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 keeping with the spirit of summer and all the events that come along with it. From beer classes to food festivals, the local brewers are keeping their schedules (and their glasses) full to keep you busy every night.
I know y’all remember my last visit to a Center of the Universe food festival, because I was stoked after it to present both the best barbecue and waffles I’ve ever had in my life (S/O to Grandpa Eddie’s Alabama Ribs & BBQ and Capitol Waffle Shop) — and also my award-winning ham biscuits that finally got some official recognition winning COTU’s Southern Food Fest after a lifetime of people fighting over them at family gatherings.
They’re bringing back another food festival, and it covers the tastes of the whole nation this time around. The American Food Fest is going down this Saturday, with hot dogs, BBQ, ice cream and more to complement live music and a special beer release. Grandpa Eddie’s will be out again, so don’t miss it this time, along with Mama J’s, Good Dogs RVA, Freekin’ Rican, and some good old fashioned Cold Stone Creamery for dessert. Another important detail to note is COTU’s commentary on their Saturday race:
“Do you like to run? Do you enjoy a nice lather of sweat on a Saturday afternoon? Neither do we!”
Same! In the spirit of laziness and actually enjoying your weekend, their second annual “non-run” is taking place to fundraise for the Ashland Rotary. This perfect event means the only running you’ll do is from the beer trucks to the Freedom Fries after they carry the finish line over your heads. Grab your beer and your lawn chair, because there’s nothing more American than having someone else do the work for you and enjoying the sweet rewards of beer and BBQ.
Does anything make sense? Not really, and Hardywood gets it. Their beloved But Does It Make Sense? IPA is coming back out in cans this week for #FreshCanFriday, complete with live music from Damn Tall Buildings through the evening and Smokie Joe’s BBQ to make sure both your plates stay full as well.
But Does It Make Sense? is a New England-Style Double IPA, brewed with Mosaic, Hallertau Blanc, and Galaxy hops with an 8.5% ABV to kick off the weekend the right way.
Make sure to plan your weekends through the rest of the month, too, because Hardywood’s HeART & Soul Brew Fest is coming up on the 27th to bring Richmond the best dope music, urban art, craft beers, and soul food — is there a better combination than that?
50 years of love in the Commonwealth: a big reason to celebrate, and all our favorite local breweries are following suit. Head out to Final Gravity Brewing Co. on Sunday to keep the festivities going after their 50-mile bike ride from the Jamestown Settlement back up to the city. Virginia is for Lovers sponsored a shuttle for Final Gravity’s ride with the Cap Trail Bike Shuttle to take bikers from Stone Brewing all the way down to the settlement, then the brewery’s hosting an afterparty all evening with a special beer release and Zorch Pizza in honor of the campaign.
Keeping the love going, Intermission Beer Company is hosting a Home-Grown Comedy Show this Saturday night — and there’s more than one reason to celebrate. With their great lineup of local Virginian stand-up comics, Intermission’s setting the stage to commemorate both the 50th anniversary of Virginia Is For Lovers, and the birthday of the night’s headliner, Winston Hodges.
The show starts at 7pm, and this one’s not for the kids: so make sure to call your babysitter if you need one, and come out for a night of laughs with Winston and Liz Carrnage, Alida Harper, Joshua Sekani French, Heather Joyce and more. It’s never a bad time to wind down and share smiles with strangers, and it’s especially fun to do it with entertainers from our own home.
Canon & Draw Brewing Company has a surprise. If you’ve ever drank the water somewhere cleaner than the city of Richmond, you’ll know that the drips coming from our taps are definitely not the state’s best… and even questionable, in my humble opinion. So in order to bring new (and certainly better) meaning to the phrase “River City Tap Water,” Canon & Draw cooked up something delicious.
River City Tap Water is an American Light Lager that’s got all the crisp coolness of the river and all the drinkable goodness of a solid brew. With bright, bursting flavors, you won’t have to worry about what my friends refer to as the “brain slugs” you’re in for if you take a sip from the James — just tasty, easy drinking and a great way to spend a hot summer day.
Notooooorious! On the 4th of July, Stone Brewing Richmond dropped Notorious P.O.G., a Berliner Weisse. This style is one of Stone’s specialties, and I’m looking forward to getting a taste of it for my own.
Notorious P.O.G., unlike the rap legend of its name inspiration, is real bright and fruity. With flavors of passionfruit, orange, and guava, this brew is set to bring all the best fruits of summertime together for a finished product that’s “Fresh, Tropical, and Damn Tasty.” Damn tasty, like everything Stone does. It’s a tropical Weisse that first came out at their Hop-Con 4.0, an annual release event for “the (in)famous Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout.” According to the brewers, P.O.G. comes from Passion, Orange, and Guava for those unfamiliar with Hawaiian juice lore. Come grab a can here in Richmond, out at the East End brewery (a beautiful spot on its own, even without the beer — so definitely worth a visit).
Our buds at Fine Creek Brewing Company just dropped an awesome Friday Beer Feature over the weekend, a Tart Saison brewed with the nuts and hulls of the shellback hickory tree.
Natural Resonance is a 6.7% ABV beer with spicy birch, woody hickory, minor peppery characters from the Saison yeast, and its birch scion tastes from the wood and roots from sweet birch trees. The flavor starts out sweet, with fruity esters and a stronger apple character. It begins to develop into its spicy and oak-like wood tones as the acidity starts to come out on the taste buds. With a tart ending, this recipe is bright, dry, and a perfect earthy-summer flavor to capture the natural flavors of the area with the tastes of the season as well.
The 6th of July may not be special to some, but it was special to us and to Väsen Brewing Company this year. Thanks to this absolutely delicious release, the weekend of the 4th had an extra reason to get pumped.
Boundless is a complex, hazy Double IPA that was dry-hopped with Sabro, Ekuanot, and Enigma hops. This juicy brew brings out the fruity flavors and enticing aromas of tangerine, mango, and papaya, with an awesome finish of more subtle coconut and raspberry flavors. Its name reflects its taste, meant to ponder the boundless, beautiful summer skies above and pair with an endless summer. Head out to Väsen for a glass on your next breezy weekend day, and look forward to their second anniversary coming up soon… but more on that later.
Ever wanted to learn more about the history of craft beer in our region? Yeah, you and me both! Thanks to Strangeways and VCU, we’re in for a treat. They’re co-hosting a course on The Essentials of Craft Beer out at the brewery, a two-part evening class on July 16 and July 23 with Lee Graves (the RVA Beer Guy!) to get a better understanding of both the types and styles of craft beer and the history of each. You’ll get a new understanding and love for craft beer, plus a lot of great knowledge on the regional history of the industry in our area. Head over here to sign up, and remember that it’s 21+ for attendees.
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!