821 Cafe Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary Tonight

821 Cafe Growlers (2)Head over to 821 Cafe tonight Tuesday April 22nd starting at 5pm as they celebrate their 10th anniversary.  To mark the occasion they share with Salvation Tatto, 821 went to Strangeways Brewing to create a special cask beer – a barrel aged Belgian IPA with mango, limes, and tangerines.

If the cask was not enough to get you out, maybe the rest of their tap list for the night will:

Bells Expedition Stout 2012
Off Color Brewing DinoS’mores
Evil Twin Justin Blåbær
Hardywood Gingerbread Stout 2013
Cuvee De Jacobins Rogue
Lagunitas Sucks
Hofbrau Maibock
Bee Nektar Necromangocon
Perennial 17
Hebrew Funky Jewbelation
Breckenridge Oaked 471
Blue Mountain DIPA
Blue Mountain Marsedon Quad
Allagash Odyssey
Avery Salvation
Alewerks Bourbon Barrel Porter
Duclaw Devine Retribution
Sugar Maple Mead – Cask

Check out the Facebook event for more information and updates.

821 Cafe
825 W Cary St
Richmond, VA 23220

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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Party


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Good Friday For A Hardywood Manhattan Cru Pin Tapping At Heritage

Remember these couple of Instagrams from a few weeks ago?

This was an exciting project from an idea that started to take shape just before Hardywood’s Bourbon Cru release.  The idea seemed simple; transform Bourbon Cru to taste like a Manhattan. No big deal right? Just add some vermouth and bitters then call it day? Too easy.  Early on, I consulted John Maher, now of Rogue Gentlemen, on how to get the vermouth flavors without actually adding vermouth.  He was able to point me towards using red wine, oranges and a combination of spices but we were too late.  2013 Bourbon Cru was already packaged making it too late to do any sort of cask.

Needless to say, the gang at Hardywood were thrilled with the idea behind this pin.  So off to work I went again.  This time though I consulted the man who’s bar I have dined at on numerous occasions — Mattias Hagglund of Heritage.  One email from Mattias sent me on a whirlwind idea of making sweet vermouth from scratch just to use for this cask.  This was looking to get very expensive.  Thankfully, Mattias suggested using Cardamaro, a wine based digestif, otherwise we might have missed our chance.  Luckily, I had just bought some blood oranges.  Last thing I needed was something to absorb the flavors of the amaro — wood and some dried fruit.  But what kind of wood? Oak would have been an obvious choice but I figured it would be use something different than what the beer was aged in.  The wood and dried fruit would end up being the same flavor, cherry!  Most of the dried cherries in stores are of the tart variety, a flavor I did not want added.  Luckily, Trader Joe’s carried the dark sweet cherries I was looking for.  Once selected, I combined the ingredients in a jar then poured in the Cardamaro and letting the ingredients soak for about a week until the cherries were noticeable plump.  After that, it was off to Hardywood for addition to a pin.

That was a long explanation to tell you how this idea came about.  Here is all you need to remember.  This pin will be tapped Friday April 18th at 5:30pm at Heritage.  Come join me and taste the fruit of our labor.

Oh and this not the only idea I have for Hardywood cask beer.  The only clue will give you is a drink from Heritage’s menu — Bramble!

Head over to the Facebook event for more details and updates.  This will be a nice lead in to Saturday’s Bourbon Cru release.

1627 W Main St
Richmond, VA 23220

Who knows maybe I will get the chance to make some cask beers with other breweries in town in the future.

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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Tappings


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Smartmouth and Green Flash Bring Their Man Crush To Mekong Tonight

Credit: Smartmouth

Credit: Smartmouth

Head over to Mekong tonight Wednesday April 16th at 5pm as Smartmouth and Green Flash unveil their collaboration, Man Crush Hoppy Saison. Brewed in at Smartmouth in Norfolk, VA, Man Crush is Green Flash’s first collaboration with a Virginia brewery before they open their Virginia Beach brewery sometime in 2015.

Brewers from both Smartmouth and Green Flash will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have about their breweries or how they came up with this beer.

