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!
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.
I only had time for one taste at Pacific Coast Brewing Company in Oakland, California. The Mermaid’s Revenge, a Belgian triple, was a strong, sweet and spicy beer.
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.
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.
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.
I stopped in at the Carolina Brewery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for lunch. The turkey bacon wrap was served with chips and made for a nice meal. I enjoyed a Black IPA which was every bit IPA and every bit dark beer all rolled into one. I also tasted the Funky Monk Belgian Dubbel which was smooth through and through.