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 rolling into Memorial Day Weekend with tons of events to occupy your days. Don’t miss the Meet the Candidates event for the upcoming election with Three Notch’d, and the Woodbridge Beer Fest bringing out breweries from across the state.
Three Notch’d RVA Collab House is setting up their Meet the Candidates event tomorrow night for the upcoming election this November. If you’re upset about what’s been going on in the news lately (like myself), this is a good way to get at the next election early and start setting some changes into play before November. All 100 House of Delegates seats and all 40 Senate seats are up for grabs this November, so this election could very literally be life-changing for folks across the Commonwealth. Whether you’re passionate about the environment, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, change in the justice system, or any other issue that gets your gears going……this can — and will — be a huge one, y’all.
The event focuses on marijuana policies and criminal justice, and is partnered with Virginia NORML, so you’ll be able to learn about every candidate’s stance on that issue, and meet them to ask your own questions as well. Start learning about what’s going on in your state, and start familiarizing yourself with the people fighting for power over it. Here at RVA Magazine we like to say Don’t Sleep — and this is a time to wake up. Big shoutout to Three Notch’d for hosting the candidates, and for setting up a political event with booze. Lord knows we’ll need it this year!
Also coming up this week is the Woodbridge Beer Fest on Saturday, which is hosting Stone Brewing Richmond along with many statewide favorites like Blue Mountain Brewery, Chaos Mountain, Mustang Sally Brewing Company, and more. The festival is “taking over the main drag of Stonebridge” for the third time, and will also have food, wine, root beer for kids, and plenty to do to keep the whole family entertained. The list of brewers in attendance keeps growing, so check out Woodbridge Beer’s website here to see the updated group of folks coming out.
Hardywood’s jumping into the Memorial Day Weekend celebrations as well, with a can release Friday, a draft release Saturday, and their Jonny Z Fest on Sunday. Leslie the Label Lady is their can release dropping Friday, and this hazy IPA with guava was also brewed as a fundraiser and in honor of Leslie, who creates all of Hardywood’s beautifully-crafted labels. After Leslie’s diagnosis with a brain tumor that was successfully removed, Hardywood brewed this new recipe up to support her and her family as she undergoes chemo and radiation treatment. Come out to drink for a cause, and help in the fight against cancer by donating your time (and taste buds) to the brewery.
The following day, Hardywood’s sending their Cuvee Peach fresh to the taps at both locations. Get a glass of this White Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian Tripel on Saturday and taste its sparkling, refreshing flavors with stone fruit esters and hints of vanilla from its toasted French oak barrels.
On Sunday, head over for the 11th annual Jonny Z Fest, which celebrates the life of the late, much-loved community activist, Jonny Zanin. The festival is packed with art, music, interactive booths, raffles, kids’ projects and play areas, and the Bizarre Market.
We’re sending a HUGE congrats over to our pals at Strangeways Brewing for the Grand Opening of their new Scott’s Addition this Saturday! This is a big week for Strangeways, between new beer releases, festivals, and the grand opening. With more than 30 beers from their tap lineup, Strangeways at Scott’s Addition is opening with a bang — and they’ll have SMoHK out with legendary BBQ and Southern food all day as well. At their new spot, the brewery has a 4,000 square foot facility and a large outdoor patio to welcome their third tasting room in the Commonwealth.
Unlike most brewery locations, SMoHK is stationed all the time to bring you a full menu of wings, pulled pork, brisket, smoked ribeye, plus sandwiches, desserts, and the #1 voted Brunswick Stew in Virginia. Grab a table with a server or hang anywhere and order straight from your phone, and bring your kids and pups along for the fun, too. They’ll be featuring special events in addition to their dog-friendly Biergartens, arcades and more, and I think it’s safe to say I’ve found my new favorite hangout spot for the summer.
In more news this week, they’re dropping their What the Astronauts Drink cans in the next edition of their 4-pack Saturday releases. This Berliner Weisse-infused beer is full of tangy flavor with orange fruits. You can also head over to their original location on Saturday for their Überlin Festival, with six different Berliner Weisse variations to ring in the summer. Drink up, y’all!
This Friday in Fulton, Triple Crossing Beer has Poor Icarus coming out fresh in cans. Its colors match its flavors, with notes of bright, tropical guava and sticky pineapple bringing the fruit into this DIPA. It was hopped with Vic Secret and El Dorado to create the perfect balance, and you can find it this weekend in cans next to its partner, Sight Lines IPA.
Sight Lines is dropping on Friday as well, and it was made to bring the West Coast to Richmond. Kettle- and dry-hopped with Simcoe, Citra, and Chinook, the 6% ABV pale ale has a hazy, yellow pour to compliment its firmly-crisp, pine finish. Citrus, tangerine, and melon flavors are also present to give Sight Lines a dryer, less yeast-focused brew than normal from Triple Crossing, and it branches off “into its own territory” at the brewery.