Other beers to be tapped for the night include:

Green Flash Green Bullet — Triple IPA
Green Flash Cedar Plank — American Pale Ale
Smartmouth Notch 9 — Double IPA
Smartmouth Cow Catcher — Milkstout

Head over to the Facebook event for more information.

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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Tap Takeover


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If you need me, this is where I will be.


Credit: Zen Sutherland

Credit: Zen Sutherland


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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Go Get Some DC Brau At The Cask Cafe Now

Complete DC Brau tap takeover happening right now at The Cask Cafe. Go get some!

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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Tap Takeover


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RVA ROCK$ OnTap! Beer Festival This Saturday On Mayo Island

This Saturday April 12th RVA ROCK$ and Fetch-A-Cure present the first beer festival of the season with OnTap Beer Festival on Mayo Island from Noon to 5pm.  I would be going if I did not have out of town plans so I need you to do a little reporting for me.

First you will need tickets. Tickets are $25 (general admission) or $40 (VIP) if you buy online here.  Ticket prices will go up at the door; $30 GA, $50 VIP.

Got your ticket? Your general admission tikcet gets you unlimited samples of 24 beers from Richmond breweries with live music and a selection of food trucks.  Yes, you can buy a full pint for $6/7 but you can always go back and get another sample of a beer you really like. VIP admission will get you in at 11am plus a catered VIP section, preferred parking, and more.  Designated drivers will be granted FREE admission.

Here are the participating breweries and the beers they will be serving: 

Center of the Universe — Ashland Extra Billy’s — Midlothian
Scotchtown Citra Ass Down IPA
Ray Ray’s Pale Ale My Only Weiss
Barrel Aged Scotchtown*
Hardywood — Richmond Isley Brewing — Richmond
Singel Scott’s Addition IPA
Hoplar Choosy Mother Peanut Butter Porter
Brian’s Barrel Blend #4*
Legend — Richmond Lickinghole Creek –Goochland
Hopfest Magic Beaver Pale Ale
Maibock Three Chopt Tripel
20th Anniversary Imperial Brown* Saison*
Midnight — Goochland Rusty Beaver — Ladysmith
Rockville Red Ale Roy’s Big Bad Brown Ale
Not My Job Brown Bucktooth IPA
Strangeways — Richmond Triple Crossing — Richmond
Albino Monkey Falcon Smash IPA — RVA debut!
Phantasmic IPA
Wampus Cat Triple IPA* * = special limited beers

Music will be provided by DJ Carter Baldwin, The Big Payback, and The Downbeat Switch starting at 11am, Noon, and 3pm, respectively.

Thai Cabin, Halligan’s, Burgerworks, Mosaic, Kentico and Red Eye Cookie will be serving food.  

Check the Facebook event and RVA ROCK$ page for more information and updates. So head out, drink some beers, snap some pics  and have a good time.


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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Festivals, Uncategorized


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Italian Beer Dinner Tomorrow At Secco Wine Bar

Yes, Secco Wine Bar, the place that brought us beer brunch, is hosting a beer dinner tomorrow Tuesday April 8th at 6:30pm featuring beers out of the Piedmont region of Italy.  Ron Fischer of B. United Imports will be the host for the dinner with pairings from Chef Mike Braune.  Take a look at what is sure to be a delicious menu.


Birra Baladin “Isaac” (light, citrusy blanche)
baked mozzarella piccata

Grado Plato “Strada S. Felice” (amber brewed with chestnuts)
chestnut spaetzle with peas, poached egg, serrano ham jus

Birrificio Montegiaco Lover Beer “Madamin” (deep amber barrel aged sour)
grilled veal sweetbreads with olive butter-poached tuna, fennel salad

Birra Baladin “Etruska” (their spiced, malty, barrrel-aged version of a 3-part cooperative, multi-brewery quest for an ancient beer recipe)
barley risotto with hazelnuts, scallion, brown butter

Grado Plato “Cantus Caeli” (beer-wine-mead hybrid aged in oak)
duck confit with currant jam, duck fat potatoes, honey gastrique

The cost for the dinner is $70/person including tax and tip and you can buy your tickets here.

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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Beer Dinner


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