked pineapple and habanero syrup to give this Weisse a kick. You can only catch the syrup in the taproom, so be sure to swing by and get a taste of the best thing since hot sauce. I recently had the pleasure of tasting a mango habanero beer, and good lord, it was incredible (even for a white girl who’s usually a pretty big baby about spice). I’d definitely recommend you go give this one a try.
Overall, this one’s tart and refreshing, and its pale straw colors and cloudy, effervescent feel is the perfect release for this time of year.
Our favs out at Stone Brewing Richmond are throwing it back tomorrow for a #ThrowbackThursday Tapping. From their Mission Warehouse Series comes The Stone Mission Warehouse Sour, available at the brewery tomorrow in all its Mosaic dry-hop and Lambic style glory.
Stone’s also having Nicky Lee and The Wiz this Saturday from the afternoon to the early evening, so if you can’t make it on Thursday, be sure to drive out to their awesome East End spot for good brews and good jams over the weekend.
Three Notch’d RVA Collab House cooked up something awesome for the adults and not-so-awesome for the kids: Summer School! This New-England style IPA just dropped over the weekend for Tap That Friday, and it was made as a collab with the University of Richmond. College students are no strangers to summer school, so I can understand why they would hop on board to spend some of that classroom time brewing up something to take the edge off from all those exams and late-night study sessions in the middle of vacation season.
This one’s got heavy amounts of Citra hops, along with Amarillo and El Dorado to make sure it “aced the final exam.” If I were them, I’d want to be drinking at school, too.
Hey, Isley! Thanks for curing the too-hot-blues: with their new Summer Sipper, they’ve got one designed for the hottest heat to cool down in July. This Session Hazy IPA just dropped at the brewery and was dry-hopped five times throughout its production to carry the hop flavors of a stronger beer with a low 4.2% ABV. It was created with Jarrylo, Huell Melon, and El Dorado hops, and its bright colors suggest a fruity finish as well. It’s light, approachable, and thirst-quenching, to kick it in the sun no matter how much you love (or don’t love) this time of year.
The Brewing in Richmond History Tour is back this weekend! Head over to Scott’s Addition on Saturday to catch the tour — if you’ve never made it out for one before, we definitely recommend it. As they say, today’s bustling beer scene in the River City is only the latest chapter of our city’s history with fermented drinks.
Through the afternoon, they’ll walk you through our booziest neighborhood to talk beer with some great brewers like Three Notch’d, Buskey Cider, and the new Bingo Beer Co. If you’re shying away from the ticket prices, don’t worry. Your beer is included, so jump into the tour and learn something new.
Garden Grove Brewing came back into the Anthem LemonAid challenge again this year. To benefit the Children’s Hospital at VCU, the challenge donates to children undergoing cancer treatment and help fund the society. This year, they released Innocence and Dreams, a light, refreshing Belgian Ale that donates a dollar straight to the hospital for every glass sold.
I’m always stoked to see Richmond brewers finding ways for their customers to drink for a good cause, and this one tastes great, too. Brewed with Lemon Balm from their urban gardens, you’ll get some great citrus flavors in a crisp beer that helps the hospital with each draft.
On the flipside from light lemonade brews, Richbrau has a cookie stout on tap to enjoy some wintery flavors. Keeping it heavy in the middle of summer, they’ve got cold glasses of their 13 O’Clock Randall stout, infused with actual Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookies to bring out an opposite for this time of year — and as Richbrau reminds us, “Stout… it’s not just for winter anymore.” I know a lot of heavy beer enthusiasts who will be stoked to see this one pouring right now, so if you’re one of them, go check out Richmond’s newest/oldest brewery down in Shockoe.
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!