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 kicking things off with a lot of awesome events in addition to tons of great new releases. Fall flavors are finally starting to come in more consistently, and they’re perfect to go along with the festivals of the season.
We’ve been waiting a long time for this one, and it’s finally here! Stone Brewing is hosting their annual Stone’s Thrown Down In RVA this Saturday, celebrating their third anniversary in the River City with a full day of badass beers and bands.
They’ll be slinging drinks from their own brewery and from other locals we love, with live music all day long. J Roddy Walston and The Business is headlining, a popular Richmond-based band, playing alongside White Denim, Cory Wong, Howlin Rain, and The Long Ryders. Another bonus: all ticket sales and total proceeds will benefit some of our favorite local nonprofits like the James River Association (yay!), the Neighborhood Resource Center of Greater Fulton, the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, and Venture Richmond.
If you’re too busy on Saturday or you’re too broke to cover tickets + craft beer, Stone’s got you covered! Stone’s Throw Down Eve is going down on Friday, with food trucks and special beers galore. They’ve also got some great bands on deck like Colin Phils and Colder Planets to get the party going and keep it rolling through the weekend.
Pride season is here, and the events of the city are here for it! This Saturday brings one we’ve been especially excited for: the Scott’s Addition Pride Crawl. Hosted over at the Robert B. Moss Theatre with the Richmond Triangle Players, VA Pride, and OutRVA, the Pride Crawl will bring all your favorite brewers from Richmond’s booziest neighborhood together for a day of celebrating (and even free stuff).
Look forward to drinking with your faves, like Blue Bee Cider, Ardent Craft Ales, Vasen Brewing Company, Black Heath Meadery, The Veil Brewing Co., Buskey Cider, Isley Brewing Company, Courthouse Creek Cider, Reservoir Distillery, and Three Notch’d RVA Collab House, along with the Scott’s Addition Beverage District.
“Cheers, Queers!” says the family of event planners, and if you’re looking to wear it with pride, you can grab a shirt for the occasion as well. They’ll have plenty of beers and plenty of parties to keep your Saturday fun all day long, plus the chance to win gift certificates from your favorite local brewers — because free stuff is the best stuff.
Happy birthday, Lickinghole Creek! One of our favorite farms is celebrating their 6th anniversary this Saturday, and not only will it be a great celebration, it’ll be packed with their fall harvest of sunflowers! Sunflower season at Lickinghole Creek might just be the most beautiful time of the year, and they’ve been in bloom over the last few weeks out at the brewery.
During the anniversary party, Lickinghole Creek is releasing two awesome beers. First comes the next edition of their Juicy series, with Juicy #15 “Something Pretty” coming out for the occasion. Next is their Vanilla Virginia Black Bear, which sounds as great as I’m sure it tastes. If you’re in the market for live music over the weekend, they’ll have bands like Magnetite, Sunrizen, and Dreaddy Bear all day.
In new releases this week, we’ll get started with Triple Crossing Beer’s Interstellar Burst. This beautifully-canned beer came out early this week, and it’s an 8% ABV Double IPA (my favorite!) that was created with a generous mix of Galaxy, Citra, and El Dorado hops. You’ll catch flavors of passionfruit, pineapple, grapefruit, and mango to keep the last days of summer in season, with a deep and plush feel out of the glass.
Our pals at The Answer Brewpub are teaming up with Untappd this Friday as part of the awesome social beer site’s Seven City Tour. Untappd is kicking off their tour of the nation all month, and stopping right here in Richmond (obviously, because everyone knows The Answer is the best spot). Their co-founder, Greg Avola, will be spending his evening with The Answer and giving away free Untappd merch like t-shirts, stickers and more.
After Richmond, Untappd is hitting Denver to finish out the tour. They’ve already made it to San Diego to visit Ballast Point, Milwaukee to visit Eagle Park, and Washington, D.C. to visit ChurchKey. Tonight, they’re heading to Raleigh for Burial Beer Co. before hitting Pittsburgh tomorrow for Southern Tier, and then making their way down the East Coast to land at The Answer.
This might be my favorite combination of things to happen all year! A bluegrass festival is coming up at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.
This Saturday, our faves at Hardywood are hosting the Richmond Bluegrass Festival, complete with six bands to keep the music going til the sun goes down. First up is Hogweed, then Slack Family Bluegrass Band takes the stage. Ragged Mountain String Band follows, then The Hot Seats and Gallatin Canyon play before Nobody’s Business closes the night.
Also — if you’re loving this poster as much as we are, be sure to come and take one home with you. They’ll have a limited number for sale at the festival, so get there early!
Over at Väsen Brewing Company, Wanderlust 9 is coming out this Saturday. As Väsen says, “Embrace your inner wanderlust” with this velvety-smooth, juicy brew. Wanderlust 9 was inspired by the classic combination of peaches and cream — and this time of year always gets me, because as in love as I am with fall brews, there’s nothing I love like I love peaches and cream.
