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!
Get ready to get out of the house, because there are so many good events this week you’re not gonna want to go home.
HAPPY 25TH, LEGEND! We’ve been waiting for this day for *months* and it’s finally here. Legend Brewing Company, Richmond’s OG craft brewery, is celebrating their quarter-century in trips around the sun with a huge banger this Saturday. Starting at noon and running all day, with free admission (so more money for beer!) you can head over to the Manchester brewery for live music, food, and brews. Bring your kids, bring your pups, and enjoy the day in the beer garden and looking over the James with one of our all-time faves here in town. For music, catch performances by The Remnants, Greater Richmond Pipes and Drums, Wade Reynolds, and Suggesting Rhythm. All food and beer is in-house from Legend, and it’s so good you won’t want to miss it. We’ll see you there!
If you like beer and cars, boy do I have the event for you (and me, especially me). This Saturday before the big Toyota Owners 400 night race under the lights, Richmond Raceway’s hosting their Craft Beer Fest to bring fans a taste of the city. There’s a lot going on at the track that day — like the beer fest, which is open to the public regardless of race tickets, as well as live mural painting, and tons more you’ll want to swing by early to catch.
Over at the fest, Richmond Raceway has partnered up with the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild to let fans try the flagship beers of breweries all across the state. The best part: unlimited tastes! RVA Magazine will be out doing live coverage from the race that day, so be sure to keep up with us on social media during the fun (@rvamag on Instagram and Facebook). I’ll make sure to tell you all our favorite brews from the fest when we come back for next week’s column, but I can tell you one thing now — knowing myself at a beer fest, it’s pretty hard to pick just one.
Happy birthday, Triple Crossing! Our Fulton Hill favorites are celebrating half a decade in business all weekend, and if we know anything about Triple Crossing, it’s that they’re one of the best. These guys are known for their perfectly-balanced brews packed with just the right amount of every flavor, and they’ve got five releases to commend their first five years.
Pabst is Prologue is first on the list. This mixed-culture Golden Ale measures at 5% ABV, full of white peaches and fruit to ring in the springtime for good (finally). Their special 5th anniversary lager, Jubilee Jubilaums Bier, is making its debut at the party. They’ve also got Just to Get a Rep DIPA, Space Falcon IPA, DDH Anniversary Falcon Smash IPA, and a few more TBA.
The releases start on Friday, and the party continues on into Saturday with ZZQ and one of my home bars, Cobra Cabana. BTW — if you haven’t tried Cobra’s food yet, you’re missing out. They’ve also got yerba mate (yeah, the real kind) that can pair with your favorite mixers, and y’all, Yerbajäger might just kill me this summer. TBA on that, too.
I meant it when I told you it’d be hard to pick your plans this weekend. Fine Creek Brewing Company’s Wild & Weird Festival is heading back to your favorite farm spot for their 2nd anniversary. Wild & Weird brings out the sour, the funky, and the best mixed-fermentation beers from around Virginia, from both breweries and cideries. A few names participating that you’ll recognize: Väsen Brewing Company, Steam Bell Beer Works, Ardent Craft Ales, Triple Crossing, Champion Brewing Company, Strangeways, and my loves at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.
Head out to the festival from 1-5pm this Saturday to get tastes of gems like Hardywood’s Berlinner with Pine Needles & Rose Hips, Ardent’s Understanding of Bonds American White DSSOLVR Collab, and plenty more to get your tastebuds going.
Would you believe it if I told you The Answer Brewpub won ANOTHER award this year? Of course you would, because The Answer’s the best! Like Legend, The Answer has had a lot to do with building the craft beer scene in Richmond that is now recognized across the nation — and this brewery is no stranger to awards of its own. From being named one of the best breweries in the country to making one of Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine’s favorite beers of 2018, if you want to know where to get a good brew, everyone knows the answer is The Answer.
This time around, The Answer was named USA Today’s best brewery in America… and they won by a lot. In its bracket for the gold, our River City hometown brewers were chosen by 71 percent of voters over their rival.
We would never expect anything less. Congrats again, guys, and I know we’ll be saying congrats for all the awards coming in 2019. Keep being awesome!
