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’ve got an early announcement for a very special fundraiser to the people of Richmond, plus the return of Scream Forest Blood Orange IPA and more to get your Halloween juices flowing.
This summer, our friends at The Answer Brewpub and across the Richmond community lost a beloved member of The Answer’s family, and a beloved friend to folks all around the city. Quy Pham, a longtime bartender at our favorite brewpub and close friend of the owner An Bui, is memorialized forever now on the building The Answer calls home, in a mural along its main wall.
“Diablo Forever” is the phrase of the summer, and one that will stay endlessly in the minds and hearts of all those Quy touched in his life. Last month saw the release of Quy Forever by The Veil Brewing Co. in his honor, and it was brewed to taste sweet, like all our memories of Quy are.
Coming up on September 14, The Answer Brewpub and Mekong are hosting a celebration of Quy’s life and a fundraising event to benefit his family. They’ll have a special beer and glassware auction for fundraising, with bottles, glassware, and other memorabilia donated by the friends and community of Quy and The Answer. If you’re unable to make it out to the event, you can still do your part and donate to his family’s GoFundMe page, which lists an excellent and heartfelt tribute to the kind of guy Quy was with the folks he loved:
“Quy’s ability to at the same time be the most humble caring human and the most sarcastic outgoing comedian is unparalleled. If you have never seen the TV show Cheers, go watch it right now. If you have, you know that you could easily insert Quy as a main character.
“His innate ability to understand people and make them feel relaxed and at home embodied the best of the RVA craft beer & food community. The truth is, he represented the best of what everyone should aspire to be… an amazing friend to everyone. As soon as you sat down at the bar at Mekong you felt like you were at home. If you passed him walking through The Answer with that smile, it was infectious. Quy was always laughing, smiling and giving the best hugs. He was an amazing father & husband and inspired others to be the same. He was always a source for motivation for whatever you wanted to accomplish. Quy has and will continue to impact countless lives.”
After the tragedy of his loss, friends of Quy around town have come together to help his family during hard times. If you’re able to make it out to the fundraising event, your support would be greatly appreciated by The Answer and its community.
Now that fall is nearing, the local breweries around town are gearing up for all the events and releases it brings. With Halloween just around the corner, Three Notch’d RVA Collab House has partnered up with Creepy Hollow Scream Park again to drop Scream Forest this Friday, a Blood Orange IPA that made waves last year for its awesome flavors… and an awesome photo shoot to accompany it.
Creepy Hollow Scream Park is out in Glen Allen, and it’s filled with spooky scenery to keep the experience going at every turn with realistic illustrations and scary surprises. It’s Richmond’s favorite Halloween destination, and it’s made even better by the blood orange flavors bursting in Scream Forest. This IPA was dry-hopped with Mosaic hops to give the blood orange a nice base, added right before they kegged it to keep the tastes fresh — and it’s “bloody delicious,” according to those who have had the pleasure of drinking this spooky brew.
Join Three Notch’d at their Scott’s Addition spot this Friday for the release, and get your spooky gears turning… we’re only a few short weeks away now from cold nights and the thrills of the season.
Happy birthday, Intermission Beer Company! The Glen Allen brewery is celebrating its second birthday this Friday, and we couldn’t be more excited to congratulate them on two trips around the sun together.
For the occasion, they’ll have two new beers on tap: Levy-goz-ah, a Cranberry-Lime Gose coming out Friday, and Ghost Light Lager on Saturday. With a new brew for each evening, Intermission will be keeping the party going throughout the weekend with some awesome entertainment as well.
On Friday, you’ll catch Firesides Food Truck along with the Richmond Astronomical Society for an awesome show, and dessert with Lil’ Stuff Cookies, which has some delicious galaxy-looking batter that fits the occasion. Saturday night, Haulin’ Balls RVA is coming out with music by Spenser Morgan to jam through the evening and celebrate the 2-year anniversary right.
Our friends at The Veil Brewing Co. are at it again, with another multi-release that just went down last night.
Hornswoggler made its way back last night, and this one’s on the opposite end of the flavor spectrum. The Chocolate Milk Stout is on the heavier side, with a huge percentage of fresh chocolate and caramel malts to complement its milk sugar and actual chocolate additions. It’s a little heavier at 7% ABV, and it comes with a surprise: in a true Willy Wonka-inspired candy fashion, this beer will be coming out with 10x Golden Tokens hidden underneath the 4-pack holders that will win you a free Hornswoggler glass if you find one. The glasses aren’t ever going to be for sale, so if you’ve really got your heart set on this limited-edition swag from The Veil, you’ll want to grab a 4-pack ($18.00/pack) while you can!
Summer Sauce Tastee came out just in time for the end of summer, and this smoothie-style Sour Ale was brewed with oats, milk sugar, and tons of awesome fruits to bring out the warm-weather season’s best. You’ll taste a crazy amount of apricot, guava, and passionfruit, according to the brewers, and this 5.5% ABV brew is perfect for an early evening or the last days by the river of the year.
