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 getting ready for the holidays with tons of great events and releases.
Don’t miss Three Notch’d RVA Collab House’s statewide can release in their collab with Richmond band New Lions, Intermission Beer Company’s Fun Reimagined holiday market, and a great holiday party with Justin Golden at Canon & Draw Brewing Company.
We’ve also got juicy citrus brews at The Answer Brewpub, big awards for Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Crowl-A-Thons with Fine Creek Brewing, Center of the Universe Brewing’s Big Lebowski craft beer gift packs, Triple Crossing’s Classic Christmas, and new releases from Väsen, Ardent, Steam Bell Beer Works, and The Veil Brewing. Drink up, Virginia!
Pouring fresh at The Answer Brewpub this week is the juicy citrus punch we need to bring some bright flavors into the holiday season. With lighter hop notes and a strong fruit taste, I Need An Adult has already become a fan favorite at the brewery — and one drinker noted it might be their new favorite beer from The Answer entirely.
From the brewers themselves: “If you are in our brewpub and feeling unsure, just loudly and clearly say, ‘I need an Adult’,” and they’ll promptly bring you their latest juicy Double IPA from the taps. This DIPA was double dry-hopped with Mosaic, El Dorado, Cryo Simcoe, and Samba hops for a bold, rich brew that’s quickly becoming popular among its drinkers.
Center of the Universe is back with these limited edition Big Lebowski Gift Packs. With four of their best brews, COTU celebrates The Dude in all his glory with El Duderino, The Donny, The Jesus, and The Jeffrey.
Kicking off the brews, El Duderino is a White Russian Stout that brings the classic tastes of the milky, coffee-like mixed drink into a beer. The Donny is a Southern English-style Brown Ale for a bit of a lighter — but equally full-flavored — recipe, and it’s complemented by the Mecxican Hot Chocolate Stout-centered The Jesus. A special one in the bunch is The Jeffrey, which is only available before the holidays in these limited-edition holiday packs. Aged in Apple Brandy barrels, this Imperial Milk Stout even came with prizes on its details in last week’s Trivia Tuesday.
For more Big Lebowski-themed drinking, be sure to join COTU after the holidays for their Big Burleski event on the 27th (but stay tuned for more details on that next week).
Over at Hardywood, be on the lookout next week for a special Raspberry Stout release. In the meantime, we’ve got some awesome news in awards for the brewery. Hardywood’s Distorted Perception was recently named one of the Top 50 Beers for 2019 by Vinepair, and this juicy IPA got its name for a reason: Vinepair says “With our eyes closed, we could swear this was actual juice.”
The New England IPA is a hazy dream, and it was created to reflect some of the best fruit flavors in its honeydew, papaya, and lime notes. In its brewing process, Distorted Perception was dry-hopped with both Cashmere and Mosaic hops (one of my favorite combinations!) for a smooth 7% ABV brew. It originally came out back in late September as part of their #FreshCanFriday series, and if you’re looking to try it, keep your eyes peeled next year for its return to the brewery, along with many more fruit-forward IPAs.
In more Saturday releases, Three Notch’d RVA Collab House is dropping their New Lions Blonde Stout in cans this weekend in collaboration with Richmond’s New Lions band. This is one of their most popular collab beers, according to Three Notch’d, and we can see why: along with the awesome name of New Lions’ music attached to it, this blonde stout is a very unique brew.
Made with vanilla, cacao nibs, and local coffee from Rostov’s, this beer is about as local as it gets. Blonde stouts can be hard to come by, so it’s definitely one you’ll want to grab a can of — plus this release is its very first in cans to be distributed statewide, and this is your chance to get the first batch in Richmond. It’ll also be on draft at the brewery in a $5 special, making it the perfect time to try it yourself (especially if you’re operating on a holiday budget like most of us these days).
Intermission Beer Company is also diving into the holiday events this week, with their Fun Reimagined Holiday Market this Saturday — and they’ve got the right idea bringing local vendors in to encourage holiday shopping with small business. With their Winter Warmer brew on draft, Intermission is ready to bring out their own holiday-spiced creation with vanilla, clove, and ginger flavors inspired by their friend’s ginger molasses cookies.
In this special holiday market, you’ll get an experience along with plenty of options for finding gifts. Vendors will get to take over the brewery for 15 minutes each during the event, giving demonstrations and teaching attendees about the process behind the product.
Participating vendors include Dharma Boutique RVA, Fairytale Fiberworks, Mug It All, Stephanie Mayton Illustrations, and Fun Reimagined: Richmond’s source for fun and unique card games. In that order, each vendor will get their time to shine in demonstrations like macramé bracelet-making, wool processing from raw fleece to spun yarn, mug-making, art tutorials, and how to play several of Fun Reimagined’s games.
The event starts at 3pm and runs until 7, so make sure to head out by 4 to catch all the demonstrations and learn more about your local vendors.
If you’re looking for plans on the Sunday before Christmas, Fine Creek Brewing has you covered. They’re hosting their Christmas Sunday Celebration & Crowl-A-Thon on December 22, and they’re ready to get you in the holiday spirit.