Hardywood’s releasing their Capital Trail Pale Ale for #FreshCanFriday this week, brewed with Falconer’s Flight, Willamette, and Mandarina Bavaria hops. This palate-invigorating recipe starts off with refreshing citrus flavors and finishes “pleasantly dry,” and it’s good for the environment, too. Every purchase of a Capital Trail Pale Ale supports the link between Richmond and Jamestown, preserving and enhancing our state’s 52-mile long walking and biking path. Raise your can in honor of the foundation, Hardywood says, and in honor of your next adventure.
Hey! Remember when I made my mountain-famous ham biscuits for the Southern Food Fest at Center of the Universe? Well, I won! And not only did I get a super sweet shirt that you’ll see me rocking all summer, I also got to eat some of the best damn food I have ever tasted. And I really, really mean that.
Y’all, I got a half pound of pulled pork from Grandpa Eddie’s Alabama Ribbs & BBQ and that stuff was so good I inhaled it in about a minute. I have never tasted better BBQ in all my days in Virginia. Go get some. Or else. I also finally got to try Capitol Waffle Shop, and you know what it’s like when you go to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving and those fall-spiced, warm baked apples are making you drool over the smell from the living room? Capitol Waffle shop basically did that with fucking peaches, dude. It was incredible. Capitol Waffle Shop literally put sliced-up, warm, cinnamon-ey glazey peaches on a waffle with whipped cream and syrup, and it’s been three weeks and I can’t stop thinking about it. It should be a crime for anybody who hasn’t had it to go another week without trying this place.
*Anyway,* there’s more good stuff happening at Center of the Universe this week. They’re dropping their Crazy Bet Imperial Red Ale this Saturday, and this variation was brewed over at Origin Beer Lab. It’s got a balanced bitterness and intense aroma from its Nugget and caramel malts. Crazy Bet is named after the Crazy Bet herself, Richmond’s Elizabeth Van Lew, the 1800s abolitionist and philanthropist, who both “built and operated an extensive spy ring for the Union Army during the Civil War.” Do yourself a favor and read more about this gal, and do us all a favor and give her beer a try this weekend.
Friends and fans of Greek Mythology, Final Gravity Brewing Co. has the brew for you. Cassiopeia is fresh to the taps this Friday, and she is absolutely *made* for this weather. With delicate-but-strong aromas of melon, coconut, pine, peach, and whispers of pineapple, according to the brewers, this gal goes down the hatch with a smooth bitterness. You’ll also catch flavors of lemongrass and tangerine to accompany this “heavenly congregation” of radiant flavors to captivate your senses — and let’s be real, who doesn’t love a goddess?
The Veil Brewing Co. dropped Grape Berry Tastee last night, a smoothie-style sour ale. This delicious dessert in a can was brewed with milk sugar (yum!), concord grapes, and blackberries to bring you the creamy-goodness of a berry shake to top off a perfect summer day. I can taste this just thinking about it. Be sure to swing by soon, because we all know The Veil is a local treasure, and everyone will be looking for a taste!
The 2nd Annual Jack Ryan Music Festival is also coming up this Saturday, with several local favorites from Richmond heading out to serve up brews. Look forward to seeing Intermission Beer Company, Kindred Spirit Brewing, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, and Steam Bell Beer Works — and lots of great bands like Old Dogs, New Tricks Bluegrass Band, Timber Revival, Josh Lief, The Steel Tips, and Jack Ryan & His Band.
If you’ve had your hopes up for Safety Team Brewing Company to open up in Northside, we’re sorry to report that they won’t be going through with the new spot. Opening something as large-scale as a brewery is no easy feat, and after getting into the ins and outs of construction planning, it looks like the location is a no-go for now. Brookland Park will stay a little bit dryer for a little bit longer, and the old Quick Splash Car Wash will be vacant until further notice.
Even more releases are on their way this Friday, with Castleburg’s Kingslayer TIPA. This triple-banger is sure to make you hazy, and at 10% ABV, I think it’s fair to say it’ll slay most people that drink it. Kingslayer started off with a “massive amount of Irish pale malt” and flaked wheat, then treated to an “absurd amount of El Dorado hops.” This guy was conditioned over 20lbs per barrel with pineapple puree to bring out the natural fruity flavors in these hops, and it is a seriously-powerful brew.
“The king is dead, long live the Kingslayer!”
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!