A Successful 2nd Annual Richmond Raceway Craft Beer Fest
Richmond is well known for some time for being home to America’s Premier Short Track and great racing action. But Richmond is fast becoming known for something else- being home to some of the best craft beer in the country!
Last Saturday, April 13, just prior to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, Richmond Raceway hosted its 2nd Annual Craft Beer Fest. For those who were unable to attend, let me tell you about what you missed.
24 Virginia breweries were there serving unlimited samples of their flagship beers. Not quite the same line-up as last year, since a few of the breweries from last year were unable to participate this year, but there were also several new craft breweries there this year.
There was no bad beer to be had at this event. Of course most beer lovers have their preferences, but with the wide variety of styles available for sampling there was plenty for everyone. Here’s an alphabetical list of the craft breweries that were in attendance at the festival:
Ardent Craft Ales, Brothers Craft Brewing, Bull Island Brewing, Cape Charles Brewing, Castleburg Brewery, Center of the Universe, Chaos Mountain Brewing, Coelacanth Brewing, Colonial Beach Brewing, Front Royal Brewing, Old Bust Head Brewing, Parkway Brewing, Spencer Devon Brewing, St George Brewing, Starr Hill Brewery, Stone Brewing, Strangeways Brewing, That Damn Mary Brewing, The Original Larry’s Hard Lemonade Brewing, The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery, Third Street Brewing, Port City Brewing, and James River Brewing.
Mary, from That Damn Mary Brewing was on a one-woman mission to ensure all thirsty attendees were taken care of. Her New England IPA had a heavenly aroma, and a taste that soothed the soul.
Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet, just outside Charlottesville VA, is the second oldest craft brewery in Virginia, and is known statewide for some of the finest craft beer the Commonwealth has to offer. They recently announced plans to open a new tap room in the Scotts Addition neighborhood of Richmond, where they plan to brew and experiment with wild and funky beers.
Strangeways Brewing is also planning to open a second tap room in Richmond which will also be located in Scotts Addition. In this new location they promise to continue their mission to discover new funky brews and new twists to traditional beer styles just like in their original Richmond location and in their Fredericksburg location.
Stone Brewing is presenting a documentary next week, April 24th, in conjunction with the Richmond International Film Festival. The film is about Stone Brewing’s Co-founder Greg Koch and his journey to open the first craft brewery in Berlin. Greg Koch along with the film’s director Matt Sweetwood will be on-hand for a question and answer session, and then there will be a special afterparty where Greg and his team will be offering a special taste of Berlin brews. For more information you can visit https://riff.eventive.org/schedule/5c82a93f5d008b001eeecfcd.
When you think of beer, you usually don’t think of hard lemonade, but maybe you should. The Original Larry’s Hard Lemonade is brewed just like your favorite craft beer, minus the carmalized specialty malts, and the finished product is handled a little differently than your typical beer. The result, is an amazing lemonade malt beverage that is delicious, smooth and very refreshing. As it says on their web site, ”When life handed us lemons, we turned them into beer!”. Words to live by. Larry is obviously a very wise person.
Unfortunately Original Larry’s does not have a tap room, but it is available in select stores and restaurants all across Virginia. Do yourself a favor, and keep an eye out for this special brew, or check out their web site for a location near you that may carry it. You’ll be glad you did.
Bull Island Brewing is located river front in Hampton, VA, and has a beautiful view of the waterway. There is an old saying: “Never trust a skinny cook.” I think that could also apply to brewers. Never trust a brewer that doesn’t love his own beer. If you stop by the brewery in the early evening, there’s a good chance you’ll find the owner Doug Reier sitting at the bar enjoying the fruits of his labor, and of course ensuring what they serve meets his very high standards. And if you have had his beer, you know his standards are high. Doug, keep up the good work.I could go on and on about all the rest of the breweries at this festival, but I think you get the idea. Good times were had by all. And if you were not among the lucky people at this festival, mark your calendar or set a reminder and hopefully we’ll all meet up again at the 3rd Annual Richmond Raceway Craft Beer Festival.