With plenty of Christmas music from Koontz & Kellner and special Chocolate Peppermint desserts from Fine Creek Provisions, come cozy up at the farm and start your celebration week off right. For the beer, they’ve got discounts on crowlers (15% off with 3 or more!) in the Crowl-A-Thon to let attendees stock up on good brews to bring to all those holiday parties, where often there’s nothing outside of Bud Light, Miller, and that bottle of wine your grandmother has been keeping in the cabinet since last year. They also make for awesome gifts, so if you’re still in the last-minute shopping scramble, you can treat your loved ones to something we all appreciate: booze.
In more holiday celebrations, head out to Triple Crossing Beer this Sunday for their Classic Christmas event. They’re getting extra-festive for the occasion, with tons of different activities to keep the whole family (and friend group) entertained.
Selfie-booth lovers will be pleased, so make sure to dress up accordingly to take photos and remember the day. Triple Crossing will also have blasts from the past with old-school Christmas movies, plus live Christmas music and wood-fired beer marshmallow s’mores. Keep up with their event page for more info on specific movies and times running through the day, and bring the kids out for the free all-ages event.
Väsen Brewing Company’s got a double release coming up tomorrow night, with two fresh brews coming to the taps. First up is Moonbear Dubbel, a Belgian abbey-style ale created to warm its drinkers up in the midst of these chilly nights. With Madagascar vanilla beans, dark malts, and a light roasted taste, this beer is packed with all the perfect chocolate-vanilla combination. Väsen’s also releasing their Winter Harvest Double IPA on draft tomorrow, brewed with Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops. Along with playing in their Geeks Who Drink Trivia Night, you’ll get to try this unique DIPA that brings out more than just fruit. Its flavors are full of dried fruit along with mango and pine, plus brown sugar to bring some holiday sweetness into the mix.
Over the weekend, our pals at Ardent Craft Ales dropped their Amarillo Pale Ale. This 5% ABV recipe was brewed with Amarillo hops, dry-hopped and filled with lots of floral tastes to bring out its bold flavor. It came together with oats and wheat, along with English yeast, and according to its brewers, it drinks with a soft body and mild bitterness.
In events with Ardent, be on the lookout for A Christmas Vacation Kick-Off this Saturday at Lunch and Supper in Scott’s Addition. They’ll be selling tickets here before the event, so grab yours for all their food and wine pairings, along with festive cocktails from Lunch and Supper, throughout the evening until 11pm.
Here’s one I’m especially excited for. Canon & Draw Brewing Company is hosting a holiday party by one of my current favorite local musicians, Justin Golden, this Saturday at the brewery. Golden has played a lot of shows I’ve attended recently, most notably when he opened for the Tim Barry Novemberfest shows last month — and he’s got a great folk/country/indie sound. The lineup for this week’s event will showcase Sid Kingsley (another favorite Richmond musician of mine, who somehow I only manage to see when I’m in Roanoke), Tim Beavers II, Andrew Alli and Josh Small, and Tyler Meacham.
Along with great music, Canon & Draw has had a ton of great beer releases in the last couple months. Their taps are stocked with plenty of fresh recipes, so if you haven’t had an opportunity yet to get out and try some, this is a fantastic chance to see some great music and pair it with delicious beer.
The fine folks at Steam Bell Beer Works are bringing their Bourbon Barrel Tiramisu Stout back to the taps on Friday, and this one sounds especially awesome to me. After years growing up watching my mother eat tiramisu for breakfast, something about this sweet dessert just feels like home. I’ve also got a soft spot for it from working next to Virginia’s absolute best Balkan restaurant, Euro Bakery in Roanoke, for years — and eating its owner’s homemade tiramisu probably 5 days a week (plus more whenever a coworker at the bar didn’t finish their slice). It doesn’t get better than that, friends. At least until my body finally starts to reject the amount of sugar I’m capable of putting into it.
But still, there’s nothing quite comparable to a soft, fluffy tiramisu in all its ladyfinger-and-coffee glory. Steam Bell did an awesome job with this brew, and in addition to its classic dessert flavors, it was aged in A. Smith Bowman Distillery barrels to seal the deal. With vanilla beans, oak, and bourbon, this variation is full of “warmth and richness,” according to its brewers, that perfectly complement the roasted chocolate notes of the original Tiramisu Stout recipe.
Last night at The Veil Brewing Co., a December special made its way into the brewery. Holiday Treat Whangdoodle is made for coffee lovers, and the Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout is packed with flavors. You’ll catch maple syrup, cinnamon, and Colombian coffee (the best coffee out there, imho) from Blanchard’s Coffee, one of Richmond’s very best. According to its brewers, Holiday Treat Whangdoodle brings forward warming, viscous liquid fudge, baking spices, and holiday cheer. It’s out now in bottles, and to grab one of your own, head over to The Veil this week for a chance to bring the 10.5% ABV stout home with you before it’s gone.
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!