Brewery Round-up #2: Hardywood Park Brewery

So after I finished up at Lickinghole, Kevin and I made our way back to the city of Richmond for another brewery stop: Hardywood Park.  I had always heard great things about Hardywood Park about having really amazing beers, but they hadn’t distributed far enough north for me to try until this year. As soon as I Wegmans got their first shipment in, I immediately went over and bought their raspberry stout. That night I had it chilled just enough to drink, and I was impressed. So I knew going to this brewery I was going to have one happy palate.

 

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Hardywood Park is located in the industrial side of Richmond but I could tell I was in the right place by all the cars parked along the side of the road and lots of people outside enjoying beers and hanging out.

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Kev and I headed to the building and went inside. There were 2 places to order beer, their front tasting room, and back near the actual brewery. I ordered their Hoplar IPA and headed to the back to where a band was playing. Kevin and I danced for a while before I ran into an employee there and asked him if they had any hop rhizomes left from there harvest.

 

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I told him that a friend on Facebook had told me to ask as they would set some aside for me, and sure enough, he pulls out two rhizomes for me to take home. I have never grown hops, but figured I would give it a shot as I also happen to brew my own beer. I headed outside to enjoy the weather with Kev and let him walk around a bit before headed back to the hotel for his afternoon nap (I had to keep this visit short because of this). Overall, Hardywood was short and sweet but fun. Their beer selection is great ranging from cream ales to IPAs to stouts.

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Hardywood Park: 4.5/5 beers

Hoplar IPA: 4/5 beers

 

Next Up: Strangeways Brewing

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Brewery Roundup #1: Lickinghole Creek Brewery

This past weekend, Katie, KS3 and I went for a trip down to Richmond, VA. Katie had a running coach certification course both Saturday and Sunday, so I decided KS3 and I would travel to some breweries to keep busy.  I dropped off Katie around 7:45 AM at the VCU Learning Center and told her I was going to head over to the hotel to see if we could do an early check-in (super early). To my surprise, they had a room available so I took Kevin up to get his first nap of the day. We had time to kill because none of the breweries I had planned on going to opened until noon or later. After getting settled in, KS3 napped for a little over an hour. I got him ready for the day and we did a little walking around Richmond before we headed out.

Lickinghole Creek

My first stop of Richmond breweries was Lickinghole Creek which is a little outside of the city in Goochland, VA. I was trying to plan around Kevin’s naps accordingly, so I was hoping on the way back from here, he would go down for a nap. The trip itself was about 40 minutes down some back roads. As I am pulling up to where Google Maps told me to go, I get to this sign saying take the gravel road about 0.75 miles and you will get to the brewery. At this point, I knew I had found the right place, but almost felt lost going down the windy gravel road. I finally get to the farm and immediately feel like a kid in a candy store…but with time to spare and impatiently wait. Luckily, having Kevin with me requires diaper changes, feeding lunch, etc. so I did just that and by then, they were just opening.

I walk around the building to see a guy waiting behind the counter of taps and asks what I’ll have. I ask him what beers are on tap and as soon as I hear him say “enlightened despot”(which just so happens to be their limited release bourbon barrel aged stout), I tell him I’ll have that. The enlightened despot drank very smooth for being an 11.3% ABV beer. Not a bad start to the weekend having a bourbon barrel aged stout! The guy and I chatted a little bit about the brewery and how long they had been around, and then Kevin and I walked around the other side of the building to see a playground. Kevin was super excited to go play and be free for a while, so I finished off my beer, got another one and headed over to let him play for a while. So beer #2 was a firkin of their Belgian-style pale ale dry hopped with Columbus hops. This one smelled like a cup of freshly picked hops. It drank more like an IPA than a pale ale, which I had no problem with as I am a hop head at heart. Kevin finished up playing on the playground as I finished off beer #2, and I went to check out. I asked the server if they had any Enlightened Despot bottles left as I had earlier spoken to one of the brewers (Shaun) earlier in the week and he said he would try to hold one back for me. They confirmed with Shaun through text and I was very luck to walk away with a bottle of a very tasty beer. As of April 15th, it holds the #13 spot on http://www.BeerAdvocate.com for the list of “most popular Russian imperial stouts” category! Overall I loved my first stop at Lickinghole Creek. It had a family feel to the farm and brewery. The staff was very nice and knowledgeable about their beers.

 

 

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Lickinghole Creek Brewery: 5/5 beers

Enlightened Despot: 5/5 beers

Magic Beaver firkin: 4/5 beers

 

Next up: Hardywood Park Brewery

Weekend of 4/12-4/13

So this weekend Katie will be doing a running coach certification course in Richmond, VA. She asked if I wanted to come along, and after doing a little research, I couldn’t help but be ecstatic that there are a slew of breweries that I could visit while down there when she is in class. So of course, I said YES. I will try to visit as many breweries as possible. The ones that I have in mind are Hardywood Park, Lickinghole Creek Brewing, Isley Brewing Co., Midnight, Strangeways Brewing, and Triple Crossing Brewing. I know it seems like a lot of places to go in such a short time, but thankfully, most are within walking/short driving distance from the hotel we are staying!

Stay tuned for updates about my visits and what beers I tried!

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my blog! I am 26 years old and currently living in Northern Virginia with my wonderful wife, Katie (who got me into blogging with her awesome blog Run Inspired) and our son, Kevin III. I decided to start a blog to keep track of all things related beer as I have taken on a journey to go to as many breweries and try as many different craft beers I possibly can. I may from time to time sprinkle in some family stuff, but I’ll stick to craft beer mostly!

My love for craft beer started a couple of years ago when I tried Flying Dog Brewery’s Raging Bitch. I was intrigued by the crazy name and decided to take a dive into the craft beer scene away from my go to beers (don’t laugh) Bud light lime, Corona, and other domestics readily available to me. The first thing I noticed was just how different it tasted from the normal light stuff I was drinking in the past. It was obviously much stronger coming in at 8.3% ABV. It started out with a sweet and piney hops-forward tingle and finished off with a citrus like grapefruit taste. Immediately I feel in love with IPA’s. The next thing I know I was on the hunt for any and all IPA’s I could try. Just recently, I have found to start liking stouts, sours, IPA’s, fruits and porters. So with this blog I will be reviewing beers, logging notes about brewery visits, and just talking beer in general.

Thanks for checking out my blog, enjoy!