Food News: Homebrewers make it big, Folk Feast is back for seconds, and another tiki party

Homebrewing is on the rise, and several local enthusiasts are getting their shot at making it big around town. Plus, several local chefs are headed to Charlottesville, Southern Season rolls into town, and yet another night.

The Richmond Folk Feast, a special night of food and drink featuring some of the city’s biggest culinary stars and restaurants, is back for seconds–and there’re more chefs in the kitchen than ever. 17 chefs from 16 local Richmond restaurants will converge on Historic Tredegar on the riverfront October 7th to show off their creations, with all proceeds benefiting the Richmond Folk Festival. Tickets are normally $100, but you can pick up early bird tickets for $75 for a limited time.

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Gourmet grocer Southern Season opens its Richmond location in the Libbie Mill development on Staples Mill Road next Thursday. The store carries an extensive selection of wine, coffee, chocolate, and cheese, as well as cooking classes and tastings in their large on-site kitchen. The grocer will even have its own restaurant, Southerly, next door, which will feature a large, open-air patio.

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Craft cocktail bar The Rogue Gentlemen continues the tiki night fun (Acacia Midtown hosted an event last month) with an all-you-can-eat pig roast this Saturday. ‘The South Seas with the South’s Ease,’ as the event is being called, kicks off at 5:00 PM. Tickets are $30.

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Viceroy, which opened just a year ago in the former Cafe Diem space in the Devil’s Triangle, closed for a menu and brand revamp last week. Citing customer feedback, owners Sean and Jeanne McClain and David Bender said they intend to focus on more “approachable” menu items and small plates. The new menu debuts when Viceroy reopens on Monday. has a sneak peek of what to expect.

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Several RVA chefs will make the trek to Charlottesville next week for a unique outdoor dining event, ‘Chefs in the Garden.’ The dinner, taking place July 29th at The Clifton Inn, will be served on the inn’s sprawling lawn. Attendees can expect a six-course, Southern-inspired meal prepared by Clifton’s executive chef Tucker Yoder and visiting Richmond chefs Lee Gregory (The Roosevelt), and Phil Perrow and Caleb Shriver (Dutch & Company). Cocktails will be served on the lawn at 6:00 PM, followed by dinner at 7:00 PM. Chefs in the Garden is $88 per person; $150 with a wine pairing. To reserve a spot, you can call 434.971.1800.

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23rd & Main Taproom celebrates their first anniversary this Friday. The Shockoe Bottom restaurant will feature a Lickinghole Creek tap takeover with six of the Goochland brewery’s beers, as well as food and drink specials and live music.

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Homebrewing is growing like never before, and Center of the Universe Brewing Company has taken note, giving one lucky brewer the chance to have a small one-off batch of their beer produced. COTU offered up some freshly prepared wort for local homebrewers back in February. Six weeks later, they welcomed back the 60 participating brewers for a friendly beer tasting competition. The top three overall then returned to COTU to brew Scott Golden’s winning beer with head brewer Mike Killelea. Scott’s beer, which can be purchased at COTU in Ashland this Saturday as part of the brewery’s RVAle event, is described as a light and refreshing spiced summer Belgian-style ale with citrus and spice notes and accompanied by traditional Belgian esters.

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Speaking of beer, with their head brewer on his way to An Bui’s (of Mekong fame) new Answer Brewpub, Extra Billy’s Barbecue (many a Richmonder’s favorite Southside beer spot) has reinvented itself by hiring award-winning homebrewer Dylan Brooks. Brooks started home brewing about six years ago and won gold medals for his American pale ale, American IPA, American barley wine, foreign extra stout, and maibock styles. has a fascinating profile on the aspiring brewer.

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Finally in beer news, what’s even better than local craft beer? Local craft beer aged in bourbon and rum barrels, of course! Hardywood Park Craft Brewery hosts Barrel Day, featuring their Boubon DIPA (Double India Pale Ale) this Saturday, along with Hardywood Singel (aged for 18 months on Bowman’s Abraham bourbon barrels), a Russian Imperial Stout (aged for 18 months on Makers Mark bourbon barrels), and a Belgian Quad (aged for 16 months in Cruzan Rum barrels). Live music and food trucks round out the day’s festivities, which kick off at 2:00 PM.

Photo: The Clifton Inn

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Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

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