It came together with fragrant Madagascar vanilla beans blended with peach, which impart a complex and fruity flavor profile, according to the brewers, with a surprising depth. It’s also got a moderate hoppy bitterness — to remind you that “it’s still a beer.”
Final Gravity Brewing Co. has been cooking up something good this week. Moon Cresta New England Double IPA is dropping this Friday, full of fruits and combining the firepower of Belma and Citra hops together.
There’s a big blast of orange, so to all of our Blue Moon fans, this one’s for you. As a Double IPA, it’ll bring out some of your favorite flavors from that classic, usually with a higher ABV and a bolder, thicker fruity taste. Subtle notes of strawberry and tropical melon come together with the larger orange flavors, with “just a touch of spice” to take this one to the next level.
Another awesome brew is out at Canon & Draw Brewing Company, this time with an even sweeter flavor. Berries n’ Cream IPA comes out this Friday at the brewery, complete with all the blueberries, raspberries, and sweet cherries your fruity hearts desire.
This one is coming in as the latest in their Fruit n’ Cream series, which has had a delicious array of recipes so far. It’s definitely on my list to try.
Ardent Craft Ales has two great new beers this week. First up is an 8% ABV Summit DIPA, the first to be brewed by Ardent with their Hordinal Kveik Norwegian Ale yeast. This yeast brings out tropical fruit flavors with a clean finish, and as a hazy Double IPA, it was triple dry-hopped with Citra and Amarillo. According to the brewers, it’s bursting with juicy stone fruit and citrus flavors.
Second comes Sweet Potato and Sage, two of my most favorite things. Is it becoming clear yet that I can’t get enough of fall flavors? I feel like every beer this month has had me saying “this is my favorite!” and then another one comes along that I love just as much.
Anywho, Sweet Potato and Sage is more of a dry-style brew, as a farmhouse saison. You’ll catch more earthy notes than fruity in this one, balancing the sweet potato flavors with the fragrant sage. The 6.4% ABV recipe is a fall seasonal with a continental malt backbone that complements its subtle hop tastes.
O.P.P. is fresh at Steam Bell Beer Works this week, coming out on Friday as a classic pale ale. You’ll get flavors of grapefruit and tropical fruit in this one, with orange peels “waiting patiently to drive home the sweet citrus finish.”
It was hopped lighter than their IPA’s usually are to keep it simple and refreshing, with English base malts and additions of Cascade hops to add to its dose of dried orange peel. And an important thing to note: while most pale ales are on the lighter side in ABV, O.P.P. hits in at 7.4%, so keep it careful!
It’s Oktoberfest at Isley Brewing Company! Benedict’s Brew is coming out this Saturday and hits in at 7.3% ABV. If you’re unfamiliar with the background of Oktoberfest, Isley was kind enough to give us a little taste of history:
“The Oktoberfest celebration began in 1810, when the populace was invited to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria. This marked the first time the general public was asked to participate in such a regal event. Shortly thereafter, beer vendors began offering Malty, traditional German lagers as refreshment during the annual festival.”
Keeping with tradition, Isley is following the styles used in the original Oktoberfests. Their Benedict’s Brew is a copper-colored, bottom-fermented lager beer according to the brewers, and it was hopped with traditional German malt, hops, and yeast.
More multi-releases are in line at The Veil Brewing Co., and these four just came out last night:
R.I.P. Me, probably my favorite name of a beer that I’ve seen in a while, just returned to the brewery in all its Double IPA glory. Honestly, I haven’t found a brewery that can completely kill it at Double IPA’s as consistently as The Veil does, and this one I’m sure is no different. Brewed with flaked barley and a maximum saturation of Citra, Simcoe, and Nelson hops, this one comes in at 8% ABV.
Blackout Tastee also returned last night, a smoothie-style Sour created with milk sugar (yum!!), “mad amounts” of blackberry, and black currant purée. At a lower 5.5% ABV, this is one you can have seconds on — as long as you don’t get too full.
Frozen Frozen Ocean is the third to return this week, a double dry-hopped version of Frozen Ocean that was created with 100% Lupulin Powder as a Double IPA. With Lupulin Powder, Citra hops, Simcoe hops, and Mosaic hops on top of its puffy flaked oats, it comes together at 8% ABV.
Speck of Light was the individual debut of the evening, and this brand-new beer at The Veil was brewed with Pilsner malt, raw wheat, and Citra, El Dorado, and Vic Secret hops that combined come in at a medium 6% ABV.
Over the weekend, Fine Creek Brewing released their House Saison as their Friday Beer Feature. This one has some special flavors we don’t see too often, with bubblegum combined with spicy and fruity tastes. With a dry and refreshing feel out of the glass, this lower 5% ABV beer is a classic interpretation of the Saison style, and its moderate bitterness and rye spiciness help to “elevate” the mellow citrus and peppercorn you’ll taste in it.
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!