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The Beer Circle » Barrel Aged, Beer Release, Breweries, Hardywood Park » Hardywood Craft Brewing – Richmond, VA

Hardywood Craft Brewing – Richmond, VA

Front Door

Front Door

Back in January, Russ did a review of two Hardywood Craft Brewing releases, Gingerbread Stout and Bourbon-barrel Aged Gingerbread Stout. Recently I headed down for the release of Hoplar, an IPA conditioned on Virginia Poplar wood. This post will deal more with the experience at the brewery rather than a review of Hoplar itself.

The weather was perfect for the release. It was sunny and in the mid-50s. Festivities were to kick off at 1PM and included a couple of bands throughout the day playing on a stage on the loading docks and various food trucks outside for non-beer nourishment, if you were to so choose. We got there a little early so watched the food trucks setup and people start milling around. Surprising, there was no line and I was able to get my 4-pack of Hoplar and a 4-pack of Bourbon-barrel Aged Sidamo, an imperial stout, very quickly. I brought the beers to the car, grabbed my growler, and went back to begin the experimentation drinking. The tasting room doors open right onto the bar itself as the center of attraction. There are large windows to the side of the bar where you can take you beer and look out onto the brewery floor.

barrels Even though I hadn’t tasted the base Hoplar yet, I was drawn to the Hoplar randalized with extra hops and slices of grapefruit. The citrus pucker factor was amazing and I curse myself for not writing down tasting notes. My drinking buddy wife is a big stout fan so she went with their darat-only Raspberry Stout, using only Virginia-grown raspberries. We went into the brewery area where, amongst the hundreds of whiskey and bourbon barrels, were picnic tables, the band stage, and a second bar. As I mentioned above, the weather was perfect and the loading dock doors were open allowing in sunlight and fresh air. I commented many times that this setup is perfect for drawing in crowds for regular weekend days in addition to special release events.

This was my first trip down to Hardywood and I am amazed at how smooth of an operation they have, especially considering that they have only been around since mid-2011. The 12,000-sq ft brewery has a 20-barrel brewing system and utilizes only renewable energy sources from the local power company. Even though I am over two hours away I can definitely see myself making the trip to Hardywood for their next beer release, Bourbon Cru, at the end of April.

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Written by Bob Pack

Simply put, Bob is a beer lover. He goes out of his way to try new beers whenever he can find them. The love of trying new beers had resulted in a beer label collection of over 1400. When it comes down to it, Bob is a hop head. He loves IPAs (including double and black). Stouts are a close second. His tweet reviews on @nova_beer are simple and approachable. Let him know what you think. Find Bob Pack on Google Plus

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