I had the pleasure of joining over 100 beer enthusiasts on Sunday November 10th for the 4th annual Richmond Beeristoric tour. Our guide ( 1 of 2) Mike Gorman (the second guide Eric Mink) led us through a history of beer in Richmond , that I never knew. From “Boom to Bust” we took in local breweries, soon to be breweries, restaurants and of course I snuck down to visit Richmond’s own Urban Cidery, Blue Bee, we took in all of the history and ALL of the beer.
Richmond is steeped in beer history dating back to 1585… and well I could give you a bunch of info and facts, but fortunately the lovely Megan Marconyak has covered it in her articular for Richmond Magazine.
So I will focus on the beer. Our morning started at Mekong, the Southeast regions #1 Craft Beer bar for 2 years running, to catch our ride. Our gracious host, Mr. An Bui, started everyone off with a tasting of coffee stouts to get our day started.
Williamsburg Alewerks Coffe Royale and Hardywood Gingerbread Stout
Fist up was a visit to Capital Ale House and tasted Midnight Brewery Rockville Red, a 5.5% ABV Irish Red.
Second stop, “Yuengling Beer Caves”, where we sampled the Extra Billy’s Proverbial Porter brewed by medal winning Brandon Tolbert, ( thanks Brandon!).
Southern Railway Taphouse was our 3rd stop where we were able to try out Lickinghole Creek Craft Breweries “Punkin Ain’t Easy”, an 8% ABV pumpkin beer brewed with sugar pumpkins from Lickinghole’s own farm, no spice, just pumpkin. Great beer Sean-Thomas Pumphrey.
We stopped by Legend Brewery for a tasting of their Bourbon Brown Beer and where I may have snuck a quick trip next door to Blue Bee. If you haven’t visited, please do, the Harvest Ration is going quick, and the Charred Ordinary is possibly my favorite cider.
We also got to see the up and going space that will be Triple Crossing.
The Jefferson Hotel offered up a more historic twist, where we were given a “prescription” for our beer, just as you would have received during prohibition. There we tasted El Duderino (well a Blue Bee Apple Brandy Barrel Aged version, an homage to The Dude). This may be the beer that gets me back out to Center of the Universe.
Rounding out the evening was a visit to what was once the home of Richmond Brewery (now Todd Lofts Building) for a a sample of Strangeways Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Phantasmic IPA
Just down the street we ended our day at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery for a tasting of their award winning Gingerbread Stout, 2013 and Isley Brewing, one of Richmond’s newest brewery in Scott’s Edition for a sampling of their Jane Wit and Decadence Porter
This is an amazing tour, full of history, fun and some great beer. If you get a chance, check it out next year, but gird your liver my friends, and hold onto your buddy.