Daily Archives: January 4, 2013

Hardywood Has Good Reasons For Mocha Belgique Switch Out For Sidamo

Hardywood is releasing their Sidamo Coffee Stout this Saturday January 5th starting at 11am.  I caught up with co-founder Eric McKay to inquire about decision to replace Mocha Belgique.  In his reply, he confirms the replacement but leaves the door ajar for a possible revamp plus hints at the next barrel series beer:

Sidamo Coffee Stout is going to replace Mocha Belgique. We really enjoyed working with the guys from Black Hand on that beer last year, and did receive some great feedback on it. That said, we also reviewed a lot of the negative feedback and our own perceptions of the beer and felt that the use of chocolate and particularly our choice of a Belgian yeast strain created some complex flavors that distracted from the coffee. Ultimately, with our Reserve Series, we want to showcase the local ingredients we use, not mask them, and have done a fair amount of brainstorming on reinventing a coffee beer in a way that would highlight the signature ingredient.

Through our team members frequent visits to Lamplighter and its Kickstand counterpart right around the corner in Scott’s Addition, we’ve built a good relationship with them and explored some ideas with them through a cupping. Ultimately, we came out of it in love with the unique flavor and aroma of their Sidamo coffee and decided to blend it with a Russian Imperial Stout recipe (no lactose in this one!) that keeps the focus squarely on the coffee.
We may bring back Mocha Belgique on a smaller pilot scale at some point, or do a variation of the base beer without chocolate or coffee, but in the meantime, we’re feeling really good about this new Sidamo Coffee Stout and are planning to age some in freshly dumped Maker’s Mark barrels (due to limited supply of Bowman barrels).
The only other beer from our commercial releases that will go into retirement this year due to customer feedback is Virginia Strawberry. Not only did the strawberries create some unusual flavors, they were obscenely labor intensive to process. Fortunately, we’ll be brewing more Virginia Blackberry this year with berries from the same local farmer, Agriberry.
Even though we will miss Mocha Belgique, you have to respect their commitment to respect the ingredients.  Go out and try the new coffee beer.

Happy Brew Year 2013 Richmond

Happy New Year Richmond! Welcome to 2013!  There is a lot going on to start the new year.  Here is your new brew run down for the start of 2013.

Hardywood Sidamo Coffee Stout

Hardywood is releasing their new coffee beer this Saturday January 5th starting at 11am.  While speculation abounds that this beer will replace last year’s Mocha Belgique, I will hold out hope for a possible return until I hear confirmation from Hardywood.  That said, the use of a coffee with blueberry undertones in a beer is something I can definitely get behind.  Somebody get me a blueberry waffle. STAT!

Head over to the Facebook event to learn more about the release.

Legend Hopfest

Legend announced the addition a new year round beer to their portfolio over on their Facebook page:

Happy New Year with a Happy New Beer! Legend is proud to announce our newest year round brew, the former seasonal, the reighning champion of seven years as our Anniversary Ale, this IPA style fighter comes to you out of Richmond, VA by way of west coast influence. The undefeated, undisputed, light heavyweight Legend fan choice champion…weighing in at 6.7% abv. and 57 ibu., a well rounded fighter with experience in yeast, malt, and hops, available soon on draft and in six packs, Legend HOPFEST! Fighters obey my commands at all times. Touch gloves and let’s get it on!

Strangeways Brewing

A new brewery ready to enter the fray in Richmond asks you to “Think Strange, Drink Strange.”  Follow their progress on Facebook here.

Apocalypse Ale Works Ready to Startup

Apocalypse Ale Works in Forest, VA will be starting production some time this month. Their tasting room  is expected to be open in February.   In the meantime, you can follow along on their pre-production brewery tours on their Facebook page here.

Parkway Brewing

Parkway Brewing, out of Salem, VA, is expected to be available int eh Richmond area sometime this year through Specialty Beverage.  Learn more about them over on their Facebook page.

Devils Backbone Cranks Out The Barrels

Last but not least, maybe you caught this Washington post article detailing new beers on the way from Devils Backbone’s Outpost brewery in Lexington, VA.  Also, there’s the little accomplishment of the Outpost’s 10,000 barrel production year! While brewmaster Jason Oliver does R&D in Austrailia, the Outpost will release a few new beers:

  • Dark Abby – Belgian dubbel with black pepper, coriander and secret spice X; 7.5% ABV
  • Schwartz Bier – German black lager; Available February – September
  • Danzig – Baltic Porter; Available October – January
  • 16 Point IPA – Imperial India pale ale; there was keg of this from the Basecamp at Popkin Tavern last month for a tap takeover.

Looks like 2013 will be another great year of beer.