Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond, VA

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Alex of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, Virginia, I stopped in for a tour and tasting outside of normal business hours.  Shout out to Alex!  Thank You!

Alex took me around the entire brewery, told me the whole history and described their current plans. Wow!  He did all that just for me.  We spend well over an hour together.

From humble beginnings, Hardywood has great plans.  I hope to stay in touch and visit again in the future to take part in their success.

In terms of tasting, Alex started me with the Singel which is a delicious Belgian Blonde Ale.  It’s an on-ramp for regular beer drinkers to get them into craft beer.  Well done!  It’s delicious.  From there we went to Pils which is a wonderful German style Pilsner.  Very drinkable and easy to enjoy.  Next I tried the Peach Tripel which I enjoyed so much that I bought a bottle and enjoyed it at home with the family.  Finally, I enjoyed the Bourbon Cru which also rose to he status of bringing a bottle home, but I’m going to age that.  Although I didn’t try it at the brewery, I brought two bottles of Poplar IPA home.  I enjoyed one with the family and it is awesome.  And I shared a bottle with a good friend.

Alex told me about other styles and I could share them with you but I’ll wait until a return  trip and the opportunity to taste them firsthand.

Hardywood is a great place with great people.  Do yourself a favor and stop by!

The Perch Pub and Brewery, Chandler, AZ

I had heard that The Perch Pub and Brewery in Chandler, Arizona was different.  Well, that’s an understatement.  I’m not sure where to begin.  The rescued wild birds are fabulous to watch!  That alone in itself is worth the trip.  It’s like an exotic bird zoo.  Then there’s the food.  The fish tacos were the best I’ve ever had.  Then there’s the bartender.  E is the best bartender ever.  He’s awesome.  And the whole reason I stopped is the beer.  I had a flight: Paleyeah! is a solid pale ale / Desert Blossom Saison is very tasty – one of the best saisons I’ve had and possibly my favorite / Rosemary IPA – if you like rosemary – YES – if not – NO / Belgian Peach – delicious – sweet – peachy goodness / Velocirazter Gose – tart, salty, raspberry refreshing goodness / Stirabout Oatmeal Stout – a happy ending.  Very few flights are all good – this one was.  Excellent.

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Adelbert’s Brewery, Austin, TX

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I stopped in at Adelbert’s Brewery in Belgiium – OOPS – Austin, Texas, last night.  While I was sampling their beers I sure felt like I was in Belgium.  Belgian styles are their passion and it shows in every beer.  I especially enjoyed the Tripel B.  It was malty and sweet just as a Belgian Tripel should be.  And it was strong!.  When I mentioned that I was planning to write a blog post, the manager insisted I try every beer on tap.  Honestly, each was delicious. Even the tea they brew to cleanse the palate was tasty.  I wish it were easier to bring beer on a plane, I’d bring some back for my friends at home.  I also wish I had more time to sit back and relax at the outdoor seating area and enjoy the beer but I was on a quick trip in and out of Austin.  I highly recommend this brewery – everyone should stop here.  I hope to the next time I’m in town – and hopefully for a longer stop!

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NoDa Brewing Company, Charlotte, NC

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I stopped in at NoDa Brewing Company in Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoyed some beer and a tour.  The Salted Caramel Stout was smooth and sweet.  And the Sucette A L’abricot was light and refreshing.  Also, the Experimental Hop Project was a great citrusy hop forward selection.  I greatly enjoyed all of the selections I tried.  The tour was delightful and offered a walk-through of the brewery including a discussion of each brewing process along the way.

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Ozark Beer Company, Rogers, AR

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I stopped in at the Ozark Beer Company in Rogers, Arkansas and enjoyed a taste of the five beers they had on tap.  I really enjoyed the American Pale Ale.  It was hoppy enough for my palate.  This was one of the beers I had a second taste of.  I tried the India Pale Ale which I also enjoyed.  A solid IPA.  The Belgian Golden was the strongest on the menu and a solid Belgian beer.  Many of the other folks at the brewery were drinking this.  The Cream Stout was nice and smooth.  The Onyx Coffee Stout was delicious.  I enjoyed a second taste of this one as well.  This brewery was one of my stops on the Fayetteville Ale Trail which I highly recommend for those who love craft beer and are in the Fayetteville area.  In my opinion, the beers at Ozark Brewing Company were the best on the Fayetteville Ale Trail.

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Marin Brewing Company, Larkspur, CA

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I stopped in the Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur, California.  I just had to try the Raspberry Trail Ale and although it’s not particularly my style I did enjoy it.  It was light and bready with a distinct flavor of raspberry.  Then I tried the Altar Boy Belgian style pale ale which tasted like a fruity Belgian ale.  I also sampled the Mt Tam Pale Ale which is their flagship and turned out to be a smooth, solid pale ale.  And, finally, I tried Earl which is an Imperial IPA.  This was rich and heavy, malty and hoppy.

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Triple Voodoo Brewery and Taproom, San Francisco, CA

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At the Triple Voodoo Brewery and Taproom I enjoyed small samples of four beers.  The first one I tried was Breaka’ Dawn, a Belgian inspired pale ale which was smooth and malty.  The next beer was Anarchy IPA which both smelled and tasted of hops with a solid bite.  Third, I tried the Inception Belgian golden ale which is their flagship beer.  Belgian style beers are growing on me and this one was very good.  And finally I saved the King Leopold Belgian stout for last.  This stout is brewed with both malt and oats and is smooth and rich.  The taproom has an artsy industrial feel to it and was pleasant to relax and enjoy the beers.

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Roanoke Railhouse Brewery, Roanoke, VA

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I was fortunate enough to stop at the Roanoke Railhouse Brewery in Roanoke, Virginia.  When I arrived, the owner, Steve, stopped everything he was doing an spent the next hour pouring his beers for me, describing each in detail, and discussing the craft beer scene and the general business climate of Roanoke.  Steve is great to talk with and a great brewer.  The first beer I tried was the Track 1 Amber Lager which I found to be not too sweet but full-bodied.  The second beer I tried was the Broken Knuckle IPA which I found not too bitter and very drinkable.  And the last beer I tried was the Switch Monkey which is a Belgian pale ale, light and very easy to drink.  The brewery is in a converted warehouse space and has plenty of room to hang out and enjoy a few beers.