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RVA Beer Explorer

RVA Beer Explorer for Week of February 28th

We’ve got beers, fundraisers, goats, guitars, Gingerbread apologies, and collabs galore in this week’s Explorer.





Boogie for the Biospere
March 4th, 5 PM

Drink some beer with a great view and goats. Don’t get the baby goats drunk, they get belligerent. This event is hosted by the Invasive Plant Task Force which does great work fighting for the native plants and critters in our area.

Come and meet baby goats and lambs, listen to good blues, drink good beverages and celebrate the hard work we are doing in the James River Park.

Earth & Lunar Rendezvous show for St. Baldrick’s at COTU
March 5th, 3-5 PM

I like to drink beer. I like to drink beer for a good cause even more.

Earth and Lunar Rendezvous is popping by to entertain us and help raise some money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. You’ll be able to make a donation, buy a Bald Irishman Irish Red Ale, or pick up an awesome limited edition Bald Irishmand T-Shirt to help out with this awesome charity.

Center of the Universe is proud to host this event to support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization which has been providing lifesaving childrens cancer research since the year 2000. This FREE celebration is open to the public and will take place from 3-5pm on Saturday, March 5th. As if you needed another excuse to drink beer, eat great food, listen to live music, and raise money for a very worthy cause!

Zack Artis at Isley Brewing
March 5th, 2-4 PM

Beer and music BFFs since the dawn of beer times.

Zack originated from Pennsylvania, mastered finger-style guitar, and has become a virtuoso guitarist with a groovy style and ability to inspire audiences with the reminiscent of the way Jimmi Hendrix and Eric Clapton did in the late 60s.

When he was 10 he and his family moved to Petersburg, Virginia where he bought his first acoustic guitar for five dollars at a yard sale. After many lessons, he was then inspired to buy an electric guitar. He began to sell his own drawings from door to door until he accumulated enough money to buy his first electric guitar. Not long after that did Zack start teaching guitar lessons from home.

By the time Zack was fourteen he discovered instrumental rock guitarists like Steve Via, Tommy Emmanuel and Joe Satriani. This inspired him to reshape his playing style. Zack pursued his passion in music and learned over 400 songs of all styles within his first two years of playing. Today Zack continues to perform and teach guitar full time.

Scott’s Addition Beverage District Collab Crawl

I’ll be honest I avoid Scott’s Addition on most weekends due to my crowd averse nature but this looks to be a pretty cool event.

Join us for a day of collaborations in one of the premier locations for craft beverages in the nation! Scott’s Addition, Richmond is home to nationally recognized breweries, cideries, meaderies, wineries, and distilleries. The best part? ALL are within walking distance of each other!

Everyone will be releasing their collaborations Saturday, March 5th at NOON! A lot of these drinks will be available one day only so don’t miss out!
Pick up a Collab Crawl Card at any participating location and fill it out as you go. Get a stamp for each individual collab you try! Once you have your card filled out, turn it in at any participating location to be entered into a raffle for some awesome prizes.

Check out these 2022 collabs!

  •  Buskey Cider in collaboration w/ Väsen Brewing Company: Buskey Rakau Hopped Cider – A hopped cider, crafted with 100% Virginia apples and rakau hops. Notes of stone fruit and pine from the hops intermingle with the yeast strain selected for its tropical notes with a pineapple backbone that highlights the Virginia apples and allows the fruity flavors to shine through. *Available at Buskey Cider and Väsen.
  • Three Notch’d Collab House in collaboration w/ Blue Bee Cider: Eve’s Garden- A modern twist on a not so modern style. Brewed without hops, using a combination of flowers, herbs, and spices. Fermented with apple juice from Blue Bee Cidery. *Available at Three Notch’d Collab House and Blue Bee Cider.
  • Ardent Craft Ales and Black Heath Meadery Collaboration: Honey Bear Braggot- Golden ale brewed with Huell Melon hops and wildflower honey &Biere de Miele- Farmhouse Ale fermented with wildflower honey *Available at Ardent Craft Ales and Black Heath Meadery.
  • Brambly Park and The Veil Brewing Co. Collaboration: Covered in Chardonnay- A barrel-fermented, farmhouse-inspired ale aged in red wine barrels for 15 months and then blended with a dry, stainless steel-aged, new world-style Suisun Valley Chardonnay. *Available at The Veil and Brambly Park.
  • Väsen Brewing Company in collaboration w/ Buskey Cider: Pomme Saison – A dry saison with notes of apple & Belgian spices featuring fresh-pressed apples from Buskey Cidery. *Available at Vasen and Buskey.
  • Reservoir Distillery in collaboration w/ Starr Hill and Bingo Beer Co.: Barrel Bocked Punch – Hunter and Scott Bourbon Whiskey, Three Glasses Bock syrup, citrus, club soda. *Available at Reservoir.
  • Starr Hill in collaboration w/ Bingo Beer Co.: Three Glasses Bock- a Spring bock aged in Reservoir barrels *Available at Starr Hill and Bingo Beer Co.


