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RVA Beer Explorer

RVA Beer Explorer: Job, Lab, Holiday Stuff





If you’re a brewer with a bachelor’s degree or 2 to 3 years’ production brewing experience you can step into one of the more highly regarded breweries in town. Ardent is hiring but you’ll need to dust off the resume quickly as the deadline is this Friday. It seems to be like brewers shouldn’t drop off resumes rather just drop off a six-pack but there is probably a reason I’m not in charge of a brewery.

More information on the position is posted here and if you get the job after reading about it here you owe me a beer.


Origin Beer Lab, the mad scientist little brother of Center of the Universe, opened up last weekend. We didn’t make it to the grand opening but luckily the folks at the lab sent us a couple pictures so you can check out the space in downtown Ashland.



No beers have sprung out of the lab yet but it will be the spot to get the “one offs” and “experiments” from the folks of COTU.


If you need to go out to escape the family on Thanksgiving Day you won’t find many breweries open. In fact the only one I can find that will be open is Legend. They’ll be open from 5-10 PM on Turkey Day.

It does look like everyone will be open for your Black Friday drinking so go shopping and stop for a beer or just go beering.


The shopping madness known as Black Friday has always been a mystery to me. The frustration of crowds and getting up early to save a buck or two doesn’t add up in my mental calculator. Some of the local breweries feel the same way and are celebrating with special releases and such. You don’t need to get up early but I can’t guarantee no lines and I also don’t guarantee these are Friday specific events. No return, no exceptions.

  • Center of the Universe  – COTU’s “Black Friday” brew is an Imperial Stout that has been aged in both Bourbon and Merlot Barrels and then blended together to create an intensely complex and extraordinarily smooth flavor. The beer clocks in at 11.9% and contains a chewy mouthfeel to enhance the wide array of flavors from fig to dark chocolate. Tune out the in-laws, avoid the lines, and take down a big glass of Shut Up!
  • Ardent Craft Ales – Can’t get enough Dark Rye? How about barrel-aged Dark Rye? Better yet, how about Port and Madeira barrel–aged Dark Rye? Head to Ardent this Saturday for our Barrel-Aged Dark Rye Bottle Release, in-house only. Perfect for your holiday to-drink list.
  • Triple Crossing – Valhalla, the fourth DIPA in our Lockout series, features Citra exclusively.This successor to Coagulation will be available on draft and in crowlers beginning on 11/26.
  • Castleberg Brewery – Castleburg Brewery is pleased to announce the release of DARK AGES. The Dark Ages is our Silver Medal Winning Bishop’s Brown Ale recipe, turned IMPERIAL. We added two gallons of Pure Vermont Maple Syrup and Cinnamon Sticks, to give this version a woody, earthy flavor that is warming, and sweet. Just like French Toast on a bitter cold winter’s morning.
  • Strangeways – Not a beer release but they’re having a sale on stuff. Beer stuff. Cool beer stuff. – Come this weekend to shop the finest in glassware, bar accouterments, apparel, liquid gifts, onesies, dog collars, beer candles and soaps, things to keep you warm, things to keep you cool, and everything in between. And, as our way of saying “thank you,” our weekend shoppers will get a little extra something in their stocking from yours truly.



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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.