Beer News: Yeast we can, 2015!

Well, dudes, it’s come to this: Our beer-soaked town is so filled with beer-soaked news that said news warrants its own sudsy space. That space is here, or at least, directly following here.

This week, there are at least two growler fills (64 oz.) of beer news; remember to eat, hydrate, and read responsibly. If I’ve forgotten anything, an occurrence I’ll blame on too much firsthand experience with the below topic, let me know in the comments.

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The RTD has a nice update on the Black Hops Farm in Loudoun County (owned by Jonathan Staples who also owns Richmond-based James River Distillery). In addition to growing hops, Staples plans to open a facility to process the hops–which you’ve gotta do ASAP or they lose their charming hoppiness. This, theoretically, would knock down one of the barriers discouraging other farmers around the Commonwealth from growing hops.

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Garden Grove Brewery is officially the 100th actively licensed brewery in Virginia, says Richmond BizSense. That’s a lot of breweries compared to a couple of years ago, and we’ve got about a dozen around Richmond. Tell me, with nearly 12% of the Commonwealth’s breweries, does any other region dare challenge us in our (real and perceived) beer superiority? 

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This 14-person bicycle trolley beer vehicle is definitely a thing that will soon exist. The idea–at least my idea–is to drink beer outside, watch Richmond roll by, and pretend to pedal but really let the other 13 people do the majority of the work. I’m a terrible person.

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Local guy who just wrote a book about beer, Lee Graves spent some time observing the Stone Brewing Co. dudes in their native Sand Diegoan habitat. He wrote some words about it that you can read to start getting a feel for Stone Brewing’s Richmond vibe.

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National news…

White Labs, growers of quintillions of yeasts for brewers all over the world, announced they’re opening a East Coast factory in Asheville. Part of me hates Asheville for being so beautiful and alluring to beer-related businesses. The other part of me already has picked out a hashtag (#yeastwecan2015) for my inevitable trip down there later this year.

When can I (finally) get an Oberon? End of March. How’d I know that so quick? Well, I looked at this fairly comprehensive post of national brewery release calendars. Never again be left wondering when your favorite brew is scheduled to hit the shelves.

Takeovers & releases

  • Hardywood headlines this week’s releases with their combopack attack of two milk stouts dubbed the Milkmaid and the Milkman. In accordance with the longstanding and annoying sexual politics of beer naming, the Milkmaid is the lower ABV of the two offerings, checking in at 7%. The Milkman, goodly chap that he is, hits you with 13.5%–which, after a few of these, encourages you to hit the hay.
  • In addition to their two milk-related beers, Hardywood will tap a trillion Cigar City beers throughout the weekend at various locations in their ever-expanding empire out on Ownby Lane. There’s too many dang details to list out what’s tapping when, so just click this link and hold on tight.
  • This Saturday Lickinghole Creek will release their Heir Apparent Mexican-Spice Imperial Stout, a stout with “a complex caramel soul tempered by a chocolate and roasty undertone.” Also, there are hot Mexican peppers.

Photo by: Matt Niemi

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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