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.
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.
Lickinghole Creek Brewery: 5/5 beers
Enlightened Despot: 5/5 beers
Magic Beaver firkin: 4/5 beers
Next up: Hardywood Park Brewery