The history of Richmond, Virginia has been connected to beer for centuries. In fact, Richmond is the first place beer appeared in a can back in 1935. Richmond currently features 13 craft breweries, as well as an increasing amount of beer bars and businesses.
During a recent trip to Virginia, I spend two days in Richmond, soaking up the beer culture, catching up with long time Beer Busters Podcast listener Joe Man, and enjoying some truly spectacular and unique craft beers.
|Stone Brewing Richmond
4300 Williamsburg Avenue | Richmond, VA 23231
California-based Stone Brewing was founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996. Stone Brewing is the tenth-largest craft brewer in the United States.
Stone opened a retail store and tasting room in the Fulton neighborhood east of downtown Richmond, Virginia in March 2016. The 220,000-square-foot facility includes a 250-barrel brewhouse, and Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurant, which will be built along the riverfront, is expected to open within the next two years.
The beers on tap at the tasting room include year round staples like Stone IPA, Stone Ruination 2.0 Double IPA, and Stone Smoke Porter, as well as specialty beers like Stone Go To IPA with Lemon Peel & Vanilla Bean, Stone Cali-Belgique IPA Aged in White Wine Barrels, and both 2012 and 2014 versions of Stone Old Guardian Barleywine.
Beers are sold in 4 ounce, 8 ounce, and 16 ounce pours to enjoy in house. Take beer home in bottles, cans, crowlers, or a variety of growler choices.
Tours are coming soon. In the meantime, the tasting room is open Sunday noon to 8 PM, Monday through Thursday 2 to 9 PM, and Friday and Saturday 11 AM to 10 PM. There are three large parking lots with plenty of free parking.
|Triple Crossing Brewing Company
113 S Foushee Street | Richmond, VA 23220
Friends Jeremy Wirtes, Adam Worcester, and Scott Jones opened Triple Crossing Brewing Company in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Earlier in 2016 the brewery purchased a property located in the Greater Fulton Community allowing Triple Crossing to expand and grow.
The current location on South Foushee Street offers deck seating outside, as well as indoor seating at the bar and high tables throughout the space.
The beers on tap include a farmhouse blonde ale called Seasonal Shift, two IPAs called Falcon Smash and Clever Girl, and a Russian Imperial Stout called Black Dolphin, which was also available with coconut. My favorite beer (due to it’s decliousness and awesome name) was Paranoid ALEdroid, a 5.5% ABV Citra based wheat pale ale.
Beers are available in crowlers to go. Snacks like tortilla chips and salsa, as well as various takes on the classic grilled cheese are available for purchase. There are shelves of games to enjoy during your visit.
Triple Crossing is open Monday through Friday 4 to 10 PM, Saturday noon to 10 PM, and Sunday 1 to 8 PM. There are a few free parking spaces in front of the brewery with additional free parking available next to the brewery after 5 PM.
|Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
2408-2410 Ownby Lane | Richmond, VA 23220
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery was founded by lifelong friends Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh in 2001 while visiting a sheep station in Australia called Hardywood Park. After a decade of planning and hard work, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery opened in October 2011.
Hardywood is located in two adjacent buildings on Ownby Lane in the historic German brewing district in Richmond, Virginia. All beers begin on a 20-gallon pilot brewery, then graduate to the 20-barrel Newlands brewhouse. The brewery produces a range of styles from traditional European ales and lagers, to several innovative new styles.
Beers on tap include easy drinking selections like Pils, an English-style Bitter called Hansom Cab, and Berliner Weisse. There are also plenty of stronger choices including the white wine barrel Belgian-style golden ale called Vinalia Urbana, Peach Tripel, and Bourbon Cru.
Beers can be enjoyed in full or half pours, as well as flights. Many beers are available in bottles or cans. Growlers can be filled to go, and 1/2 barrel and 1/6 barrel kegs can be purchased for private use. Brewery tours take place on Saturday and Sunday, are $5, and include a souvenir Hardywood tasting glass. Tours are also available by appointment.
Hardywood is open Wednesday 4 to 9 PM, Thursday and Friday 4 to 10 PM, Saturday 2 to 10 PM, and Sunday noon to 6 PM. There is a parking lot and plenty of free street parking.
|The Veil Brewing Company
1301 Roseneath Road
Richmond, VA 23230
The Veil Brewing Company, open since April 2016, is located in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. Their focus is hop forward beers, high gravity and barrel aging, lagers, wild ales, and spontaneous fermentation.
Brewer and co-owner Matt Tarpey brings an impressive resume with brewing experience at O’Connor in Norfolk, Portsmouth Brewery in New Hampshire, and The Alchmeist in Vermont. Tapey was also the direct assistant brewer to Sean Hill at Hill Farmstead in Vermont and completed two apprenticeships with Jean Van Roy at Cantillon in Brussels, Belgium.
