Tag Archives: festivals

Watermelon Beer Granita

The 29th Annual Watermelon Festival is tomorrow Sunday August 5th.  As is tradition, it is bound to be a hot one; it always is.  Whether you walked the streets of Carytown or decided to stay indoors, this recipe is for you.  I first discovered this concept of putting beer in a frozen dessert from Megan Powell’s Watermelon Beer Popsicles.  Desiring something that I could store more longterm, I attempted to adapt her recipe into a sorbet but it turned out to be more of a granita.

Watermelon Beer Granita


1 cup Agave Nectar
1/4 cup chopped mint
1 lime, zested & juiced
1/2 seedless watermelon, crushed
12oz can 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat


In a small saucepan, bring Agave Nectar and chopped mint to a boil over medium-high heat.  Remove from heat and let come back to room temp.

Crush watermelon into large bowl. Puree with a stick blender until the watermelon is an even consistency.

Add agave mixture, lime juice and zest to watermelon followed by the beer.  Mix well.

Cover bowl and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Mix in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.  It took my Cuisinart about 20 minutes.  Your granita will be ready to eat at this point or you can transfer to a airtight container an freeze for a firmer texture.

Yield: 2 – 4 quarts

Hardywood Hop Harvest Festival Featuring No BS Brass Is Tomorrow

How often do you get the chance to say you had a hand in helping to make a beer at your local brewery?  That’s the idea behind Hardywood’s RVA IPA – The Community Hopped IPA.  More from Hardywood:

In the spring of 2012, Hardywood kicked off a “Community Hopping Project” by giving out 1,000 hop rhizomes to local gardeners interested in growing hops and contributing to a commercially brewed beer. The project will culminate in this annual Hop Harvest Festival, where freshly picked local hops will serve as 100% of the hop bill of Hardywood’s RVA IPA. Given that most first year hop plants do not produce cones, the majority of the 2012 hop harvest will come from some more experienced local growers and a few progressive farmers who are working to bring hop growing back to Virginia.

Head out tomorrow Saturday August 4th from 2 – 8pm to see the hop bines come down and learn more about how hops go into making beer.  No BS Brass, one of my favorite local bands, will knock the party into the stratosphere when they take the stage at 3:30.  This is an event you are not going to want to miss.  Learn more at the Facebook event here.

And if you’re a hop grower yourself, read this.

Virginia Beers at Broad Appetit

Are you planning on attending Broad Appetit tomorrow, Sunday, June 3rd?  No?! Why not?!

Seriously, it is the best deal on food from the several of the best restaurants in town.  I don’t know how you can beat $3 a plate.  Oh yeah, I do! $5 for two dishes in most cases.

This will be my third year in attendance at the five year old festival but this year has me even more excited because Virginia’s craft breweries are joining in on the fun.

Now take another look at the photo above.  Ladies and gentlemen, here are just a few of the people responsible for bringing you local craft beer.

Look for the truck provided by Brown Distributing for the following beers:

  • Legend Hefeweizen
  • Legend Lager
  • Starr Hill Northern Lights
  • Starr Hill Starr Pils
  • Hardywood Park Singel
  • Devils Backbone Vienna Lager
  • O’Connor Red Nun
  • Roanoke Railhouse Track 1
  • Roanoke Railhouse Caboose
  • Bold Rock Virginia Apple Cider (first kegs anywhere!)

Step into Popkin Tavern for the ‘Taste the Local Tasting Room’ featuring:

  • Firkin of Starr Hill Brewer’s Choice Zested Saison
  • Starr Pils
  • Legend Saison
  • Hardywood Park Bourbon Cru
  • Devils Backbone Gold Leaf Lager
  • O’Connor Great Dismal Black IPA
  • Roanoke Railhouse IPA
  • Wolf Hills Imperial Stout
  • Bull and Bones Maroon Effect
  • Bold Rock Virginia Apple Cider

Taste the Local will host three Meet the Brewer sessions featuring:

  • Starr Hill            12 – 1pm
  • Legend                1 – 2pm
  • Hardywood         2 – 3pm

The Starr Hill firkin will be tapped at noon at the start of Starr Hill’s Meet the Brewer session.

So head out for some great local food and beer as Broad Street shuts down for a party unlike any other.

Broad Appetit runs from 12 – 6pm  between Adams and Henry.  You will have fun even if you try not to.

RVA Beer Fest Is This Weekend!

This weekend will be super busy for me.  Not only does The Avengers finally come out in theaters Friday but Saturday is Free Comic Book Day. Yes, I am a multi-faceted geek! Ha!

If that was the only thing happening Saturday, it wouldn’t be too bad but there are two big beer events happening this weekend: Big Brew Day 2012, which I’ll talk about later, and RVA Beer Fest!

The RVA Beer Fest seems like a dream that you never thought would happen after the cancellation of Richmond’s second World Beer Festival. Congratulations Richmond, it’s not Brown’s Island but RVA Magazine, Phull Entertainment, and Gallery 5 have pulled together to bring you a two day festival with an amazing selection beers from Brown Distributing, Specialty Beverage, and Loveland.

As it should be on a First Friday in Richmond, Friday May 4th is Taste the Local Night with Virginia breweries taking center stage:

Legend Brewing
Imperial Stout

Starr Hill

Devil Backbone
Belgian Congo
Reilly’s Red Ale

O’Connor Brewing Co.
El Guapo IPA
Great Dismal Black IPA

Roanoke Railhouse Brewery
Track 1
Railhouse IPA

Wolf Hills Brewing
Wolf Den Double IPA
Imperial Stout

Bull & Bones
Sunlit Wit
Maroon Effect

Mocha Belgique

Saturday, May 5th is the big event with regional beers outside along with local beers inside Gallery 5.

Liefman Draft
Oud Bruin

Blue Mountain
Evil 8
Mac Hayden

Dogfish Head
My Antonia
60 Minute IPA

New Belgium
Fat Tire


Heavy Seas
Loose Cannon
Black Cannon

Southern Tier
2X Milk Stout
Hop Sun

Headwaters Pale Ale
Sunrise Weissbier

Double Simcoe IPA
Merry Monks

Cricket Hill
East Coast Lager
Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale

Gaelic Ale
Oatmeal Porter

Duck Rabbit
Milk Stout

Thomas Creek
Class 5 IPA

Samuel Adams
Tasman Red IPA
Dark Depths Baltic IPA
Norse Legend Shati

Wild Wolf
Alpha Ale
Blonde Hunny Ale

Sierra Nevada

Want to be a VIP? Get exclusive beers in Mekong’s Tasting Lounge.

Mekong Tasting Lounge Beer List
J W Lees Harvest Port 2010
Stillwater Premium
Troegs Mad Elf
Avery Mephistopheles
Founders Curmudgeon Keiser
Dogfish Head Noble Rot
Bockor Cuvée de Jacobins

Whoa! Got all those beers down?! Here’s all you need to know for tickets:

Friday Night


Saturday 12pm-6pm
$5  General Admission — Presale Tickets here

Beer Tickets:
2 Ounce Tasting – $1 (tasting ticket)
16 ounce pour – 1 Ticket – $6 (full ticket)

$25 VIP tickets — Upstairs Mekong Tasting Lounge + 5 tasting tickets — Presale Tickets Available Here)

Get more information about bands and food over at the Facebook event.  Are you ready Richmond?

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