Monthly Archives: August 2011

Empress Invites Fellow Glutenites for Beer Pairing

So here I am in Denver and all I can think about is how awesome tonight’s beer pairing at The Empress.  Ok, maybe not the only thing, but if I were there this would be on my top of my list of things to do tonight.  So why all the excitement over this pairing? Well, imagine for a change that you could not enjoy a majority of beers because of the debilitating side effects caused by being a celiac.  Now, I’m actually surprised it’s taken Carly & Melissa this long to come up this event.  I imagine finding six gluten free beers that would pair  well with food was a challenge.  I remember going to Whole Foods and looking for gluten free beer to take to a friend and only finding two choices.  I’m pleased to see that this number has increased.  I am a true believer that there should be a beer for everyone to enjoy without risking their health.  With their plans to produce a strawberry gluten-free beer, it appears that Dogfish Head agrees with me.  I hope the inevitable success of this beer prompts other craft brewers to follow suit. 

Wow, sorry about getting all soapboxy on you.  I’ll step down and get back to the food.  If there is anyone in Richmond that could pull this off, it would be the ladies of The Empress.  Take a look at the menu below complete with personal invitation from The Empress(es) themselves.

This week we are treating all of our fellow “glutenites” to a night of carefree fun. Our 6 gluten free beers (no ciders tonight) will be paired with 6 foods we crave yet can NEVER eat. You don’t have to be gluten free to enjoy this tasting, but if you are then you might just be in heaven. Our menus are much more health conscious usually, but we wanted to really give you all what we think you crave the most.

St Peters G-Free 4.2% with GF Fried Cheese Sticks
Described as ‘a clean, crisp gluten-free ale with a pilsner style lager finish and aromas of citrus and mandarin from American Amarillo hops.

New Grist Sorghum Session 5.75% with GF Seitan Sliders on GF Italian Rolls
Lighted toasted malts upfront. Possibly some hop character hiding in the background, lending just a hint of bitterness. Finish is sweet and tart like green apples.

Redbridge 4.8% with GF Deep Pan Pizza w/ Crispy Chorizo, Mozzarella, Bella Vitano & Fresh Basil with Homemade Tomato Sauce

A rich red ale, full-bodied lager brewed from sorghum for a well-balanced, moderately hopped taste.

Brooklyn Bards 5.0% with Bison, Vegetable, & Cheese Stuffed GF Shells with Red Sauce
Grainy malt up front with some lightly sour bread notes. Some dry caramel in the middle and a bit of spicy hop character. The dry toast character lingers into the finish with moderate hop bitterness and some more herbal hop flavor.

Greens Triple 8.5% with GF Fried Chicken w/ Red Cabbage Slaw
Similar to the aroma, it is too sweet and grainy. That said, it has some nice layers of fleshy fruit, banana and clove. Ends with a stitch of spicy hops

Greens Endeavor Dubbel 7% with GF Cookies & Cream Ice Cream
The taste is red fruit, sweet, overripe grapes, some nondescript earthy graininess, and soft, slightly funky, Belgian yeast. The carbonation is average, the body light, and a bit watery. It finishes off-dry, the fruitiness persisting, getting warmer in concert with the temperature.

The Empress has doubled the number of seats they normally hold becuase of the buzz surrounding this tasting.  Make sure you get yours by reserving a spot on the event page. Tasting starts at 7pm for $25.

The Empress
2043 West Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23220
(804) 592-4000

New Day, New Belgium Beer

After almost two months, today is the day when Richmond will finally get the opportunity to enjoy New Belgium beers locally.  You saw what my initial picks were back then.  We will see if any of those besides Fat Tire were selected.  A little birdie tells me that Whole Foods in Short Pump will be sampling their New Belgium selection all day today. So head out and give something new a try.

Crossroads Dogfish Head Tap Takeover


Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream on Forest Hill had their taps taken over by Dogfish Head beer. Were you there? If not, here is a little of what you missed.

Lawnmower — a beer so limited it is typically only sold in Delaware.

Namaste — Belgian style White with organic orange slices and lemongrass

Theobroma — one of Dogfish’s Ancient Ales.  There is no description that could do this beer justice.

90 Minute IPA — I’ll admit I tried this beer to get an Untappd badge but if Dogfish Head keeps making beers like this one, they will turn me into a hophead soon enough.

Now this was only half of the beers on tap.  Someone asked me why Crossroads was doing this. The only response I could give is because they are awesome! Thanks to Crossroads, I will crave pistachios with my beer from now on. Don’t believe me; go to Crossroads and prove me wrong.

AugustFest at Gallery 5

Richmond has known for a long time that Gallery 5 is an awesome place.  They host a wide variety of events including  comedy shows, music, and displays of art.  A visit to Gallery 5 during First Fridays Artwalk is always a treat but tonight they are hosting their first beer tasting with a unique selection of Virginia microbreweries.

Starr Hill

Double Platinum — IPA,
Lucy — English Pale Ale
Festie — Amber Lager

Legend Brewing Co.

Belgian Quad
Belgian Triple

Roanoke Railhouse Brewery

Track 1
Loose Caboose

Blue Mountain Brewery

Full Nelson
Kolsch 151

Blue Mountain Barrel House organic line (brand new soon-to-be-opened)

Dark Hollow

O’Connor Brewing Co.

Great Dismal Black IPA

Bull and Bones Brewhaus

Maroon Effect Brown

The tastings start at 7pm ranging from $1 – $3 per sample.  Read more over at the Facebook event here.

Mekong Celebrates Sweet Sixteen

Coming off a victory from last weekend’s dragonboat competition, Mekong will start the celebration of their 16th anniversary this Thursday August 4th.  This year’s party is so big it exploded to cover the rest of the month.  Every Thursday in August will have special tappings.  Here is just a little of what to expect this week.

  • Firkin of Hanssen Geueze
  • Alvinne Cuvee Freddy
  • Alvinne Wild Undress
  • Gulpener mestreech Aajt
  • 2009 BFM Bon Chien
  • Ommegang Zuur
  • The Bruery Marron Acidifie
  • 2009 Duchesse de Bourgonge
  • 2009 Bockor Jacobrunow Rouge
  • Echt Kriekenbier
  • Petrus Aged Pale
  • Liefman Cuvee Brut

The beer lists for the upcoming weeks can be seen on the Facebook event page here.