The modern taproom is a unique place to enjoy Tapey’s creations, featuring lounge seating, concrete floors, exposed ductwork, unique wall art, and garage doors that open to a comfortable outdoor seating area in the parking lot.
Several hoppy beers are featured at The Veil including India Pale Ales like Master Shredder and IdontwanttoBU, as well as Double IPAs like Cat Boy, Crucial Taunt, and Master Master Shredder Shredder. My personal favorite was Kevin From Sales, a 5.8% ABV Sour India Pale Ale.
Beers can be purchased in 6 ounce and 12 ounce pours. The brewery does not fill growlers, however can releases typically occur on Tuesdays. Get in line early, as the cans usually sell out.
The Veil is open Monday through Thursday 4 to 10 PM, Friday 4 PM to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight, and Sunday noon to 9 PM. There is a parking lot, as well as free street parking.
|The Answer Brewpub
6008 W Broad Street | Richmond, VA 23230
The award-winning Vietnamese restaurant Mekong opened in Richmond, Virginia in 1995. Founder and Chief Beer Officer, An Bui offers a superb craft beer selection, earning him first place in Craftbeer.com’s “Great American Beer Bar” contest for two-years running.
Bui opened The Answer Brewpub in September 2014, which includes a 5 barrel brewhouse (complete with a disco ball and fermenters named after Star Wars characters), 56 taps, an arcade, and a large stage area for live music.
While The Answer serves up some great beers from around the world, I recommend enjoying the beers brewed in house like the Double IPA called Grand Larceny, a Berliner Weisse with red raspberries, white peaches, & blueberries called Loops of Fruit, a lemonade style gose with mangoes called Mango Limonsito, and the absolutely silky and delectable imperial stout with Kona coffee beans, hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, & toasted Hawaiian coconut called King Kahuna.
Beers can be purchased in full or half pours. The beers brewed in house are also available in flights. Some beers can be purchased in growlers and crowlers to go.
The Answer is open Monday through Wednesday 4 PM to midnight, Thursday through Saturday noon to midnight, and Sunday noon to 10 PM. The entrance to The Answer is around back. There is a large parking lot.
6004 W Broad Street | Richmond, VA 23230
Located in the same complex as The Answer, be sure to stop in to Mekong. The restaurant offers 50 beers on tap, different from those at The Answer. Prepare to enjoy these beers in house, as Mekong does not fill crowlers.
I again recommend trying the revolving “Andalls,” which run the beer through creative infusions of ingredients. During our visit the choices included a Berliner Weisse with guava, passion fruit, & mango called Morning Juice 3, Raspberry Coconut Truffle Stout, an imperial stout with coconut, chocolate, coffee, & peppermint called 4 Scoop, and a Cuban-style gose with strawberry, lime juice, mango, & habanero called Strawberry Mangito.
Mekong is open Monday through Saturday 11 AM to midnight and Sunday 11 AM to 10 PM. The entrance to Mekong faces Broad Street.
|Isley Brewing Company
1715 Summit Avenue | Richmond, VA 23230
Isley Brewing Company, owned by Richmond native Michael Isley, opened in October 2013. Head brewer Josh Stamps makes his creative concoctions on a 3 barrel brewhouse, which are served both in house and distributed to many local restaurants.
The tasting room offers bar seating and high top tables where visitors can play board games and enjoy pints or flights of Isley beers with friends. You can also walk through the brewing area to the outdoor deck out back.
Beers on tap included a Belgian white called Blueberry Plain Jane, a grapefruit pale ale called Ruby Red Slippers, a Bourbon barrel porter called This Ain’t Kentucky, and the popular peanut butter porter called Choosy Mothers.
Isley is open Monday through Thursday 4 to 9 PM, Friday 4 to 10 PM, Saturday noon to 10 PM, and Sunday noon to 7 PM. There is free street parking on Summit Avenue.
|Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
4100 Knolls Point Drive | Goochland, VA 23063
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery is located on a 290 acre farm in Goochland, Virginia, about 45 minutes northwest of Richmond. The brewery grows hops, barley, herbs and spices for use in their Estate Series of beers.
Choose a beer in the tasting room, located in the brewing area, and grab a seat at one of the picnic tables outside. Enjoy views of the farm, grab food from a local food truck, and let the kids play on the play set.
Beers on tap include Boubon Barrel & Ginger Tripel, Bourbon Barrel Coffee, and the honey imperial IPA Nuclear Nugget. My favorite was Heir Apparent, an 11.2% ABV Mexican spiced imperial stout.
Lickinghole Creek is open Friday 5 to 9 PM, as well as Saturday and Sunday noon to 8 PM. Tours are available from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday by appointment. There is plenty of space in the parking lot on site.