Now that we’re past Labor Day, I think all of us can describe the last few days with the name of The Veil’s next brew: Sick Weekend. And we mean that in the fun style (though I’m sure after your first two nights of celebrating the holiday, you probably got some of the hungover style, too). This brand-new IPA just made its debut last night, brewed with raw and malted wheat and malted oats, then over-saturated with fresh Galaxy, BRU-1, Motueka, and El Dorado hops, hitting in at 6.5% ABV.
Merciless was the fourth release of the night, another fresh recipe from The Veil with some of my most favorite flavors. This Double IPA was brewed with raw wheat, malted wheat, oats, and “piles” of fresh Citra, Galaxy, Simcoe, and Vic Secret hops — plus some extra Citra and Simcoe LP for an extra boost of hop saturation and flavor without the bitterness. Like most Double IPAs, its higher in ABV at 8%, and it’s smooth straight out of the tap.
Check back with us next week for more of The Veil’s delicious releases, and hopefully (fingers crossed) another week of several dropping all at once.
It must be the week of multi-releases, because we’ve got an awesome one coming from Final Gravity Brewing Co. too.
This Friday, Final Gravity’s returning a few fan favorites and bringing out something brand-new. If you’re part of the Final Gravity fan club like we are, you’re gonna be really pumped on a few of these coming back: like Morning Glory New England DIPA, made with Cashmere and Azacca hops.
Also this week is the return of Satellite of Love Berliner Weisse with mango, lime, tangerine, and pineapple-passionfruit flavors — plus the new California Dreamin’ West Coast IPA that blasts flavor with bold hop bitterness, and just a hint of pine for a clean, easy drinkability.
DaddyG PopUp is also heading out to the brewery for the release, and you’ll only be able to get Satellite of Love to drink on site, so make sure to swing by and get a few favorite tastes while they’re here!
Over the weekend at Fine Creek Brewing, Vitalism came out for their Friday Beer Feature. This 7% ABV Hazy IPA brings out a sweet aroma of bright tropical fruit from its Kohatu and Mosaic hop combinations, and notes of papaya and pineapple from its fresh-cut fruit.
It was also brewed with earlier additions of Idaho 7 and German Amarillo hops, so you’ll catch even more fruity tropical tastes like blackberry tea, citrus zest, and mild bits of floral in this beer. Fine Creek sits on a gorgeous farm outside of town in Powhatan, so if you haven’t made it out yet, this beer is a great reason to go enjoy the outdoors on the last of our warm days before fall makes its way in.
Labor Day Weekend brought another great new release with Ardent’s Mixed Berry Gose.
This is Ardent’s most-fruited gose ever, and at a low 4.4% ABV, it’s great for any time of the week — so if you’re still reminiscing of easy nights and fun over the weekend, this is a great one to sip on during the week to ease up those back-to-work blues.
Mixed Berry Gose is packed with raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, and black currant to pour with a distinct purple color and a sweet, jammy flavor that balances out the tart acidity of the gose style. It’s full of flavor while staying on the refreshing side, and it’s one you won’t want to miss.
Out at Stone Brewing Richmond, a national release got an early debut just for the beer-lovers of Richmond to taste first.
Stone Buenaveza Lime & Sea Salt Lager just came out at the East End brewery, and it was inspired by the area Stone originally called home: Southern California, just minutes from the border. According to Stone, many of their flavors have been influenced and enriched by our Southern neighbors, and this Buenaveza was inspired by one in particular. Stone Xocoveza, an imperial stout released back in 2014, brought all of the rich and complex flavors of Mexican hot chocolate into a beer.
This Stone style is back again now with Buenaveza that follows that same take on a classic lager, and you can get it now in Richmond — which you’ll want to do soon, because it won’t be back in distribution until next year, when it’ll come out on a national scale.
Our favorite local beer podcast is out with a new episode again, and it’s as great as ever. Booze Clues just released a new episode and hosted another live recording, and you can catch the latest episode here: called Clown Battle Royale.
Booze Clues takes national headlines of all things drunkenly-inspired from around the globe, with the world’s most “spirited” headlines… which are always hilarious, and often include the nation’s mysterious residents like Florida Man, who is somehow always getting into the worst shenanigans. Make sure to check out their latest comedy episode and subscribe, both to make fun of the world’s drunks and to feel a little better about your own Saturday night drunken shames. We all know we’ve had them.
A new beer is on tap now at Kindred Spirit Brewing, and it’s “dangerously drinkable” at 9.3% ABV (lord help me, because these are always the first to get me). Imperial Red is full of malty goodness, with a resiny-hop finish to keep the flavor as high as the alcohol percentage.
It’s been described by some drinkers as “The best Red I have ever had,” with its smooth, easy flavor that makes the high ABV surprising. It was out back in the spring of last year, and this new brew of the old variation is just as delicious as ever.
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!