Monthly Archives: June 2014

World Cup Beers: Cheer On Team USA With These Virginian German Style Beers

Credit: An “Mekong” Bui

In the past, German brewers were stuck following the  Reinheitsgebot (beer purity law) stating beer could only be made from four ingredients: water, malted barley, hops and yeast. For awhile, it was only three ingredients as yeast was not included.  American brewers have benefited greatly by never having such constraints.

You can celebrate this freedom tomorrow Thursday June 26th as USA faces off against Germany in the 2014 World Cup.  Drink these Virginia-made German style beers. Follow the Trinkin links to find where you can have the beers on tap.

(German for ‘old beer’) Moderately bitter brown, copper lager brewed with top fermenting ale yeast at lower temperatures
Center of the Universe Main St Ale

Berliner Weisse
Cloudy, sour German wheat lager. Typically, 3% ABV.
Strangeways Uberlin Berliner Weisse

Dark, strong German lager that is lightly hopped
Strangeways B-Sides Honey Bock

Very high ABV (9 – 13%), full and malty dark lager
Strangeways Freeze Ray

German wheat beer with flavors of cloves and banana
Legend Hefeweizen
Lost Rhino Final Glide
Young Veterans Pineapple Grenade

Straw colored, clean, and crisp beer with a delicate balance. Beer is fermented at warmer temperatures (55 – 70F) then cold conditioned.  
Blue Mountain Kolsch 151
Center of the Universe Slingshot Kolsch
Champion Killer Kolsch
Midnight New Beginnings Kolsch
Rock Bottom Kolsch

Pale German lager with more apparent hops than other bocks
Blue Mountain Maggie’s Maibock
Legend Maibock

Refreshing, clean, and crisp beer with moderate to strong nobel German hop bitterness.
Devils Backbone Gold Leaf Lager

Dark German lager balancing roasted and smooth malt characters with moderate hop bitterness
Devils Backbone Schwartz Bier

Vienna Lager
Malty amber lager with a dry finish
Devils Backbone Vienna Lager

Looking for a place to watch the game? Check out the events from Strangeways and Triple Crossing.

This Friday Lickinghole Creek is Open “Til Sunset”

Take in the scenery of Lickinghole Creek Friday June 20th as they release their latest beer, ‘Til Sunset Session IPA.

“Til Sunset” is more than just a beer; it also tells you just how long LCCB will be open any given night. So make sure you get there before sunset or you will miss it.   Check out the Facebook event for more information and updates.

Cheers To The Foothills Weekend At Station 2, Siné Irish Pub, And Pasture

Ease into the weekend with Foothills Brewing starting tonight Thursday June 19th as Station 2 gets things started with a tap takeover plus a cask conditioned pin of Hoppyum with Summit hops.

Siné Irish Pub brings back Foothills’ winter seasonal, Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout, for what should be a lively Friday night.

Finally, Pasture will prepare a few small plate pairings Saturday June 21st at 5pm to compliment their pin of Pilot Mountain Pale Ale with tangerines. Pasture will also have pint glasses for you to take home.

Richmond’s Shine Craft Vessels Company Among Finalists For Ledbury Launch Fund

Ledbury recently opened the Ledbury Launch Fund in which they will reward $25,000 to a deserving entrepreneur to help them start their consumer goods company.  Voting is open to the public until Tuesday June 24th to determine which of the three finalists will receive $25,000 and a year of mentorship from co-founders, Paul Trible and Paul Watson.

The finalists are:

  • Shine Craft Vessel Co from Richmond, VA, creates premium, well-designed beer growlers and barware. Jordan Childs started Shine Vessels in early 2014 to complement the national craft beer trend with reusable barware that appeals to design lovers as much as beer enthusiasts.
  • Kuli Kuli from Oakland, CA, sells bars and powder products made with moringa, the African superfood considered to be more nutritious than kale. Founder Lisa Curtis learned of moringa when in the Peace Corps in Niger; now Kuli Kuli harvests moringa in West Africa to provide sustainable work.
  • Thread from Pittsburgh, PA, upcycles trash from impoverished nations and transforms it into dignified jobs and responsible fabrics for use in consumer goods. While visiting Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, Ian Rosenberger noticed an abundance of trash and a desire to work, which he used to found Thread.

Help Shine Craft by voting today here. Remember voting ends next Tuesday June 24th. Tell your friends!