Hardywood Apologizes for Funky Gingerbread Stouts

I remember back in day when Hardywood was just a small brewery with a crazy idea for a Christmas beer. It seem that as you grow you’re going to have growing pains now and again.

Hardywood posted the following apology on Facebook

The Gingerbread Stout brand family is such an important part of our Hardywood history and the release season is traditionally one of our most exciting times in our taprooms. We take great pride in this beer, and all the variants that have been introduced over the years. We also take quality very seriously at Hardywood, and we research and answer every individual quality concern that comes to us.

We have had a number of folks contact us with concerns from some of this year’s Gingerbread Stout batches which have included a single batch of Gingerbread Stout, one of Christmas Pancakes, and one of Kentucky Christmas Morning out of 39 total batches. As we have continued this investigation, we have a better understanding of the cause and extent of the issue, and wanted to reach out to you to share what we’ve learned.

We keep a library of samples on hand from every packaging date just in case issues arise once the beer has made it into the market. After completing lab testing, including microbiological testing for beer spoilers and taste panel testing, we have determined that there are noticeable off flavors developing over time in three specific batches of the 39 total.
– GBS: canned on 10/22/21 and 10/25/21
– Christmas Pancakes: canned on 10/25/21 and 10/26/21
– Kentucky Christmas Morning: bottled on 10/29/21, 11/3/21, and 11/4/21

As a part of our investigation, we used PCR testing to identify the specific beer spoiler that had developed in these batches. We found that some of the packages from the above packaging dates have tested positive for a microorganism called Lactobacillus Acetotolerans. Although this can result in unintended flavors, this microorganism is not at all harmful. Lactobacillus strains are common in sour ales, as well as cultured foods like yogurt.
This particular microorganism is a lactic acid-producing bacteria that is typically slow-growing and unfortunately very difficult to detect with traditional micro testing at lower levels. It is not until it reaches levels that are high enough to taste off-flavors that you are able to actually detect it. Although these batches passed our sensory and quality procedures at every step of the process and continued to taste delicious, the longer the Lactobacillus Acetotolerans had to grow, the more off flavors are detectable. It is one of the biggest threats to barrel-aged beers because it thrives in alcohol levels up to 15% (which is rare for beer-spoilers). This bacteria has gained national attention among craft brewers in the last several years as more brewers are barrel-aging, and has reared its head at some of America’s best breweries.

We used over 120 bourbon casks to age our Kentucky Christmas Morning this year. It looks as though at least one of these barrels was also the likely root source of the microorganism that affected the GBS and Christmas Pancakes, as these were all transferred and processed in our cellar within the same few days in late October. While we have very strong sanitation procedures in place between batches, it appears this got through.

Unfortunately, it takes only 1 of the 120 casks to have a low level of this microorganism to eventually affect the entire batch. It is very challenging to get a sterile sample from every bourbon cask using our existing analytical equipment prior to putting the beer into the tank. Sensory analysis of each individual barrel becomes challenging as well (often off flavors don’t arise for weeks or months) with the quantity of barrels used and potential for low levels to go undetected. Moving forward, there are some additional measures we can add to our already existing procedures to ensure we are monitoring those individual barrels more closely. This will help eliminate future problems.

We are exceptionally disappointed that this issue has developed and have already taken steps to ensure it does not occur in future batches including increased microbiological testing of batches and upgraded sanitation procedures. We ask that if you have any packages left from the above dates, please contact us at [email protected] and give us the chance to make it right. Please specify the brand, number of packages, and packaging dates that you currently have left and we will set up an e-gift card that can be used at our taproom or online shop. Packaging dates are printed on the bottom of Hardywood cans, and on the shoulder of stubby bottles, in black ink (easiest to read shining a light from behind).

Once again, we are sorry for the poor experience on these specific batches but are appreciative of your understanding and continued support!


This is one of my favorite beers if you like IPA try this one.

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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.