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 with news this week with beer releases and festivals, events, and other cool happenings around town — so hold on to your mugs!
This week, we’re jumping into the New Year with tons of new brews from all your favorite spots around town, making our way from East to West across Central Virginia with all the new tastes you need to start fresh.
Hallelujah! My favorite Hardywood beer is out for a can release this week. Head out to the brewery on Friday to get a can of White Out, the 8.5% Wheat Double IPA. White Out is the classic white beer that I had too much fun with at the Heroes Run event at Hardywood West Creek last fall, and I am more than stoked to see it in cans. You can definitely bet this baby will be making its way to my fridge this week!
Ardent teamed up with Potter’s Craft Cider and Champion Brewing Company this season to bring back their annual Earl Grey Brown Ale. Earl Grey is such a unique flavor, I’ve never seen it in a beer before but this one is bigtime striking my interest! This 6.5% Brown Ale kicks off with a classic brown color and white, frothy head, according to the brewers — and the tea and citrus flavors give it a nice, easy-drinking feel down the hatch. Mmm, just like Earl Grey. It’s light-bodied smooth, and this perfect cloudy day brew will be debuting for its 2019 round this Saturday at Ardent. It’s also being served up with River City Wood Fire Pizza (yum!), so it’s a great way to start into this freezy week.
Black Heath Meadery is truly something special. Not only are they the only meadery in Central Virginia, they’re right in the heart of Scott’s Addition, and they’re ready to share their smarts with the public! Coming up next month, you can head to Richmond’s self-proclaimed booziest neighborhood and try your hand at brewing meads. Under the wings of Mead Mavericks Bill Cavender and Mike Palese, you’ll get to learn how to make this delicious honey wine straight from the beginning — so more on this soon!
Is it a super cool alien spaceship, or the weird guy at the bar sitting too close to you? Lucky you, it’s super cool aliens! Space Invaders is coming back to Final Gravity Brewing Co. this Friday, and this one sounds delicious. It’s full of 100 percent Mosaic hops, and this Double IPA don’t play. The 8% DIPA is packed with flavor, “blasting your tastebuds with mango, lemon, citrus, earthy pine, tropical fruit, herbal, and stone fruit notes.” What more could you want in an IPA?
Yay, another double release from Strangeways! If you’re looking for fun alongside your booze — and why wouldn’t you? — they’ve got brewery burlesque coming up this Friday! It’s a fundraiser for the 2020 Richmond Burlesque Festival, which already sounds like a blast.
The next day, they’ve got a double release with Brasetto and Natural Magic. Brasetto is a 9.5% Rye Tripel, brewed with rye and getting great reviews in the field and in the malthouse. This one will bring you a few different things: The complex flavors start off sweet and finish dry, with a “pleasant warmth that hints its ABV.” It’s fruity, spicy, and earthy, with notes of rustic bread crust and rye spice. Natural Magic, on the other hand, is a 6.3% Sour Saison — on the other end of the spectrum, this one hails from Virginia barley, Epiphany Craft Malts, and Virginia wheats from Murphy & Rude. It’s a saison set out to combine acidity with hoppiness, and it’s nice and tart.
The new brewery on the block is certainly starting the year off with a bang. Shiplock Brewing has $2 flights all month (!!!!!) to fill all your “I hate January” needs up with brand-new brews. I’m a big fan of filling the hole in my heart (and stomach) with a good beer, and I love this start from Shiplock. They’re floating our souls through a not-so-fun month and making sure we all enjoy it anyway… My heart’s happy. I’m definitely excited to see what else comes along from them throughout the season.
Earlier this week when we weren’t even looking, Isley Brewing Company went and dropped a banger! Holy wow, do I need to get my hands on this. Choosy Mother (nice), their Peanut Butter Porter, is on tap at the brewery and available to-go, too. It was fresh back to the taps on Sunday, so grab ‘em while you can — special brews like these only last so long before everyone wants a taste!
Another weekend debut-er came from Stone Brewing this week. Liquid Compass, a DIPA, is brewed with orange, juniper, and coriander — and this 8.5% ABV will really get your night going. Stone is known pretty well nationally for their classic brews that taste good in all varieties, and I’m sure Liquid Compass doesn’t disappoint.
Bonus points: It looks even better in the paws of two cute pups.
⟁ Our favorite East-Enders have something tasty up their sleeves. Green Dreams is coming back this Friday at Triple Crossing in Fulton, and like most of their brews, it’s been carefully balanced into perfection. It’s made with doses of Denali, El Dorado, and Citra hops, with their ever-rotating hop varieties to give this DIPA “impressions of fresh pineapple, orange citrus zest, and fleshy peach.” Cases are limited, so drink ‘em while you can!
Our buds at Three Notch’d have partnered up this week, too, with Secret Sandwich Society. Their custom brew Smoke & Mirrors is a smoky, robust porter, and it comes out this Friday. Secret Sandwich Society is hosting the release party at their Richmond spot, over on East Grace Street and full of all the sammies your heart could imagine.
Last but most certainly not least, Castleburg Brewery is bringing back their Murder Hole Mango DIPA this Friday! This intensely-hoppy, fairly strong DIPA is brewed with fresh mango to make this IPA very drinkable, according to its brewers. It won’t get too sweet on you, though — with an IBU over 100, it’s got everything you could need from fruits to deep flavor.
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!