Yesterday at The Veil Brewing Co., Tefnut hit the taps for the second time in a new variation. If you can’t already tell from the color, this cosmic Imperial Gose was triple fruited with blueberries and blackberries. Each Tefnut recipe is brewed in collaboration with Omnipollo, and different fruits will make their debut in every new release.
To bring Tefnut to life, The Veil put their heads together with the fine folks of Omnipollo “to reimagine what a fruit beer can be,” working with new processes and fruit volumes, and creating some of the most colorful beers I’ve seen in my day. According to the brewers, it’s intense, luscious, and dripping with juicy fruit character — everything you’d expect from these two coming together. And drink with caution. This 11% ABV brew packs a much bigger punch than its pretty colors might suggest. 🔮
There’s Pie? I wish. This new mead came out with our friends at Black Heath Meadery last night, and it’s full of all-and-only the best fruits. Blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and cherry honey wine all come together in a delicious swirl to bring There’s Pie? to life, and honestly, it sounds better than any pie ever could. This one’s a limited release, so get on it while you can if you’re hoping to get a taste. Only 60 bottles are available, and you’re only allowed one per day to make sure everyone gets their share.
Coming up this weekend, Black Heath is releasing a great variety of meads for the season on tap at the meadery, bringing out all the best spring and summertime flavors like Living Reflection and Sour Cherry.
Firepower! Final Gravity Brewing Co.’s Moon Cresta Double IPA delivers “a blast of orange citrus” along with its subtle notes of strawberry and tropical melon from its Belma and Citra hops. This is no normal fruit brew, though, my friends — it’ll take you to the next level with spicy notes to distinguish it from all the rest.
For more out-of-the-ordinary tastes this weekend, Final Gravity is hosting Southern Spud, a new food truck to the Richmond scene that offers up “impossibly-loaded gourmet baked potatoes,” along with fries and mashed potato bowls that serve heavenly combos of sweet, salt, and tang. According to Final Gravity, they became a brewery favorite from the first time they came out, so head on over this Sunday to find your next favorite, as well.
Fun on the farm? You betcha — Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery has plans this Memorial Day, too, with Jack Ryan Music Live all day on Saturday and Ryan Hearn coming out to play through Sunday. Firesides food truck is coming out to cater a delicious variety of eats along with the fun. If you’re looking to get out of the city this holiday weekend, Lickinghole is a big favorite and always a blast to hang out at.
Homefront IPA is returning to Center of the Universe this Saturday. Brewed with Cascade and Chinook hops, this traditional American IPA adds a bright, crisp citrus zing to the summertime favorite after being brewed with maple bats for a delicious wood flavor in the tank.
100% of all proceeds from this tasty beer go back to the Soldiers’ Angels nonprofit, which protects the nation’s protectors by providing aid and comfort to veterans, soldiers, and their families across the country. The release party for Homefront IPA is being catered by Grandpa Eddie’s Alabama Ribs & BBQ (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), which is my absolute, total all-time favorite BBQ I’ve ever had in my life, and holy wow, if you haven’t tried them, you’re missing out. Every time I see this name pop up on a brewery event I get twice as excited for it.
Tomorrow night ahead of the weekend festivities, COTU is hosting the start of their Spring Corn Hole season, and you can even win prizes at the end of the league if you sign up to start now. I spent my weeknight evening last week out playing cornhole at Parkway Brewing Company in Salem, and got my throwing arm back in shape for the summer. Whether you’re in the city or the mountains, cornhole is always a solid way to spend your day.
In more events this week, Intermission Beer Company is hosting a Skywatch this Friday with the Richmond Astronomical Society. The society is breaking out the telescopes to hang at the brewery and tell bystanders all about the night sky, answering your questions and letting you take a step to the lens to see closeups of the moon and planets visible around the universe. And if it’s looking cloudy beforehand, fear not — they’ll be setting back up the following night if the Skywatch gets rained out. It’s a great time of year to see some special constellations, even despite the light pollution downtown, so there’s a great show coming if you make it out.
Calling all our comedy fans! Which I’m assuming is everyone, because there’s nothing better than a laugh and a beer. Canon & Draw Brewing Company is starting up their monthly comedy showcase tonight, hosted by Dylan Vattelana and featuring performances from three more comedians this week. Anthony Thompson, Winston Hodges, and Kate Carroll are all hitting the stage tonight at 7, so make your way to the Main Street spot for some good brews and good times. Admission’s free!
If you’re looking to get out of the city but don’t want to go too far, set your eyes on Goochland. Coming up this Saturday is Kindred Spirit Brewing’s Bluegrass Jubilee. It’s free and all-ages, so bring your fam or bring your buds and come out to listen to some good ol’ Virginia tunes. They’ll have catering by River City Wood Fire Pizza — and if you’ve had wood-fired pizza before, you know it’s some of the best. Bands like The Slack Family, Cook Country Bluegrass, and River City Band will be jamming it up while you cool down with Kindred Spirit’s brews out at their spot in Goochland all afternoon and evening.
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!