Happy Father’s Day Beer Choices: Hardywood & Rappahannock Oysters Or Strangeways & Soft Shell Crabs

I do not envy anyone having to make the tough choice between two cool beer events to take their dads to starting at noon today Sunday June 15th.

Hardywood has Rappahannock Oysters every which way for their 2nd annual Father’s Day Keg ‘N Oyster Fest.  Pizza Tonight tonight will be creating a oysters rockerfeller pizza.

Meanwhile Strangeways will debut a new beer, Wild Wallonian Dawn Saison, and host a Father’s Day Cook Out.  Yellow Umbrella will be frying up some soft shell crab sandwiches.

From Church Hill to Scott’s Addition: Ardent Craft Ales Opening Friday

Ardent tapsTo say I am excited about Ardent Craft Ales opening their doors to the public this Friday June 13th at 4pm would be an understatement.  I have been waiting patiently for the rest of Richmond to experience their beers since first visiting their Brickman’s garage brewspace some three years ago.  They have spent that time very wisely by meticulously planning everything about their production brew house: from location and how they wanted people to feel when they walked in.  An early possible location fell through for various reasons but in seeing how they transformed where they landed, I believe it was a good thing that first location did not work out.

Walking up the back steps of their 3200 W Leigh St address leads you to their beer garden, which is in a word — beautiful!  I will need to hire their contractor to do some work whenever I find a new home.

Ardent beer garden2Ardent’s taproom is another large and inviting work of art.  The room has what I will call a contemporary industrial feel that just feels like home.

Ardent taproomArdent will start off by pouring two year round beers with third in the works plus one seasonal.  While they are still working off their first 15-barrel batches, the highest compliment I can give is that the beers are as delicious at 15 barrels as they did at 15 gallons in a garage.  They will pouring Saison, IPA, and Honey Ginger when they open on Friday with IPA being only available at The Diamond and their taproom.  Virginia Common will debut at a later date; trust me, it will be worth the wait.

Here are the descriptions for each of their beers:

Saison 6.7% ABV

Our saison is a pale gold-colored farmhouse-style ale. We use a traditional yeast strain and Continental hops that in combination imbue an aroma with a mild spiciness tempered with fruit. The beer is medium-bodied, with a slight acidity. It is effervescent and dry, with an edge of bitterness that balances the fruitiness of the aroma. A yeast-derived refreshing, spicy ale.

IPA 6.8% ABV

Our IPA is a medium copper-colored ale. We use a standard malt-backboned recipe, but as we rotate our hop varietals, the aroma may range from citrusy and piney to flowery and grassy. The beer is medium-bodied, and although the aroma always dominates the overall character of the beer, the sweetness of the caramel malt balances the hoppy bitterness. An American IPA that privileges hop flavor and aroma over bitterness.

Virginia Common 5.3% ABV

The Virginia Common is a deep brown-colored hybrid ale-lager. We use Cluster hops, one of the only commonly available hop varieties with North American roots, which impart a light hop aroma. It has a lower ABV than our other beers, and a mid-level carbonation. It is light-bodied, which allows for the toast of the specialty malts to shine. A sessionable ale-lager hybrid that will satisfy almost any beer drinker.

Honey Ginger (Summer Seasonal) 7.8% ABV

Our Honey Ginger is a deep gold-colored ale. The medium- to high-carbonation level enhances the fresh ginger in the aroma. The malt backbone supports the sweetness of the locally-sourced honey and the spiciness of the ginger. A strong, yet refreshing and deceptively smooth summer ale.

Beyond great beer are the trio behind Ardent Craft Ales — Paul Karns, Tom Sullivan (Operations Director), and Kevin O’Leary (Head Brewer). As I have come to know them over the years, I can tell you one thing for certain they absolutely love making beer and seeing people enjoy it.  On my first visit to the completed space, Tom joked “Welcome to our little experiment.” Paul was visibly gleeful as little pieces took shape. Kevin looked right at home as he brewed their first double batch of IPA to fill their 30-barrel fermentor.

“Mash → Boil → Ferment → Condition → Enjoy → Repeat”

Ardent has taken care of the first four steps in our relationship with them. All you have to do is enjoy and repeat!

Congratulations guys; I’m sure you will need to order new tanks sooner than expected! Here’s to a successful experiment!


Ardent Craft Ales
3200 W Leigh St
Richmond, VA

Keep up with Ardent by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.