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!
Snow week! I hope you’re all staying warm out there, and I’m sure a good bit of you are participating in Richmond’s honorary Snow Law tradition: Which means, in effect, that snow means no rules and we all pause the city to hang (and drink) at home. It’s the perfect opportunity to whip out that special-occasion craft brew you’ve been saving.
Another triple release is coming up this Saturday at Strangeways, and girl, do they look good. Atoms for Peace, a 6.5% India Pale Lager, is named for a speech: The original Atoms for Peace program was set by Eisenhower to show the public how scientific endeavors could be used for peace. Ditch the war, hello to peace. This lager got its name for taking its regular process and turning it into something new, as well — Atoms for Peace utilizes some of the traditional techniques from macro breweries and shows how they can be used in craft brewing. With that comes a crisp, refreshing lager made with Strata Hops, one of Indie Hops’ newest varieties.
Sing With Dier is next for this weekend’s release, a milk stout that starts with the same base as Sing With Animals but brings in Dier House Coffee Roasters’ Tobosi coffee instead. It shares the graham cracker, molasses, coffee, and baker’s chocolate background of its predecessor, but brings in some milk chocolate notes with almond and raspberry. Pyrus drops this Saturday as well, and this Foraged Pear Saison gets its name from the pears that were foraged directly from Strangeways’ brewery grounds in Fredericksburg. How much more authentic can you get? This one’s got a dry but round body, delivered by Virginia malted wheat and with a touch of fruity notes.
If you’re in the market for events this week, be sure to check out the Strangeways Gingerbread House Competition tomorrow night. Bring your creativity, and tacky Christmas sweaters are strongly encouraged!
Ardent is championing the chilly-weather brews this week, with Winter Warmer fresh at the brewery. Winter Warmer dropped over last weekend, and this perfectly-spiced beer is truly made for the season. With nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and honey malt with brown sugar, it couldn’t be more “December.” The sweetness from the spices is balanced out with the addition of East Kent Golding, an English hop, and it comes in at 7.5% ABV. According to its brewers, it tastes like Christmas in a glass — and you’ll definitely find it on my to-try list this holiday.
Let the shopping continue! Craft shows in December are the best — full of all the best handmade goods from makers around the region. The tradition continues at Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery this Saturday, and the festivities will be rolling all day at the farm. It’ll be catered by Wooded’s Pulled Pork Plus (one of my all-time favorites), and you can catch live music by Pat Russell in the afternoon. Swing by the farm to see their giant Keg Christmas Tree and see how big it really is.
Out at the brewery, Eric stands about 6’6” next to this monster keg tree… so my best guess is I’d come up about halfway short. If you make it out, drop your photos with the keg tree in the comments on this article — I’d love to see how you all measure up!
Our friends at Hardywood have jumped in this week on the national trend of helping Butte County’s Camp Fire fund, with 100 percent of the profits from their Resilience IPA releasing this Friday going toward the fund. We first learned about this one in a previous column, and since it’s coming up this week, it’s time to get excited! Go use the opportunity to drink for a good cause, and enjoy Hardywood’s craft IPA while knowing you’re helping out the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund.
Following up on Saturday, Hardywood’s releasing their Double Barrel GBS + Mega GBS. The Gingerbread Stout season is one of Richmond’s favorites with Hardywood, and it feels like all over Virginia, these beers are in the fridge when I travel. Who doesn’t love a Hardywood GBS? The season is coming to an end with a bang this week, with a double release of two latest variations. Their Double Barrel GBS is aged in Bowman’s bourbon barrels for “eight glorious months,” then in grape brandy for a few more to top it off. Mega GBS is a perfect blend of ginger, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla all wrapped up into one tasty milk stout to make those cold winter nights a little more cozy.
Oooooh, Final Gravity Brewing Co. has something good up their sleeves. The Return of 12 Parsecs is back and as spacey as ever, with this Star-Wars inspired brew. This one’s a fan favorite, according to the brewers, and it’s made with the hops from Falconers Flight to make this DIPA “burst with citrus and pine aroma, while tasting ever-so-smooth.” It sounds like the perfect weekend blend, and it’ll be ready just in time for this week’s when it debuts on Friday. It’s available in Crowlers, and they’re expecting it to go fast… so get your hands on it while you can!
For this week’s Tap That Friday, Three Notch’d Brewing Company is coming out with their Lip Service New England IPA, at 6.3% AMV and collaborated with David Hunter and friends. It’s named after the “epic lip-sync battle that took place after the first keg was tapped,” and wow, I wish we had a video to accompany it. According to the brewers, it’s a little more bitter with less ABV than a typical NEIPA, so it’s more approachable, and lets you pack that deep taste in without such a high alcohol content. It’s still got the super-smooth feel going down the hatch that “regular NEIPA-drinkers have fallen in love with,” and with its Amarillo and Mosaic hops, it’s perfect for providing a nice fruity finish with a blend of citrus, melon, and tropical flavors. It sounds like a nice break from the holiday brews (which, no shade, we all know they’re my *favorite*), and a good way to get some of those all-year flavors in your fridge.
Healthier pets, happier people, better world. If you’re looking to show your support for your four-legged friends, check out Isley Brewing Company’s Furry Fundraiser this Saturday to raise money for local animals in need of homes. A percentage of sales all day will benefit the sweet residents of the Richmond SPCA, and even has a tacky sweater contest for your pups! What more could you want? Every year, the Richmond SPCA saves more than 4,000 pets, and with its life-saving programs in adoptions and through the SPCA’s Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital affordable healthcare, the Richmond SPCA truly does do its part — and as a former resident herself, my pup can vouch for that 100 percent.
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!